Best Sports Museum - 2004
Sports Immortals Museum and Memorabilia Mart
In 1864, the first pair of ice skates was patented in the United States. In 1920, Cleveland Indians shortstop Ray Chapman got beaned in the head by a Carl Mays fastball, becoming the first major league baseball player to die during a game. And in 1992, Andre Agassi won the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. So how are all these historical sports tidbits related? Sports Immortals Museum and Memorabilia Mart, that's how. Anyone remotely interested in sports could spend hours gazing, mouth agape, at the huge collection of sports memorabilia, from Muhammad Ali's championship belt to Franco Harris' (autographed) cleats that gained him more than 100 yards in eight straight games. There's so much history stuff for the history buff that you won't know where to start; it'd be a good idea to take a guided tour. In addition to the more than 1 million (!) sports mementoes in a rotating display of 30,000 items, Sports Immortals features interactive games and theater. It holds fundraisers, auctions, parties, and field trips. And you can buy stuff too, for $2 to $10,000, such as signed lithographs (O.J. Simpson, $396, no bloodstains), and posters ('96 Stanley Cup, $68). Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children under age 12. Who says South Florida has no history?