Special Exhibitions

A Coca-Cola Christmas Open Nov. 15 - Jan. 5

Coca-Cola and Christmas go together like Louisville Slugger and baseball.  Louisville Slugger made its first bat in 1884, and just two years later in 1886 Coca-Cola was created. Both American companies have become global and cultural icons.

Working with Coca-Cola last year, we created an exhibition celebrating the holidays, that will be back and better than ever this holiday season.  A Coca-Cola Christmas, opening this Saturday, November 15, will run through Monday, January 5.  The special interactive exhibit showcases more than 75 years of enchanting art and rare artifacts direct from Coca-Cola’s exclusive collection. 

Visitors can explore and discover original Coca-Cola artwork, memorabilia, artifacts, advertising and hands-on fun.  The exhibition features two beloved holiday icons – the Coca-Cola Polar Bears and Santa Claus. A rare Coca-Cola polar bear advertisement from 1922 will be included in the display. This original artwork from France was the first time the polar bear appeared in Coca-Cola advertising.

The exhibit features original oil paintings from one of the greatest illustrators of the 20th century, Haddon Sundblom.  Painting Santa portraits for Coca-Cola advertising from 1931 to 1964, he is credited with helping shape the modern image of Santa that is known around the world.  Before “The Coca-Cola Santa,” there was no single interpretation of Santa Claus that was globally recognized as Sundblom’s portraits are today.

A Coca-Cola Christmas will include special guest appearances by Santa Claus on Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas (November 29, and December 6, 13, and 20). Santa will be handing out candy canes to museum guests, and taking special gift requests from good little boys and girls.


A Century of Supporting The Troops Open Now

In 1914, the Belle of Louisville was born, WWI began, and Louisville Slugger launched its loyal support of US troops. As the Belle celebrates her hundredth birthday, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is proud to host A Century of Supporting the Troops, a special exhibition celebrating the Centennial Festival of Riverboats. 

This poignant and patriotic journey through history explores 100 years of Louisville Slugger’s proud support of the US military. During World War II, as the Belle pushed oil barges for the war effort and entertained troops as a floating USO nightclub, Louisville Slugger’s own “Rosie the Riveters” assembled gunstocks and track pins for tanks on the same machinery used to make bats and golf clubs.

The exhibit features a WWII service banner honoring Hillerich & Bradsby employees who served in that war, including one who was killed in action. A WWI military issue Louisville Slugger bat that was recently discovered by a local woman, whose grandfather used it during The Great War, is also on display.

Louisville Slugger continues to support the troops in many ways today, including the company’s sponsorship of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team. A prosthetic leg used by a member of the team is included as part of the exhibit, along with commemorative bats and images from the past decade that highlight Louisville Slugger’s continued dedication to helping the troops.

Some of the archival photographs and artifacts in this exhibition have never before been displayed in public.

Admission to A Century of Supporting the Troops is included with the price of museum admission.  In addition to this special show, the museum also includes interactive exhibits, a short feature film, historic memorabilia, the World’s Biggest Baseball Bat and an award-winning factory tour.