‘Big League Fun’ baseball exhibit hits a home run with Pittsburgh kids

As we get ready for baseball season, the Pirates are practicing in Bradenton, but kids can practice their baseball, softball and T-ball skills at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. It’s called “Big League Fun,” and Pittsburgh is lucky to have the traveling exhibit here now through May 10, right as baseball season is getting underway.

Whether it’s smacking the ball to the cheers of fans, throwing with all their gusto to an imaginary catcher, or running at full speed to record their time, “Big League Fun” is just that for kids.

Caylor Riggleman is 8-years-old from  Hollidaysburg and plays T-ball. She says between hits, “I’m really good at hitting, and I’m really good at running.”

Five-year-old Julian Brooks practices the proper stance when hitting, which is part of what you can learn at the exhibit.  When asked  what he most likes about baseball, he replies, “Hitting home runs.” His dad, Tyrone Brooks, works for Major League Baseball and is excited this exhibit is in Pittsburgh. “Baseball and family are pretty much synonymous,” Brooks says. “This exhibit at the Children’s Museum is a great opportunity for the kids to experience baseball.”

Running is one of the kids’ favorite parts of the exhibit, and they can even learn math while they’re running.  There’s a display about rounding numbers, and kids can practice multiplication by doubling their time to figure out how long it would take them to run between the bases of a real baseball field since the track at the museum is half that length.

There’s STEM learning everywhere.  Rachel Mastromarino, associate director of business development at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, says kids can learn, “the geometry of what makes the up the baseball field or how to throw the perfect pitch or how to get into the correct batter’s stance.”

In addition to the athletics of the sport, visitors can also try being an announcer or videographer and create their own baseball card.  There’s also memorabilia, a puzzle of PNC Park and the mascots. In fact, it’s hard for visitors to pick one favorite part.

Tanisha Riggleman, who’s from Hollidaysburg, is visiting the Children’s Museum for the first time. “I just like all of it.  It’s really interactive for the kids,” she says.  Seven-year-old Heidi Wood says with a hearty laugh, “I liked all of it!”.

Jordan Price, from Penn Hills, came with her 3-year-old cousin who’s having a blast “just having fun being a kid,” she says. “That’s what really this is all about, right?”

Admission to the exhibit is included with admission to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, as well as Museum Lab.