Baseball in Louisville dates back to 1876 when the Louisville Grays began playing as part of the National League. Soon after the turn of the 20th century, minor league baseball arrived in Derby City and for 70 years, the Louisville Colonels commanded it. Their departure in 1972, however, led to a period of inactivity, as well as a period of unemployed umpires roaming the city shouting "SAFE!" at landing birds. Ten years later, baseball returned with the arrival of the Louisville Redbirds, who eventually became the RiverBats in 1998, and simply the Bats in 2002. Over the years this franchise has spent time as the affiliate of three big league teams: the St. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers, and its current affiliate, the Cincinnati Reds.
A member of the Smithsonian Affiliate Membership Program and the American Association of Museums, the Frazier History Museum houses interactive temporary exhibits and permanent galleries filled with artifacts and stories representing more than 1,000 years of human history. The 100,000-square-foot facility harbors two permanent collections⎯the Frazier Museum Collection, featuring American and international artifacts, and the British Royal Armouries. The American History exhibit showcases artifacts from early colonial settlement up through 1900, including the ivory-handled Colt pistols of General George Armstrong Custer and the original “Big Stick” of President Theodore Roosevelt, which turned out to be an especially sturdy wizard's wand.
While its performances of A Christmas Carol and A Christmas Story have few reviews, five Yelpers give Actors Theatre a 4.5-star average, and four TripAdvisors give an average of four owl eyes. The theatre has more than 6,000 Facebook fans:
Golf Shores Fun Center's mini metropolis of family fun welcomes guests of all ages with two mini-golf courses, an arcade, and ample space for groups of frolicking tykes. Sapphire waters trickle down stone walls and spring from rocky outcrops alongside the outdoor mini-golf course, where subtly sloping greens can complicate even the shortest of gimmies. At Golf Shores' indoor course, players traverse a darkened wonderland illuminated by black lights and neon décor, where both jungle- and underwater-themed decorations convince phosphorescent golf balls that they are amphibious.
Alongside the putters' park, joystick jockeys can warp into the Center's video arcade and take aim at pixilated game in Extreme Hunting or contemplate the nutritional value of blue ghosts while playing Ms. Pac-Man. The Center also encompasses a cozy coffee shop with free wireless Internet.
At Farnsley Golf Course, you can sharpen your long and short game at a nine-hole, par-3 course or on multiple practice fields. In 2011, five of the course’s greens got a makeover and all caddies were required to dispose of their shoulder pads and acid-wash jeans. Off the course, golfers can perfect their swing at a driving range lined with 300 yards of bermuda grass, or focus on chipping in a short-game practice area. If you’re looking for more in-depth tweaks to your technique, feel free to enlist the help of a teaching professional with personalized lessons.
Crossing the Ohio River on the north side of Louisville, it’s impossible not to notice the glassy façade of the KFC Yum! Center right on the river, a gleaming, $238 million cathedral to the University of Louisville’s flagship sport: basketball. Perennial powerhouses in both the men’s and women’s competition, Louisville showcases its fast-paced brand of basketball to one of the most loyal fanbases and student bodies in the country. While hoops may be king—the men’s basketball squad has won the school its two only NCAA Championships—the Cardinals take pride in a host of distinguished sports, including a football team that won both the Big East Conference and the Orange Bowl in 2006, leading the basketball team to briefly experiment with wearing helmets and cleats.