If you love baseball, or if you are just looking for something fun to do, I've got a great idea for you.
The National Museum of Natural History on the Mall -- that's the Smithsonian museum with the big African elephant in the rotunda -- is hosting a terrific exhibit called "Baseball as America." It's a cool display of more than 200 baseball items and artifacts from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, including the Doubleday ball from the mythical "first" baseball game, Jackie Robinson's uniform and the most valuable baseball card in the world -- the T206 Honus Wagner card from 1909.
"Baseball as America" is loaded with the usual Hall of Fame stuff -- old-time bats, balls and gloves. But the exhibit also shows how much the game has become a part of the country through products, songs and movies. Just think how many baseball caps you see every day. Baseball has been used to sell everything from candy bars to underwear.
So you and your parents and your baseball buddies should put the "Baseball as America" exhibit on your list of things to do before the end of the summer. The exhibit will be at the National Museum of Natural History until Oct. 3.
This Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. would be the perfect time to go because the folks at the museum are putting on a Baseball Blast Family Festival. There will be lots of special things for kids to do and see.
What's some of this Saturday's special stuff? Check out this lineup:
* Meet the mascots from the minor league Bowie Bay Sox and Potomac Cannons.
* Watch a baseball bat and a catcher's mitt being made.
* Learn how to take care of your glove from an expert.
* Design and make your own baseball pennant.
* Put on an umpire's uniform and then "you make the call."
* Watch actors put on short plays about old-time ballplayers.
* Eat hot dogs from seven major league ballparks, including my favorite, the Fenway Frank.
There will be authors signing their baseball books, including me. I will be signing my books for kids from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. So come on down. It's all free and all fun. This Saturday will be a great time to "take me out to the ballgame." I mean museum.
Fred Bowen writes KidsPost's Friday sports column and is the author of sports novels for kids.