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Sports History

New York's sports teams and venues are among the most storied and varied in American history.   Follow the Sport of Kings at the historic Saratoga Race Course; visit the birthplace of America's favorite pastime at the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame; spend a day at Watkins Glen and catch the historic Grand Prix Circuit re-enactment.  Don't forget we're also home to the 1932 and 1980 Olympic site in Lake Placid - one of only seven cities in the world to host the Olympics twice. 

Below are ideas to help you get started on your Sports Path Through History!

New York City and Long Island:

- It may be housed in a new Yankee Stadium, but the Yankees Monument Park in the Bronx still serves as an open-air museum containing a collection of monuments, plaques and retired numbers honoring distinguished members of the historic Major League baseball team, winners of more World Series than any other club.  The Yankees Museum located on the Main Level near Gate 6 features memorabilia, life-size statutes and exhibits.  Both can be seen with your admission to a game, or as part of a daily Yankee Stadium Tour, which also features visits to the dugout, clubhouse and press box.   

Yankee Stadium Tour 
Find other exciting attractions in the Long Island region and New York City region.

Hudson Valley:

- Partially housed in the 1913 Good Time Stables, the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen overlooks Goshen's historic 1838 track, the oldest working racetrack in the country and the first sports site to receive National Historic Landmark status.  The museum features a timeline of the sport; galleries of paintings and lithographs; exhibits on breeding and training; a 3D simulated ride that lets visitors experience the thrill of racing; and artifacts including the first mobile starting gate and elaborately engraved trophies.  The Hall of Fame contains lifelike statuettes of the drivers, trainers, and breeders who have enriched the sport. 

Harness Racing Museum 
Find other exciting attractions in the Hudson Valley region.

Catskills:

- The award winning, state-of-the-art Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum in Livingston Manor  displays artifacts and memorabilia and hosts activities and programs in the area known as the "Birthplace of American Fly Fishing."  

Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum
Find other exciting attractions in the Catskill region.

Capital-Saratoga

- The "Sport of Kings" -- Thoroughbred horse racing -- and its jockeys, trainers and horses are celebrated at National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs with equine art, artifacts, memorabilia and film.  

- The nearby stately Saratoga Race Course, rated by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 10 sports venues of the 20th century, is where the world's best horses and jockeys meet every year from July through early September.  Visitors to the track range from the well heeled who dine in the track's various restaurants to families who picnic along the rail.  In 2013, the whole town celebrates the race course's 150th birthday with a variety of special events all summer long.  

150th Birthday 
National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame 
Saratoga Race Course 
Find other exciting attractions in the Capital-Saratoga region.

Adirondacks and Thousand Islands-Seaway:

- In Lake Placid, the site of the Miracle on Ice when the American hockey team triumphed over the Soviets, and where Sonja Henie and Eric Heiden skated to Olympic Gold, the Lake Placid Olympic Museum brings to life the Olympic memories and achievements that occurred here in 1932 and 1980. See historic video highlights, torches, medals, skates, bobsleighs, uniforms and historical memorabilia from the Olympic Games.  Guests can also visit the Olympic Sports Complex and experience the venues where Olympic athletes competed, from skating around one of the nation's few remaining outdoor speed skating ovals, to catching the view at the top of the ski jumping complex, to making a white-knuckle, 50-mile-an-hour bobsled run. 

Lake Placid Olympic Museum 
Find other exciting attractions in the Adirondacks region and Thousand Islands-Seaway region.

Central New York:

- The 14,000-square-foot Wildlife Sports and Education Museum in Amsterdam is home to the NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame, and preserves the art, artifacts and memorabilia of the centuries-old sporting traditions of hunting and fishing with collections of birds, fish, and bears, the largest and most comprehensive collection of Whitetail Deer mounts in the country and displays of early tools and implements used to hunt game and fish from ancient times to present day.

- The newly-renovated National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in famous Cooperstown features the hallowed Hall of Fame Gallery honoring the game's greatest players, and countless interactive exhibits and emotional stories bringing baseball's glorious history to life for fans of all ages.  The nearby Doubleday Field has been used for baseball since 1920 on the grounds of what was once Elihu Phinney's farm, where Abner Doubleday is said to have regularly played the game.   

- The National Distance Running Hall of Fame in Utica showcases inductees and memorabilia honoring the athletes who made contributions to the sport of distance running in the town that hosts the Boilermaker 15K Road Race.  With 10,000 runners, it is consistently ranked as one of Runner World's Top 100 races. 

- The International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota grew up in a town where regular bare-knuckle fights took place along the Erie Canal, and which was the birthplace of two of the sport's champions: Carmen Basilio, welterweight and middleweight champion of the 1950's, and his nephew, Billy Backus, world welterweight champion 1970-71.  Exhibits feature films, photos and memorabilia including robes, championship belts and life-size fist castings.  

International Boxing Hall of Fame  
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
National Distance Running Hall of Fame  
Wildlife Sports and Education Museum  
Find other exciting attractions in the Central New York region.

Finger Lakes, Grater Niagara and Chautauqua-Alleghany:

- The Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the final resting place of Ernie Davis, the first African American to win the Heisman trophy, as well as other notables like author Mark Twain and filmmaker Hal Roach. 

- Watkins Glen is a nationally recognized center for car racing.  Starting in 1948, the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Circuit encompassed 6.6 miles of the village's asphalt, cement and dirt roads. It is listed in the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places, and still hosts an annual Grand Prix reenactment in September.  The nearby International Motor Racing Research Center preserves the heritage of the sport through a 5,000-square-foot research library and archive, while the racing tradition continues at Watkins Glen International where NASCAR's finest compete in New York's largest motorsports event. 

The Schooner "True Love" is a 1926 John Alden Malabar Schooner, designed to win some of the world's most prestigious and difficult races.  She made her reputation as a movie star in "The Philadelphia Story" and "High Society."  Today, guests can board the Schooner "True Love" in Watkins Glen for a historic ride on Seneca Lake.

International Motor Racing Research Center  
The Schooner "True Love" 
Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira 
Find other exciting attractions in the Finger Lakes regionGreater Niagara region and Chautauqua-Alleghany region.

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