Seventeen months after beginning renovations, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame has re-opened its doors to the public.

“Baseball in Canada deserved a fresh home, and we were able to provide that with our expansion and renovations,” says Hall of Fame Director Scott Crawford.

The new and improved version has less memorabilia on display, but features a bright, fresh and professional look.

“From the floors to the lights, to the ceilings and paint everything has been re-done,” says Crawford. “We are still a smaller museum but now we are able to highlight our most important items”.

Baseball fan Tim Blaker was the first through the doors on opening day.

“I was excited to get here,” says Blaker (who drove from London). “I’ve visited the old Hall of Fame here and it was a dark and small place. I was excited to see what the new addition was like, and I think it’s going to be great”.

The 2500 square foot addition to the front of the facility features two massive new rooms. The Howard Webster visitor lounge is a multi-use room which can be rented for events or parties. It features a large television which plays previous induction ceremonies, and has couches for baseball fans to sit and talk shop. Crawford says it will have yearly rotating displays.

“It’s a great place to relax and talk baseball. It also has a big window where you can watch the kids games on the field on the south side of the museum,” says Crawford.

Across the hall is the 1200 square foot Harry Simmons Memorial Library. It is the home to the country’s only Centre for Canadian Baseball Research.

Crawford describes it as a place for people to find the history of the game, as well as store their archives.

“Half our expansion is this room. We’re excited because it will really allow people to find out exact details of baseball history”.

Last year the museum was closed during induction weekend. This summer baseball fans from across the country will be able to enjoy the new facility, while seeing four of Canada’s best enshrined in St. Marys.

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual induction festivities will be held from June 13 to June 15. This year’s class consists of former big league players Jason Bay (Trail, B.C.) and Ryan Dempster (Sechelt, B.C.), as well as long-time professional coach Rob Thomson (Corunna, Ont.) and former Toronto Blue Jays general manager Gord Ash (Toronto, Ont.).