By JAKOB RYAN/Staff Writer | Photograph by NIKKI PRUITT

Wilson County has been home to baseball for more 100 years and is home to Fleming
Stadium, where baseball has been played since 1939.

As for the stadium, it is a piece of history itself; however, within the confines of the
ballpark is a place where the heart of North Carolina Baseball lives, the North Carolina Baseball
Museum.

Tucked down the third base side of the field is a large yellow building with a red roof that
holds a bathroom for fans, offices for the local ball club, and the North Carolina Baseball
Museum. Walking into the double door entrance visitors are greeted by one of the museum’s
workers and surrounded by thousands of North Carolina Baseball artifacts. The building is split
up into two different rooms where visitors can walk around and observe the different relics from
as far back as a scorebook from 1893.

The first room you enter is dedicated to all 368 North Carolinians that have played
professional baseball, including the seven that have made the Hall of Fame. From bats to balls
to gloves this place has anything imaginable dealing with North Carolina Baseball. Following the
first room, you can make your way through the wide doorway into the next room where artifacts
of North Carolina Baseball hang. From little to the big leagues this room has it all, even old
seats from Fleming Stadium sit in the room where visitors can take a seat.

With North Carolina being the only state to have it’s own dedicated museum to baseball,
it receives visitors from all over the country and even the world.

“If you love baseball, this is the place to come.” said Kent Montgomery, a board member
and founder of the museum. With admission being $3 for adults and $1 for children and seniors,
this is an ideal place to visit for anybody looking for a unique adventure minutes off I-95.

“This city has loved baseball for so long it makes sense to put it here,” said Mike Bell, the
general manager of the Wilson Tobs, the current ball club that occupies Fleming Stadium. Bell
also talked about how much it means to not only Wilson to have the museum, but also how the
Wilson Tobs benefit from it.

“Yeah, we got promotions. Yeah, we got games, but when you say you’ve got a hidden
gem like the North Carolina Baseball Museum, maybe someone will come that doesn’t even
want to watch a game on the field,” said Bell. “So from an entertainment stand point that is huge
for us.”

As for the future of the museum, plans to expand have already been put in place and will
be waiting on city funding to help. As for memorabilia, Bell noted that there is enough in storage
right now to fill the museum twice. As members and visitors await the possibility of an
expansion, they can help raise money by participating in three of their annual fundraising
events, The Hot Stove, celebrity golf tournament, and their annual pig roast.

So for anybody traveling on I-95 or is visiting Wilson, the North Carolina Baseball
Museum is definitely worth the visit.

For anybody that is interested in visiting the museum, it is located at 300 Stadium Street,
Wilson, North Carolina.