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L.A.'s newest museum opens today, and it's all sports

Football helmets

Today is the first day the public can check out the new Sports Museum of Los Angeles, just south of downtown Los Angeles at Main Street and Washington Boulevard. The Times' Greg Johnson recently took a tour of the facility, writing about both the many displays and the colorful man behind the museum:

The museum's sweet spot is an extensive Dodgers collection that fills a room in the nondescript building not far from Staples Center. Visitors can gawk at a champagne bottle, glass and handful of infield dirt that select guests were given on the day Ebbets Field opened for big league play. There is an original Ebbets Field turnstile, musical instruments from the Brooklyn Dodgers' fabled marching band, a few grandstand seats and even the logo of the demolition company that knocked the old ballpark down. Former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley has described the collection as "the best that I know of."

With all the financial problems of museums (like MOCA), is this the right time to open a new one? Johnson notes that the Sports Museum is operating as a for-profit business, but paperwork has been begun to convert it to a nonprofit. Admission is $17.50 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, $11 for children 5-12.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: The museum's collection of early football helmets. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times

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