We can’t wait to spread the word about Pittsburgh’s best-kept secret, the Clemente Museum and Engine House 25 Wines. Located on Penn Avenue between Lawrenceville and the Strip District, these adjoined businesses are your next stop for a fun day in the city!
It shouldn’t come as news to anyone in Pittsburgh that Roberto Clemente is a local icon. From his statue outside of PNC Park to the big yellow Clemente bridge leading from the North Shore into downtown, Clemente is a well-known name in our city. However, something that a lot of people don’t know is that Clemente was not only an all-star baseball player but an incredible humanitarian. Learn about the full life of Roberto Clemente at the Clemente Museum, where they do an amazing job of highlighting the full life and history of Clemente.
Now, let’s dive into the museum! The Clemente Museum is located in a historic firehouse (Engine House 25) and is two stories FULL of memorabilia. Tours of this space are limited to 21 guests per tour due to its up close and personal nature. Thousands of pieces of history are displayed in glass cases, on tables, on shelves, and even lining the walls. The limited size of the tour makes for an elite experience because you are able to get an up-close look at everything and have the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with the tour guide throughout the 90 minutes. When planning a visit, you’ll want to order tickets ahead of time online for a session held on either Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Tickets are, as you would have it, $21 in true Clemente fashion.
Upon entrance to the museum, you’ll be taken into the main room of Engine House 25. One of the first things that will likely catch your eye is the display in the center of the room. This case displays Clemente’s game-worn, 1972 Road Uniform. Hundreds of authentic pieces like this are found throughout the museum to paint the full picture of not only Clemente’s baseball career, but his life as a whole.
At the Clemente Museum, game memorabilia from the 1971 World Series is a huge attraction. The collection of bats from this Pittsburgh-won championship is one of many highlights in the museum. For those who don’t know, Clemente was famously the MVP of the 1971 World Series. Appropriately, throughout the first floor of the Clemente Museum, you will see several important pieces of history from that iconic World Series. We won’t spoil the specifics, you’ll just have to go see for yourself!
Another huge moment in Clemente’s career that has its fair share of recognition in the museum, is his 3,000th hit. Part of the exclusive 3,000 hit club, Clemente achieved this coveted honor in 1972 near the end of the Pirates season. Tragically, this would be Clemente’s last ever hit, as he sadly passed away in a plane accident that December. With Clemente’s passing, we lost not only a legendary baseball player but also a great humanitarian. The Clemente Museum tour includes not only information and artifacts regarding Clemente’s athleticism but his commitment to helping others through charity work and other initiatives. The tour guides are truly a wealth of knowledge and have such passion for Clemente.
Approaching the second floor of the museum, you will find that it is filled with all sorts of incredible memorabilia that any sports fan can appreciate. You’ll see autographed baseballs, jerseys, etc. from some of the absolute greatest folks in the sports industry including Coach Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, and Sidney Crosby. It is truly a remarkable experience seeing the collection of sports history throughout the firehouse’s second floor. The executive director, Duane Rieder, has put every piece of this museum together with love and true passion for sports and the game of baseball. Hearing him tell stories of meeting athletes and personalities over the years at the Clemente Museum, is a testament to the work he has put into collecting every piece displayed in this museum.
Other than Roberto Clemente, another passion of executive director Duane Rieder is the adjoined business, Engine House 25. This wine cellar is the cherry on top of this incredible historic building. Engine House 25 offers bottles for purchase from their collection online including their signature Clemente collection as well as their house collection. If you’re interested in more of an experience, tasting and tour tickets for the wine cellar are available as well! Rieder makes the various wines right in the cellar, so it is quite the experience to get up close and personal with the space. As the vintner at Engine House 25, Rieder offers a wealth of knowledge on the different grapes and the production of the different styles of wine they offer.
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate a special occasion, gather a group of 10 or more friends and family, and book the tasting and tour experience. For $90 per person, your group will get a private tour of the Clemente Museum while sipping on the delicious wines produced at Engine House 25. Engine House 25 also offers event space bookings for the full venue or the wine cellar if you’re looking to use the space for a corporate event!
Being such a historic and unique space, the Clemente Museum and Engine House 25 wines are must-visits. Whether you’re someone who lives in Pittsburgh or someone visiting from out of town, the museum and wine cellar are sure to impress. Head to the website or social pages for either business and check out the opportunities that await!This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.