NJ Hall of Fame Mobile Museum Stops by Montclair State

Photo: Mike Peters

A view inside the New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum.

The nation’s first and only traveling Hall of Fame museum, the New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum, made an appearance at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center on the campus of Montclair State University on December 6.

Billed as a “field trip on wheels,” the Hall of Fame Mobile Museum honors citizens with New Jersey roots who have made invaluable contributions to society and the world beyond. It offers a dramatic multimedia exhibition of some 70 notable people from 15 fields of human endeavor including famous New Jerseyans such as Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison, Toni Morrison, Jon Bon Jovi, Buzz Aldrin, Tony Bennett, Jack Nicholson and Yogi Berra.

Coinciding with the visit of the Mobile Museum, the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center held a special event featuring New Jersey Hall of Fame commissioners and inductees. On hand to talk about the Hall of Fame and answer questions were former NFL Super Bowl champion and chair of the Hall of Fame board, Bart Oates; former MLB pitching great and current TV analyst, Al Leiter; and former New Jersey governor and new Hall of Fame inductee, Governor Tom Kean.

The museum’s namesake, Yogi Berra, his wife, Carmen, and other Hall of Fame luminaries and supporters were in the audience for the event, to be joined later by a class of sixth-grade students from Bloomfield who had visited the Mobile Museum and the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center on a field trip. Leiter, Oates and Kean fielded questions from the audience and talked about the Hall of Fame and New Jersey.

“When you look at the inductees in our Hall of Fame – Yogi being one of them, of course – you have world-class people, those who have inspired change and made a difference in the world,” said Leiter. “Now with the Mobile Museum, we have a chance to bring this to kids around the state.”

Housed in a 53-foot, double-expandable trailer, the Museum features dynamic displays based on the theme “Make a Difference.” Through images, artifacts, film, displays and interactive elements, visitors can explore the ways that New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees have changed the state and the world.

“We made a conscious decision…when we created [the Mobile Museum], that this would be the best form to really get the message to kids,” said Oates. “It goes around to schools – that’s its purpose.”

Oates estimated that it would take the Mobile Museum five years to visit every city and school in New Jersey but it is the best way to promote New Jersey and spread the message of the Hall of Fame’s mission. “We appreciate the people of New Jersey who have done wonderful things with their lives,” he said. “This is just our way of being able to say ‘great people come from this state.’ ”

Watch a news report about the Mobile Museum at News 12 New Jersey.