Pin City


While I was glad to attend last week’s Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar, I can’t say I’m too crazy about the city where the event was held: Las Vegas.

Specifically, I don’t like the Las Vegas Strip. It’s a place that willfully obliterates its past and any trace of the authentic in deference to a gleefully immoral plastic hedonism, stunning its cash-hemorrhaging visitors into submission with faux-opulence and naked appeals to our worst instincts.  
But less than a mile from the strip is The Pinball Hall of Fame, a place I’ve come to regard as a welcome and much-needed antidote to Vegas overload. Inside are over 150 fully functional machines representing all eras of pinball history, as well as a variety of other impeccably-maintained coin-op entertainment.

The place is run as a non-profit (with extra proceeds benefiting the Salvation Army), and the no-frills aesthetic is immediately apparent:



The lighting wasn’t great, nor are my photo skills in general, so I’ll go easy on the pics. But inside is wall-to-wall pinball:


Medieval Madness, a game I was literally obsessed with throughout the entirety of college (as an aside, a nice bit of trivia is that Tina Fey voices one of the game’s princess characters).


And see that sticker on the bottom right hand corner? Those with internet-enabled smart phones can scan the stickers, instantly receiving information about the game in question.

25-cent dinner (not included in my Promo Seminar expense report):


What video games looked like in 1973:


A claw machine, circa 1938:


This variation on skee-ball featured an alien hurling non-stop insults. I played it three times and failed to dunk him even once (you had to hit a moving circular target, seen here on the left).


And, finally, a machine selling totally awesome “Gross Out Key Chains.”


If anyone reading this blog would like one of these keychains, send me an email with your address (friends and family excluded). My supplies are ultra-limited, so please act quickly and specify whether your preference would be to receive “pooping cow”, “booger nose”, or “rubber chicken.” 

I hope you’ll forgive this brief foray into non-baseball content, but this is all in line with my larger goal of highlighting unique places located within Minor League markets. Minor League Baseball is a great way in which to plan and contextualize American explorations, which to me is one of its most appealing and enduring characteristics.


  1. rrrt

    Seriously? If I send you an email, I could have a booger-shooting plastic nose keychain? How cool! My kids would love it! (does this make me a bad parent?)
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

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