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Professional football was born here when the Allegheny Athletic Association paid William Heffelfinger $500 to play against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club in 1892.

The first modern World Series was played here in 1903, when the Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Boston Americans.

Now Pittsburgh has its own sports museum to document these historic moments and many others.

The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum opened Nov. 13 at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center.

The museum has more than 300 major artifacts and thousands of smaller objects, along with 70 interactive exhibits.

Its collection includes the cleats Franco Harris wore when he caught the "Immaculate Reception," an unlikely catch that changed the outcome of the first-ever playoff game at Three Rivers Stadium, enabling the Pittsburgh Steelers to win. Other artifacts include Billy Conn's gloves and light heavyweight championship belt and the glove belonging to Satchel Paige, who played for the Negro League's Pittsburgh Crawfords. The goalpost from Three Rivers Stadium is also displayed.

The museum, at 1212 Smallman St., will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Easter Sunday. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $4.50 for children ages 6 to 18, free for younger kids. Call (412) 454-6000 or visit

Associated Press

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