Alabama Sports Hall of Fame

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The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) is a state museum located in Birmingham, Alabama, dedicated to communicating the state’s athletic history. The museum displays over 5,000 objects related to athletes who were born in Alabama or earned fame through athletics that reflects positively upon the state, usually through excellence at an educational institution or sporting event in Alabama. The ASHOF was established by state legislative act on August 14, 1967. [1] [2]

Birmingham, Alabama most populous city in Alabama

Birmingham is a city located in the north central region of the U.S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2017 population of 210,710, it is the most populous city in Alabama. Birmingham is the seat of Jefferson County, Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county. As of 2017, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,149,807, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South, Piedmont, and Appalachian regions of the nation.

Contents

Membership

The ASHOF currently lists over 300 inductees, including five of the top 15 athletes selected as the greatest of the last century by ESPN. Nationally prominent members include Jesse Owens, Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, Willie Mays, Carl Lewis, Chase Riddle, Don Hutson, Shug Jordan, Howard Hill, and Paul "Bear" Bryant. [1] [3] A complete list can be found on the museum’s official website.

ESPN is a U.S.-based sports television channel owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture owned by The Walt Disney Company (80%) and Hearst Communications (20%). The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Rasmussen and Ed Egan.

James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens{ J.C} was an American track and field athlete, and four-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1936 Games.

Hank Aaron American baseball player

Henry Louis Aaron, nicknamed "Hammer" or "Hammerin' Hank", is a retired American Major League Baseball (MLB) right fielder who serves as the senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves. He played 21 seasons for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in the National League (NL) and two seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League (AL), from 1954 through 1976. Aaron held the MLB record for career home runs for 33 years, and he still holds several MLB offensive records. He hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, and is one of only two players to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least fifteen times. In 1999, The Sporting News ranked Aaron fifth on its "100 Greatest Baseball Players" list.

The museum has an annual induction banquet each year, where it inducts between six and eight persons who have contributed to the athletic arena in some capacity. At least two of these inductees are in the "seniors" category, which covers persons before the modern sports era.

Each year also brings a "Distinguished Sportsman" inductee. This is usually an Alabama sportsman, but may instead be a "Distinguished American Sportsman", if voted as such by the Board of Directors. Two notable examples of an American Sportsman are president George Herbert Walker Bush and Bob Hope.

Bob Hope American comedian, actor, singer and dancer

Leslie Townes Hope, known professionally as Bob Hope, was an American stand-up comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete, and author. With a career that spanned nearly 80 years, Hope appeared in more than 70 short and feature films, with 54 feature films with Hope as star, including a series of seven "Road" musical comedy movies with Bing Crosby as Hope's top-billed partner. In addition to hosting the Academy Awards show 19 times, more than any other host, he appeared in many stage productions and television roles, and was the author of 14 books. The song "Thanks for the Memory" was his signature tune.

Facility

The ASHOF is located in a 33,000-square-foot (3,100 m2) building in downtown Birmingham, adjacent to the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex and across an intersection from the Southeastern Conference headquarters. The collection spans three floors of the building. [1] The facility includes the 75 seat Bryant-Jordan Theater. [4]

Southeastern Conference College athletics conference of universities in the southern United States

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is an American college athletic conference whose member institutions are located primarily in the Southern part of the United States. Its fourteen members include the flagship public universities of eleven states, two additional public land grant universities, and one private research university. The conference is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. The SEC participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I in sports competitions; for football, it is part of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A.

Collection

Over 5,000 objects are displayed in the museum. The Heisman Trophies won by Auburn University athletes Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson are both displayed, as is a houndstooth hat worn by University of Alabama coach “Bear” Bryant, life size dioramas, athletic equipment and historic uniforms. [1] [4]

Heisman Trophy annual award for outstanding college football player

The Heisman Memorial Trophy, is awarded annually to a player in NCAA football. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. It is presented by the Heisman Trophy Trust in early December before the postseason bowl games.

Auburn University public university in Auburn, Alabama, United States

Auburn University is a land-grant and public research university in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 23,000 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of more than 30,000 with 1,260 faculty members, Auburn is the second largest university in Alabama. Auburn University is one of the state's two public flagship universities.

Patrick Joseph Sullivan is a former American football player and coach. An All-American quarterback for the Auburn Tigers, he won the Heisman Trophy in 1971 and then played six seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins. Sullivan was a head football coach at Samford University, a position he held from 2007 to 2014. He was previously the head football coach at Texas Christian University (TCU) from 1992 to 1997 and the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) from 1999 to 2006. Sullivan was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1991.

Museum leadership

The current executive director is Scott Myers, the former Managing Partner of the Alabama Steeldogs arena football team. Mr. Myers replaced William Legg, who helped spearhead the revitalization of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1992 with a new facility. The current museum is a showplace of sports memorabilia and is often used as an example of how an effective sports museum should be presented.

Alabama Steeldogs

The Alabama Steeldogs, originally known as the Birmingham Steeldogs, were incorporated in 2000 as one of the charter teams in the AF2, the developmental league of the Arena Football League. Entering their eighth season as of 2007, they were the longest running of many professional football franchises in the city of Birmingham. Management announced that it would not field a team in 2008 but had hopes of returning in 2009. But the team's front office has since been dissolved, and with no announcements of further plans, the team is defunct.

The curator responsible for the display of artifacts is Dr. Avalee Willoughby. She was recognized in 2007 with the Frank "Pig" House Award.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Alabama Sports Hall of Fame; About Us
  2. Alabama Sports Hall of Fame; Frequently Asked Questions
  3. "Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum". Alabama Tourism Department. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  4. 1 2 "Alabama Sports Hall of Fame". Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. Retrieved July 23, 2012.

Coordinates: 33°31′27.08″N86°48′41.16″W / 33.5241889°N 86.8114333°W / 33.5241889; -86.8114333