Excerpt: National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame
|National Italian American Sports Hall of
1431 W. Taylor St.
Chicago, Illinois 60607
The National Italian American Sports Hall of
Fame is truly a
Highlights include the Indy racing cars of Chip Ganassi, and both Michael and Mario Andretti's Indy 500-winning cars. Rocky Marciano's World Heavyweight Championship Belt anchors an entire wall that honors more than 50 of the greatest names in boxing. The south wall of the first floor is dedicated to pro football greats Dan Marino, Joe Montana, and Joe Paterno, to name a few. Past Olympians also have been inducted into the hall; the most impressive of their donated items being all of Matt Biondi's 11 Olympic swimming medals. Biondi's display also includes a video presentation recapping some of his memorable Olympic races.
Green Bay Packers fans visiting our city will enjoy the tribute to Vince Lombardi, which includes the coat worn in his last game as coach of the Green Bay Packers and his playbooks. Also on display in the hall are a Super Bowl Trophy, a Heisman Trophy, and 2001 World Series Trophy.
Around the entire museum and on the walls of
the hallways are interesting photographs of the inductees through the
generations. Some are even autographed. One photo that really catches the
eye is on the second floor, in an area still being developed. The picture
is from an induction ceremony at the hall in the 1990s with some of the
greatest legends of
If you are into sports history and memorabilia, a trip here is worth it (the admission price is low, too). The many video presentations really add to the story behind the artifacts on display. Every year the hall will induct more of sports' greatest athletes and coaches and expand this collection, so plan to return from time to time. (Admission: $5/adult, $4/seniors, and $3/children. It's $8 to park in their lot; metered parking is usually available on the street.)