The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is NOW OPEN!
Located at 800 Front Street in Historic Natchitoches, Louisiana
The Hall of Fame is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Students, Seniors and Active military $4
Children 12-under, FREE
Congratulations to the Class of 2013
inducted June 29th
Ronald Ardoin (horse racing)
Tommy Hodson (football)
Ervin Johnson (basketball)
James Jones (basketball)
Anna Koll (athlete
Kevin Mawae (football)
Shaquille O'Neal (basketball)
Chanda Rubin (women's tennis)
Ed "Skeets" Tuohy (high school basketball coach).
Save the Dates:
June 19-21, 2014
June 27-29, 2015
A half-century after inducting its first class of sports legends, the
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame is realizing its fondest dreams and greatest
The Louisiana State Museum system is spearheading construction on a
27,500-square foot museum building on Front Street in the National Historic
District of Natchitoches.
Trahan Architects of Baton Rouge have designed the museum building. Thinc
Design of New York City is developing exhibits. Construction began in 2008-09.
The Hall of Fame itself will occupy the first floor of the new museum,
with the second floor showcasing Louisiana's Sports Paradise, a blend of sports
history and culture, along with half of the second floor housing the Northwest
Louisiana Regional History Museum, now currently the state-run Old Courthouse
Museum in Natchitoches.
Members of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association began planning a
Hall of Fame to honor the state's outstanding athletes and coaches as far back
as 1951, but the first election to the hall was not held until 1958.
The three charter members of the organization -- Gaynell Tinsley, Tony
Canzoneri and Mel Ott -- were inducted during the Ark-La-Tex Sports Award
Banquet in Shreveport in 1959.
Three honorees were selected annually for several years and were inducted
during the Shreveport banquet. Later inductions were held in different areas of
the state, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Several members of the Hall of Fame were inducted at LSU football games and
televised basketball games, and others were taken into the shrine during the VFW
Sports Awards Banquets in New Orleans.
Although LSWA members presented plaques to 41 Hall of Fame honorees and
conducted induction ceremonies for the shrine members each year, there was never
an actual Hall of Fame in the state until the facility was established at
Northwestern State in Natchitoches in 1972 by co-chairmen Jerry Pierce and Jim
McLain, with the support of NSU President Dr. Arnold Kilpatrick.
Portraits of a few of the members were placed in Shreveport for a brief
period, but the establishment of the Hall of Fame at Prather Coliseum was the
first formal inauguration of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
The LSWA's dream of developing a true museum that showcases not only the
art and artifacts, but provides a captivating experience for visitors and
repository for state sports history, is becoming reality.
From 2000-2002, the Hall of Fame induction activities shifted to
Shreveport-Bossier City, due in large part to the support of mayors Keith
Hightower and George Dement, administrative officers Ken Antee and now Bossier
City Mayor Lorenz Walker, local businessman Jimmy Patterson and the Horseshoe
Casino & Hotel. Hall of Fame member Joe Profit and Mitton Management Co. played
important roles in the success of the three-year stint in Shreveport-Bossier.
The expansion of Hall of Fame induction activities drew attention from
then-Gov. Mike Foster, then-Lt. Gov. and then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco, Lt. Gov.
Mitch Landrieu, and other state officials. Their interest, along with
leadership by Natchitoches Mayor Wayne McCullen, and former local legislators
state Rep. Taylor Townsend and state Sen. Mike Smith, combined with the
continuing support provided by Northwestern State University, led to quantum
leaps forward for the Hall.
The Hall of Fame was accepted into the state museum system in the 2003
state legislative session, setting the stage for the state and city of
Natchitoches to collaborate with the LSWA to develop the new museum
In preparation for the beginning of the project, all of the artwork and
memorabilia which was on display at Northwestern's Prather Coliseum was turned
over to the state museum system after the 2005 induction celebration.
Today's local and state government leaders have played crucial roles in
advancing the project. Mayor McCullen and city officials, local legislators Sen.
Gerald Long and Rep. Rick Nowlin have partnered with Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Lt. Gov. Landrieu and legislators around the state to assure a
sparkling future for the museum.
The Louisiana State Museum system, under the direction of Sam Rykels, is
providing dynamic vision and careful stewardship as the Hall of Fame's dreams
The current Hall of Fame collection includes color portraits of the
members and a continually growing of items such as baseballs, footballs, bats,
gloves, jerseys, golf clubs, helmets, shoes and other memorabilia contributed
to the shrine by Hall of Fame members and their families. It also includes the
Grits and Mary Gresham Collection showcasing hunting, fishing and the outdoors.
Items representative of major events in state sports history, such as the 2007
LSU football national championship and the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl XIV
title, have also been donated to the Hall.
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