There’s nothing like going to a museum where you can shoot hoops, kick a field goal, drive a (simulated) race car or test your balancing, jumping and reflex skills. Those are some of the things you can do at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon, Ga. While you read about the greats, you can see their photos, trophies, jerseys and other memorabilia, enjoy hands-on exhibits and play interactive games. You might be surprised how many sports legends were born right here in the Peach State.
The Hall of Fame features a diverse array of sports and honors excellence at the high school, collegiate, professional and Olympic levels. While the mainstays of baseball, basketball and football are given their due, you’ll learn about lesser-known stars or events including in auto racing, weightlifting, golf, softball, shooting, horsemanship, sailing, cycling, swimming, tennis, gymnastics, martial arts and more.
At the museum’s core is the colorful Hall of Fame featuring detailed displays on the newest class of inductees and plaques listing all the members inducted since 1956.
Upstairs, themed galleries showcase the wide world of sports. Here’s a rundown you won’t want to miss.
Olympic/ParalympicsRelive the amazing feats of Georgians who have gone all the way to compete in the Olympics. Learn about Griffin, Ga., native Wyomia Tyus, the first athlete to win gold in the 100-meter dash at consecutive Olympic games, or Tricia Zorn, blind since birth and winner of six swimming medals, including a gold at the Paralympics. You can even get your picture made with a Georgia Sports Hall of Fame gold medal.
Professional sportsGeorgia is rightly considered the birthplace of pro sports in the South, and this gallery is where that heritage is honored, where names like Bobby Jones, Hank Aaron, Ted Turner and Pete Maravich are highlighted. From boxing to motor sports, baseball to hockey, find out how Georgia athletes led the way in their respective fields, bringing their love of sports to global audiences.
Collegiate iconsIt’s a zoo in here. Side-by-side, you’ll find Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets, Eagles and Owls, Cougars and Panthers. With life-size mascots and biographies behind the people who made your beloved college team great, these exhibits feature everything you want to know about state collegiate sports.
High school sportsWhether you’re more interested in football or cheerleading — or any other sport for that matter — this is the place to read about great moments in Georgia high school history. See letter jackets, championship trophies, cheerleading uniforms and more in this interesting gallery, which shines the spotlight on younger, but often no less impressive, Georgia athletes.
The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for military, seniors and college students, and $3.50 for children.
For more information, call 478-752-1585 or visit www.gshf.org.
Editor's Note: This article ran on June 11, 2010.