We Are the Champions, of San Diego!
Opening in Balboa Park in 1961, the San Diego Hall of Champions carries many of America's historic treasures of San Diego sports. Since 1997, the museum is located in the San Diego Federal Building and is one of the nation's largest multi-sports museums. It covers 68,000 square feet of space and boasts three floors of memorabilia.
Some of the points of interest include compelling exhibits that represent more than 20 sports and the Breitbard Hall of Fame, established in 1953 by Robert Breitbard, that honors athletes who have excelled athletically in San Diego or who are native San Diegans and have achieved athletic fame elsewhere.
What do the Exhibits Show?
The San Diego Hall of Champions has exhibits that vary. Professional sports exhibits in the museum range from baseball, football, sailing, surfing and action sports.
Baseball sports legends include:
· Tony Gwynn
· Ted Williams
· Don Larsen
· The Boone Family
America has long considered San Diego to be one of the nation's legendary baseball cities. The history of baseball goes back to the 1800s, and the museum tracks and follows the history of San Diego baseball.
Football notables honored include:
· Marcus Allen
· Junior Seau
· Dan Fouts
Football is a major part of the Hall of Champions, starting with four Heisman Trophy winners who played high school ball in San Diego to the long and illustrious history of the San Diego Chargers.
Action sports figures in the exhibit include:
· Tony Hawk
· Andy McDonald
· Biker Sherlock
In the action sports exhibit, people find a collection of memorabilia and history from when Tony Hawk landed his first 900professionally. People will also find a timeline for the history of surfing in Southern California; the museum pays tribute to the area's best for surfing, including: Carl Ekstrom, Larry Gordon, Tim Bessell, Don Hansen and Bob Simmons. One of the reasons to visit this museum is that they have the actual gear and equipment some of the athletes used.
When to Visit for Free
On the fourth Tuesday of every month, San Diego County Residents can check out the museum free of charge. Also recognized as a Blue star Museum, the Hall of Champions offers free admission to active duty military, National Guard, reserve and their families from Memorial Day, May 26, through Labor Day, September 1.
The idea for the San Diego Hall of Champions stemmed from a concept that Robert Breitbard took from the Breitbard Athletic Foundation. In 1946, Robert Breitbard established the foundation to recognize athletic accomplishment in San Diego, advocate educational work and to promote competition.
During 2012, the San Diego Hall of Champions opened a new exhibit that celebrates the sport of sailing and how its rich history in San Diego. The exhibit includes Junior and Star Boat sailing, the science of sailing, and the Olympics of the sport. Additionally, visitors will find a room specially dedicated to America's Cup which includes models, half models, and information concerning the oldest international sporting trophy in a continual competition. Dennis Conner, a local captain, helped to win and bring one of those trophies to San Diego. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a fully-rigged, previously raced Star class sailboat that appears to be sailing through the room.
Considering the San Diego Hall of Champions has 68,000 square feet, it makes the perfect location for weddings, banquets, receptions and meeting spaces. This building has been equipped for stage lighting and complete audio visual. Enjoying a perfectly executed event has never been so simple.
What is on the Floors?
Those who love the Padres and Chargers will find that the main floor has two fantastic displays. These exhibits have so much happening that it can be hard to know where to look. The bottom floor of the museum displays the newly launched sailing exhibit. Upstairs, you will find the Breitbard Hall of Fame plaques and other interesting sports memorabilia.
The museum offers a marvelous history about San Diego sports. For those who love San Diego sports, they will be in paradise while at the San Diego Hall of Champions. The museum covers a great deal of interesting history, and it teaches you about some of the great sports superstars who lived in San Diego.
The Hall of Champions is a nonprofit organization that serves the community in many ways and graciously accepts donations of all kinds.