Group looking to revive Wisconsin Sports Hall of Fame



MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- While Andy Warhol claimed that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, some luminaries live on for much longer -- like members of the Wisconsin Sports Hall of Fame. But the hall can't hold on forever.

Wisconsin is home to sports cathedrals -- iconic facilities where memories have been made for years. State teams have worn or continue to wear some of the most recognizable uniforms in all of sports, and then there are the athletes who played on those fields and courts and wore those uniforms.

Their stories are told in bronze at the Wisconsin Sports Hall of Fame along Fourth Street in Milwaukee.

Long before Rick Schaborski retired from Harley-Davidson, he grew up with the Milwaukee Braves.

"It was just great to be alive -- to be in that era. And that era ended and the Packers came in, and that was another era -- and they kind of faded and Marquette came in, so we had a generation of great sports teams in this city," Schaborski said.

Schaborski is part of a local drive to revive the hall, which recognized many of the athletes from those special teams, as well as many others from other times and other sports.

The first Hall of Fame class was inducted in 1951. For years, the honorees were immortalized on plaques hung inside the Milwaukee Arena -- now the U.S. Cellular Arena.

Over a decade ago, the plaques were moved outside the arena to give them 24/7 visibility and placed at more readable heights. They remain in good shape and the area is well-maintained. There hasn't been a new class chosen, though, since 2009.

Ideas are easier to come by than actual plans for what to do with the hall. For now, folks like Schabowski will settle for increased awareness.

"It's different sports, it's different people, they're all great stories though, and that's the main thing. They deserve to be up here and they deserve to be recognized, and the people waiting in the wings to be next, we've got room for them. There's room for them over here too," Schabowski said.

There will be a free guided tour of the plaques leaving from Major Goolsby's on Saturday morning, October 5th. In keeping with the season, guides will focus on football-related inductees who have been immortalized in bronze.