Ever dream of being in a hall of fame? Make your dream come true by visiting one of the York State’s many halls of fame. There are an amazing number honoring those in such diverse areas as baseball, running, fiddling, harness racing, boxing, and dancing.
Baseball Hall of Fame and More Sporty Hall of Fames
The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is a Mecca for baseball fans. When baseball’s iconic Babe Ruth was inducted into the Hall of Fame on June 12, 1939, he said, “They started something here and the kids are keeping the ball rolling. I hope some of you kids will be in the Hall of Fame. And I hope youngsters of today have the same opportunity to experience such feeling.”
Not far from Cooperstown is the perfect destination for those whose hero is Pele. Established in 1979, the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, NY houses an extensive archive of memorabilia associated with soccer in the United States. Pele, the former Brazilian soccer player, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993 because of his contributions to the game in the United States.
On July 11, 1998, in Utica, a hall of fame was established to honor the sport of distance running. Utica is the home of The Boilermaker 15K Road Race, the largest 15K in the nation with nearly 10,000 runners and consistently ranks as one of Runners World’s Top 100 Races. The National Distance Running Hall of Fame is dedicated to athletes who have made contributions to the sport especially those who have brought distance running fame and recognition. According to Mary G. MacEnroe, the Hall of Fame’s Assistant to the Director “The sport of distance running is a unique sport. It is a sport where the weekend athlete can compete with the elite of the sport.”
The International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota grew out of the town’s pride in two local world champions – Carmen Basilio, a two-division champion, and Billy Backus. Honorees include older timers Max Baer and Joe Walcott along with Max Schmeling and Muhammad Ali.
Twice the Winter Olympics have been held in Lake Placid making it the perfect location of an Olympic Hall of Fame. Since its inauguration in 1983, the Hall of Fame has inducted 99 individuals as well as the members of the 1948 U.S. Olympic Four-Man Bobsled Team and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. Permanent plaques commemorating each member are on display in the Olympic Center’s Hall of Fame Room.
Horse Racing Halls of Fame
Even though baseball is dubbed “America’s National Sport,” harness racing has always been known as “America’s Original Pastime.” The sport began in the early 1800s in Goshen, NY. The village, considered “The Cradle of the Trotter,” is home to the oldest active Standardbred harness track in North America. At the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame not only are people honored, but so are the horses, with a special place of honor for Hambletonian 10 – the progenitor of the American Standardbred horse.”
Like the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Spring also honors the achievements of horses, jockeys, and trainers.
Women’s Hall of Fame and others
Not all of NYS’s Halls of Fame are dedicated to sport. Second only to the Baseball Hall of Fame in popularity, The Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, honors women in all walks of life including Susan B. Anthony, who along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, built the women’s rights movement. Among the 217 honorees are Sacagawea, Clara Barton, Margaret Mead, Lucille Ball, and Sandra Day O’Connor.
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor opened in 2006 to share the stories of America’s combat wounded veterans and those who never returned, all recipients of the Purple Heart. The Hall of Honor is the first in the nation to recognize the more than 1.7 million Americans wounded or killed in action while serving in the United States Military
Also check out the Old tyme Fiddlers Hall of Fame and Museum in Osceola. In Saratoga Springs visit the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame.Most of the Halls of Fame are part of a museum, some have limited hours, and many have special events in conjunction with their induction ceremony including a chance to meet and greet the new and past inductees.