WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – Right now is the perfect time to be a sports fan – you have the NBA Finals, all kinds of baseball, and you even have a little USFL to enjoy!
Since it is summertime, you even have time to explore the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
“This is where all the legends live in the State of Texas. We represent probably 17 different sports. This year, we have over 400 inductees,” says Genesis Moncada, Director of Marketing and Public Relations.
If you are a sports fan, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame is the place for you. The historic Waco location has been around since 1963 – sitting on the corner of Baylor University’s campus off of Interstate 35. It highlights hundreds of the greatest Texas athletes through various exhibits.
“We also have a great reputation of the Southwest Conference. Remembering all of the Southwest Conference schools and that history, and the record breakers,” Moncada says.
Whether they are breaking records or breaking barriers, the Hall of Fame inducts at least ten new people a year. Many legends have walked these floors – including Emmett Smith, Nolan Ryan and Tom Landry.
“The Tom Landry Room pays tribute to what I like to say is the ‘Tom Landry Era’ of the Cowboys. We do have a little area for the triplets during the ’90’s, but this one pays more tribute to the man that solidified what it is to be a Dallas Cowboy,” says William Haliburton, Visitor Experience Manager.
This blue and white room is Cowboy Central – with a jacket on display worn by one of the general managers, and a painting from when the Cowboys won their first Super Bowl against the Miami Dolphins.
Stepping out of this room and into the next gallery, you find the 2022 Hall of Fame inductees – including Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, basketball player Tony Parker and Olympian Suzie Snider Eppers.
“Tony Parker, he is from France. But he played with the Spurs. So he is our first Frenchman here in the Texas Hall of Fame. At least, if you played here collegially or professionally, you can be eligible to be in the Hall of Fame,” Moncada says.
What’s a Texas Hall of Fame without highlighting rodeo and horse racing? In one display, you can see rodeo champion Ty Murray’s glove and his belt buckle.
“We have tons of memorabilia. We have a little bit of everything. Something real small, to rings to footballs, and jerseys,” Moncada says.
The displays are seemingly endless – drawing guests from all over the world.
Real Heisman trophies, like one of Davey O’Brien from 1938, and the Masters jacket and hat worn by Jimmy Demaret.
According to Moncado, the Hall of Fame would not be a reality without the Waco native and founder of the Texas Football Magazine – Dave Campbell.
“We have several different areas. If you are a sports fan, this is your place,” Moncada says.
Also, you can’t leave without visiting the souvenir shop!