Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest History Museum
800 Front St., Natchitoches, LA 71457 - United States
The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame celebrates accomplishments by Louisiana athletes, coaches and sports stars in a dazzling museum complex in historic downtown Natchitoches.
The Hall of Fame’s exhibits and interactive media trace the history of Louisiana sports and highlight the importance of sports to life in Louisiana. High-definition videos capture in-game drama and excitement, and touch-screens reveal sports stars’ life stories, career stats and colorful quotes.
Some inductees are household names, such as Archie Manning, Willis Reed, Shaquille O’Neal and Chanda Rubin, but others hold equally important spots in the state’s sporting pantheon. New Orleans-born Audrey “Mickey” Patterson, for example, was the first African-American woman to win an Olympic medal. The Hall of Fame includes the USA jersey she wore when she won the bronze medal in the 200-meter dash at the 1948 games in London.
Pete Maravich’s scrapbook of his years as one of the greatest basketball players to step onto a court, a Super Bowl XLIV commemorative football signed by all 53 New Orleans Saints after their 2010 victory and the fastest car in the world in 1963—a souped-up Ford Thunderbird—are just a few of the artifacts that make the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum in Natchitoches an up-close, personal and unforgettable fan experience.
Northwest Louisiana History Exhibition
This exhibition tells the story of how diverse groups of people—Caddo Indians, French and Spanish settlers, free and enslaved Africans and rural Southern whites—created the distinctive regional culture that thrives today. With vibrant displays and diverse artifacts dating from the 1700s, this display celebrates the explorers, artists, writers, entrepreneurs and human rights leaders who embody northwest Louisiana’s resilient spirit.
Sports Hall of Fame and Sportsman’s Paradise
Sports are a passion in Louisiana, as much a part of our rich culture and heritage as music, food and architecture. Now there’s a place to relive the great moments in Louisiana sports history and celebrate the achievements of our greatest athletes. Every day is game day at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Legends come to life with treasured objects—baseballs, footballs, jerseys, trophies and other memorabilia from all sports, all eras and all levels of play. High-definition videos capture the drama and excitement of sports, Louisiana-style.
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame New Inductees
Every year in June new people are formally inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Natchitoches. In 2018, six-time Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne, 18-year Major League Baseball pitcher Russ Springer, NBA champion and two-time Grambling All-American Larry Wright, and 15-year NFL receiver and two-time Super Bowl champion Brandon Stokley are among eight 2018 competitive ballot inductees chosen for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. The class also includes championship coaches Lewis Cook (high school football, still active at Notre Dame of Crowley) and Jerry Simmons (LSU, UL Lafayette tennis), along with 1975 Bassmasters Classic champion Jack Hains and the late Paul Candies, a member of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. For more information, please visit Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Lunkers and Specklebellies: Bass Fishing and Waterfowl Hunting in Louisiana
This exhibition captures the passions behind two popular pursuits in Louisiana, bass fishing and waterfowl hunting. For those eager to catch lunkers (large bass) and shoot the game birds that winter here, including specklebelly geese and dos gris ducks (“doe-gree,” the French name for lesser scaup), Louisiana is a truly a sportsman’s paradise. Featuring more than a hundred artifacts from the Louisiana State Museum’s collection as well as from everyday anglers and hunters, Lunkers and Specklebellies will explore everything from the wildlife conservation movement to the creation of Toledo Bend Reservoir and the art of decoy carving. Artifact highlights include hand-colored John James Audubon engravings, Governor Mike Foster’s hunting coveralls, a late-nineteenth century punt gun, early twentieth-century photographs, and vintage fish tackle. A create-your-own camouflage interactive, based on the marsh-inspired designs of Louisiana women’s hunting apparel company Saint Hugh, shows how hunters use nature’s colors to their advantage. A re-created camp interior serves as a backdrop for learning about legendary Louisiana camps and hunting clubs and Louisiana’s renowned camp cuisine, brought to life with video featuring Chef John Folse.
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