Shanks: Hall of Fame set for special weekend

sports@macon.comFebruary 18, 2014 

The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held this weekend in Macon. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest sports events in the year for Middle Georgia.

Former Warner Robins football star James Brooks, Georgia football legend Scott Woerner, LPGA star Hollis Stacy, former Georgia Tech hoops coach Bobby Cremins, former Georgia Tech athletic director Homer Rice, former Georgia Southern basketball star Chester Webb, former high school football coach Jim Hughes and baseball legend Frank Thomas will go into the Hall of Fame.

I hope you are planning to go to one of the ceremonies -- either the private jacket ceremony that I’m honored to emcee Friday or the main induction ceremony Saturday at the Macon City Auditorium. There is also a Fan Fest on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Hall of Fame where you can meet this year’s inductees and past honorees.

This is the state museum, where we honor sports legends from all over Georgia. But this is in our city, and you probably know the state recently handed the Hall of Fame over to NewTown Macon. That’s a good thing, even though it is disgraceful that the state legislature no longer funds the museum. It is truly despicable that state politicians finance other worthless projects and have failed to recognize the greatness of the downtown museum honoring sports history for the state.

Why is it a good thing? Well, it’s now our responsibility in a large way to make sure this museum survives. We no longer have to worry about the state closing the Hall of Fame down. It’s up to us -- Middle Georgians -- to keep this wonderful museum alive.

You’re probably saying, “How many times can you go to a museum?” That’s right. I understand. It’s like living in Orlando and being expected to support Walt Disney World. If you have something big in your town, it’s not like you’re going to go all the time. If you’ve been, you’ve been.

But if you are a sports fan, isn’t the Hall of Fame a great place to take out-of-town guests who might really be impressed with a great facility like the one downtown? If you are going to show someone who is not from here something special about Macon, the Hall of Fame should be at the top of your list.

There are other ways you can support the Hall of Fame. If you have a business and need a place for a meeting or perhaps a reception for any event, the Hall of Fame is a tremendous destination.

Sure, I’m promoting this museum. I believe in it, and frankly, I don’t want to see Macon lose anything else. Losing the Macon Braves a decade ago was downright embarrassing. It wasn’t much better when the city lost the Music Hall of Fame a few years ago. Can we really afford to lose something special like the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame?

This will probably be a regular cry from those of us who think the Hall of Fame is worthwhile to this community.

The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame is special. If you’ve been, you know. If you haven’t been, you really need to make plans to visit. This is something not in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus or Savannah. It’s in Macon, and even though it’s a state museum, it’s up to us to keep it going and support it.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

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