A brief came across our desk here at OnMilwaukee.com about an effort to revive the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, located on 4th Street, which brought back some fond memories.
Specifically, it reminded me about my first trip to Milwaukee in 1999 when I visited a friend at Marquette University. I remember several things about that trip – and some I don’t – but the three most distinct being a visit to a gun show at State Fair, watching a screening of "The Blair Witch Project" somewhere on the Marquette campus, and taking a stroll past the plaques on 4th Street.
I can’t really recall why my friend brought me there, but I definitely remember checking out all the plaques and names and thinking it was a unique feature to the city.
How many "Halls of Fame" are just sort of out there, free of charge, to walk past and enjoy? Well, there might be hundreds across the country for all I know, but this is definitely a cool thing to have in a pro sports city.
It surprised me to learn the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame Walk of Fame hasn’t been active since last decade. Then again, it takes a lot of effort to run such a thing, and some capital (political and financial) to bring in the proper people to make induction day a newsworthy event.
That said, I’m happy that there is a group of people out there with a desire to revive the Hall, and I encourage you to check out their cause and help support it. If there’s one thing Milwaukee does well, it’s supporting local initiatives, and this is something any sports fan can get behind.
Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.
A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.
To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.
Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining OnMilwaukee.com.
In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.
Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.