The National Mascot Hall of Fame (MHOF) celebrated its Inaugural Induction Weekend June 14-16, 2019 in Whiting, Indiana (just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago)! As the new home for the unsung heroes of sports, we celebrated the induction of our 2019 HOF Class including The Nittany Lion from Penn State University, Tommy Hawk from the Chicago Blackhawks, Sluggerrr from the Kansas City Royals, and Benny the Bull from the Chicago Bulls. They join an elite group of 17 previously inducted mascots, 12 of which were on hand this weekend to help inaugurate their new hall of fame home and celebrate the new inductees.

The weekend began with an Opening Reception on Friday evening, June 14th. Reggy, the official mascot of the Mascot Hall of Fame, introduced the 2019 Inductee Class before a crowd of MHOF guests, members, and sports industry executives, including current and former mascot performers. The weekend continued Saturday with a members-only breakfast hosted by Reggy where the 4 inductees mixed and mingled with the attendees. Saturday culminated in an all-day mascot-fest inside the MHOF museum walls. As many as 19 pro and collegiate sports mascots were on hand throughout the day inside the MHOF and outside at the 2-day Mascot HOF Fan Fest being held on the adjacent street to the MHOF.

The weekend was highlighted by the shortest parade on Earth – an entire 800 feet from Oil City Stadium to the MHOF – with mascots arriving on foot to the stage in preparation for the official Induction Ceremony to honor our four 2019 inductees. All mascots, including previously inducted ones, were honored with their very own personalized Mascot HOF ring to commemorate their membership to the Hall of Fame.


Over 1,500 visitors, members and sports fans joined us throughout the weekend from across the country to participate in the celebration. You can watch the entire Induction Ceremony, which was broadcast live on Facebook Live, on our YouTube Channel –


For more information on the Mascot Hall of Fame, visit


The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame has had a busy start to the summer.
Our newest exhibit, Evolution of Sport, opened on June 6 and takes visitors through the history and evolution of the tools of the trade for numerous sports. Using artifacts from our permanent collection, visitors can see the progression of safety equipment and sporting implements from the 19th century to today as technology and new materials changed the sports we play.
The exhibit also features a touch table which allows visitors to interact with some vintage equipment to get a better feel for how sports were played in the near and distant past. The exhibit will run until August 17.
Our Creating Active Champions program begins on July 2 for another year. The program is offered over seven weeks for students between the ages of 4-12. Over their 90-minute stay, guests will learn some of Saskatchewan’s sports history while also taking part in physical activities on our multi-sport simulator, adaptive curling rink and also playing games outside in Victoria Park adjacent to the Hall.
The program is offered twice a day until August 16. Available spaces were more than 70 per cent full in advance. Thanks to our community and sports agency sponsors, each child will receive a gift bag with equipment to help them stay active and other sports-related goodies.
After a long winter, we kicked off the warmer weather by hitting the road with our mobile exhibit trailer as part of our Never Give Up program.
The program and trailer toured schools in the province with SSHF inductee Ted Jaleta who shared his inspiring story with the students. Jaleta fled the Ethiopian Civil War after being shot, imprisoned and tortured before escaping and settling in Canada in 1982.
The Never Give Up program began in 2011 and has featured a number of Saskatchewan sports personalities over the years who have shared their stories of overcoming obstacles and hardships to achieve their success.

Best Practice at The British Golf Museum

Rebecca Prentice, Assistant Curator

Located beside The Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the Old Course, St Andrews, the British Golf Museum is a must-see for any golf lover visiting the Home of Golf.

Caring for a collection of over 16000 items, recognised as Nationally Significant by the Scottish

Glove worn by Francesco Molinari at the 2018 Open

Government, the Museum maintains best practice in collections management and care to safeguard its objects for the future, and to continue celebrating the game’s history locally, nationally and internationally. The Museum presents the story of golf from medieval times to the present, encompassing the men’s and women’s games, British and international, amateur and professional. Collection highlights include the oldest-known set of golf clubs in the world, the first Open Gold Medal presented to Tommy Morris Jr in 1872, and the oldest footage of a golf match dating to 1894.  Museum & Heritage staff are also responsible for the care and display of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews collection.

The Museum is Accredited under the United Kingdom-wide Accreditation Scheme – required to follow Spectrum 5.0 procedures and meeting expected standards in collections management, engagement and interpretation of a nationally-styled museum.  Since 2015, the Museum has used the collections management system KE EMu to catalogue its collection, including objects, artworks, archives, library and multimedia.  Records are continually updated and refined for accuracy, to house new research and maintain terminology consistency.  A key benefit of EMu is supporting day-to-day museum practice, conservation and location control.  Pest traps are logged under an integrated pest management programme; given the volume of wood and textiles, any pest outbreak could potentially be very damaging.  Remedial conservation is outsourced to accredited ICON conservators and logged on EMu.  An 1894 portrait of Old Tom Morris, on loan from Glasgow Golf Club, was recently cleaned and repaired to reveal a much clearer picture of the ‘father of golf’.

Curators monitor environmental conditions of temperature, relative humidity [RH] and light levels. Given the breadth and depth of the collection, many items require special attention. The first Minute Book of the Society of St Andrews Golfers from 1754, laying down the Society’s thirteen Articles & Laws in Playing the Golf which form the basis of the Rules today, are displayed under low LED light levels to preserve the delicate ink and paper. The iconic trouser suit worn by Gloria Minoprio at the 1933 English Ladies Amateur Championship must be displayed under optimum conditions of RH – too high, there is a risk of mould, but too low raises the possibility of the fibres cracking.


Gloria Minoprio’s outfit at the 1933 English Ladies Championship caused quite a stir. She was the first woman to wear trousers at a major ladies’ championship. Her outfit was deemed inappropriate at the time and there was a fear that the wearing of trousers by ladies would result in a slip in standards of etiquette. Gloria’s ground-breaking fashion led to more freedom of choice for women.

Whether protecting the fragility of mid-19th century glass plate negatives; non-invasive identification of hundreds of golf balls; or the ongoing preservation of historic trophies still presented at championships today, curators seek to continually improve care of collections on display, in storage and in transit.



Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Presents Class of 2019 Inductees!
December 3, 2018, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame announced their 2019 Class of Inductees. The inductees include athletes who are Olympians and World Champions, builders who have dedicated endless hours to develop their sports, a team who knows the meaning of teamwork, and a pioneer who has partaken and watched his sport evolve throughout the decades. The celebration of these inductees is a show of appreciation and acknowledgement to the growth of the sports to which they have contributed and to those they continue to inspire.
“Today, we recognize those who have inspired us through their accomplishments in sports in Alberta and throughout the world. The Class of 2019 Inductees have demonstrated their dedication, skills and commitment to their sports. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at the 2019 Induction Banquet on May 31st in Red Deer,” said Managing Director, Donna Hateley, on the day of the announcement.
The 2019 Inductees are:
Kreg Llewellyn Water Skiing Athlete
Mike Rogers Hockey Athlete
Lyndon Rush Bobsleigh Athlete

James Donlevy Hockey/Football Builder
Dorothy Padget Artistic Swimming Builder
Edward Thresher Wrestling Builder

Randy Ferbey Curling Team
Herman Dorin Pioneer Award, Wrestling
George Stothart Achievement Award, Multisport A/B
Rob Kerr Bell Memorial Award
These Inductees will become Honoured Members on May 31, 2019 at the 2019 Induction Banquet, hosted in Red Deer. More than 600 people from across the provinces and the United States attend this gala event to honour these great athletes, sport builders, pioneers, and media personnel.


In a session led by the 49ers EDU Program, focusing on STEAM concepts, attendees were challenged to build an exhibit case using little more than pipe cleaners and rulers.  The Stadium’s Director of Engineering highlighted the sustainable features of the LEED Gold facility, and shared what happens when you flush 1,100 toilets at the same time! The team’s Director of PREP (youth) initiatives and Fan Engagement got up pumped up about the 49ers hands-on work with young athletes.
The conference sessions presented by ISHA members offered practical advice and showcased excellence in programming, exhibit development and collections management.  The impact of members’ innovation and passion is truly inspirational!
A special “Mistakes Were Made” confessional session allowed members to console each other, laugh about and learn from the mishaps, gaffes and unfortunate occurrences that are sometimes part of museum work.  The Open Forum was a great opportunity to share insights about best practices, crowd-source solutions for our institutions, and brainstorm ways to enhance the ISHA experience.
Keynote presentations by 49ers legend Keenah Turner and San Jose State head coach Brent Brennan highlighted lessons in leadership and teamwork – lessons that resonate with our own efforts as sports heritage professionals.
The Evening of Champions Celebration was a reminder of the power of sport.  Honors were presented to our ISHY Award winners, as well as the inaugural Legacy Award, recognizing Lou Spadia, former San Francisco 49ers President and founder of the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.  Lou’s family, along with Kevin O’Brien current BASHOF president and CEO, recalled Lou’s commitment to honoring sports heritage and inspiring young people to participate in sports.
As always, the camaraderie during breaks, meals and social events demonstrated the strong value of ISHA membership and the partnerships formed between museum professionals, designers, and vendors.

By ISHA Member – Michelle Eisenberg, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts

Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois | 2018

Ryan-Walter Athletics Center (Perkins+Will BE & HOK, Designer) Xibitz Scope | 425,000 square feet
A state-of-the-art training, competition and recreation facility calls for experiential elements of the highest quality and exacting fit. That’s what Xibitz provided for Northwestern University – in the form of custom-perforated backlit metal ceiling panels evoking the branded letter “N”; an 86-foot-long solid surface enclosure with 7-foot-high custom dimensional letters; large-scale graphics, custom-printed and mounted to canted panels with the school color in a LED lighting wash; and canted glass enclosures highlighting action figure mannequins for seven Olympic sports.
Additionally, Xibitz created a 30-foot-long wall with two towers of touch interactive displays that provide statistics, video, images and descriptions of historic moments, and more; and a 70-foot-long Hall of Honor featuring students who have become professional athletes.
Financial & Project Management Contractor Management Facility Interface Coordination Design Solutions Mockups & Prototypes AV/Multimedia Integration Lighting & Electrical Integration Construction Drawings Fabrication & Installation

As legacies go, Lou Spadia’s is indelible.

Lou Spadia

From his childhood growing up in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco and starring on the baseball diamond at Mission High School, to his Navy service in World War II, to his 31 years helping to run the San Francisco 49ers, to his fundraising efforts through the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, Spadia left a permanent mark on his region.

But to define his legacy only by those accomplishments would be like leaving a painting unfinished. And Spadia’s completed work of art might just be worthy of Rome’s Galleria Borghese. The son of Italian immigrants, Spadia grew up modestly, but lived a rich life filled with family, faith and the 49ers.

His picture is only complete; however, when one factors in traits not included on a resume.

“He was such an amazing, interesting human being,” his daughter Louisa Spadia-Beckham – more affectionately known as Lulu – said. “Integrity was his best quality and humility was his middle name.”

So it is fitting that Lou Spadia is the inaugural recipient of the International Sports Heritage Association’s (ISHA) Legacy Award – one created to honor a person in the city hosting the organization’s annual conference. The 2018 conference is being hosted by the 49ers Museum in Santa Clara, Calif., from Sept. 26-28.

“We are honored that Lou Spadia was chosen for this very prestigious award,” said 49ers Museum director Jesse Lovejoy. “His contributions to both the Bay Area sports landscape and the history and trajectory of the San Francisco 49ers were wonderful and impactful, and he makes the perfect recipient for ISHA’s first Legacy Award”

Spadia died in 2013 at 92 years old, but his impact on the Bay Area not only lives, but also thrives. Lulu wept when receiving Lovejoy’s call to inform her of the honor. She also knows how her father would have reacted to receiving the same call.

“He would try to talk you out of it,” she said. “Not that he would be ungrateful, but he would want to defer the honor to [original 49ers owners] Tony and Vic Morabito.”

Fighting back tears, she added, “He would say that he was so incredibly proud and honored to have been part of the 49ers, but he was equally proud of his with work with the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame (BASHOF). It feels like an honor that he so deserves.”

Lulu would know. The youngest of four Spadia children, she was always around the 49ers during her father’s tenure with the team that spanned 31 years from 1946 to 1977. She traveled with the club and spent summers at training camp at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

“I remember when I was 16 years old at training camp one summer,” Lulu began. “My parents would go out to eat and I would eat with the team. One night I’m out by the pool around 10 p.m. and out walks someone with a bag of money and a list of food orders. This is when Dick Nolan was the head coach. So they give me the keys to [defensive end] Cedric Hardman’s red Cadillac Eldorado with the license plate ‘Nasty,’ and Mike Nolan and I head out to pick up this loot.

“We’re at a stop light and we see my parents. I slumped down in the seat, but my dad honked his horn and started shaking his finger at me. I was told, ‘This is your last summer at training camp.’ But I think I went two more times.”

She laughed as she shared that memory, and it is one of many she has of her dad, who started with the 49ers upon their founding by Tony and Vic Morabito in 1946.

After finishing his Navy service following World War II, Spadia was struggling to make ends meet when he read in the newspaper that his former commanding officer, John Blackinger, had been named the 49ers general manager. So he hit him up for a job.

Blackinger apparently figured that because Spadia had learned shorthand and could type, he would be useful in the office. He convinced the Morabitos to hire Spadia, who accepted the position for a reported $275 per month. Once in the door, Spadia handled some office duties, but helped with team travel, equipment, bed checks, contracts and whatever else was needed.

“You name it, he did it,” Lulu said.

Former 49ers President Lou Spadia poses with Jane and Josephine Morabito.

He did it for three decades, eventually buying five percent of the team (with his wife, Maggie, buying five percent as well). He became chief executive officer and general manager in 1964 and team president in 1967.

In 1968, he hired Dick Nolan as the 49ers head coach. Two years later, the team started a string of three straight NFC West titles. Spadia never took credit for such accomplishments. He gave it to the Morabitos and anyone else he could.

“It was always understood that dad would downplay his decisions,” Lulu said. “That humility was instilled in my siblings and me (Lou Jr., Kate, Dorothy and Lulu). Our dad went to Mass every day and we were taught to respect what we had. We were blessed and lucky but our parents were adamant about staying out of the limelight.”

Spadia’s will and spirit were tested throughout the 1970s. Maggie Spadia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1970 and fought for six years before succumbing to the disease in 1976. In the meantime, Lou lost his father in 1973 and his mother in 1974. The 49ers were then sold to the DeBartolo family in 1977 and Spadia retired when Joe Thomas was hired to run the team.

“It was a really tough time,” Lulu stressed.

But in so-called retirement, Spadia dedicated himself to helping underprivileged youth participate in sports. He started the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame as a way to raise money to give back to kids in need of an opportunity.

There was no brick-and-mortar structure because a building was expensive and needed to be maintained. Spadia wanted all of the money raised to go to the kids.

“He grew up without much money and he was that that kid,” Lulu said. “He wanted to give those kids a chance. It was about providing an opportunity for kids more than honoring athletes so that those kids could become those athletes.”

Since its inception in 1979, BASHOF has distributed millions of dollars to hundreds of local youth groups, fulfilling Spadia’s goal and then some.

That legacy, the one for which he is being honored at the year’s ISHA Conference, never waned.

“He was riding in an elevator at the Fairmont Hotel when a little boy and his dad get on,” Lulu said. “The dad is whispering to the boy about who it was in the elevator. The boy looks up and says, ‘Didn’t you used to be Lou Spadia? So my dad reached into his pocket, grabbed his wallet, showed the boy his license and said, ‘It says here I still am.’”

And who he was is why he is being honored by ISHA as much as for what he did. But then again, what he did was because of who he was.