A final look inside the San Diego Hall of Champions.

The San Diego Hall of Champions now occupies the historic Federal Building in Balboa Park. The sports museum will soon close.
The San Diego Hall of Champions now occupies the historic Federal Building in Balboa Park. The sports museum will soon close.

San Diego’s Hall of Champions will soon close. I was told yesterday that the museum’s final day is uncertain, but most likely imminent. So you’d better hurry on over to Balboa Park before it is gone forever.

A couple days ago news broke that the historic Federal Building in Balboa Park’s Palisades area, which has been the location of the Hall of Champions for many years, will become the home of a brand new San Diego Comic-Con museum. It’s an exciting bit of news and should revitalize this slightly less active section of Balboa Park. I’m sure the neighboring museums will benefit from what is sure to be a very popular attraction. But it’s so very, very sad to see the Hall of Champions come to an end.

I learned the plaques from the Breitbard Hall of Fame will be relocated to the Western Metal Supply Co. at Petco Park, and the Padres will claim the exhibits that pertain to their team. The San Diego Chargers exhibits will head up to Los Angeles now that the team has moved north. Other sports artifacts and bits of memorabilia will be claimed by their respective owners: athletes, teams, collectors and sports organizations. So, I suppose, the history of athletic achievement in San Diego will live on.

Here’s one final look inside the Hall of Champions.  It’s where many fantastic memories were made and preserved. San Diego has been home to some of the world’s greatest champions, including baseball’s Tony Gwynn, skateboarding’s Tony Hawk, NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson, golf’s Phil Mickelson, basketball’s Bill Walton, boxing’s Ken Norton, diving’s Greg Louganis, sailing’s Dennis Conner . . . and many others.

Peering into the entrance of the Hall of Champions. Colorful exhibits celebrate San Diego champions from a wide variety of sports.
Peering into the entrance of the Hall of Champions. Colorful exhibits celebrate San Diego champions from a wide variety of sports.
Large banners inside the museum entrance honor an athlete's dedication, confidence, focus, determination and character.
Large banners inside the museum entrance honor an athlete’s dedication, confidence, focus, determination and character.
A San Diego Chicken suit worn by Ted Giannoulas. The funny mascot is known and loved worldwide.
A San Diego Chicken suit worn by Ted Giannoulas. The funny mascot is known and loved worldwide.
Tony Gwynn jersey and memorabilia near the Hall of Champion's indoor cafe.
Tony Gwynn jersey and memorabilia near the Hall of Champion’s indoor cafe.
A big National League Champion pennant above the front door of the Hall of Champions, won by the San Diego Padres in 1984.
A big National League Champions pennant above the front door of the Hall of Champions, won by the San Diego Padres in 1984.
A large statue of Muhammad Ali stands above an event space where many local sports award ceremonies are held. Ali fought Ken Norton at the San Diego Sports Arena in 1973.
A large statue of Muhammad Ali stands above an event space where many local sports award ceremonies are held. Ali was defeated by Ken Norton at the San Diego Sports Arena in 1973.
The Hall of Champions honors local high school coaching legends.
The Hall of Champions honors local high school coaching legends.
The San Diego County Officials Hall of Fame.
The San Diego County Officials Hall of Fame.
The Dragonfly II human powered vehicle is on display in the museum.
The Dragonfly II human powered vehicle is on display in the museum.
Sign describes the Dragonfly II. Richard Byrne of San Diego rode it to a first place finish at the 1983 Human Powered Speed Championships held on the Indianapolis race track.
Sign describes the Dragonfly II. Richard Byrne of San Diego rode it to a first place finish at the 1983 Human Powered Speed Championships held on the Indianapolis race track.
One display case contains old high school sports souvenir programs.
One display case contains old high school sports souvenir programs.
Another case holds objects related to the Padres slugger Nate Colbert.
Another case holds objects related to Padres home run slugger Nate Colbert.
The San Diego Hall of Champions has an extensive Moores Family Baseball Exhibit.
The San Diego Hall of Champions has an extensive Moores Family Baseball Exhibit.
The exhibit features many memorable moments in San Diego Padres baseball history.
The exhibit features many memorable moments in San Diego Padres baseball history.
Top players in Padres history include Trevor Hoffman, Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley. Bruce Bochy is remembered as a fan favorite coach.
Top players in Padres history include Trevor Hoffman, Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley. Bruce Bochy is remembered as a fan favorite manager.
Remembering the 1984 National League Champion Padres.
Remembering the 1984 National League Champion Padres.
Major League Baseball's Padres are a beloved sports team in San Diego.
Major League Baseball’s Padres are a beloved sports team in San Diego.
Notable Padres players in the 1970's include Randy Jones, Rollie Fingers, Dave Winfield and Gaylord Perry.
Notable Padres players in the 1970’s include Randy Jones, Rollie Fingers, Dave Winfield and Gaylord Perry.
Display recalls the 1954 PCL Championship, won by the Padres.
Display recalls the 1954 PCL Championship, won by the Padres.
Another display shows the San Diego Padres in their earliest years.
Another display shows the San Diego Padres in their earliest years.
On July 4, 1871 San Diego was a dusty little border town of barely 2300 hardy souls. On this day baseball was first played in our city!
On July 4, 1871 San Diego was a dusty little border town of barely 2300 hardy souls. On this day baseball was first played in our city!
One section in the Hall of Champions honors San Diego Collegiate Stars of football.
One section in the Hall of Champions honors San Diego Collegiate Stars of football.
Local college football memories live on at the Hall of Champions.
Local college football memories live on at the Hall of Champions.
Alvin Hall played five seasons for MCRD, and ranks as one of the Marine Corps' greatest running backs.
Alvin Hall played five seasons for MCRD, and ranks as one of the Marine Corps’ greatest running backs.
The San Diego Chargers exhibit at the Hall of Champions includes many player jerseys.
The San Diego Chargers exhibit at the Hall of Champions includes many player jerseys.
The San Diego Chargers produced many fond memories for local football fans.
The San Diego Chargers produced many fond memories for local football fans.
Trophies and plaques from the exciting Don Coryell era Chargers.
Trophies and plaques from the exciting Don Coryell era San Diego Chargers.
More football memories from the 90's.
More NFL football memories from the 90’s.
This display shows some San Diegans who starred in the NFL, including Marcus Allen, Junior Seau, Terrell Davis, Art Powell and Marshall Faulk.
This display shows some San Diegans who starred in the NFL, including Marcus Allen, Junior Seau, Terrell Davis, Art Powell and Marshall Faulk.
The San Diego Chargers won the AFL Championship in 1963.
The San Diego Chargers won the AFL Championship in 1963.
Exhibit fondly remembers the early days of the San Diego Chargers.
Exhibit fondly remembers the early days of the San Diego Chargers.
Display case at the Hall of Champions dedicated to San Diego basketball's original NBA Clippers and Rockets.
A display case at the Hall of Champions dedicated to San Diego basketball’s original NBA Clippers and Rockets.
Jerseys and equipment from different incarnations of the San Diego Gulls hockey teams.
Jerseys and equipment from different incarnations of the San Diego Gulls hockey team.
Surfing is a major sport in Southern California. So many surfboards are displayed in the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Surfing is a major sport in Southern California. So many different surfboards are displayed in the San Diego Hall of Champions.
The underside of one of Tony Hawk's practice skateboards shows a lot of wear!
The underside of one of Tony Hawk’s practice skateboards shows a lot of wear!
Motocross exhibit at the Hall of Champions.
Motocross exhibit at the Hall of Champions.
An exhibit features a NASCAR racing suit worn by 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who grew up in El Cajon.
An exhibit features a NASCAR racing suit worn by 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who grew up in El Cajon.
An inboard hydroplane that set a world record in 1975.
An inboard hydroplane that set a world record in 1975.
Designed by San Diegan Steve Ball, this 850 C.C. inboard Hydroplane is on display at the Hall of Champions.
Designed by San Diegan Steve Ball, this 850 C.C. inboard Hydroplane is on display at the Hall of Champions.
Two walls on the Hall of Champions' second floor contain the Breitbard Hall of Fame, celebrating great San Diego athletes.
Two walls on the Hall of Champions’ second floor house the Breitbard Hall of Fame, celebrating great San Diego athletes.
A random photograph of one section of the Breitbard Hall of Fame.
A random photograph of one section of the Breitbard Hall of Fame.
Dennis Conner has been called America's greatest sailor.
Dennis Conner has been called America’s greatest sailor.
Bill Walton is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Bill Walton is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Another wall on the second floor of the Hall of Champions contains Sports Illustrated covers that feature San Diego athletes. Dennis Conner with Ronald Reagan, and Phil Mickelson winning his first major.
Another wall on the second floor of the Hall of Champions contains Sports Illustrated covers that feature San Diego athletes. Dennis Conner with Ronald Reagan, and Phil Mickelson winning his first major.
Heavyweight boxing champion Ken Norton prepares for his first defense.
Heavyweight boxing champion Ken Norton prepares for his first defense.
As of June 2008, the Sports Illustrated feature story has included San Diegans 113 times.
As of June 2008, the Sports Illustrated feature story has included San Diegans 113 times.
Tony Gwynn, the best hitter since Ted Williams.
Tony Gwynn, the best hitter since Ted Williams.
UCLA's red-hot redhead, center Bill Walton.
UCLA’s red-hot redhead, center Bill Walton.
Randy Jones' threat to win 30.
Randy Jones’ threat to win 30.
A sculpture of Muhammad Ali in a corner of the Hall of Champion's second floor.
A sculpture of Muhammad Ali in a corner of the Hall of Champion’s second floor.
Now we check out the second wall of the Breitbard Hall of Fame. Golf's Craig Stadler was a product of the San Diego Junior Golf Association.
Now we check out the second wall of the Breitbard Hall of Fame. Golf’s Craig Stadler was a product of the San Diego Junior Golf Association.
Ken Norton began boxing in the Marine Corps while stationed at Camp Pendleton.
Ken Norton began boxing in the Marine Corps while stationed at Camp Pendleton.
Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk makes San Diego proud.
Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk makes San Diego proud.
Marshall Faulk broke NCAA rushing records at San Diego State University.
Marshall Faulk broke NCAA rushing records at San Diego State University.
Greg Louganis of San Diego has been called the greatest diver of all time.
Greg Louganis of San Diego has been called the greatest diver of all time.
Junior Seau is remembered with love by many in San Diego. He was an NFL football great.
Junior Seau is remembered with love by many in San Diego. He was an NFL football great.
The statue of Muhammad Ali looks down at tables set for a special evening event at the San Diego Hall of Champions.
The statue of Muhammad Ali looks down at tables set for a special evening event at the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Gazing down at the front entrance of the sports museum from the second floor.
Gazing down at the front entrance of the sports museum from the second floor.
The lower level of the Hall of Champions is dedicated to sailing. It isn't surprising that San Diego has produced many of the greatest sailors in the world.
The lower level of the Hall of Champions is dedicated to competitive sailing. It isn’t surprising that San Diego has produced many of the greatest sailors in the world.
One of many displays that recalls sailing's very rich history in San Diego.
One of many displays that recalls sailing’s very rich history in San Diego.
Two small sailboats inside the museum.
Two small sailboats inside the San Diego Hall of Champions.
San Diego has produced many sailing World Champions.
San Diego has produced many sailing World Champions.
Every U.S. Olympic sailing team since 1964 has featured at least one San Diegan.
Every U.S. Olympic sailing team since 1964 has featured at least one San Diegan.
A look into the Hall of Champion's Bill Koch America's Cup Gallery.
A look into the Hall of Champion’s Bill Koch America’s Cup Gallery.
A model of America, the racing schooner that beat many British competitors in 1851, establishing the America's Cup. A replica full-size boat makes San Diego Bay its home.
A model of America, the racing schooner that beat many British competitors in 1851, establishing the America’s Cup. Today, a replica full-size boat makes San Diego Bay its home.
A timeline shows America's Cup history and traditions, including the evolution of the racing craft.
A timeline shows America’s Cup history and traditions, including the evolution of racing craft.
San Diego Yacht Club's Dennis Conner won the America's Cup four times.
San Diego Yacht Club’s Dennis Conner won the America’s Cup four times.
Painting of Oracle vs. Alinghi, 2010. By artist Tim Thompson.
Painting of Oracle vs. Alinghi, 2010. By artist Tim Thompson.
A replica of the America's Cup, the oldest international sporting trophy in the world.
A replica of the America’s Cup, the oldest international sporting trophy in the world.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

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Movie and television stars perform at the Old Globe!

Lea Salonga and George Takei perform at the Old Globe in the world premiere of Allegiance -A New American Musical, 2012.
Lea Salonga and George Takei perform at the Old Globe in the world premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical, 2012.

I was walking through the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in Balboa Park the other day when I noticed a collection of interesting photographs. I saw them in the windows near the entrance to the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. They show the history of the Old Globe Theatre, and some fantastic theatrical productions over the years. I was surprised at the number of Old Globe plays that have featured famous movie and television actors!

I got some pics, doing my best to avoid reflections in the glass windows.

My first pic, above, includes one very familiar face!

Who doesn’t know George Takei? He’s an American cultural icon and activist, best known for playing Sulu on television and in blockbuster movies in the much-loved Star Trek franchise.

Lea Salonga is perhaps best known for providing the singing voices in two popular Disney animated movies. She was Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan.

Theatre lovers in San Diego are very fortunate. The Old Globe Theatre is one of our nation’s top regional theatres, along with the La Jolla Playhouse. Their original productions frequently head to Broadway and win Tony Awards.

John Goodman performs at the Old Globe in Henry IV, Parts I and II, 1995.
John Goodman performs at the Old Globe in Henry IV, Parts I and II, 1995.

John Goodman went from playing Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne to starring in countless popular movies. His television appearances and filmography are so extensive, he can be regarded as one of America’s best known actors.

Richard Thomas, Kristen Connolly, Blair Underwood and Noah Bean at the Old Globe with the cast of Othello, 2014.
Richard Thomas, Kristen Connolly, Blair Underwood and Noah Bean at the Old Globe with the cast of Othello, 2014.

Richard Thomas is probably best remembered for playing John-Boy in the very popular old television series The Waltons. More recently he starred in the drama series The Americans.

Kristen Connolly plays key roles in television’s House of Cards and Zoo.

Blair Underwood has won many awards during his acting career. He has played roles on television’s L.A. Law, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The New Adventures of Old Christine, and other recent shows.

Noah Bean played important roles on the thriller series Nikita and the legal drama Damages.

Robert Christopher Riley performs at the Old Globe in The Royale, 2014.
Robert Christopher Riley performs at the Old Globe in The Royale, 2014.

Robert Christopher Riley is known for his acting role in Hit the Floor, and has appeared in movies including The Bourne Legacy.

Jim Parsons, graduate of The Old Globe/USD Professional Theatre Training Program, with Associate Artist James Winker in Da, 2001.
Jim Parsons, graduate of The Old Globe/USD Professional Theatre Training Program, with Associate Artist James Winker in Da, 2001.

The insanely popular Big Bang Theory wouldn’t be the same without the hilarious character Sheldon Cooper, who is played by Jim Parsons. Parsons has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Laurence Fishburne and Ella Joyce perform at the Old Globe in Two Trains Running, 1991.
Laurence Fishburne and Ella Joyce perform at the Old Globe in Two Trains Running, 1991.

Laurence Fishburne might be best known for his role in The Matrix where he played the iconic character Morpheus. He has played many important film and television characters during his prolific career.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Famous animal celebrities at the San Diego Zoo!

Balboa Park visitors walk down main hallway of Casa de Balboa, past posters featuring some animal celebrities of the world-famous San Diego Zoo!
Balboa Park visitors walk down main hallway of Casa de Balboa, past posters featuring some animal celebrities of the world-famous San Diego Zoo!

There’s a fun new exhibit at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. It’s called The Lore Behind the ROAR! 100 Years of the San Diego Zoo. Like beautiful Balboa Park itself, the world-famous San Diego Zoo originated in 1915. Last year was its centennial!

Along the main hallway inside the Casa de Balboa, near the entrance to the San Diego History Center, visitors can enjoy a series of posters that feature some of the zoo’s beloved animal celebrities. Here they are!

Banner on Casa de Balboa near entrance to San Diego History Center. The Lore Behind the ROAR! 100 Years of the San Diego Zoo.
Banner on Casa de Balboa, home of several museums including the San Diego History Center. The Lore Behind the ROAR! 100 Years of the San Diego Zoo.
Carol the Asian elephant appeared with San Diego Zoo goodwill ambassador Joan Embery on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Carol was also an illustrious painter!
Carol the Asian elephant.  She appeared with San Diego Zoo goodwill ambassador Joan Embery on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Carol was also an illustrious painter!
Hua Mei is a superstar giant panda born at the San Diego Zoo in 1999. Her name means China USA. She now lives in China.
Hua Mei is a superstar giant panda born at the San Diego Zoo in 1999. Her name means “China USA”. She now lives in China.
Diego the Galapagos tortoise, now 130 years old, half a century ago was one of very few surviving males of the critically endangered species. Over many years, he's had roughly 1,700 offspring!
Diego the Galapagos tortoise, now 130 years old, half a century ago was one of very few surviving males of the critically endangered species. Over the ensuing years, he’s produced roughly 1,700 offspring!
Arusha and Anna were a cheetah and dog pair at the San Diego Zoo. They were the best of friends.
Arusha and Anna were a cheetah and dog pair at the San Diego Zoo. They were the best of friends.
Taku was the first polar bear born at the world-famous San Diego Zoo, back in 1942.
Taku was the first polar bear born at the world-famous San Diego Zoo, back in 1942.
Alvila was first western lowland gorilla born at the San Diego Zoo, in 1965. This animal celebrity has been a favorite through the years.
Alvila was the first western lowland gorilla born at the San Diego Zoo, in 1965. This animal celebrity has been a big favorite through the years.
King Tut, a salmon-crested cockatoo, was the San Diego Zoo’s official greeter for forty years! He also appeared on television and in theatrical productions!
King Tut, a salmon-crested cockatoo, was the San Diego Zoo’s official greeter for forty years! He also appeared on television and in theatrical productions!
Puddles the river hippopotamus was a crowd favorite at the San Diego Zoo in the 1930s and 1940s.
Puddles the river hippopotamus was a crowd favorite at the San Diego Zoo in the 1930s and 1940s.

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