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.