We’re not sure if you noticed this or not, but we think Springfield is pretty great. It’s also a place to appreciate greatness. Many Springfield residents have surely visited several of these Halls of Fame, but there are a few that you may not have visited just yet. Our city has a great collection of shrines to the greatest people, events and other feats all over town. Let’s take a look at the coolest Halls of Fame in the Queen City.
So, you’ve probably already heard of this one. The greatest athletes in the Show Me State’s history are enshrined on the walls of this long time Springfield establishment. Every year new inductees are named and ceremonies are held. In the most recent class the Hall welcomed greats like Vince Coleman, Amos Otis and Bill Kenney. It also recognized local sports legends. Art Hains, the voice of the Missouri State Bears and veteran sportscaster was inducted, as was current Missouri State volleyball coach Melissa Stokes.
It’s a great place to appreciate the greatness in the state’s sporting history and it’s really affordable too. Adults can get in for just $5 and kids between 6 and 15 are just $3. Kids under 5 aren’t charged at all for entry and the museum has group rates as well! It’s open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon and on Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Archery is a big deal in the Ozarks. Many of our agents and friends hunt with bows every year and many others pay close attention to tournaments and target shooters all year round. Fans of the sport are in luck in this area because in the upper level of Bass Pro Headquarters is the National Archery Hall of Fame. Some of the greatest archers ever to wield a bow are recognized in the museum. The first class of archers inducted included legendary bowman Fred Bear, who many credit for revolutionizing the sport. There’s plenty of great information and things to see here! It’s open from 10:00 am to 7:00 p.m. daily.
The sporting tradition at Missouri State is chocked full of great athletes. Student-athletes like Ryan Howard, Brad Ziegler and Bill Mueller all went on to play in the Major Leagues. Ballers like Winston Garland, Jackie Stiles and Curtis Perry all took on the best in the world on the court. Recent stars like Alize Johnson and Dylan Cole are sure to join the ranks in the coming years and many other athletes from other sports are recognized as well. It’s a nostalgic experience to look back on the best moments in Bears history and one all Springfield sports fans should have at least once.
The first non-sports hall on the list, the Springfield R-12 Hall of Fame might not feature world renowned athletes, but it does feature some amazing folks who graduated from the public school system right here in the Queen City. Some of the most recent graduates include retail giant Johnny Morris, local healthcare leader Steve Edwards and chocolate mogul Shawn Askinosie. The next class of inductees will be announced in October of this year, so keep an eye out for the next group of Hall of Famers!
This Hall of Fame recognizes greatness of wit rather than physical prowess. This group started in 1994 to help foster the growth of young writers in the area and continues to hand out scholarships to students every year. Hundreds of local students have received scholarships from the Writers Hall of Fame over the past few decades. In addition to their educational work, the group also recognizes greatness in writing from authors in the region. Past inductees include Langston Hughes, Mark Twain and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Local authors have also received the Golden Quill, a distinction given to new inductees. Jack Stack, David Harrison and two of the original Ozark Mountain Daredevils Randall Chowning and Larry Lee have also been inducted. The goal of the Writers Hall of Fame is to encourage, inspire and celebrate the joy of writing and we think they’re doing a great job of it in our city.
The Breech School of Business at Drury has graduated some industry giants in its 60 years of teaching young people about the world of business. In 2003, the school decided to honor some of its most distinguished alumni. The first person in the hall was of course the man for which the school is named, Edward Breech. Breech may well be one of the most successful people in business in Springfield’s history. He rose to the rank of executive vice president of the Ford Motor Company in 1955, during the hey day of automobile production in the country. It goes without saying that being inducted to a hall of fame bearing his name is no small feat. Other inductees include Larry and David O’Reilly, Johnny Morris and Bill Vaughan.
If you want to get a clearer picture of Springfield’s impact of the sports world, this Hall of Fame is for you. While you can learn about the best athletes in the State at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, here you can see the greats from your own backyard. This hall holds the memories of titans like Payne Stewart, Charlie Spoonhour and Horton Smith. It gives nods to current local legends like Keith Guttin, Lyndal Scranton and Jackie Stiles. The 2017 class will be honored at a banquet later this month at the Oasis Convention Center. Check out the newest class right here!
A new hall of fame is coming to town soon. The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame will find a new home in Johnny Morris’s Wonders of Wildlife, which opens on September 21, 2017. The new attraction at Bass Pro headquarters has been widely anticipated for quite some time in Springfield and by all accounts it looks like it’ll be an amazing place to appreciate the beauty of the natural world. The Bass Fishing Hall will recognize some really big names including Morris, former President George H. W. Bush and plenty more. We’re excited to see it when it is completed. Keep an eye out for announcements over the next few weeks!