Looking for a weekend getaway? Thinking about a trip to the Windy City and tired of the same old Chicago Museums?
In 1977, George Randazzo founded the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF) as a non-profit institution, tasked with helping to raise money for a struggling local Catholic youth program. The Hall of Fame (1431 W Taylor St., Chicago IL) began with its founder collecting boxing photos that led to the organization of a fundraising dinner that brought together 23 former Italian-American boxing champions including Rocky Graziano, Jake LaMotta, and Sammy Angott.
A year later, the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame was founded as a non-profit and educational entity. The first induction ceremony honored Lou Ambers, Gino Marchetti and Dom & Joe DiMaggio. Mrs. Vince Lombardi also accepted the posthumous induction of her late husband, Vince Lombardi.
The museum has grown to include over 200 inductees over the last 35 years and some of its most prized memorabilia includes:
– One of Mario Andretti’s Indy 500 racecars
– Rocky Marciano’s First Heavyweight Championship Belt
– Swimmer Matt Biondi’s Olympic Gold Medals
The organization has raised over $6 million for scholarships and charitable causes. For more information, visit niashf.org