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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Arthur Ashe - Inducted 1979 - Tennis
Arthur Ashe - Inducted 1979 - Tennis Ashe emerged as the tennis world's outspoken conscience, pleading for reason and common sense in racial matters Photo courtesy Virginia Sports Hall of Fame

Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

Founded in 1972, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in Portsmouth was designated the commonwealth's "Official Sports Hall of Fame" in 1996 by the state General Assembly. It is one of sixteen state sports halls of fame in the country.

The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame showcases nineteen sports, which include tennis, golf, bowling, basketball, and horse and auto racing. By year 2000, the hall of fame had honored 183 champions, hailing from every area of the state. These inductees include thirty-four National Hall of Famers; two Sports Illustrated 's All Century Pro Football team members, Willie Lanier and Dwight Stevenson; golfer Sam Snead, who was named one of the Top 100 North American athletes of the 20th century by ESPN; and Paul Mellon, one of four exemplars of racing, and a member of the English Jockey Club Hall of Fame.

The museum's sports memorabilia is one of the most outstanding collections in the country. Items include tennis great Arthur Ashe's racquet; the game ball from the 1903 football match between Virginia Tech and Navy; Bobby Ross' Coach of the Year award received when he was with the San Diego Chargers; and PGA Hall of Famer Sam Snead's signature straw hat.

Documentation includes a report on the legacy, description of each inductee, museum brochures, a video, and 30 photographs of inductees.

Originally submitted by: Norman Sisisky, Representative (4th District).



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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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