Hall plaques starting to find homes
DAC, colleges are locales showcasing inductees; Lions to display soon
Detroit — There is no significant progress to report in the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame’s long search for a permanent home.
But the Hall’s inductee plaques — about 270 in all — are slowly taking up residence in locations throughout Detroit, with the goal of spreading them throughout the state in the coming weeks and months.
Nearly 30 of the plaques have found temporary homes, at Detroit Mercy, Wayne State and the Detroit Athletic Club, with 33 more set to be displayed within the next few weeks at Ford Field, said Jordan Field, a member of the Hall of Fame’s board.
Until the relocation project started two years ago, the plaques had been stored unceremoniously in an area warehouse.
“(It) continues to be a work in progress,” said Field, who works in the Tigers’ front office.
The Hall of Fame will induct at least six more members tonight at The Max M. Fisher Music Center, among them Jon Jansen, Greg Kampe, Jim Leyland,
Andre Rison, Jalen Rose and Mitch Albom. Hall officials haven’t heard from ex-Pistons Bad Boy Dennis Rodman, so he’s not expected to attend. He’ll have until 2018 to accept his induction. Also unable to attend is Dean Look, a Lansing native and former football and baseball player and NFL referee. He will go in with the 2018 class instead.
Doors open for tonight’s ceremony at 6, with the inductions starting at 7. Tickets remain and run from $25 to $225.
The Hall of Fame’s plaque relocation project began as a board initiative in late 2015, following the departure of executive director Jim Stark.
The first plaque to be “loaned” out — the Hall owns the plaques, and the interested hosts are “leasing” them for nominal fees — was Spencer Haywood’s, placed at Detroit Mercy’s Calihan Hall in January 2016.
Since then, Wayne State has leased some, including Ernie Harwell’s, which is placed at new Harwell Field on campus, and the Detroit Athletic Club, which has set up a shrine on its seventh floor. Among the plaques at the DAC include Ty Cobb, Fielding Yost, Sam Crawford, Henry Ford, Dave Bing, Walter Hagen and Bill Laimbeer, among several others.
“It fits in really well,” said board member Matt Friedman, speaking of the DAC display.
Field said the Hall of Fame is in discussion with the Pistons, Tigers, Red Wings, Oakland Hills Country Club, Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan about opportunities to have plaques displayed in their locales.
Tigers great Alan Trammell, center was among those playing tribute to Ernie Harwell at Wayne State’s new Harwell Field, where the Tigers broadcaster’s plaque for the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame is located.