Jul
25

Even Halls of Fame Aren’t Exempt from Foreclosure

July 25, 2010

The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago almost lost the shirt off its back.

The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame on Taylor St.

Taylor & Bishop LLC, which owns the Hall’s building at 1431 W. Taylor Street in Chicago, was not only threatened with foreclosure but was told that the Hall’s memorabilia would be sold off if its $8.5 million loan wasn’t paid back in full.

Crain’s Chicago Business obtained the letter from Bridgeview Bank that was sent not only to Taylor & Bishop, but also to Jerry Colangelo, a Chicago Heights native, manager of the Hall and an Italian American Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

Jerry Colangelo

Colangelo, 70, has been in sports forever. He was a Bulls assistant coach in the 60s; he has owned several different sports teams including the Phoenix Suns; and it was after attending a Cubs game at Wrigley Field in the 90s that he decided to put together an expansion team called the Arizona Diamondbacks.

There’s even a street named after him in Chicago Heights.

And did I mention that the Hall’s facility is named, “The Jerry Colangelo Center?”

According to Crain’s, a limited liability company (LLC) was formed to assume ownership of the Jerry Colangelo Center, and the Hall was to pay rent to the LLC.

I hope so. There are more than 200 athletes inducted in the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, which houses such items as Mario Andretti’s Indy 500 race car, Rocky Marciano’s first heavyweight championship belt, the 2001 Arziona Diamondbacks World Series trophy and swimmer Matt Biondi’s 11 gold medals.

It would be sad to see all that momentous memorabilia on eBay.

* * *

Andre Dawson

I thought this Hall of Fame story would be appropriate considering Andre “The Hawk” Dawson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame today.

The former Chicago Cubs great, who also played for the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins throughout his 20-year career, was the National League MVP in 1987, his first year with the Cubs.

The only unfortunate news about his induction into Cooperstown is that Dawson, who played Major League Baseball from 1976 to 1996, was inducted as an Expo.

That decision came from Hall of Fame executives, by the way, not The Hawk.

Congratulations, Andre!

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Tracey

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