Have a Piece of Ohio Sports History?
We Want to Hear About It!
In Ohio—Champion of Sports, our exhibit opening at the Ohio History Center on March 16, 2019, you’ll see objects, photos and memorabilia that bring Ohio’s sports traditions and milestones to life.
Some subjects, like Ohio State Buckeyes college football, will be familiar. Others, like Ohio Roller Derby, may be new to you. “We have hundreds of items in our collection—uniforms, equipment, documents and photographs—that help us tell these stories in a compelling way,” says Eric Feingold, History Curator for Ohio History Connection.
Former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel wore this sweater vest during the 2010 season. Ohio History Connection catalog number H 95986.
A member of the Ohio Roller Girls (now known as the Ohio Roller Derby) wore these skates from 2012-2016. Ohio History Connection catalog number H 100093.a/.b.
But there are other stories we can only tell with your help. Here are just two Ohio sports icons we would love to include in the exhibit, but can’t without more physical materials. “We’re hoping the public can provide items that reflect these people and games,” says Feingold. Right now, we’re seeking items relating to:
- The Massillon/McKinley high school football rivalry, one of the most heated in high school football history. Did you ever play or root for these teams? We’re seeking anecdotes, photos, programs – anything that helps us capture this decades-long football tradition (or any other great rivalry). Learn more about Massillon and McKinley.
- Jack Kidwell, a Columbus native credited with designing more than 100 golf courses. Kidwell’s name is almost synonymous with the game (certainly in Ohio), with his beautiful courses designed to be enjoyed by not just pros but the common player. We would love to display blueprints, early photos and other evidence of his prolific career. Until then, learn more about Kidwell here.
- Other items that could enhance our exhibit include game-used equipment and uniforms from athletes, coaches and officials; signs, noisemakers and other items from the Ohio fan experience>; photos and videos from iconic Ohio sporting events; items relating to sports injuries and the field of sports medicine>; and equipment used by veterans during their service.
If you have an item that might be appropriate for the collection, we encourage you to call us at 614.297.2535 or email [email protected]. You can also contact us with general questions about our sports collection and the Ohio—Champion of Sports exhibit. A curator will respond within a few weeks.
Thank You to Those Who’ve Already Contributed
In the meantime, we’re excited to put the finishing touches on our upcoming sports exhibit, thanks to partners who’ve already shared their stories and documents, photographs and objects to complement pieces in our permanent collection.
Guy Stout is one example of a private individual lending items for the exhibit. His father, Bill, coached the Toledo Troopers, winners of seven consecutive National Women’s Football League championships from 1971–1977.
Guy, who served as the team’s water boy, came to the Ohio History Center for an oral history interview in which he reminisced about his father and the Troopers. He also brought photographs, scrapbooks and pieces of equipment for our curators to review for inclusion in the exhibit. Guy’s generosity, through sharing his story and historical items, allows us to tell the Troopers’ story in much greater detail. We’ll return borrowed items to Guy and other lenders after the exhibit.
Guy Stout (far right) and Ohio History Connection History Curator Eric Feingold (center) review items related to the Toledo Troopers at the Ohio History Center. Also pictured is Steve Guinan, who co-wrote a documentary about the Troopers with Guy.
Like any good exhibit, Ohio—Champion of Sports is truly a team effort.