Out of the closet New Hall of Fame allows lacrosse to unpack its history

June 05, 1991|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Evening Sun Staff

There, in one display case, is the program from a Baltimore Athletic Club lacrosse match in 1878. Nearby is an etching of a game scene published in The Daily Graphic of New York in 1873.

There, too, is a scrapbook, circa 1882, compiled by Father Bill Schmeisser, a Johns Hopkins coach from 1920 until 1941. The first lacrosse helmet stands out in the display tracing the evolution of the game's headgear because it resembles a baseball cap. There are lacrosse sticks dating back to 1884.

"We have 10 times more memorabilia on display now," said Steve Stenersen, executive director of the Lacrosse Foundation and Hall of Fame Museum. "Before, most of it was in storage."

The new Hall of Fame Museum, housed in a $1.25 million, one-story building at 113 University Parkway adjacent to Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field, will be officially dedicated and opened to the public in a ceremony tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.

The dedication will open the ninth annual Hall of Fame Classic, featuring three days of lacrosse ranging from midget games to the U.S. Club Lacrosse Association

championship game Saturday.

The old museum, in Hopkins' athletic center, was bursting at the seams. There was only 1,000 square feet of space to accommodate the museum and offices for five full-time staffers, four interns and a volunteer. The new building provides 5,500 square feet of space.

"When it was incorporated in 1959, it was a provincial hall of fame," Stenersen said. "It has grown from that into a national development center for lacrosse. We have dozens of programs."

One program helps teams and leagues at the recreational, high school and college levels, women's as well as men's, get started. If a high school in Tennessee, for example, wants to start a lacrosse team, it receives a flood of material from the foundation covering all aspects of the game. The foundation fulfilled 90 such "new start" requests last year.

In the last six years, the foundation has assisted in the creation of 24 chapters from Maine to Hawaii. It coordinates the efforts of these regional centers and makes them part of the national network.

A 116-seat auditorium in the new building is designed for meetings, lectures, films and slide shows. There is a plan for the addi

tion, within three years, of a large room to display the plaques of the 188 members of the Hall of Fame. The plaques, which lined the walls of the old Hall of Fame, are now in storage.

After the dedication ceremony tomorrow, North-South old-timers' games will be played at 7 and 8:30. Friday's events include the Baltimore City Middle School League championship at 3 p.m., the women's North-South college all-star game at 5, the 50th men's Division I North-South college game at 6:30, and the men's North-South junior college all-star game at 9.

Saturday's schedule includes youth games in the morning, girls and boys high school all-star games at noon and 1:30, the club championship game at 4 and a new event, the men's Division III college all-star game, at 6:30. The Central Atlantic club league title game (Perry Hall LC vs. Central Jersey LC) is at 9.

In the USCLA game, Mount Washington (12-2) will defend its championship against the New York AC (12-3), the Northern Division winner. Mount Washington captured the Southern Division title Saturday on Lou Delligatti's goal in the sixth overtime period.

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