What sports were played in the 1940's?
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Assuming that you are talking about the United States, by far the biggest sport in that decade was baseball. Baseball was still the "national pastime" of the country and was played and watched by more people than any other sport.
Comparing the '40s with today, basketball was much less popular both on the college and professional levels. Football was popular as a high school and college sport but the NFL was not the dominant league that it is now.
A sport that was popular in those days (both for spectators and for participants) but has declined in modern times was boxing. Boxing was still a major sport in those days whereas it is a fringe sport with very few American stars today.
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