Statement of Commissioner Landis
By: Kenesaw Mountain Landis
Date: August 3, 1921
Source: Landis, Kenesaw Mountain. Statement of Commissioner Landis, August 3, 1921. Available online at ; website home page: http://1919blacksox.com (accessed May 8, 2003).
About the Author: Kenesaw Mountain Landis (1866–1944) was born in 1866. Landis was a federal judge in Chicago, where he was known for frequently making outrageous decisions later overturned on appeal. He was also known as an ardent patriot and great fan of baseball. To provide strong leadership in an effort to bring order out of baseball's near anarchy, Landis accepted the newly created position of commissioner in 1920, while still retaining his federal judgeship. He served as commissioner until his death in 1944.
"Black Sox" Baseball Scandal Inquiry
By: Associated Press
Source: Kenesaw Landis and others at the "Black Sox" baseball scandal inquiry. 1921. AP/Wide World Photos. Available online at http://www.apwideworld.com (accessed May 8, 2003)....
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George Halas and the Birth of the NFL
Halas by Halas
By: George S. Halas
Source: Halas, George, with Gwen Morgan and Arthur Veysey. Halas by Halas: The Autobiography of George Halas. New York: McGraw-Hill, 60–61.
About the Author George S. Halas (1885–1983) was the founder, owner, and coach of the Chicago Bears professional football team from 1920 until his death. He played football at Crane Tech High School in Chicago and under Bob Zuppke at the University of Illinois. As a coach, he won eight National Football League (NFL) titles and is second on the all-time career list with 324 wins. His name was virtually synonymous with the NFL through its first fifty seasons.
Letter to George Halas
By: A.E. Staley
Date: October 6, 1921
Source: Staley, A.E. Letter from A.E. Staley to George Halas, October 6, 1921. Reprinted in Halas, George, with Gwen Morgan and Arthur Veysey. Halas by Halas: the Autobiography of George Halas. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979, 72. Available online at http://www.webwaymonsters.com/staleys.html; website home page:
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Federal Club v. National League
Supreme Court decision
By: Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Date: May 29, 1922
Source: Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore, Inc. v. National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, et al. 259 U.S. 200 (1922). Available online at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=sear... ; website home page: http://findlaw.com (accessed December 3, 2002). ; website home page: http://findlaw.com (accessed December 3, 2002).
About the Author: Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841–1935) was an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1902 to 1932, one of the longest tenures in the history of the Court. He began his legal career as a professor of law at Harvard University. Then, in 1883, he was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, where he rose to chief justice in 1899, before President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court. Legal scholars consistently rank him among the most brilliant and respected Supreme Court justices of all time.
Professional baseball began in the late 1800s. By 1876, the National League...
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"Why the Finns Are Champion Athletes"
By: The Literary Digest
Date: August 2, 1924
Source: "Why the Finns Are Champion Athletes." The Literary Digest 82, no. 5, August 2, 1924, 42–44, 46.
About the Publication: The Literary Digest began publishing in 1890 and in the first quarter of the twentieth century was one of the most popular magazines in the United States. Its modern-day counterparts are Time or Newsweek magazines.
The modern Olympics began in 1896 in Athens, Greece, largely through the efforts of Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France. The Olympics of ancient Greece were primarily track and field events, so these were the featured events in the reconstituted Olympics. By the 1912 Games in Stockholm, Sweden, performers were being hailed internationally for their accomplishments. More than twenty-five countries sent delegations, and teams were now outfitted in national uniforms. At this Olympics, Jim Thorpe won acclaim as the greatest athlete in the world, but the games also presented the world with the first great distance runners from Finland, Hannes Kolehmainen and Albin Stenroos. Kolehmainen and Stenroos won four medals in Stockholm, three of which went to Kolehmainen. In 1916 the games were not held...
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"Grange Thrills Huge Crowd by Racing to 5 Touchdowns"
By: James Crusinberry
Date: October 19, 1924
Source: Crusinberry, James. "Grange Thrills Huge Crowd by Racing to 5 Touchdowns." Chicago Tribune, October 19, 1924.
About the Publication: The Chicago Tribune has been published continuously since it was founded in 1849, making it one of the oldest newspapers in the United States. Under Joseph Medill and, later, Robert McCormick, the Tribune was a keen observer of sports, particularly in Illinois. The Tribune, which had the largest circulation of any newspaper in Chicago and the Midwest, closely followed and reported on the sporting fortunes of the Big Ten Conference and, specifically, the University of Illinois.
College football was revived by rule changes in 1906, and it grew in popularity as the number of alumni from various institutions grew. Strong regional loyalties and powerful teams emerged among schools in the Southeast, in the East with Ivy League and independent teams, and in the Midwest with the Big Ten Conference. Michigan and Illinois were consistently two of the top teams both in the Big Ten and in the country. After winning Big Ten titles in 1918 and 1919, the fortunes of the Fighting Illini plummeted in 1921 and 1922,...
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"Original Celtics of New York"
By: Maurice G. Rosenwald
Source: Rosenwald, Maurice G. "Original Celtics of New York." In Reach Official Basket Ball Guide. Philadelphia: A.J. Reach Company, 1924–25, 167.
About the Publication: The 1924–1925 Reach Official Basket Ball Guide was published by the Reach sporting goods company in Philadelphia. The writer, Maurice G. Rosenwald, worked in public relations, often for the Celtics. The editor of the Reach guide was William Scheffer, who made most of the decisions about the guide and, through the guide, was most responsible for keeping basketball records for the period 1900–1927.
The Original Celtics were formed initially as an all-Irish team playing around the Celtic Park area of Manhattan. The team was restructured after World War I (1914–1918) and in 1919 added such top players...
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The "Long Count"
By: James P. Dawson
Source: Dawson, James P. "Boxing." In Danzig, Allison, and Peter Brandwein, eds. Sport's Golden Age: A Close-Up of the Fabulous Twenties. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948, 77–78.
About the Author: James P. Dawson (1896–1953) was hired by The New York Times as a copy boy in 1908. He became the boxing editor of The New York Times and covered boxing and baseball until his death in 1953. The annual award presented to the top rookie in the Yankees' training camp is named in his honor.
Gene Tunney Floored by Dempsey
Date: September 22, 1927
Source: "Gene Tunney Floored by Dempsey." September 22, 1927. Bettman/Corbis. Image no. U184391ACME. Available online at http://pro.corbis.com (accessed May 8, 2003).
Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey in Boxing Match
Date: September 22, 1927
Source: "Gene Tunney, Jack Dempsey In Boxing Match." September 22, 1927. Bettman/Corbis. Image no. BE053762. Available...
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Babe Ruth's Sixtieth Home Run
"Ruth Crashes 60th to Set New Record"
By: The New York Times
Date: October 1, 1927
Source: "Ruth Crashes 60th to Set New Record." New York Times, October 1, 1927, 12. Reprinted in "History This Month." Black Tree History Group. Available online at ; website home page: http://www.blacktreehistory.com (accessed May 8, 2003).
About the Publication: Founded in 1851, The New York Times began as one of many daily newspapers in New York City. By the beginning of the twentieth century, however, it had established itself as the city's preeminent paper. A century later, it is one of the world's most successful newspapers, boasting, among other things, a highly respected sports section.
"Babe Ruth at Bat"
Date: September 30, 1927
Source: "Babe Ruth at Bat." September 30, 1927. Bettmann/Corbis. Image no. U47535ACME. Available online at http://pro.corbis.com (accessed May 8, 2003).
The 1920s began with baseball struggling for credibility. In 1921, the...
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Down the Fairway
By: Bobby Jones
Source: Jones, Robert T., Jr., and O.T. Keeler. Down the Fairway. New York: Blue Ribbon, 1927, 148–149.
About the Author: Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones Jr. (1902–1971) was born in Atlanta of well-to-do parents and began playing golf with sawed-off clubs at age three. He received a law degree from Emory University in 1927 and, before his retirement from competitive golf in 1930, he won a remarkable string of major titles. He then returned to his legal career in Atlanta. He also took up other business interests, including the making of instructional golf films and designing courses.
Golf was born in Scotland (although similar games were played at the same time in Holland and France) sometime in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, but it was officially recognized in the mid-1400s. It was slow to arrive in the United States; the first American "golf course" was a three-hole version in a cow pasture in Yonkers, New York, laid out in 1888. The first formal golf club was formed in that same town later that year, but the first duly incorporated golf club was Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York, in 1891. The game grew slowly among wealthy males in the eastern United States. Then...
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Swimming the American Crawl
By: Johnny Weissmuller
Source: Weissmuller, Johnny, with Clarence A. Bush. Swimming the American Crawl. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1930, 148–150.
About the Author: Peter John "Johnny" Weissmuller (1904–1984) was an athlete, actor, and author. He was best known as the swimmer and Olympic gold medalist who became the motion-picture star of the popular "Tarzan" movies. A dominating swimmer, Weissmuller won five gold medals at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, set sixty-seven world records, and won fifty-two swimming championships. His film career began in 1931 when he played the role of Tarzan, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. He later appeared as "Jungle Jim" on the television series that lasted ten years. His subsequent career in business included ventures in health-food stores and cocktail lounges.
Swimming is as old as human contact with bodies of water, but competitive swimming is relatively new. It is often traced to races in England in the 1830s, although the Japanese had swimming meets as early as the 1600s. Three swimming events—the one hundred meters, the five hundred meters, and the tweleve hundred meters (all for men and all freestyle)—were part of the first modern Olympics held in...
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The Negro in Sports
By: Edwin Bancroft Henderson
Source: Henderson, Edwin Bancroft. The Negro in Sports. Washington, D.C.: Associated Publishers, 1939. Revised edition, 1949, 154, 156–157.
About the Author: Edwin Bancroft Henderson (1883–1977), a native of Washington, D.C., headed the Department of Physical Education in Washington's segregated school system from 1925 until 1951. He is often credited with being the "father" both of African American basketball and of African American sports history. In the early 1900s he introduced basketball to the African American youth of Washington, D.C., and was a player, referee, and teacher of the game for many years. He also chronicled the contributions of African Americans to sport in his book, The Negro in Sports.
Basketball was invented in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. It spread rapidly, largely because it was introduced at YMCAs and Settlement Houses by men trained in the game at YMCA-sponsored classes throughout the Northeast and, later, the rest of the country. Early on the game was introduced in this manner to African Americans, and there were African American teams as well as African Americans playing on prominent white teams as early as 1904....
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My Story: A Champion's Memoirs
By: William Tilden
Source: Tilden, William T., II. My Story: A Champion's Memoirs. New York: Hellman, Williams, 1948, 65–66.
About the Author: William Tatem "Bill" Tilden II (1893–1953) was the greatest male tennis player of the 1920s. In 1915, almost totally without roots or direction, Tilden decided to make a study and a career of tennis. He committed himself to the game completely, beginning by coaching at the Germantown Academy without pay. He was first given a national rating as a player in 1915, and a year later entered the U.S. championship matches. He emerged as one of the giants of the game, though later his professional career was cut short when knowledge of his homosexuality finally surfaced. He then moved to Hollywood and had a career in theater.
Tennis developed in the late nineteenth century and remained largely an upper-class sport with little mass appeal until around 1912, when the construction of more public courts made the game more accessible to the American public. The game had been largely dominated by players in the Northeast, but by the 1910s a number of Californians became leading players, widening the sport's appeal. The late 1910s and 1920s were a period when great...
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"Man o' War's Record"
By: George Gipe
Source: Gipe, George. The Great American Sports Book: A Casual but Voluminous Look at American Spectator Sports From the Civil War to the Present Time. Garden City, N.J.: Doubleday, 1978, 252.
About the Author: George Gipe (1933–1986) was an author, television producer, and screenwriter. He began his career as a cameraman at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, Maryland, and later moved to WMAR-TV, where he produced many documentary films. His writings include The Last Time When, The Great American Sports Book, and the novel Coney Island Quickstep. Gipe was also the author of a number of film novelizations, among them Melvin and Howard and Gremlins, and a contributor to such popular magazines as Sports Illustrated and Mad. He was best known for his collaborations on
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