My Turn At Bat: The Story of My Life
By: Ted Williams
Source: Williams, Ted, with John Underwood. My Turn at Bat: The Story of My Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1969, 232–241.
About the Author: Ted Williams (1918–2002) was born in San Diego, California. After playing minor league ball, he was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1938. From 1939 to 1960, interrupted by military service in World War II and Korea, Williams hit 521 home runs and compiled a .344 career batting average. After his playing career was over, Williams was a hitting instructor with the Red Sox and managed the Washington Senators and Texas Rangers.
"Our Far-flung Correspondents"
By: John Updike
Date: October 22, 1960
Source: Updike, John. "Our Far-flung Correspondents." The New Yorker 36, October 22, 1960, 109, 124, 126–129.
About the Author: John Updike (1932–) was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Harvard, Updike was on the staff of the The New Yorker. In 1957, he began his freelance writing career, which has...
(The entire section is 4138 words.)
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Roger Maris at Bat
By: Roger Maris and Jim Ogle
Source: Maris, Roger, and Jim Ogle. Roger Maris at Bat. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1962.
About the Author: Roger Maris (1934–1985) was born in Hibbing, Minnesota, and grew up in North Dakota. He signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1953 and eventually wound up with the New York Yankees in 1960. In 1961, he set the modern major league baseball mark for home runs with sixty-one and won his second consecutive American League Most Valuable Player award. After five more seasons with the Yankees, he played two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals before retiring in 1968 to Florida, where he operated a beer distributorship.
For over thirty years, one of baseball's cherished records was Babe Ruth's sixty home runs in 1927, accomplished in a 154-game season. In 1961, with baseball's first expansion—from eight to ten teams in the American League—the schedule increased to 162 games. Still, the likelihood of Ruth's record being threatened seemed remote.
After high school, Roger Maris turned down a football scholarship to sign a baseball contract with the Cleveland Indians in 1953. Advancing through the minors, Maris joined the Indians in...
(The entire section is 3729 words.)
"It's Sport … It's Money … It's TV"
By: Roone Arledge with Gilbert Rogin
Date: April 25, 1966
Source: Arledge, Roone, with Gilbert Rogin. "It's Sport … It's Money … It's TV." Sports Illustrated, April 25, 1966, 93, 97, 98, 100, 103, 105, 106.
About the Author: Roone Arledge (1931–2002) was born in Forest Hills, New York. After graduating from Columbia University, he worked for the Dumont Network and NBC. In 1960, he went to ABC, eventually becoming vice president, then president of sports programming, producing and directing college football, Wide World of Sports, Monday Night Football, and several Olympic Games. In 1977, he became president of ABC News, and from 1985 to 1998, was president of the network.
"Sports All Over"
By: Deane McGowen
Date: February 11, 1962
Source: McGowen, Deane. "Sports All Over." The New York Times, February 11, 1962.
After World War II (1939–1945) and into the 1950s, sports and television were experiencing growing pains. Creativity and innovation...
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"The Complete Concentration of Mr. Palmer"
By: Barry Furlong
Date: September 2, 1962
Source: Furlong, Barry. "The Complete Concentration of Mr. Palmer." The New York Times, September 2, 1962, 14, 43–44.
About the Author: William Barry Furlong (1927–2000) was born in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from the Illinois Institute of Technology, he was a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and correspondent for Newsweek. He also was a freelance writer for Harper's, Sports Illustrated, Good Housekeeping, and The New York Times Magazine. In 1974, he became a staff writer for the Washington Post. Furlong wrote or coauthored three books.
In the 1950s, men's golf was still perceived by many as a country club sport played by the wealthy. The advent of television lifted golf's potential as a sport for the masses. What golf needed was a player who appealed to the galleries at tournaments and television audiences watching at home—and a rival of equal or superior ability. The first was Arnold Palmer, the second, Jack Nicklaus.
Arnold Palmer learned the game from his father, a golf pro. He turned professional in 1954 after a brief but successful amateur career. After he won his first pro...
(The entire section is 4046 words.)
Run to Daylight!
By: Vince Lombardi, with W.C. Heinz
Source: Lombardi, Vince, with W.C. Heinz. Run to Daylight! New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1963; 1971, 1–2, 66–68, 160–161, 171–172, 173–174, 182–183, 184–185.
About the Author: Vince Lombardi (1913–1970) was born in Brooklyn, New York. After playing football at Fordham University, he became head coach at St. Cecilia High School in New Jersey. From 1947 to 1958, he was an assistant coach at Fordham, the U.S. Military Academy, and the New York Giants. He became head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Packers in 1959. In nine seasons at Green Bay, he won five NFL championships and the first two Super Bowls. He returned to coaching in 1969 with the Washington Redskins but died before the next season.
Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer
By: Jerry Kramer
Source: Kramer, Jerry. Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer. Dick Schaap, ed. New York: Signet, 1968, 25, 26, 27, 30–31, 43, 49–50, 65, 218.
About the Author:...
(The entire section is 3436 words.)
The New York Mets
Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?
By: Jimmy Breslin
Source: Breslin, Jimmy. Can't Anybody Here Play This Game? New York: Viking Press, 1963. Revised ed., New York: Ballantine, 1970, 88–89, 90–93.
About the Author: Jimmy Breslin (1930–) was born in Jamaica, New York. After attending Long Island University, he worked as a sportswriter for several New York City newspapers, including the New York Herald Tribune and New York Post, before becoming a freelance journalist in 1969. He has written fourteen books, including several novels, as well as articles and columns for many newspapers and magazines.
The Perfect Game: Tom Seaver and the Mets
By: Tom Seaver with Dick Schaap
Source: Seaver, Tom, with Dick Schaap. The Perfect Game: Tom Seaver and the Mets. New York: Dutton, 1970, 138–140, 154–155, 159, 161–163, 171–173.
About the Author: George Thomas Seaver (1944–) was born in Fresno, California. He was signed by the New York Mets in 1965, after an offer by the Atlanta Braves was...
(The entire section is 4536 words.)
Pro Quarterback: My Own Story
By: Johnny Unitas and Ed Fitzgerald
Source: Unitas, Johnny, and Ed Fitzgerald. Pro Quarterback: My Own Story. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965, 54–63, 68–69.
About the Author: Johnny Unitas (1933–2002) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After playing football at the University of Louisville, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1955 but cut before the season. After a year working construction jobs and playing semipro football, he signed with the Baltimore Colts in 1956. Within four years, he led the Colts to consecutive National Football League championships, in 1958 and 1959. Over seventeen seasons with the Colts, Unitas set numerous NFL passing records and was widely considered the best quarterback of all time. After a season with the San Diego Chargers, Unitas retired in 1973. In retirement, Unitas was a broadcaster and businessman.
My Story: And I'm Sticking to It
By: Alex Hawkins
Source: Hawkins, Alex. My Story: And I'm Sticking to It. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill,...
(The entire section is 3595 words.)
Michigan State Ties Notre Dame
"An Upside-Down Game"
By: Dan Jenkins
Date: November 28, 1966
Source: Jenkins, Dan. "An Upside-Down Game." Sports Illustrated, November 28, 1966, 22–25.
About the Author: Dan Jenkins (1929–) was born in Fort Worth, Texas. After attending Texas Christian University, he wrote for the Fort Worth Press and the Dallas Times-Herald. In 1962, he joined Sports Illustrated, covering primarily football and golf for the next twenty-two years. After leaving Sports Illustrated in 1984, Jenkins wrote for a number of publications, including Golf Digest and Playboy. Jenkins has written sixteen books, including nine novels.
By: Arthur Daley
Date: November 20, 1966
Source: Daley, Arthur. "No Decision." The New York Times, November 20, 1966.
About the Author: Arthur Daley (1904–1974) was born in New York City. A baseball player at Fordham University, Daley turned to writing and was sports editor of the college newspaper. After graduation, he joined The New York Times in 1926, which...
(The entire section is 3311 words.)
Red Auerbach: Winning the Hard Way
By: Arnold Red Auerbach and Paul Sann
Source: Auerbach, Arnold Red, and Paul Sann. Red Auerbach: Winning the Hard Way. Boston: Little, Brown, 1966, 86, 88–91, 94–95.
About the Author: Arnold "Red" Auerbach (1917–) was born in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from George Washington University, he coached high school basketball in Washington, D.C., then coached the Washington Capitals and Tri-Cities Hawks of the Basketball Association of America before going to the Boston Celtics in 1950. Auerbach won nine NBA championships between 1957 and 1966 as Celtics coach. Retiring as coach in 1966, he remained with the Celtics as general manager and president.
When the term "dynasty" is discussed in sports, it typifies a team that wins consecutive championships or dominates an era. In professional basketball, there is little question that the Boston Celtics of the late 1950s and 1960s—coached by Red Auerbach and his best player, Bill Russell—were a sports dynasty in the truest sense of the term.
Over his first six seasons with the Celtics, Auerbach assembled a talented team, including guards Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman, but never got to the championship round, as they...
(The entire section is 2593 words.)
The Olympic Protests
Why?: The Biography of John Carlos
By: John Carlos with CD Jackson Jr.
Source: Carlos, John, with CD Jackson Jr. Why?: The Biography of John Carlos. Los Angeles: Milligan, 2000, 188–190, 191, 194–195, 198–199, 200–201, 205, 206, 207.
About the Author: John Carlos (1945–) was born in New York City. He attended East Texas State University on a track scholarship, but because of racial discrimination he transferred to San Jose State, where he was a 200-meter star. He won a bronze medal at the 1968 Olympics. After his protest and suspension from the Olympics, he ran amateur track in Europe and played football in the Canadian League. In later years, he was a community activist, and high school track coach in Palm Springs, California.
"The Black Berets"
By: Red Smith
Source: Smith, Red. "The Black Berets." 1968. In The Red Smith Reader. Dave Anderson, ed. New York: Vintage, 1983, 38–39.
About the Author: Red Smith (1905–1982) was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After graduating from Notre Dame in 1927,...
(The entire section is 3220 words.)
Super Bowl III
"Joe Namath: Man of Defiance Faces Biggest Challenge"
By: Dave Anderson
Date: January 5, 1969
Source: Anderson, Dave. "Joe Namath: Man of Defiance Faces Biggest Challenge." The New York Times, January 5, 1969, sec. 5, 1.
About the Author: Dave Anderson (1929–) was born in Troy, New York. After graduating from Holy Cross in 1951, Anderson was a sports reporter for various newspapers until he joined The New York Times, where he became a columnist in 1971. Author of twenty-one books and dozens of magazine articles, Anderson won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981.
I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow … 'Cause I Get Better-Looking Every Day
By: Joe Namath, with Dick Schaap
Source: Namath, Joe, with Dick Schaap. I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow … 'Cause I Get Better-Looking Every Day. New York: Random House, 1969, 49–50, 58–60, 62–63, 65, 66–69.
About the Author: Joe Namath (1943–) was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. After playing quarterback at the University of Alabama, he signed a $400,000 contract with the New York...
(The entire section is 3798 words.)
Muhammad Ali and the Draft
The Greatest: My Own Story
By: Muhammad Ali, with Richard Durham
Source: Ali, Muhammad, with Richard Durham. The Greatest: My Own Story. New York: Random House, 1975, 156, 165, 167–169, 172–174.
About the Author: Muhammad Ali (1942–) was born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky. Winning the Olympic Gold Medal in boxing as a light heavyweight in 1960, Clay turned professional and captured the heavyweight title in 1964. Shortly thereafter, he announced his conversion to Islam and took the name Muhammad Ali. In 1967, after being stripped of his title, Ali was convicted of draft evasion, a decision reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971. Ali regained the heavyweight title in 1974, then again in 1978, before retiring in 1981. Since retirement, Ali has battled a form of Parkinson's disease but keeps a busy schedule of personal appearances.
"The Black Scholar Interviews Muhammad Ali"
By: Muhammad Ali
Date: June 1970
Source: Ali, Muhammad. "The Black Scholar Interviews Muhammad Ali." Black Scholar, June 1970, 32.
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Wilt Chamberlain's One Hundred Point Game
By: Wilt Chamberlain and David Shaw
Source: Chamberlain, Wilt, and David Shaw. Wilt: Just Like Any Other 7-Foot Black Millionaire Who Lives Next Door. New York: Macmillan, 1973, 134–137.
About the Author: Wilt Chamberlain (1936–1999) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the University of Kansas, Chamberlain was an All-American basketball player, but he left college early to tour with the Harlem Globetrotters. Joining the Philadelphia Warriors in 1959, he immediately made an impact on the National Basketball Association (NBA), leading the league in scoring and rebounding numerous times. He won two NBA championships before ending his fourteen-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1973.
By: Wilt Chamberlain, Harvey Pollack, Pete D'Ambrosio, Frank McGuire, Tom Meschery, Al Attles, and Richie Guerin
Source: Pluto, Terry. Tall Tales: The Glory Years of the NBA, in the Words of the Men Who Played, Coached, and Built Pro Basketball. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992, 219–224.
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By: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Peter Knobler
Source: Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem, and Peter Knobler. Giant Steps. New York: Bantam, 1983, 108–109, 144–146, 162–163.
About the Author: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947–) was born Lewis Alcindor in New York City. At UCLA, Alcindor was a member of three NCAA basketball championship teams and named All-American each year. In 1969, he signed with the National Basketball Association's Milwaukee Bucks and led them to the championship in his second season. Off the court, he converted to Islam and took the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975, he won five more NBA championships and six MVP awards. He retired in 1989 as the all-time leader in points scored and games played.
They Call Me Coach
By: John Wooden with Jack Tobin
Source: Wooden, John, with Jack Tobin. They Call Me Coach. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1988, 138, 139, 140, 142, 143, 145–148, 150–152, 154.
About the Author: John Wooden (1910–) was born in Hall, Indiana....
(The entire section is 3797 words.)
By: Wilma Rudolph
Source: Rudolph, Wilma. Wilma. New York: Signet, 1977, 126–136.
About the Author: Wilma Rudolph (1940–1994) was born in Clarksville, Tennessee. At age four, her left leg was paralyzed after a bout of pneumonia and scarlet fever. After therapy, braces, and special shoes, she was able to walk normally. While in high school, Rudolph was on the 1956 U.S. Olympic track and field team, winning a bronze medal. While attending Tennessee State University, Rudolph made the 1960 Olympic team, winning three gold medals. Retiring from competition in 1962, Rudolph spent the rest of her life in various academic, business, and nonprofit endeavors.
Prior to 1960, the most prominent American women's track and field athlete was Babe Didrikson, who won two gold medals at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, and went on to stardom in golf. Otherwise, women track and field athletes in the United States generally received little notice in the sporting press and were offered no commercial endorsements.
Wilma Rudolph grew up in rural Tennessee, one of twenty-two children in a blended family. At age four, she contracted pneumonia and scarlet fever, resulting in partial paralysis of...
(The entire section is 3261 words.)