Pugilistic champions of other days and of the present time passed in rapid review before a crowd of 2,500 sports in the Broadway Athletic Club last night. There was a rare galaxy of them. [Read more…] about An 1896 ‘Old Timers’ Boxing Event in New York City
Buffalo’s long, storied professional sports history runs back to the early 1900s. Despite a century of opportunity, none of its four major sports teams ever won a universally recognized championship. Not for baseball or basketball; neither football nor hockey.
On the other hand, Buffalo teams experienced numerous close calls and blown calls. As well, there have been injuries and deaths, nefarious back-office dealings, and just-plain-weird happenings, each at just the wrong time to deprive city teams from winning championships. Just bad luck? Or is there something more sinister at play, like a Buffalo Sports Curse? Greg D. Tranter’s new book from RIT Press, The Buffalo Sports Curse: 120 Years of Pain, Disappointment, Heartbreak and Eternal Optimism, chronicles thirty-two cursed events. [Read more…] about The Buffalo Sports Curse: 120 Years Of Disappointment
The Hudson River in New York’s Capital Region has always been a vital transportation link, and it also provides a conduit to undertakings of the past. The area presently occupied by Interstate-787 and its connectors to NY-378 were constructed on what had been a cluster of islands in the Hudson River, near Menands, between Albany and Watervliet.
Even in the 1820s, the road here became noted for unofficial, and illegal, horse racing. [Read more…] about The Capitol Region’s Race Course: Island Park
The Roaring Twenties saw the collision of an emerging culture of celebrity with the established popularity of sports, creating one of the twentieth century’s most enduring personalities — baseball hero Babe Ruth.
In 1928, Ruth not only led the New York Yankees to their third World Series victory, he also threw himself into politics, campaigning enthusiastically for New York State governor and Democratic presidential nominee Al Smith. Smith’s liberal and progressive platform appealed to diverse, working-class Americans, often marginalized by the policies of other politicians. [Read more…] about Babe Ruth, Sports and 1920s Identity Politics
In 1870 Francois Dieudonné Gingras left his native Canada for Manhattan where he met and married Mary Roohan. By 1896, now with three children and another on the way, this couple had settled in Saratoga Springs where they opened a grocery store.
Their oldest son, Frank, was soon brought into the family business and the store was renamed, F. D. Gingras & Son. Their youngest son, whom they had named Joseph Elzead John Gingras, was looking to pursue a far different life: baseball. [Read more…] about Joe Gingras: A Major League Baseball Career Thwarted By War
This week on The Historians Podcast, the third Highlights Edition of 2022 has excerpts from 12 podcasts including stolen Little League Dreams, an Erie Canal balladeer, human organ transplants, translating Old Dutch and a boy’s life in Ilion, New York. [Read more…] about Twelve Topics from Recent Historians Podcasts
At the Mt. Van Hoevenberg complex, the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) currently manages around 1,220 acres of Forest Preserve classified as Intensive Use by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). Abutting these lands is 319 acres of land owned by the Town of North Elba.
Together this complex houses the Olympic bobsled and luge track, cross-country skiing and biathlon trails, and associated facilities, with most of the intensive buildings and facilities located on the town lands. These facilities have seen massive upgrades and state spending in preparation for hosting the World University Games in 2023. [Read more…] about A Constitutional Amendment Proposed for Mt. Van Hoevenberg
In 1947 the citizens of Cazenovia in Madison County mounted a campaign to have the proposed hall of fame or shrine honoring American players of “football” located in their community.
Supporters at the village, town, county, and state levels joined in the effort to bring the hall of fame to Cazenovia. Assemblyman Wheeler Milmoe who represented Madison County introduced Resolution No. 154 in Albany in support of Cazenovia’s claim to fame. Gov. Thomas Dewey also voiced strong support for the idea. There were other places in the nation politicking for having the “football” hall of fame located in their communities. [Read more…] about Cazenovia, The Origins of Soccer & The National “Football” Hall of Fame
The American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine, as early as 1829, had pictures of noted horses, engraved by well-known steel-gravers from paintings by Alvan Fisher [1792-1863] and J. Cone [possibly J. Cone Ruitiar]. A few years later the New York Spirit of the Times was issuing engravings from paintings principally by Edward Troye [1808-1874].
It all amounts to a gallery of horse notables: Fashion, Glencoe, Lightning, Shark, Leviathan, Monarch, and down the list. There are interesting side-lights on the costume of the boys holding their equine charges, one with an Eton jacket and a cap much like that worn by the American troops during the Mexican War, another brave in Hessian boots and epaulets. It is, however, principally the quicker lithographic process that pictured His Majesty the Horse. [Read more…] about American Sporting Prints: 19th Century Horses & Horsemen
In July 1955, when the African American 11- and 12-year-olds on the Cannon Street YMCA All-Star team registered for a baseball tournament in Charleston, South Carolina, it put the team on a collision course with segregation. White teams forfeited their games. [Read more…] about Stolen Dreams: Racism & Little League Baseball’s Civil War