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In Rare Form

A Pictorial History of Baseball Evangelist Billy Sunday

From 1896 to 1935, the flamboyant and controversial Billy Sunday preached his version of the gospel to millions of people across the nation. In this nontraditional biography of the man regarded by his enthralled fans as God's unconventional messenger to a sinful world, the curator of the Billy Sunday Historic Site Museum recreates Sunday's life through a material culture lens. W. A. Firstenberger views the photographic record and the print record as well as the landscape, structure, and contents of the Sunday home in Winona Lake, Indiana, to give us an intimate view of Sunday and his family. Through an organizational scheme that incorporates memorabilia from childhood (samplers, Civil War badges), baseball (Billy's 1891 Philadelphia contract, scorecards), evangelism (cartoons, books such as Monkeys and Missing Links), social issues (KKK ads endorsing Sunday, his Women's Christian Temperance life membership certificate), life style (Arts and Crafts decorative pieces, extensive photos of the family's Mount Hood bungalow), and family relations (his personal possessions and those of his wife, Nell, and their children), In Rare Form brings together the inconsistencies between Sunday's material world and his spiritual world. Since Sunday might have objected to a materialistic analysis of his life, Firstenberger has allowed him a say: each section of the book begins with an apt quote from Sunday's sermons and writings. Firstenberger also includes appendixes providing detailed information on Sunday's revivals and speaking appearances, his 870,075 documented converts, the members of his evangelistic team, the overall structure of his family, and an extensive bibliography. Acknowledging Sunday's faults and contradictions alongside his heroic accomplishments, the author presents a wryly insightful and innovative perspective on this larger-than-life figure.

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Integrating the Gridiron

Black Civil Rights and American College Football

Lane Demas

Integrating the Gridiron, devoted to exploring the racial politics of college athletics, examines the history of African Americans on predominantly white college football teams from the nineteenth century through today. Lane Demas compares the acceptance and treatment of black student athletes by presenting compelling case studies of those who integrated teams nationwide, and illuminates race relations in a number of regions, including the South, Midwest, West Coast, and Northeast.

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James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketball

It seems unlikely that James Naismith, who grew up playing “Duck on the Rock” in the rural community of Almonte, Canada, would invent one of America’s most popular sports. But Rob Rains and Hellen Carpenter’s fascinating, in-depth biography James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketball shows how this young man—who wanted to be a medical doctor, or if not that, a minister (in fact, he was both)—came to create a game that has endured for over a century.

James Naismith reveals how Naismith invented basketball in part to find an indoor activity to occupy students in the winter months. When he realized that the key to his game was that men could not run with the ball, and that throwing and jumping would eliminate the roughness of force, he was on to something. And while Naismith thought that other sports provided better exercise, he was pleased to create a game that “anyone could play.”

With unprecedented access to the Naismith archives and documents, Rains and Carpenter chronicle how Naismith developed the 13 rules of basketball, coached the game at the University of Kansas—establishing college basketball in the process—and was honored for his work at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin.

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Japanese Sports

Allen Guttmann & Lee Thompson

In this first synthetic, comprehensive survey of Japanese sports in English, the authors are attentive to the complex and fascinating interaction of traditional and modern elements. In the course of tracing the emergence and development of sumo, the martial arts, and other traditional sports from their origins to the present, they demonstrate that some cherished "ancient" traditions were, in fact, invented less than a century ago. They also register their skepticism about the use of the samurai tradition to explain Japan's success in sports. Special attention is given to Meiji-era Japan's frequently ambivalent adoption and adaptation of European and American sports--a particularly telling example of Japan's love-hate relationship with the West. The book goes on the describe the history of physical education in the school system, the emergence of amateur and professional leagues, the involvement of business and the media in sports promotion, and Japan's participation in the Olympics.

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Jews in the Gym

Judaism, Sports, and Athletics -SJC Vol. 23

edited by Leonard J. Greenspoon

For some, the connection between Jews and athletics might seem far-fetched. But in fact, as is highlighted by the fourteen chapters in this collection, Jews have been participating in—and thinking about—sports for more than two thousand years. The articles in this volume scan a wide chronological range: from the Hellenistic period (first century BCE) to the most recent basketball season. The range of athletes covered is equally broad: from participants in Roman-style games to wrestlers, boxers, fencers, baseball players, and basketball stars. The authors of these essays, many of whom actively participate in athletics themselves, raise a number of intriguing questions, such as: What differing attitudes toward sports have Jews exhibited across periods and cultures? Is it possible to be a “good Jew” and a “great athlete”? In what sports have Jews excelled, and why? How have Jews overcome prejudices on the part of the general populace against a Jewish presence on the field or in the ring? In what ways has Jewish participation in sports aided, or failed to aid, the perception of Jews as “good Germans,” “good Hungarians,” “good Americans,” and so forth? This volume, which features a number of illustrations (many of them quite rare), is not only accessible to the general reader, but also contains much information of interest to the scholar in Jewish studies, American studies, and sports history.

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John McDonnell

The Most Successful Coach in NCAA History

Andrew Maloney

When John McDonnell began his coaching career in 1972 at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville—choosing it over Norman, Oklahoma, because Fayetteville reminded him of his native Ireland—he could hardly have imagined that he would become the most successful coach in the history of American collegiate athletics. But, in thirty-six years at the university, he amassed a staggering resume of accomplishments, including forty national championships (eleven cross country, nineteen indoor track, and ten outdoor track), the most by any coach in any sport in NCAA history. His teams at Arkansas won the triple crown (a championship in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track in a single school year) five times. The Razorbacks also won eighty-four conference championships (thirty-eight in the Southwest Conference and forty-six in the Southeastern Conference), including thirty-four consecutive conference championships in cross country from 1974 to 2008. McDonnell coached 185 All Americans, fifty-four individual national champions, and twenty-three Olympians. And from 1984 to 1995, his Razorback teams won twelve consecutive NCAA Indoor Track Championships, the longest streak of national titles by any school in any sport in NCAA history. This new biography tells the story of the great coach’s life and legacy, from his childhood growing up on a farm in 1940s County Mayo, Ireland, to his own running career, to the beginnings of his life as a coach, to all the great athletes he mentored along the way.

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Joining the Clubs

The Business of the National Hockey League to 1945

by J. Andrew Ross

<i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">Joining the Clubs presents readers with the history of professional hockey in Canada and America. Tracing the evolution of the sport from its roots as an example of uniquely Canadian sensibilities to a sport which modeled itself on American professional baseball, this text encompasses broad and thorough research into archives, newspapers, and government records. The author explores the tension between business priorities and local pride in the history of some of the major hockey clubs and explains why the NHL became the preferred choice for uniting these top clubs. Ross shows how American capital helped grow the sport but was never allowed to dominate it, how hockey was far ahead of other major league sports in its use of media as a means of promotion, and how a “hockey capital” business model successfully merged the sport’s economic and cultural assets.

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Journal of Sport History

Vol. 37 (2010) through current issue

The Journal of Sport History is published three times a year in spring, summer, and fall by the North American Society for Sport History. The purpose of the North American Society for Sport History is to promote, stimulate, and encourage study and research and writing of the history of sport, and to support and cooperate with local, national, and international organizations having the same purposes. The Society conducts its activities solely for scholarly and literary purposes and not for pecuniary profit.

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Journal of Sports Media

Vol. 1 (2006) through current issue.

The Journal of Sports Media is a response to the undeniable influence of sports media on contemporary culture and the growing interest in the field as an area of study and research. It provides a broad-based exploration of the field and promotes a greater understanding of sports media in terms of their practices, value, and effect on the culture as a whole. The journal features scholarly articles, essays, book reviews, and reports on major conferences and seminars. While the majority of the articles are academic in nature, it also includes articles from industry leaders and sports media figures on topics appealing to a nonacademic audience.

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Keeneland's Ted Bassett

My Life

James E. "Ted" Bassett and Bill Mooney

In the December 30, 1967, edition of the weekly Thoroughbred trade publication, the Blood-Horse, was an announcement that took up one inch of space -- James E. "Ted" Bassett III had been named assistant to the president of the Keeneland Association. It was sandwiched between equally short news items about a handicapping seminar at an East Coast racetrack and a California vacation trip by a horse-owning couple. Bassett's new job, in his own words, "was not earthshaking news." More than four decades later, Ted Bassett is one of the most respected figures within the global Thoroughbred industry. He has served as Keeneland's president, chairman of the board, and trustee, playing a critical role in its ascendency as a premier Thoroughbred track and auction house. Bassett was also president of Breeders' Cup Limited during its greatest period of growth and has been a key architect in the development of the Sport of Kings as we know it today.

Written in collaboration with two-time Eclipse Award--winning journalist Bill Mooney, Keeneland's Ted Bassett: My Life recounts Bassett's extraordinary journey, including his days at Kent School and Yale University, through his U.S. Marine Corps service in the Pacific theater during World War II, and as director of the Kentucky State Police during the turbulent 1960s. He helped found the College of Justice & Safety at Eastern Kentucky University, and his continuing service to the Marine Corps has gained him the highest honors accorded to a civilian. During his forty-plus years with Keeneland, Bassett has hobnobbed with hot walkers in the track kitchen, hosted the first visit by Queen Elizabeth II to a United States track, and participated in many of the most important events in the modern history of horse racing.

With self-effacing humor, characteristic charm, and candor, Bassett describes his association with historic figures such as J. Edgar Hoover and Kentucky governors Albert B. "Happy" Chandler, Edward T. "Ned" Breathitt, and John Y. Brown; and his friendships with racing personalities D. Wayne Lukas, Nick Zito, Ron McAnally, Pat Day, and Joe Hirsch. Bassett shares details about difficult corporate decisions and great racing events that only he can supply, and about the formation of Equibase, the premier data collection agency within the Thoroughbred industry. He tells about his role as an international ambassador for racing, which has made him a highly influential figure on six continents. Bassett often describes his life as a fascinating blur.

That "blur" and all its unique components are brought into sharp focus in a book that is as wide-ranging as it is personal, filled with a gold mine of firsthand stories and historical details. In addition to highlighting Keeneland's reputation as the jewel of the Thoroughbred industry, Bassett chronicles the business of racing and accomplishments of many prominent people in the horse world, and elsewhere, during the twentieth century.

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