Category Archives: sports history

Sports History Files: Germany’s stylish soccer renaissance

TweetWhile I’m taking a summer break from the blog, I’m posting recent links about sports history, books, culture and the arts that I haven’t mentioned here before. If you have any suggestions on great sports reads you’d like to bring to my attention, contact me at wendygparker@gmail.com. Enjoy!
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Sports History Files: Remembering Alfredo Di Stéfano

TweetOne of Argentina’s — and the world’s — greatest soccer players ever never played in a World Cup.
Alfredo Di Stéfano, who died on Monday at the age of 88, was one of the central figures of the great Real Madrid teams that won five consecutive European Cup titles in the late 1950s.
After the end of [...]

Sports History Files: Remembering Louis Zamperini

TweetLouis Zamperini, an Olympic distance runner, World War II prisoner of war and the subject of an acclaimed biography by Laura Hillenbrand, has died at the age of 97.
Zamperini’s life was recounted in “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” and published in 2010.
He was a track star at USC, making [...]

An art lover’s glimpse of the World Cup

TweetOnce upon a time, the Olympics used to award medals for art work.
Yes, it was as competitive as swimming and track and field, with more than 150 medals being handed out from 1912 to 1952, when IOC boss man Avery Brundage halted this very popular component of the Games.
Why? Because many of the artists were [...]

Sports History Files: Playing old-school hoops stats forward

TweetLast week Carl Bialik of FiveThirtyEight wrote about the legend of Dick Pfander, who started clipping NBA box scores in the late 1940s, and whose trove was obtained in 2012 by Basketball-Reference.com.
During his many years of doing this, Pfander, now 79, hooked up with Harvey Pollack, who was parsing numbers before there was an NBA [...]

The modest birth of a sporting spectacle

TweetThis NFL Films clip of Super Bowl I gives you an indication how far ahead of their times the likes of Pete Rozelle and Lamar Hunt truly were. The celebrity sightings and entertainment pizzazz were there from the start. We’ve gone from birds flying overhead in 1967 to fighter jets, pop culture halftime shows and [...]

Sports History Files: Baseball’s hidebound gatekeepers

TweetThis time a year ago I wrote about baseball’s dwindling Romantics — those who have Hall of Fame votes but want to deny any player they suspect of steroids use from a having a plaque in Cooperstown — and thought the matter couldn’t get any more bizarre.
But that was last year. The addition next summer [...]

Backtracking 2013: The best of Sports History Files

TweetOn Monday, I wrote about the marvelous longform sportswriting that continues to proliferate on the Web, despite some crabbiness to the contrary.
Today I’m linking to posts I wrote in the past year about sports history, one of the foundations of this blog and something that will become a stronger focus here in the coming [...]

Sports History Files: Remembering Walt Bellamy

TweetThere have been some marvelous tributes over the weekend to Walt Bellamy, the NBA Hall of Famer who died on Saturday at the age of 74.
He had played for five other NBA teams when he joined the Atlanta Hawks I grew up watching, and featured on a team with Pete Maravich and Lou Hudson that [...]

Midweek Books: Remembrances of Octobers past

TweetIt’s been 36 years — my high school days! — since the legend of “Mr. October” was cemented.
Reggie Jackson was the catalyst of three consecutive World Series championship teams with the Oakland Athletics in the mid-1970s. After he signed with the Yankees as a free agent, guiding title teams in 1977 and 1978, that moniker, [...]