SportstownUSA

Cultural Encyclopedia of Sports

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The first professional baseball owner to experiment with the idea of taking his team south for spring training was Albert Goodwill Spalding, a former player and founder of the Spalding sporting goods company (1876). Spalding’s company standardized early baseballs and developed the modern baseball bat. He chose Hot Springs, Arkansas — a place already known as a vacation resort famous for its natural hot springs.
On the front page of the first issue of the Sporting News (March 17, 1886), the baseball world read that the Chicago White Stockings, forerunner of the Chicago Cubs, planned to conduct their spring training in Hot Springs. 
The team featured three future National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees — Adrian “Cap” Anson, John Clarkson, and Mike “King” Kelly. Also with them was the “fastest man in baseball,” outfielder Billy Sunday, who later became America’s most famous Christian evangelist of his time.
  
<a href=>Billy Sunday, Home Run to Heaven</a> 

The first professional baseball owner to experiment with the idea of taking his team south for spring training was Albert Goodwill Spalding, a former player and founder of the Spalding sporting goods company (1876). Spalding’s company standardized early baseballs and developed the modern baseball bat. He chose Hot Springs, Arkansas — a place already known as a vacation resort famous for its natural hot springs.

On the front page of the first issue of the Sporting News (March 17, 1886), the baseball world read that the Chicago White Stockings, forerunner of the Chicago Cubs, planned to conduct their spring training in Hot Springs.

The team featured three future National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees — Adrian “Cap” Anson, John Clarkson, and Mike “King” Kelly. Also with them was the “fastest man in baseball,” outfielder Billy Sunday, who later became America’s most famous Christian evangelist of his time.

<a href=>Billy Sunday, Home Run to Heaven</a> 


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Sportstown USA will spend the next few weeks discovering some of the history and geography behind baseball&#8217;s annual Spring Training ritual.

The idea of leaving home for warmer climates to train for the upcoming season began in the 1920s. Some of the first teams and training sites included the St. Louis Cardinals in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma; the New York Yankees in New Orleans,  the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles; the St. Louis Browns and later the Kansas City Athletics in San Diego; and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Honolulu.

Sportstown USA will spend the next few weeks discovering some of the history and geography behind baseball’s annual Spring Training ritual.

The idea of leaving home for warmer climates to train for the upcoming season began in the 1920s. Some of the first teams and training sites included the St. Louis Cardinals in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma; the New York Yankees in New Orleans,  the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles; the St. Louis Browns and later the Kansas City Athletics in San Diego; and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Honolulu.

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Each February, four Boston-area schools stage a showdown on consecutive weekends for bragging rights as the city&#8217;s top college hockey program. The annual &#8220;Beanpot&#8221; tournament pits Boston University (BU), Boston College (BC), Harvard and Northeastern—among the nation’s oldest and most accomplished hockey programs. 
The association between beans and Boston traces back to Colonial America and the so-called triangular trade. Slaves were taken from Africa to the Caribbean to harvest sugar cane. The cane arrived in Boston as molasses to make rum. The rum was shipped to Africa in exchange for slaves. The ready supply of molasses made baked beans a Boston staple.
 
The Sports Museum of New England inside the Fleet Center in downtown Boston houses a Beanpot 50th anniversary exhibit and the Beanpot Hall of Fame. The museum also features the penalty box from the historic Boston Garden, which was torn down as part of the Fleet Center development. 
 
BU and BC have dominated the tournament, meeting 18 times in the finals with BU winning 12. Boston University fans have been known to taunt their Boston College rivals by joking that BC stands for &#8220;Beanpot consolation.&#8221; All four schools draw large and vocal student and alumni crowds who consider the Beanpot the social event of the school year. The four schools also try to outdo each other with pre-game parties. The tournament gets its name from the big silver bowl trophy awarded to the winner—suitable for, that’s right, Boston baked beans. 
 
Beanpot founder Walter Brown, President of Boston Garden from 1937-1964 is enshrined at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Brown’s name appears on both the NBA championship trophy and the Walter Brown Award, given annually to New England’s best American-born hockey player. 
 
Before the Boston Celtics left the Boston Garden, they carefully dismantled the famous parquet that they had played on since 1946, and took it with them to the Fleet Center. The floor, made from hardwood scraps left over from the construction of a World War II Army barracks, is made of 247 individual panels. It takes a work crew two and a half hours to assemble the floor.

Each February, four Boston-area schools stage a showdown on consecutive weekends for bragging rights as the city’s top college hockey program. The annual “Beanpot” tournament pits Boston University (BU), Boston College (BC), Harvard and Northeastern—among the nation’s oldest and most accomplished hockey programs.

The association between beans and Boston traces back to Colonial America and the so-called triangular trade. Slaves were taken from Africa to the Caribbean to harvest sugar cane. The cane arrived in Boston as molasses to make rum. The rum was shipped to Africa in exchange for slaves. The ready supply of molasses made baked beans a Boston staple.

 

The Sports Museum of New England inside the Fleet Center in downtown Boston houses a Beanpot 50th anniversary exhibit and the Beanpot Hall of Fame. The museum also features the penalty box from the historic Boston Garden, which was torn down as part of the Fleet Center development.

 

BU and BC have dominated the tournament, meeting 18 times in the finals with BU winning 12. Boston University fans have been known to taunt their Boston College rivals by joking that BC stands for “Beanpot consolation.” All four schools draw large and vocal student and alumni crowds who consider the Beanpot the social event of the school year. The four schools also try to outdo each other with pre-game parties. The tournament gets its name from the big silver bowl trophy awarded to the winner—suitable for, that’s right, Boston baked beans.

 

Beanpot founder Walter Brown, President of Boston Garden from 1937-1964 is enshrined at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Brown’s name appears on both the NBA championship trophy and the Walter Brown Award, given annually to New England’s best American-born hockey player.

 

Before the Boston Celtics left the Boston Garden, they carefully dismantled the famous parquet that they had played on since 1946, and took it with them to the Fleet Center. The floor, made from hardwood scraps left over from the construction of a World War II Army barracks, is made of 247 individual panels. It takes a work crew two and a half hours to assemble the floor.

Filed under Boston Hockey NHL BU BC

13 notes


On the field, it’s Packers vs. Steelers. In Las Vegas betting rooms, it’s Mr. Rogers vs. Big Ben. In the bleachers, it’s Cheeseheads vs. Terrible Towels.
But what about the pregame kitchen and parking lot tailgate? This year, it’s a cook-off between slow-brewed booyah and pan-fried pirohy; between Wisconsin grilled brats and Western Pennsylvania kielbasa and sauerkraut.
In sports, as in life, we are what we eat. You don’t need a Super Bowl program to discover some flavorful differences between this year’s teams.
Booyah is a slow-cooked chicken and vegetable stew, brought to Green Bay by French-speaking Walloons from southern Belgium. More people of Walloon ancestry live in the four-county area around Green Bay than in any other region of the United States.
Pirohy is the distinctly Carpatho-Rusyn (pronounced Roosen) version of homemade dough pockets, filled with potatoes and cheese or sauteed sauerkraut, similar to Polish pierogies. Census figures count some 66,000, Carpatho-Rusyns in Western Pennsylvania.
So, what can these two ethnic communities reveal about Sunday’s match-up?
Many Walloons came to Wisconsin as farmers — first raising wheat, and then changing to dairy cows. If not for poor soil and insects ruining the wheat crop, Packer fans today might be wearing foam bread bowls on their heads.
Many young Carpatho-Rusyn males came to Pittsburgh at the start of the industrial revolution — thinking they would earn money and return home. The start of World War I prompted many to change course, and bring their families to America for good.
In the 1970s, Steeler fans of Eastern European descent saluted linebacker Jack Ham by hanging a sign that read, &#8220;dobre shunka,&#8221; which translates to &#8220;Good Ham.&#8221;

On the field, it’s Packers vs. Steelers. In Las Vegas betting rooms, it’s Mr. Rogers vs. Big Ben. In the bleachers, it’s Cheeseheads vs. Terrible Towels.

But what about the pregame kitchen and parking lot tailgate? This year, it’s a cook-off between slow-brewed booyah and pan-fried pirohy; between Wisconsin grilled brats and Western Pennsylvania kielbasa and sauerkraut.

In sports, as in life, we are what we eat. You don’t need a Super Bowl program to discover some flavorful differences between this year’s teams.

Booyah is a slow-cooked chicken and vegetable stew, brought to Green Bay by French-speaking Walloons from southern Belgium. More people of Walloon ancestry live in the four-county area around Green Bay than in any other region of the United States.

Pirohy is the distinctly Carpatho-Rusyn (pronounced Roosen) version of homemade dough pockets, filled with potatoes and cheese or sauteed sauerkraut, similar to Polish pierogies. Census figures count some 66,000, Carpatho-Rusyns in Western Pennsylvania.

So, what can these two ethnic communities reveal about Sunday’s match-up?

Many Walloons came to Wisconsin as farmers — first raising wheat, and then changing to dairy cows. If not for poor soil and insects ruining the wheat crop, Packer fans today might be wearing foam bread bowls on their heads.

Many young Carpatho-Rusyn males came to Pittsburgh at the start of the industrial revolution — thinking they would earn money and return home. The start of World War I prompted many to change course, and bring their families to America for good.

In the 1970s, Steeler fans of Eastern European descent saluted linebacker Jack Ham by hanging a sign that read, “dobre shunka,” which translates to “Good Ham.”

Filed under Super Bowl Green Bay Packers Pittsburgh Steelers Walloons Cheeseheads Terrible Towel

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Tomorrow’s NFC Championship matches two of professional football’s oldest franchises, the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers, both founded in 1919, a year before 11 teams agreed in 1920 to create the American Professional Football Association (today’s NFL).
Over the next decade, teams from many cities — big and small — made a play to join America’s newest pro sports league.
At one extreme there is the Tonawanda Kardex (aka Tonawanda Lumbermen, aka All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks) from the Buffalo suburb of Tonawanda. They played one game — a 45-0 loss to the Rochester Jeffersons on Nov. 6, 1921 — before folding as a franchise. They hold the record as the shortest lived team in league history.
Detroit fielded four different franchises during the 1920s [Heralds (1920), Tigers (1921), Panthers (1925-26) and Wolverines (1928)]. Smaller cities were represented by the Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos (1923-27), Evansville Crimson Giants (1921-22), Frankford Yellow Jackets (1924-31), and Hammond Pros (1920-26). 
No team or city captures the spirit of the decade more than the Maroons, from Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Originally a member of the Anthracite League, a football league made up of teams based in Pennsylvania coal mining towns, the Maroons joined the NFL and proved to be one of the best teams in the league for two seasons, 1925 and 1926.
During the 1924 Anthracite League season, the Maroons added three members of the NFL&#8217;s 1923 Canton Bulldogs championship team to their roster. These players were Larry Conover, Harry Robb and future Hall of Fame inductee Wilbur &#8220;Pete&#8221; Henry. NFL President Joseph Carr, unhappy to see stars like Henry deserting the league to play for an independent coal region team, realized his best option was to invite Pottsville to join the league. 

Tomorrow’s NFC Championship matches two of professional football’s oldest franchises, the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers, both founded in 1919, a year before 11 teams agreed in 1920 to create the American Professional Football Association (today’s NFL).

Over the next decade, teams from many cities — big and small — made a play to join America’s newest pro sports league.

At one extreme there is the Tonawanda Kardex (aka Tonawanda Lumbermen, aka All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks) from the Buffalo suburb of Tonawanda. They played one game — a 45-0 loss to the Rochester Jeffersons on Nov. 6, 1921 — before folding as a franchise. They hold the record as the shortest lived team in league history.

Detroit fielded four different franchises during the 1920s [Heralds (1920), Tigers (1921), Panthers (1925-26) and Wolverines (1928)]. Smaller cities were represented by the Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos (1923-27), Evansville Crimson Giants (1921-22), Frankford Yellow Jackets (1924-31), and Hammond Pros (1920-26). 

No team or city captures the spirit of the decade more than the Maroons, from Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Originally a member of the Anthracite League, a football league made up of teams based in Pennsylvania coal mining towns, the Maroons joined the NFL and proved to be one of the best teams in the league for two seasons, 1925 and 1926.

During the 1924 Anthracite League season, the Maroons added three members of the NFL’s 1923 Canton Bulldogs championship team to their roster. These players were Larry Conover, Harry Robb and future Hall of Fame inductee Wilbur “Pete” Henry. NFL President Joseph Carr, unhappy to see stars like Henry deserting the league to play for an independent coal region team, realized his best option was to invite Pottsville to join the league. 

0 notes

Championship week will showcase the New York Jets and quarterback Mark Sanchez with a media intensity seldom seem, even for NFL superstars. Sanchez stands as the heir apparent to a role and archetype established by former Jet quarterback Joe Namath starting with the 1965 season. Drafted by two teams on the same day — the NFL St. Louis Cardinals and the then-American Football League Jets, Namath chose the AFL and became the expansion league&#8217;s first cover boy. During his career, Namath worked hard at creating a persona that carried far beyond football. He became professional football&#8217;s most wanted face among advertisers, appearing in commercials for everything from razor blades to women&#8217;s pantyhose. One way to measure Namath&#8217;s appeal was the request by ABC that Namath appear on the inaugural Monday Night Football game in 1970.

Championship week will showcase the New York Jets and quarterback Mark Sanchez with a media intensity seldom seem, even for NFL superstars. Sanchez stands as the heir apparent to a role and archetype established by former Jet quarterback Joe Namath starting with the 1965 season. Drafted by two teams on the same day — the NFL St. Louis Cardinals and the then-American Football League Jets, Namath chose the AFL and became the expansion league’s first cover boy. During his career, Namath worked hard at creating a persona that carried far beyond football. He became professional football’s most wanted face among advertisers, appearing in commercials for everything from razor blades to women’s pantyhose. One way to measure Namath’s appeal was the request by ABC that Namath appear on the inaugural Monday Night Football game in 1970.

0 notes

As the NFL playoffs arrive in Pennsylvania, we recall the 1943 season when the state&#8217;s two teams faced a decision. The need for soldiers in World War II meant that neither the Pittsburgh Steelers nor Philadelphia Eagles had enough players to field a team. The owners agreed to a temporary merger. 
Some 600 NFL players joined the armed forces between the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and Japan&#8217;s surrender aboard the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri on September 2, 1945.
Officially the team was known as the Eagles (without a city designation), the Eagles-Steelers, or the Steelers-Eagles. The official NFL record book refers to the team as &#8220;Phil-Pitt.&#8221; But when sports editor Chet Smith of The Pittsburgh Press nicknamed them the Steagles, the name would stick.
The team practiced in Philadelphia and wore green and white uniforms. They played two home games at Pittsburgh&#8217;s Forbes Field, and four home games in Philadelphia.

As the NFL playoffs arrive in Pennsylvania, we recall the 1943 season when the state’s two teams faced a decision. The need for soldiers in World War II meant that neither the Pittsburgh Steelers nor Philadelphia Eagles had enough players to field a team. The owners agreed to a temporary merger. 

Some 600 NFL players joined the armed forces between the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and Japan’s surrender aboard the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri on September 2, 1945.

Officially the team was known as the Eagles (without a city designation), the Eagles-Steelers, or the Steelers-Eagles. The official NFL record book refers to the team as “Phil-Pitt.” But when sports editor Chet Smith of The Pittsburgh Press nicknamed them the Steagles, the name would stick.

The team practiced in Philadelphia and wore green and white uniforms. They played two home games at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, and four home games in Philadelphia.

0 notes

Among the hundreds of major league and minor league ballplayers who responded to the call to serve in World War II (1942-1946), none acted more quickly than Bob Feller (November 3, 1918 – December 15, 2010).
Feller’s father was gravely ill, and the young pitching ace for the Cleveland Indians could have asked for a pardon. Instead, Feller enlisted in the Navy on December 8, 1941, one day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Feller served as Gun Captain aboard the USS Alabama, and missed four seasons during his service. His bunk is marked on the Alabama at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama. Feller is the only Chief Petty Officer in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Feller resumed his pitching career after World War II, winning a league-high 26 games in his first full season back.
Hundreds of major league and thousands of minor league baseball players enlisted or were drafted during World War II, including 29 Hall of Famers.
The Bob Feller Hometown Exhibit/Museum in Van Meter, Iowa features exhibits on Feller’s run as baseball’s most feared power pitcher during 17 seasons with the Cleveland Indians. Feller signed with the Indians while still in high school, receiving tutoring during spring training to earn his diploma. He struck out 15 batters in his first start at age 17 and went on to throw three no-hitters, 12 one-hitters and record 2,581 career strikeouts.

Among the hundreds of major league and minor league ballplayers who responded to the call to serve in World War II (1942-1946), none acted more quickly than Bob Feller (November 3, 1918 – December 15, 2010).

Feller’s father was gravely ill, and the young pitching ace for the Cleveland Indians could have asked for a pardon. Instead, Feller enlisted in the Navy on December 8, 1941, one day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Feller served as Gun Captain aboard the USS Alabama, and missed four seasons during his service. His bunk is marked on the Alabama at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama. Feller is the only Chief Petty Officer in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Feller resumed his pitching career after World War II, winning a league-high 26 games in his first full season back.

Hundreds of major league and thousands of minor league baseball players enlisted or were drafted during World War II, including 29 Hall of Famers.

The Bob Feller Hometown Exhibit/Museum in Van Meter, Iowa features exhibits on Feller’s run as baseball’s most feared power pitcher during 17 seasons with the Cleveland Indians. Feller signed with the Indians while still in high school, receiving tutoring during spring training to earn his diploma. He struck out 15 batters in his first start at age 17 and went on to throw three no-hitters, 12 one-hitters and record 2,581 career strikeouts.

Filed under Bob Feller Baseball World War II Veterans

1 note

With the eyes of the baseball world watching the move of Cliff Lee back to the Philadelphia Phillies, it begs a sports-geography question about baseball and Lee&#8217;s home state, Arkansas.
According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History &amp; Culture Project, some 148 major league baseball players were born in Arkansas as of the close of 2010.
Six have been elected into the Hall of Fame, including Brooks Robinson, former Baltimore Orioles third basemen and 16-time winner of the Gold Glove Award for fielding.
Some of the best known Arkansas-bred players have been pitchers. Two faced each other in the sixth game of the 1934 World Series. Detroit Tiger Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe (born in Waco, Texas, but raised in Arkansas), faced St. Louis Cardinal Paul “Daffy” Dean, younger brother of fellow Cardinal pitcher  Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean .
The Dean brothers captured baseball imaginations that season, winning a combined 49 games. Excitement around the World Champion 1934 Cardinals — nicknamed the &#8220;Gashouse Gang&#8221; — grabbed national attention at a time when the league&#8217;s longtime star, Babe Ruth, was aging and the country was faced with many challenges from the Great Depression.
Two Arkansans would not take the mound against each other in a World Series for another seventy-five years. On November 2, 2009, in the fifth game of the World Series, Lee led the Philadelphia Phillies in an 8 to 6 victory over A. J. Burnett and the New York Yankees.

With the eyes of the baseball world watching the move of Cliff Lee back to the Philadelphia Phillies, it begs a sports-geography question about baseball and Lee’s home state, Arkansas.

According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture Project, some 148 major league baseball players were born in Arkansas as of the close of 2010.

Six have been elected into the Hall of Fame, including Brooks Robinson, former Baltimore Orioles third basemen and 16-time winner of the Gold Glove Award for fielding.

Some of the best known Arkansas-bred players have been pitchers. Two faced each other in the sixth game of the 1934 World Series. Detroit Tiger Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe (born in Waco, Texas, but raised in Arkansas), faced St. Louis Cardinal Paul “Daffy” Dean, younger brother of fellow Cardinal pitcher  Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean .

The Dean brothers captured baseball imaginations that season, winning a combined 49 games. Excitement around the World Champion 1934 Cardinals — nicknamed the “Gashouse Gang” — grabbed national attention at a time when the league’s longtime star, Babe Ruth, was aging and the country was faced with many challenges from the Great Depression.

Two Arkansans would not take the mound against each other in a World Series for another seventy-five years. On November 2, 2009, in the fifth game of the World Series, Lee led the Philadelphia Phillies in an 8 to 6 victory over A. J. Burnett and the New York Yankees.

Filed under cliff lee Phillies Arkansas baseball Dizzy Dean

0 notes

 
While sports writers often associate Brett Favre with his home state, Mississippi, few ever mention that the future Hall of Fame quarterback is of French and Choctaw ancestry. 
The Choctaw people have had a presence in most of what is now Mississippi and west Alabama for more than 400 years.
A treaty signed in 1830 forced the Choctaw Nation to move to what would later be called Indian Territory, present day Oklahoma. Many Choctaws chose to remain in their ancient homeland.
Today, the Choctaw reservation has about 35,000 acres throughout state of Mississippi in ten counties. 
While very few Native Americans have played the modern NFL game, there was an all-Nations traveling team — the Oorang Indians — that played the 1922 and 1923 NFL seasons. Based in LaRue, Ohio, the team played all but one of its games on the road over two seasons.
With a population well under a thousand people, LaRue is the smallest town ever to have been the home of an NFL franchise, or probably any professional team in any league in the United States.

While sports writers often associate Brett Favre with his home state, Mississippi, few ever mention that the future Hall of Fame quarterback is of French and Choctaw ancestry. 

The Choctaw people have had a presence in most of what is now Mississippi and west Alabama for more than 400 years.

A treaty signed in 1830 forced the Choctaw Nation to move to what would later be called Indian Territory, present day Oklahoma. Many Choctaws chose to remain in their ancient homeland.

Today, the Choctaw reservation has about 35,000 acres throughout state of Mississippi in ten counties. 

While very few Native Americans have played the modern NFL game, there was an all-Nations traveling team — the Oorang Indians — that played the 1922 and 1923 NFL seasons. Based in LaRue, Ohio, the team played all but one of its games on the road over two seasons.

With a population well under a thousand people, LaRue is the smallest town ever to have been the home of an NFL franchise, or probably any professional team in any league in the United States.

Filed under Brett Farve Choctaw Mississippi NFL

0 notes

Sportstown USA is counting down  its list of Top 10 Holiday Sports Books &amp; DVDs for 2010. Look for a new listing each day, along with a re-cap of the previous listings
1. The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball. Author Jonathan Fraser Light has created an exhaustive, but never exhausting A-Z encyclopedia of all things baseball, seldom encroaching on anything related to statistics/sabremetrics.  Light pulls gem after gem from history, anecdote, folktale and the larger cultural zeitgeist to show how baseball and America grew old together.
2.  Go Tigers!
3. The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan&#8217;s Guide to Major League Stadiums. 
4. Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team.
5. Junior Johnson: Brave in Life.
6. Tricksters in the Madhouse: Lakers vs. Globetrotters, 1948.
7. Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States.
8. Magic &amp; Bird: A Courtship of Rivals. 
 9. Road Swing: One Fan&#8217;s Journey Into The Soul Of America&#8217;s Sports. 
10. Soldiers First: Duty, Honor, Country and Football at West Point. 

Sportstown USA is counting down  its list of Top 10 Holiday Sports Books & DVDs for 2010. Look for a new listing each day, along with a re-cap of the previous listings

1. The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball. Author Jonathan Fraser Light has created an exhaustive, but never exhausting A-Z encyclopedia of all things baseball, seldom encroaching on anything related to statistics/sabremetrics.  Light pulls gem after gem from history, anecdote, folktale and the larger cultural zeitgeist to show how baseball and America grew old together.

2.  Go Tigers!

3. The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan’s Guide to Major League Stadiums.

4. Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team.

5. Junior Johnson: Brave in Life.

6. Tricksters in the Madhouse: Lakers vs. Globetrotters, 1948.

7. Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States.

8. Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals

 9. Road Swing: One Fan’s Journey Into The Soul Of America’s Sports

10. Soldiers First: Duty, Honor, Country and Football at West Point

Filed under baseball Babe Ruth Baseball bats Ba Ballparks

0 notes

Sportstown USA is counting down  its list of Top 10 Holiday Sports Books &amp; DVDs for 2010. Look for a new listing each day, along with a re-cap of the previous listings
2.  Go Tigers! DVD. While high school football has spawned a book, film and television show franchise in Fright Night Lights, none of these approach the authenticity, drama or heartbreak of this award-winning documentary. Filmmaker and Massillon native Kenneth Carlson takes a complex, even-handed look at small-town America obsession.
3. The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan&#8217;s Guide to Major League Stadiums. 
4. Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team.
5. Junior Johnson: Brave in Life.
6. Tricksters in the Madhouse: Lakers vs. Globetrotters, 1948.
7. Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States.
8. Magic &amp; Bird: A Courtship of Rivals. 
 9. Road Swing: One Fan&#8217;s Journey Into The Soul Of America&#8217;s Sports. 
10. Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925. 

Sportstown USA is counting down  its list of Top 10 Holiday Sports Books & DVDs for 2010. Look for a new listing each day, along with a re-cap of the previous listings

2.  Go Tigers! DVD. While high school football has spawned a book, film and television show franchise in Fright Night Lights, none of these approach the authenticity, drama or heartbreak of this award-winning documentary. Filmmaker and Massillon native Kenneth Carlson takes a complex, even-handed look at small-town America obsession.

3. The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan’s Guide to Major League Stadiums.

4. Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team.

5. Junior Johnson: Brave in Life.

6. Tricksters in the Madhouse: Lakers vs. Globetrotters, 1948.

7. Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States.

8. Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals

 9. Road Swing: One Fan’s Journey Into The Soul Of America’s Sports

10. Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925

Filed under Massilon Tigers High School Football Friday Night Lights

0 notes

Sportstown USA is counting down  its list of Top 10 Holiday Sports Books &amp; DVDs for 2010. Look for a new listing each day, along with a re-cap of the previous listings
3. The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan&#8217;s Guide to Major League Stadiums. Long a staple of the American mythology, the summer baseball road trip is captured here with the right balance of reverence and whit, research and whimsy. Two friends, one clear mission, and all of summer fit to print.
4. Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team.
5. Junior Johnson: Brave in Life.
6. Tricksters in the Madhouse: Lakers vs. Globetrotters, 1948.
7. Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States.
8. Magic &amp; Bird: A Courtship of Rivals. 
 9. Road Swing: One Fan&#8217;s Journey Into The Soul Of America&#8217;s Sports. 
10. Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925. 

Sportstown USA is counting down  its list of Top 10 Holiday Sports Books & DVDs for 2010. Look for a new listing each day, along with a re-cap of the previous listings

3. The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan’s Guide to Major League Stadiums. Long a staple of the American mythology, the summer baseball road trip is captured here with the right balance of reverence and whit, research and whimsy. Two friends, one clear mission, and all of summer fit to print.

4. Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team.

5. Junior Johnson: Brave in Life.

6. Tricksters in the Madhouse: Lakers vs. Globetrotters, 1948.

7. Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States.

8. Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals

 9. Road Swing: One Fan’s Journey Into The Soul Of America’s Sports

10. Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925

Filed under baseball ba Ballparks base Baseball Road Trip

2 notes

Sportstown USA is counting down  its list of Top 10 Holiday Sports Books &amp; DVDs for 2010. Look for a new listing each day, along with a re-cap of the previous listings
4. Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team. This hour-long documentary tells one of the greatest sports stories ever, with an even hand and clear tone that does not compete with the subject for attention. The narrative center is held nicely by the player’s themselves — Jim Craig, Mike Eruzione, Jack O&#8217;Callahan —reflecting as adults back on the event and moment that forever changed their lives.  
5. Junior Johnson: Brave in Life.
 
6. Tricksters in the Madhouse: Lakers vs. Globetrotters, 1948.
7. Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States.
8. Magic &amp; Bird: A Courtship of Rivals.  
 9. Road Swing: One Fan&#8217;s Journey Into The Soul Of America&#8217;s Sports.  
10. Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925. 

Sportstown USA is counting down  its list of Top 10 Holiday Sports Books & DVDs for 2010. Look for a new listing each day, along with a re-cap of the previous listings

4. Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team. This hour-long documentary tells one of the greatest sports stories ever, with an even hand and clear tone that does not compete with the subject for attention. The narrative center is held nicely by the player’s themselves — Jim Craig, Mike Eruzione, Jack O’Callahan —reflecting as adults back on the event and moment that forever changed their lives.  

5. Junior Johnson: Brave in Life.

6. Tricksters in the Madhouse: Lakers vs. Globetrotters, 1948.

7. Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States.

8. Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals 

 9. Road Swing: One Fan’s Journey Into The Soul Of America’s Sports 

10. Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925

Filed under Miracle on Ice USA Hockey Lake Placid Olympics Jim Craig Russian Hockey Al Michaels Herb Brooks

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Sportstown USA is counting down  its list of Top 10 Holiday Sports Books &amp; DVDs for 2010. Look for a new listing each day, along with a re-cap of the previous listings
5. Junior Johnson: Brave in Life. Former Charlotte Observer reporter and longtime motorsport writer Tom Higgins gives us a look into the roots of NASCAR through the life of one racing’s founding drivers, Junior Johnson. Shaped by the hills and economic challenges of Appalachian life, Johnson brought not just driving skills, but an engineer’s knowledge of racing technology and a brilliant business mind.

6. Tricksters in the Madhouse: Lakers vs. Globetrotters, 1948.
7. Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States.
8. Magic &amp; Bird: A Courtship of Rivals. 
 9. Road Swing: One Fan&#8217;s Journey Into The Soul Of America&#8217;s Sports. 
10. Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925. 

Sportstown USA is counting down  its list of Top 10 Holiday Sports Books & DVDs for 2010. Look for a new listing each day, along with a re-cap of the previous listings

5. Junior Johnson: Brave in Life. Former Charlotte Observer reporter and longtime motorsport writer Tom Higgins gives us a look into the roots of NASCAR through the life of one racing’s founding drivers, Junior Johnson. Shaped by the hills and economic challenges of Appalachian life, Johnson brought not just driving skills, but an engineer’s knowledge of racing technology and a brilliant business mind.

6. Tricksters in the Madhouse: Lakers vs. Globetrotters, 1948.

7. Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States.

8. Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals

 9. Road Swing: One Fan’s Journey Into The Soul Of America’s Sports

10. Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925

Filed under NASCAR Junior Johnson