A History of American Sports in 100 Objects by Cait Murphy

By Cait Murphy

What artifact most sensible captures the spirit of yank activities? The bat Babe Ruth used to hit his allegedly known as shot, or the ball on which Pete Rose wrote, “I’m sorry I wager on baseball”? may perhaps or not it's Lance Armstrong’s red-white-and-blue motorcycle, now tarnished by way of doping and hubris? or even its ancestor, the nineteenth-century safeguard bicycle that opened an road of formerly unknown freedom to ladies? The jerseys of opponents Larry poultry and Magic Johnson? Or the handball that Abraham Lincoln threw opposed to a wall as he waited for information of his presidential nomination?

From approximately forgotten heroes like Tad Lucas (rodeo) and Tommy Kono (weightlifting) to celebrities like Amelia Earhart, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Phelps, Cait Murphy tells the tales of the folk, occasions, and issues that experience solid the epic of yank activities, in either its elegance and its squalor. tales of heroism and triumph rub up opposed to stories of discrimination and dishonest. those gadgets inform even more than simply tales approximately nice games—they inform the tale of the state. Eye-opening and exuberant, A historical past of yank activities in a hundred Objects exhibits how the video games american citizens play are woven into the gloriously infuriating textile of the US itself.

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Luther Gulick, Naismith’s boss, was one of the more eloquent apostles of the idea of “muscular Christianity,” which was a response to the prevailing impression that Christianity was becoming feminized, dominated by strong women and weak men. “Body and soul are both so closely related that one affects the other,” Gulick argued. ”6 The Y used sports to draw young men away from the lures of city streets; in addition, its leaders believed that sports themselves could teach character and ethics. In effect, the Y helped to legitimize sports as a constructive activity,7 even if that was not its sole intention.

1851 STERN ORNAMENT FROM THE AMERICA John Cox Stevens was one of the great sports impresarios in American history. 1 In 1851 he turned his attention to a bigger goal: beating the British. In that year he formed a syndicate of six men, including James A. Hamilton, son of Alexander, to pay for the construction of a yacht to sail to Great Britain during the Great Exhibition of 1851. Called the America, it was designed by George Steers, who had made his name as a crafty designer of the pilot boats that sailed New York waters.

The ploy worked: Heffelfinger scored the game-winning touchdown. 1 To put his pay in context, consider that it accounted for almost half the day’s total expenses ($1,062) and almost as much as the day’s profit ($621).

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