A People's History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years by Dave Zirin

By Dave Zirin

A rollicking, rebellious, myth-busting background of activities in the US that places politics within the ring with pop culture.

summary: A rollicking, rebellious, myth-busting historical past of activities in the United States that places politics within the ring with popular culture

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The Toronto manager asked Walker to leave the stadium. Heated words were exchanged. According to one account, Walker was surrounded by fans and allegedly brandished a loaded revolver and threatened to put a hole in someone in the crowd. ”63 But Walker—even though he is now a baseball footnote and most fans think Jackie Robinson was the first African American player—didn’t fade into obscurity. The son of an Ohio doctor, Walker went to Oberlin College, a school with roots in the abolitionist movement.

55 Order Comes to Baseball National game or not, the sport was floundering: graft, open cheating, and utter disorganization pervaded the game. It mirrored the way the early years of industry thrashed about in similar anarchy. This changed, in baseball at least, in 1876, when William Hulbert formed the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs. The National League’s initial salvos were executed with a reformer’s zeal. The league banned open gambling and liquor sales at games. 56 The desire for order extended to labor-management relations.

Thank you for teaching us that we can write our own people’s history. And thank you for showing us that we can use history to fight for the future. 1 Until the Twentieth Century Before they played, they danced. The Choctaw tribe would prepare as long as four months before a lacrosse match. Everyone planned, everyone readied themselves, and before the ball was dropped, everyone danced. The dance involved everyone who was willing and able: men and women, young and old. They would shake lacrosse sticks to the heavens, each side asking for a little boost from the gods, while food and drink were heartily consumed.

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