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Sports In The Golden Age History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

The 1920s were a decade for sports to come up and be noticed in America. The first Olympics started in the 1920s, Baseball became a very popular sport, Negro leagues were formed, and Hispanics had a great influence on major league and Negro league baseball. The first Olympics were winter games that were hosted in the French Alps. The Negro American League and the National Negro League were formed. Finally Hispanics came from numerous countries to show off their skills in baseball whether it was in the major league or Negro league. Sports during the 1920s were the foundation of many of the sports that are around today.

In 1924 the first winter Olympic Games took place in Chamonix, France. The games were in the French Alps because of the constant snow fall. The opening ceremony was on January the 24th 1924. The games went on for eleven days and ended on February the 5th. There were three hundred and thirteen participants from nineteen different countries. Out of all the participants only thirteen were women. That is actually surprisingly good for the time period they were in.

The athletes that participated were great. One of the United States’ athletes Charley Jewtraw won the first gold medal on the second day, unfortunately it was the only gold medal won by the U.S. The countries that did the best were Norway and Finland; they together won twenty eight out of the forty three medals available. From those countries Thorleif Haug and Clas Thunberg each won three gold medals a piece. The countries that did the worst were Great Britain and Switzerland; they were awarded one silver medal and two bronze medals which only gave them four points each. The United States tied with Austria for third place with eight medals a piece.

Hispanics had one of the biggest influences on major league baseball and Negro league baseball. Baseball is a very popular sport in the U.S. and Mexico. In Mexico it is actually the prominent sport next to soccer. Baseball is the sport with the most Hispanic people in it. The most popular places for Latin baseball mostly came from Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Columbia, and Canada.

Latin Americans had as hard a time as blacks when it came to playing baseball in the major leagues. White teams would not play dark skinned Hispanics because they looked black. In Major League Baseball there were only a few light skinned Cubans that they would let play on their teams. There were a few all Hispanic teams that were in the National Negro League, one was the Cuban stars. Hispanics playing baseball contributed to the breaking of the color of the color line. When the color line was finally broken people of all ethnicities had the opportunity to play baseball in the major leagues. Famous players that were Hispanic and African American were Minnie Monoso, Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Ernie Banks.

The first colored Negro League was invented by Andrew Foster, he is known as the father of baseball. The Negro League consisted of the Negro American League and the National Negro League. The Negro American League started operating on the East coast of the United States around 1929. The Detroit stars were amongst the many teams in the ANL, they won two champions in their time existing. The Kansas City monarchs was the team that won the most championships, they won five.

Negro League teams overcame hardships and flourished. The teams went through horrible second rate playing conditions. Their equipment was cheap, and the stadiums they played in were small even though they had many spectators. Most of the teams played as independent so they had to attain their own equipment through players on the team rather than the league that they played in. Black teams represented a black community, that is how they obtained so many spectators. Blacks were actually great ball players, in fact 60 percent of the games that had blacks versus whites the blacks won.

Negro League crowds attracted up to twenty thousand fans on a big event like a double header. On a normal game, a crowd of five thousand enthusiastic people would come and watch the games. Negro Leagues were among the largest businesses in the United States. One business created by the Negro Leagues that is still around today is the YMCA. The Young Man’s Christian Association was established on February 13th 1920 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Although the last of the Negro Leagues struggled to stay around, the color barrier was broken. Their support was cut down to a small fraction. They lost their large crowds because almost all of the best players that were in the Negro Leagues went to the Major Leagues to play not segregated.

Some sports highlights were the National Football League was formed in Canton Ohio on September 17th 1920. The leagues president then was Jim Thorpe. The teams first started off in very small cities were they couldn’t really make any money. Another important highlight was that Ray Chapman was killed by a pitch to the head on August 17th 1920. He was the only player killed on the field in major league baseball. Finally famous boxer Jack Dempsey lost his heavyweight title to Jess Willard July 4th 1919.

The National Football League was born August 20th 1920 in Canton Ohio. It started off with only four teams that were all from Ohio. The teams were the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Tigers, and the Dayton Triangles. Before more teams came to the league they played together as the Ohio League. They added seven more teams on seven more teams on September 17th 1920 during an organizational meeting. After adding the seven teams the Ohio League changed to The American Professional Football Association. The president of the APFA was actually a player who played for the Canton Bulldogs; Jim Thorpe. Even though he played for the team he continued to be a good leader to the APFA. The name of the league does not change to National Football League until 1922 when four more teams are added. The Akron Pros were the only team in the APFA that remained undefeated until the actual NFL was founded.

In 1925 after the official first season of the NFL two teams left; the Cleveland Bulldogs and the Rochester Jeffersons. They were both original teams. When the NFL was formed they needed a new president. They elected Joe Carr to be the new president of the NFL. Carr did a pretty good job. There was a situation which the Kenosha Maroons scheduled a game versus the University of Notre Dame All Stars and the Frankford Yellow Jackets were scheduled to play them. Joe Carr warned the Maroons not to play or they would face consequences if they proceeded to play them. The Maroons played them anyway, so Carr fined them and suspended them from the NFL.

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