His fastball has long since died. He still has a few curveballs which he throws at us routinely. – Nicholas Burns, U.S. State Department Spokesman
BY PETER C. BJARKMAN*
(August 18, 2016) – Most baseball fans tend to take their idle ballpark pastimes far too seriously. On momentary reflection, even a diehard rooter would have to admit that big-league baseball’s most significant historical figures – say, Mantle, Cobb, Barry Bonds, Walter Johnson, even Babe Ruth himself – are only mere blips on the larger canvas of world events. After all, 95 per cent (perhaps more) of the globe’s population has little or no interest whatsoever in what transpires on North American ballpark diamonds. Babe Ruth may well have been one of the grandest icons of American popular culture, yet little in the nature of world events would have been in the slightest degree altered if the flamboyant Babe had never escaped the rustic grounds of St. Mary’s School for Boys in Baltimore. Continue reading
The Hillsborough disaster was a human crush at Hillsborough football stadium in Sheffield, England, on 15 April 1989; with 96 dead and 766 injured it is the worst disaster in British sporting history. The victims were overwhelmingly from the working class.
Following the club’s 11th European Cup win, an 1985 article from the archive of History Today explains why the shadow of fascism hangs over Real’s stellar history. During the Franco years, the ostracised regime used football to initiate a gradual road towards acceptance of the the entry of Spain into NATO in 1982 and the EEC in 1985. The Catalans and the Basques, however, used football as a means of popular anti-fascist protest | DUNCAN SHAW (photos and captions added by TS)
On June 21st, 1964, an ecstatic crowd of 120,000, awash in a sea of red and yellow, cheered and applauded Generalissimo Francisco Franco as he stood up to leave the Madrid summer evening gathering. This was no mass rally of political affirmation that the dictator was leaving, but a football match. Spain had just beaten the Soviet Union in the Final of the European Nations’ Cup; so much more than just a football victory: a triumph for international co-operation over Cold War hostility, but, conversely, perhaps also a triumph over the old Red enemies of the Civil War.
GABRIEL MOLINA on how US Major League Baseball and the Eisenhower administration sabotaged professional baseball in Cuba for counter-revolutionary aims
Built in 1946, Estadio Latinoamericano, the home of the Havana Sugar Kings, is by far the largest ballpark in Cuba, with a capacity of 55,000. Known as the Colossus of Cerro and Gran Stadium, the entire grandstand is covered, and there are open bleachers in the outfield. It is the home of Los Industriales and the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame | http://ballparkdigest.com/
Not even organized baseball escaped the many-faceted, relentless undeclared war the U.S. government has been waging against Cuba for the last almost half a century.
An alleged incident in Cerro Stadium on June 25, 1959 served as the pretext for Washington to cancel the island’s franchise for the Cuban Sugar Kings, a team in the Triple-A International League, the doorway to Major League baseball. It was not something that happened by chance or casually. Continue reading
The first Melbourne Chinese Australian Rules Football Team in 1899, St Vincent’s Hospital Charity Game | Newspapers Collection, State Library of Victoria
PATICK SKENE (March 25) – Every year 80,000 Chinese tourists travel to Ballarat in regional Victoria to visit the old goldfields of “Tsin Chin Shan” or “Land of the New Gold Mountain”. Their itinerary includes the Gold Museum, Chinese Cemetery, Mine Tour and Sovereign Hill’s recreated Goldfields Village. The tour buses never stop at Eastern Oval, the ground that over 120 years ago hosted a unique part of Australia’s sporting history. Continue reading
A recording of Lynda Baril’s talk ‘Nos Glorieuses’: 100 Years of Women’s Hockey in Quebec. The talk was delivered as part of the Ottawa Historical Association Lecture Series on September 16, 2014.