Jackie Robinson

 Joining the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American in major league baseball. CAREER BATTING STATISTICS YEAR TEAM GP AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS WAR 1947 BKN 151 590 125 175 31 5 12 48 74 36 29 0 .297 .383 .427...

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Moe Berg

Morris “Moe” Berg was an amazing character. Fluent in several languages, he reportedly read ten newspapers a day and was a successful contestant on the radio quiz show Information, Please. After graduation from Princeton University and Columbia Law School, Berg played...

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Ted Williams

                                       What's My Line -  1954 Ted Williams won six batting titles and led the American League in on-base percentage seven straight years and 12 times overall. His .482 career on-base percentage is the best of all time. He led the league...

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Kraft Durch Freude

Kraft durch Freude  (Strength through Joy, abbreviated KdF), was a program operated by the state-owned German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront) that provided leisure activities for ordinary workers. To exemplify solidarity under National Socialism, passengers on...

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NFL Championship

During the 1942 National Football League season (the league's 23rd year), the rosters of many teams were depleted by players enlisting for military service. On December 13, 1942, the Chicago Bears  (11–0) beat the Washington Redskins  (10-1) by a score of 10-6 in the...

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The Slugger Enlists

Rated 1A for the draft in 1942, superstar Red Socks slugger Ted Williams appealed his draft status.  He was subsequently re-rated 3A  (as the sole supporter of his mother). However criticism from fans and the press drove him to reconsider and he enlisted in the Naval...

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Militarized Sports in Japan

In 1925 the Imperial Japanese Ministry of Education and the Department of War began to attach military officers to public schools to establish a military training system. In 1931 instruction in budo, the traditional martial arts of Japan,  became compulsory for all...

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▶Rose Bowl Moved to North Carolina

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=plNACl2086U#t=1 Fearing a Japanese attack on the West Coast, the Rose Bowl (traditionally in Pasadena, CA)  was played in Durham, N.C. on January 1, 1942. Duke lost to Oregon State, 20-16.  

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Joe DiMaggio’s Hitting Streak

In 1941 New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio's streak pulled his team out of an early slump, and led them to the World Series in which he received the Most Valuable Player...

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Tokyo Olympic Games Cancelled

In 1936 the International Olympic Committee agreed to hold the 1940 Summer Olympic games in Tokyo, but, in the midst of war with China, Japan withdrew in 1938. It wasn't until 1964 that the games were played in Tokyo....

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Baseball in Wartime Japan

Star pitcher Eiji Sawamura - killed in action 1944   (Wikimedia Commons) In a January 1942 "green light" letter to the baseball commissioner, FDR said "I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going (during the war)."   In Japan,...

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Lou Gehrig’s Farewell

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp3F51gtaZA Lou Gehrig, "the Iron Horse", was a beloved New York Yankee first baseman who set major league records for consecutive games played and career grand slams. Gehrig's career was shortened  by amyotrophic lateral...

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Joe Louis vs Max Schmeling – 2nd Match

Two heavyweight boxing events in the 1930s represented a contest between the USA and Nazi Germany, as well as black vs. white fighters. In 1936, former world heavyweight champion Max Schmeling defeated the previously unbeaten African-American rising star Joe Louis in...

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Japan in Summer Olympics

Naoto Tajima (left) with Jesse Owens and Luz Long, 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics; Wikimedia Commons   IMPERIAL JAPAN WAS THE 8TH RANKED NATION WINNING MEDALS AT THE 1936 SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES IN BERLIN (GERMANY WAS #1 AND THE USA WAS #2). Medal Name Sport Event  Gold...

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Jesse Owens – Berlin Olympics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quQopJmQry4 In the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin, America's African-American track star Jesse Owens upset Nazi Aryan notions of racial superiority. In the course of winning four events, Owens set new Olympic 200-meter dash and...

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Sumo

The Japanese honor strength and virility. In Sumo wrestling  the goal is to force the opponent out of the ring. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxhKb-zZoWE

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Japanese Horse Racing

In medieval Japan, warriors with exceptional riding skills often became clan leaders.  During the 6th century, horse races were held at religious ceremonies (for an abundant harvest) and annually at the Imperial Court. Western-style racing was introduced at Yokohama...

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Babe Ruth Calls a Homer

With a lifetime batting average of .342, the 6'2", 215#, left-handed  George Herman Ruth was an All-Star in 1933 and 1934.

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Los Angeles Olympics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaneJ0TQmjE The Depression notwithstanding, the Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1932. Many athletes from the 1928 Olympics could not afford to participate. Baron Takeichi Nishi (to die on Iwo Jima in 1945) won the equestrian...

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Kendo

Swordsmen in ancient Japan established schools of kenjutsu which continued to form the basis of kendo practice today. Formal kendo exercises known as kata, developed several centuries ago as kenjutsu practice for warriors, are still studied today, in a modified form....

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Bobby Jones Grand Slam

Superstar amateur golfer Bobby Jones, a lawyer, completed a Grand Slam in 1930 by winning all four major golf tournaments. In the 1920s, a profusion of miniature golf courses brought the popular sport to the masses. But the Great Depression soon dampened the craze,...

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Baseball

Originating in the early 19th Century, baseball became America's national pastime after the Civil War. Introduced to Japan in 1872 by an American teacher in Tokyo, it rapidly became a very popular sport there as well....

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