Sports

Baseball, basketball, boxing, soccer, football, hockey, golf, gymnastics, rugby, swimming, track, tennis . . . the kinds of sports we participate in are innumerable. These are photos of people playing sports over the past century and a half. See more...


No, we don't have photos of the first Olympic Games in 776 BC but since the invention of photography, sports activities have been popular subjects for photographers. Just look at the popularity of baseball and football cards! From horse races to football and baseball games to archery and swimming and golf and from professional adult teams to children's teams, the equipment and clothing may change but the joy of the people participating and those watching them remains the same.

Some fascinating facts about various sports:
  • The first baseballs had something like a walnut or a rock in the center for weight. Yarn or string was then wrapped around the center.
  • Olympic Gold medals aren't all - or even mostly - gold: they are at least 92.5% silver but must contain a minimum of 6 grams of gold.
  • In baseball, lending a bat to a fellow player is a serious jinx.
  • NFL referees also receive Super Bowl rings.
  • Despite running about three hours, actual playing time in a Major League Baseball game has been clocked at under 18 minutes.
  • In basketball, bouncing the ball before taking a foul shot is considered good luck.
  • Former 49er quarterback Steve Young is the great-great-great-grandson of Brigham Young, second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the founder of Salt Lake City.

These photos are as much fun - and sometimes as surprising - as watching an entire game!


A photo of James Naismith. He created the game of Basket Ball in 1891 at the age of 30 - using a soccer ball, two peach baskets, and 13 rules. A simple game that grew into a national sport.
People in this photo:
Bio
Nov 6, 1861 - Nov 28, 1939 1861 - 1939
Added Mar 28, 2017 by: Kathy Pinna
Kathy Pinna
28.8k+ favorites
A photo of Gerald McGee
People in this photo:
Bio
1917 - Oct 9, 1991 1917 - 1991
Added Feb 24, 2017 by: PeterJ. Cobb
PeterJ. Cobb
98 favorites
Topics:
A photo of 3 Olympic skaters in the 1924 Olympics in France. They are Herma Planck-Szabo of Hungary, Ethel Muckelt of Britain and Beatrix Loughran of the U.S.
People in this photo:
Bio
Unknown - Unknown Unknown - Unknown
Added Feb 1, 2017 by: Kathy Pinna
Kathy Pinna
28.8k+ favorites
A photo of two of the players in the All-American Girls Professional Ball League (AAGPBL), created during World War 2.
Added Jun 17, 2016 by: Kathy Pinna
Kathy Pinna
28.8k+ favorites
A photo of Horace Lucas and his high school football team in John Day, Grant, Oregon in the 1920s.
People in this photo:
Bio
Unknown - Unknown Unknown - Unknown
A photo of the Hi-Y Champs 1945-46 Pitman, NJ. 1st row-Ken Reeves, Francis Cogan, Carroll Loughlin, Lynn Schoepske, Bud Ross 2nd row- Melvin Luce, Bob Ducat, Jim Walker, Bob Adams, Ric Cancglin, Norman Cancglin.
People in this photo:
Bio
Oct 17, 1928 - Unknown 1928 - Unknown
A photo of "Indian Red" Lopez, Ernie, at the LA Gym training
People in this photo:
Bio
Unknown - Unknown Unknown - Unknown
A photo of a Wilson or Dowling boy in football gear, California
Added May 30, 2015 by: Brenda Wagner
Brenda Wagner
266 favorites
A photo of Karl Fredrik Albert Thommessen as a gymnast. Karl Thommessen is the one sitting to the right in the picture. Unfortunately I do not know who the others are.
People in this photo:
Bio
Nov 22, 1898 - Jan 12, 1992 1898 - 1992
Added Apr 20, 2015 by: Randi Thommessen
Randi Thommessen
185 favorites
Jimmy Clabby posing circa 1910-1915. Photo is captioned: "Jimmy Clabby Welterweight Champion."
People in this photo:
Bio
Jul 14, 1890 - Jan 19, 1934 1890 - 1934
Added Dec 31, 2014 by: James Clabby
James Clabby
25 favorites
Beautiful thoroughbred racehorse Paul Jones w/ jockey Ted Rice after winning the 46th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in 1920. The winner received a purse of $30,375. Tomorrow at the 140th running, it's estimated that the winner will receive approx $1.2 million.
People in this photo:
Bio
Unknown - Oct 6, 1923 Unknown - 1923
Added May 2, 2014 by: Daniel Pinna
Daniel Pinna
6.43k+ favorites
A photo of Ernest Augustus Mettam on the Gainsborough Trinity Football Club 1909
People in this photo:
Bio
September 1886 - Aug 8, 1918 1886 - 1918
A photo of the hats (and crowd) at the Kentucky Derby in the 1920's.
Added May 4, 2017 by: Kathy Pinna
Kathy Pinna
28.8k+ favorites
This is a photo of John Hillman after a winter hunt. The man that is standing behind him seems to be a guide or wildlife officer.
Added Jan 1, 2001 by: Unknown User
Unknown User
31 favorites
Boxers Fraulein Kussin and Mrs. Edwards posing for the camera before their boxing match on March 7th, 1912
People in this photo:
Bio
Unknown - Unknown Unknown - Unknown
Self-portrait of Charles Elliott Gill with rifle and dog in a wooded area. Going hunting Missouri, 1900 -- 1910
People in this photo:
Bio
Unknown - Unknown Unknown - Unknown
Added Mar 29, 2019 by: Gaye Thomas
Gaye Thomas
344 favorites
My grandfather he was a weight lifter and a wrestler . 1920's .
People in this photo:
Bio
1904 - Apr 27, 1962 1904 - 1962
Added Mar 29, 2014 by: Becky Christian
Becky Christian
16 favorites
Somethin Fishy: The woman on the viewers right...next to the boy holding a fishing rod is Alice (Klawinski) Konieczka...who married Leonard Konieczka.. looking closely at the 1942 license plate on vehicle in photo..people back then barely noted any photo, so the only clues are what items in photo could possibly be dated..background, car lic plates..etc.
People in this photo:
Bio
Unknown - Unknown Unknown - Unknown
A photo of the Congressional Baseball game in 1911. At bat: Abraham Walter Lafferty, Rep from Oregon, 1911 - 1915. In 1909, a few members of Congress got together for a baseball game. It became a tradition - as you can see, a couple of years later they had uniforms! The first game was organized by a former pro player in the Congress and was described by The Boston Globe this way: The Boston Daily Globe observed, "The game was brewing for weeks and the members of the house were keyed up a high pitch of enthusiasm. Deep, dark rumors were in circulation that 'ringers' would be introduced, but when they lined up at 4 o'clock the nine Republicans were stalwart, grand old party men, while the Democrats were of the pure Jeffersonian strain." (The Democrats won that game.) In 1928, the game was broadcast on radio. Events have interrupted the game through the years - the Depression and World War 2, for instance - but 82 games have been played with 1 tie, 42 Republican wins, and 39 Democrat wins. The charity games have raised millions of dollars for charity.
Added Jan 8, 2012 by: Ancient Faces
Ancient Faces
450 favorites
Some of the members have been identified. The ball boy sitting is Virgil Lewallen. His father, the coach is the first man on the left, Red Lewallen. Third from left is Sid Blair. Fourth from left is Elmer Ellis. Eighth from left is Roe Sherrill. Ninth form left is Jack Charles Ingram. Twelfth from left is Pat Martin. Thirteenth from left is Herb Harris.
This is a photo of Mum Coached by Ted Whitten added by Kenny Kalajdic on April 7, 2020.
Added Apr 7, 2020 by: Kenny Kalajdic
Kenny Kalajdic
128 favorites
Topics:
The first winner of what became known as the Triple Crown - winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont stakes - Sir Barton was bred in Kentucky. Ridden by jockey Johnny Loftus and owned by J. K. L. Ross, Sir Barton won all three races in the space of only 32 days (and there was another race, the Withers Stakes during that time as well!). In the first two races, he led the whole way. In the Belmont, he set a course record. He was retroactively named the 1919 Horse of the Year. He was retired to stud in 1921 and died of colic in 1937 at a ranch in Wyoming at the age of 21.
Added Jun 9, 2018 by: Kathy Pinna
Kathy Pinna
28.8k+ favorites
A photo of Hedley James Dalton (1907 - 1982)
People in this photo:
Bio
Jul 15, 1907 - Dec 13, 1982 1907 - 1982
Added Apr 1, 2015 by: Sandra Dalton
Sandra Dalton
16 favorites
Thor Olson, Athens Ohio, USA. International Middleweight Champion Wrestler, Holder of the Lord Lonsdale Gold Belt. Professor of Physical Education and Trainer of Ohio University Athletes. Photo taken Circa 1919.
People in this photo:
Bio
Unknown - Unknown Unknown - Unknown
Added Nov 26, 2012 by: Jennifer Rudd
Jennifer Rudd
1.34k+ favorites
SSgt. Raymond Sylvester Emmett Underwood, Jr., was in charge of Close Quarter and Hand-to-Hand Combat training for the 25th Infantry Division, from 1962-1964. Dad is at DoJo he operated on weekends, in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1962
People in this photo:
Bio
Dec 17, 1929 - Unknown 1929 - Unknown
Unknown photo of a fashionable couple enjoying a Kentucky Derby. Not sure when this was taken - perhaps 1930's? The Kentucky Derby race has occurred every year since it's inception in 1875.
Added May 6, 2012 by: Daniel Pinna
Daniel Pinna
6.43k+ favorites
A photo of Bill Walsh, head coach of the 49er's, and Joe Montana, quarterback of the 49ers, after the playoff game against the Vikings on January 4, 1989. On the road to winning the SuperBowl! Go Niners! Courtesy AP.
People in this photo:
Bio
Unknown - Unknown Unknown - Unknown
Added Jan 22, 2012 by: Kathy Pinna
Kathy Pinna
3.01k+ favorites
The Most Exciting 2 Minutes in Sports - The Kentucky Derby
On the first Saturday of every May we have a day of horse racing, mint juleps, wonderful (and often extravagant) hats, spe...
James Naismith: The History Behind March Madness
Didn't we all play basketball in school? It used to be mandatory in grade school for girls and boys to participate in P.E....
You Think Football Is Changing Today? Check Out How It Used To Be Played
Update 02/04/2018: Super Bowl LII is upon us - amazing, for those of us who remember the controversy surrounding the estab...
It's Summer - It's Time For Baseball!
The earliest known mention of baseball in the US was in 1791. In the over 200 years since then, baseball went from a game ...
Back to Top