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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. Read 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!
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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:
James Naismith
Nov 6, 1861 - Nov 28, 1939
A photo of Gerald McGee
People in this photo:
Gerald McGee
1917 - Oct 9, 1991
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:
A photo of two of the players in the All-American Girls Professional Ball League (AAGPBL), created during World War 2.
A photo of Horace Lucas and his high school football team in John Day, Grant, Oregon in the 1920s.
People in this photo:
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:
A photo of "Indian Red" Lopez, Ernie, at the LA Gym training
People in this photo:
A photo of a Wilson or Dowling boy in football gear, California
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:
Karl Fredrik Albert Thommessen
Nov 22, 1898 - Jan 12, 1992
Jimmy Clabby posing circa 1910-1915. Photo is captioned: "Jimmy Clabby Welterweight Champion."
People in this photo:
Jimmy Clabby
Jul 14, 1890 - Jan 19, 1934
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:
Ted Rice
Died: Oct 6, 1923
Shared on May 2, 2014 by:
A photo of Jim Thorpe
People in this photo:
Jim Thorpe
May 22, 1887 - Mar 28, 1953
A portrait of Jackie Roosevelt Robinson by Arthur K. Miller.
People in this photo:
Jackie Roosevelt Robinson
Jan 31, 1919 - Oct 24, 1972
A photo of Allen Tsukasa Masuda
People in this photo:
Allen Tsukasa Masuda
Oct 12, 1943 - Jan 3, 1975
Pearl City, HI
Horse race meeting at Mineral Banks, Upper Ringarooma Distrct
People in this photo:
Frederick Kruschke
1853 - 1899
Self-portrait of Charles Elliott Gill with rifle and dog in a wooded area. Going hunting Missouri, 1900 -- 1910
People in this photo:
Boy back from hunting. A boy in a cap, double-breasted jacket, pants rolled at the knee, long socks and short boots holds a dead racoon by its back feet in each hand. Missouri -- Dent County 1900 -- 1910
A photo of Joseph Randall of Dalton, KS - Born: December 8 1892
People in this photo:
Joseph Randall
Born: Dec 8, 1892
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.
A photo of James Francis Thorpe on the Canton Bulldogs football team, circa 1915
People in this photo:
Jim Thorpe
May 22, 1887 - Mar 28, 1953
A photo of James Francis Thorpe
People in this photo:
Jim Thorpe
May 22, 1887 - Mar 28, 1953
A photo of Steven Wayne Golowski
People in this photo:
Steven Wayne Golowski
Feb 11, 1951 - Jan 20, 2009
San Diego, CA, USA
A photo of a polo player - from Suitcase in the attic
A photo of Chris Mazdzer in 2010 - American luger
People in this photo:
Chris Mazdzer
Born: Jun 26, 1988
A photo of Chris Mazdzer. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, he won the Silver Medal for the United States in the luge event. This was the first medal in the singles luge for the United States.
People in this photo:
Chris Mazdzer
Born: Jun 26, 1988
A photo of "Rocky Graziano" and old buddy Jake winking for the press.
People in this photo:
Thomas Rocco "Rocky Graziano" Barbella
Jan 1, 1919 - May 22, 1990
NY, United States
A photo of "Rocky Graziano"
People in this photo:
Thomas Rocco "Rocky Graziano" Barbella
Jan 1, 1919 - May 22, 1990
NY, United States
A photo of "Rocky Graziano" - Thomas Rocco Barbella
People in this photo:
Thomas Rocco "Rocky Graziano" Barbella
Jan 1, 1919 - May 22, 1990
NY, United States
A photo of Arthur Ashe and Gerald Ford
People in this photo:
Arthur Ashe
Jul 10, 1943 - Feb 6, 1993
A photo of Arthur Ashe
People in this photo:
Arthur Ashe
Jul 10, 1943 - Feb 6, 1993
A photo of Arthur Ashe
People in this photo:
Arthur Ashe
Jul 10, 1943 - Feb 6, 1993
Jets vs Raiders, 1968 - the last two minutes of the game, in which the Raiders came from behind to win, weren't shown. The network cut in to show a remake of the movie "Heidi." A huge uproar ensued.
Found this photo on a collage in Antique Bookstore Old Ellicott City, Maryland near train depot car. Eddie was born 1910 in Tennessee. One of the clippings mentions an event in East Baltimore.
People in this photo:
A photo of Alberto G Cuen, Boxer in Los Angeles Ca who went from local to state and lost by decision. Moved to Delano Ca there after
People in this photo:
Albert G Cuen
Sep 28, 1908 - Jun 24, 1997
Delano, CA
A photo of Wright Tharrett
People in this photo:
Wright Tharrett
Sep 30, 1910 - May 1984
Anchorville, Michigan
Silas B Dunklee at right, coach
People in this photo:
Silas B Dunklee
Nov 22, 1923 - Aug 21, 1993
Henniker, NH
Silas B Dunklee, far right
People in this photo:
Silas B Dunklee
Nov 22, 1923 - Aug 21, 1993
Henniker, NH
A photo of Pat McAllister, The Irish Terror
People in this photo:
Pat McAllister
Feb 20, 1894 - Jan 30, 1975
The photo was taken at a game between the VRU Select Side and the Potomac Union Select Side at the Washington RFC fields at Kenilworth Park in Washington, D.C. Ray Equi, John Mellish and Joe Seals were the VRU coaches. The game was in early November of 76 as part of the ERU challenge cup called the Familton Cup. I know it was then because it was before I grew my beard, which was in December of 76. Note that Ozzie Osbourne was still playing center. I would have to really dig to try to find documentation of the score, I can't even remember if we won or lost. Also significant is that the VRU team had three Eagles (Culpepper, Cook and Purvis) and two more who made the USA National trials by being on the ERU select side (Dickinson and Van de Castle). I say that the game was against the PRU, but it is possible that it was against the EPRU as well as there were four select sides at the field that day. Let me try to do some digging in my ancient files to see if I can find out. If it was against the Potomac team, they had Rob Bordley, Dan Wack and Mike Conroy on it, so there would have been 6 Eagles on the field that day in D.C., not an everyday occurrence that close to Virginia. The VRU team was: 1. John Fleming (Richmond) 2. Willie O'Keefe (Roanoke) 3. Clint Francis (Virginia) 4. Billy Bolton (Richmond) 5. Lance Van de Castle 6. Pete Sweet (Richmond) 7. Clarence Culpepper (Roanoke) 8. Jody Walker (Norfolk) 9. Dickie Cook (Virginia) 10. Rich Waddell (Roanoke) 11. Jim "Rabbit" Dickinson (Virginia) 12. Ozzie Osbourne (Norfolk) 13. Otis Purvis (Norfolk) 14. Bubba Cochran (Norfolk) 15. Doug Korber (Virginia) Didn't have any reserves, because that was back in the days when there was not such a thing. If you got hurt or left the field, the rest of your team played a man down. Thanks, Lance
People in this photo:
James Edward Montaine
Apr 26, 1956 - Aug 30, 2010
A photo of Secretariat running the Kentucky Derby in 1973. He went on to win the Triple Crown, becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.
A photo of the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby - Oliver Lewis.
People in this photo:
Oliver Lewis
1856 - 1924
A photo of a vendor selling mint juleps in the stands at the 1955 Kentucky Derby.
A photo of racing fans at the Kentucky Derby in 1945.
A photo of the fans at the Kentucky Derby in the 1940's.
A photo of some fans at the Kentucky Derby in 1938.
A photo of the hats (and crowd) at the Kentucky Derby in the 1920's.
A photo of Lowell E Barnes
People in this photo:
Lowell E Barnes
Jun 1, 1924 - May 23, 1995
Hiram, ME
A photo of Lowell E Barnes
People in this photo:
Lowell E Barnes
Jun 1, 1924 - May 23, 1995
Hiram, ME
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