Category Archives: sports history

Groundbreaking athlete Althea Gibson was born on August 25, 1927. A member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Althea Gibson won 11 Grand Slam tournaments. She was also the first black athlete to break the color barrier in international … Continue reading

Nathaniel Grow is an assistant professor of legal studies at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. He answered some questions about his new book Baseball on Trial: The Origin of Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption. Q: Why do you think so many … Continue reading

Illinois Press staff and authors had a great time at the 98th Annual Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Convention held from October 2-6, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida. At the conference were a number of … Continue reading

Gaspar “Indio” Ortega appeared on prime-time network television more than almost any other boxer in history. Rising from poverty in his native Tijuana, Mexico, Ortega used his skills in the ring and a sense of showmanship to take the boxing world by … Continue reading

Troy Rondinone’s new book Friday Night Fighter tells the story of Gaspar “Indio” Ortega, who was a hero for many Latin Americans as one of the first Mexicans to appear on national television.  Ortega was a standout in the ring during the Gillette … Continue reading

As the St. Louis Cardinals play their 2013 home opener today, Japanese or Japanese American players are no unusual site in Major League ballparks.  But that wasn’t always the case. Samuel Regalado notes that the first Major Leaguer of Japanese American … Continue reading

Bill Littlefield, the host of NPR’s Only a Game interviewed Samuel Regalado, the author of Nikkei Baseball: Japanese American Players from Immigration and Internment to the Major Leagues. The interview ran on the March 9, 2013, broadcast of Only a … Continue reading

Albert J. Figone is a professor emeritus of kinesiology and a former head baseball and assistant football coach at Humboldt State University.  He answered our questions about his new book Cheating the Spread: Gamblers, Point Shavers, and Game Fixers in … Continue reading

The January 26, 2013, edition of NPR’s syndicated program Only a Game featured an interview with Albert Figone, author of the University of Illinois Press book Cheating the Spread: Gamblers, Point Shavers, and Game Fixers in College Football and Basketball. … Continue reading

The Classical sports website has posted an excerpt from the recent University of Illinois Press book A People’s History of Baseball plus a Q&A with author Mitchell Nathanson. The Classical: In your book, you talk about presenting “counter-stories” to the anodyne, … Continue reading