More Than Just a Game: Sports in American Life since 1945

By Kathryn Jay | Go to book overview

2. An Athletic Cold War

The revelations about cheating at West Point and pointshaving scandals in college basketball were only part of the sports news in 1951. The small-city Rochester Royals beat the New York Knicks to take the NBA title. The University of Tennessee Volunteers went undefeated and finished atop the college football polls. And for New Yorkers, especially for New York baseball fans, 1951 was a magical year. The Brooklyn Dodgers held a thirteen-and-a-halfgame lead over the New York Giants in August, but, in an incredible stretch run, the Giants made up the difference and the season ended with the two teams tied. When the three-game playoff was decided by Bobby Thompson's famous "shot heard round the world" home run, the Giants had won the National League pennant and the right to face the Yankees in the World Series. Twenty-yearold Willie Mays and nineteen-year-old Mickey Mantle emerged as new stars that season, winning Rookie of the Year honors and sparking their respective teams to the World Series. Mays and Mantle proved just the latest addition to a city studded with baseball stars and bursting with great teams. New York City was the capital of baseball in

-45-

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More Than Just a Game: Sports in American Life since 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Columbia Histories of Modern American Life ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1.Sports, the American Way 9
  • 2.An Athletic Cold War 45
  • 3.A Brave New World 79
  • 4.Making Sense of the Sixties 113
  • 5.Walking the Picket Line and Fighting for Rights 146
  • 6.Competing an the Open Market 180
  • 7.High-Priced Heroes Ea Elabal 217
  • Notes 243
  • Bibliography 257
  • Index 269
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