World Sports Hall of Fame 1948: Henry Armstrong, Dhyan Chand, Don Hutson and Tazio Nuvolari

My choices for the World Sports Hall of Fame for 1948 are

Henry Armstrong (USA – Boxing): – the first boxer to hold three world titles simultaneously. He won the world flyweight title in 1937 and the next year added the welterweight and lightweight crowns. He held these until 1940 when he lost the welterweight title and a rematch. He briefly retired but resumed his career and fought until 1945, eventually finishing with a record of 22 wins from his 26 world title fights and 152 wins in total.

Dhyan Chand( India – Hockey): widely regarded as the greatest hockey player of all time. He won three Olympic gold medals in the all conquering Indian team. These came in 1928, 1932 and 1936 culminating in a six goal haul in the 1936 Final which India won 8-1. He was still prolific in the post-war years but declined selection for the 1948 Games. He played as a centre forward but was more than a goal scorer with brilliant ball control and skills also creating numerous goals for the team.,

Don Hutson (USA – American Football): The first great wide receiver in the sport.  He caught  a record one hundred touchdown passes in a career that lasted from  1935 to 1945 with the Green Bay Packers.  His totals of 488 receptions for 7991 yards were also records for the NFL which all remained unsurpassed until the 1980s.  He led the league in eight years of his eleven.  His speed was a great asset in making him one of the finest players ever.

Tazio Nuvolari (Italy – Motor Racing): one of the greatest names in the sport in the years before World War Two.  There wasn’t an official championship but Grand Prix races were held and he won many throughout the 1930s.  He was a great sports car driver as well, winning Le Mans in 1933 and the Mille Miglia in 1930 and 1933.  He started as a motorcyclist in the 1920s and was Italian champion at 500cc. He continued his career after the war with a final notable performance when second in the 1947 Mille Miglia.

 

Advertisements
Posted in All-time Greats, Hall of Fame | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Most Wins in the Major British and Irish National Hunt (Hurdles and Steeplechases) Horse Races

Here is a list of the most important races in the National Hunt season and the most successful horses in them. The top part lists races that are Grade One (highest standard) where weights are generally equal for all. The ‘Other Races’ are handicaps where weights are different to level the standard.

The most prestigious championship races at the Cheltenham Festival are in bold type.

The record for most consecutive wins in any national hunt races was broken by Altior who won his nineteenth successive race in April 2019.  The previous record was set by Big Buck’s in 2012.

 

GRADE ONE RACES

Race Name Racecourse Distance Most Wins Horse Name and Years
Betfair Chase Haydock 3m 1½f 4 Kauto Star 2006,07,09,11
Fighting Fifth Hurdle Newcastle 2m 3 Comedy of Errors 1972/1973/1974
3 Birds Nest 1976/77/79
Tingle Creek Chase Sandown 2m 3 Flagship Uber Alles 1999/2000/01
Long Walk Hurdle Ascot 3m 1f 4 Baracouda 2000/01/03/04
Christmas Hurdle Kempton 2m 2 7 different horses
King George VI Chase Kempton 3m 5 Kauto Star 2006-09/2011
4 Desert Orchid 1986/88/89/90
3 Wayward Lad 1982/83/85
Clarence House Chase Ascot 2m 1f 3 Un de Sceaux 2016/17/18
Champion Hurdle Cheltenham 2m ½f 3 Hatton’s Grace – 1949, 1950, 1951
Sir Ken – 1952, 1953, 1954
Persian War – 1968, 1969, 1970
See You Then – 1985, 1986, 1987
Istabraq – 1998, 1999, 200
Queen Mother Champion Chase Cheltenham 2m 3 Badsworth Boy 1983/84/85
Mares Hurdle Cheltenham 2m 4f 6 Quevega 2009-14
Ryanair Chase Cheltenham 2m 5f 2 Albertas Run 2010/11
Stayers’ Hurdle Cheltenham 3m 4 Big Buck’s 2009/10/11/12
Cheltenham Gold Cup Cheltenham 3m 2½f 5 Golden Miller 1932-1936
3 Cottage Rake 1948-1950
3 Arkle 1964-1966
3 Best Mate 2002-2004
Aintree Hurdle Aintree 2m 4f 4 Morley Street 1990-1993
Celebration Chase Sandown 2m 3 Altior – 2017, 2018,2019
OTHER NOTABLE RACES
Bet Victor Gold Cup Cheltenham 2m 4½f 2 Fortria – 1960, 1962
Gay Trip – 1969, 1971
Half Free – 1984, 1985
Bradbury Star – 1993, 1994
Cyfor Malta – 1998, 2002
Ladbrokes Trophy (Hennessy Cup) Newbury 3m 2½f 2 Mandarin – 1957, 1961
Arkle – 1964, 1965
Denman – 2007
Welsh Grand National Chepstow 3m 5½f 2 Limonali 1959/61
Bonanza Boy 1988/89
Grand National Aintree 4m 4f 3 Red Rum 1973/74/77
Scottish Grand National Ayr 4m 3 Couvrefeu II – 1911, 1912, 1913
Southern Hero – 1934, 1936, 1939
Queen’s Taste – 1953, 1954, 1956
Irish Grand National Fairyhouse 3m 5f 3 Brown Lad 1975/76/78
Bet 365 Gold Cup Sandown 3m 5½f 2 Larbawn – 1968, 1969
Diamond Edge – 1979, 1981
Topsham Bay – 1992, 1993
Ad Hoc – 2001, 2003
Posted in All-time Greats, Horse Racing, Records | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The History of Sport 1926: Gertrude Ederle is the first woman to swim the Channel, the first British Grand Prix, Molla Mallory’s eighth US Open, Bobby Jones makes golf history, Huddersfield’s hat-trick of league titles.

 

 

 

Some of the notable events in sport in 1926:

Huddersfield Town are the first team to win the English Football League championship title three times in succession.

The Second Women’s World Games for athletics are held in Gothenburg. The UK wins most gold medals and set world records in the heats and final of the 4×110 yards.

British athletes Phyllis Green (high jump) and Muriel Gunn (long jump) set world records in other competitions.

In baseball Mule Suttles of the St. Louis Stars hits a Negro League record 27 home runs. His .498 batting average and 21 triples are also records.

Babe Ruth hits three home runs in the world series.

J.Earlham wins the first world amateur billiards title.

A crowd of 120,757 sees Gene Tunney defeat Jack Dempsey over 10 rounds in Philadelphia to win the World Heavyweight boxing Championship

Tiger Flowers twice defeats Harry Greb for the World Middleweight Championship but then loses it to former World Welterweight Champion Mickey Walker who holds it until 1931

The first artificial ski slope is installed at the London ski school.

India, New Zealand and West Indies are elected as Full Members of the Imperial Cricket Conference, increasing the number of nations playing Test cricket from three to six

Victoria score 1,107 against New South Wales at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in December 1926 – still the largest innings total in first-class cricket.

Bobby Jones becomes the first golfer to win the British and US Open titles in the same year.

Charlotte Leitch wins her fourth British women’s golf title.

Sandy Herd, aged 58, wins the News of the World golf championship.

The first British greyhound race behind a mechanical hare is held at Belle Vue, Manchester.

The British Marbles Board of Control is formed at the Greyhound Hotel, Crawley.

The British Grand Prix is first held (as the RAC Grand Prix) at Brooklands over 110 laps and 287 miles.

The All-England Women’s Netball Assocation is formed.

In rowing the Thames Head of the River race is first held. Jack Beresford wins his seventh successive Wingfield Sculls.

The first Middlesex Sevens rugby union tournament is won by Harlequins.

American Gertrude Ederle is the first woman to swim the English Channel, taking 14 hours 39 minutes.

The International Table Tennis Federation is founded.

Molla Mallory wins a record eighth US Open singles title in tennis, coming back from 4-0 down in the third set in the final.

The first professional tennis players are Suzanne Lenglen, Vincent Richards, Mary K.Browne and Howard Kinsey.

Kitty Godfree wins the Wimbledon singles title for the second time and adds the mixed doubles title.

The USA win their seventh successive Davis Cup.

Posted in Sports History | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

British Sports Hall of Fame 1948: Wally Hammond, Peter Kane, Ralph Nichols and Dorothy Round

My choices for the British Sports Hall of Fame1948 are:

Wally Hammond (Cricket) – one of the greatest batsmen of all time. He broke the record for the most total runs in Test cricket when surpassing the 5410 of Jack Hobbs. He went on to be the first man to 6000 and 7000 runs, eventually retiring in 1947 with 7249 runs in a twenty year Test career. He scored 336 of those in one innings in 1933 to set another record. He was top of the English first class averages for eight successive seasons from 1933, a feat that has never been equalled. He exceeded 2000 runs twelve times and 3000 three times. He scored 36 double centuries, the second highest number ever. A more than useful bowler , he was one of the finest slip fielders ever seen. In 1928 he caught a record 78 in the season including ten in one match.

Peter Kane (Boxing) – a devastating puncher who won 98 of his 109 fights,. losing only three. He won 23 of his first 27 contests by KO and earned a world title fight in 1937 with Benny Lynch, a fellow Scot, for the flyweight crown. and Kane lost that fight but drew a rematch in a non-title fight. He took the title the next year from  American Jackie Jurich before moving up to bantamweight for most fights. He remained flyweight champion until 1943 and European bantamweight champion from 1947 to 1948.

Ralph Nichols (Badminton) – the leading British player of the 1930s.  He won the All-Engand singles title five times, in 1932, 1934 and from 1936-8.  From 1936 to1938 he also won the doubles with his brother.   He won the mixed Doubles in 1939.  From 1930 he won a record 36 England caps.

Dorothy Round (Tennis) – the best British female player of the 1930s.  She won the Wimbledon singles title in 1934 and 1937, also taking the Mixed Doubles crown each year from 1934 to 1936.  The latter two were won with Fred Perry.  In 1935 she became the first overseas player to win the Australian open women’s singles title.  She had an excellent forehand and drop-shot.

Posted in Hall of Fame | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Greatest Track Cyclists: Record Title Winners at World Championships and Olympics Games

It is hard to compare achievements across different events using total medals as there are more events on offer to sprinters.  I did try to do this in 2013 for the women but I won’t do it for the men.

The easiest way of showing the greatest track cyclists is to list the events that are currently on the world championships programme and the most wins in them.  I have also included wins in the Olympics in these events.

My post from 2013 on the greatest women track riders, slightly updated

The events and the cyclists with the most wins are:

MEN

1km Time Trial: Arnaud Tournant of France, Chris Hoy of Great Britain and Stefan Nimke of Germany have 4 wins in world championships but Hoy also has an Olympic gold.

Keirin: Chris Hoy (GB) 4 world and 2 Olympic titles.

Scratch Race: Franco Marvulli (SWI) and Alex Rasmussen (DEN)  with 2

Points Race: Urs Freuler (SWI) 8

Pursuit: Hugh Porter (GB) 4,  Bradley Wiggins (GB) 3 world + 2 Olympic titles.

Sprint: Koichi Nakano (Japan) 10,  Daniel Morelon (FRA)  7 world titles and 2 Olympics

Omnium: Fernando Gaviria (COL) 2

WOMEN

Sprint:  Victoria Pendleton (GB) 6 world + 1 Olympic gold, Galina Yermolayeva (USSR) 6,  Galina Tsareva (USSR) 6

Keirin:  Anna Meares (AUS) and Kristina Vogel (GER) 3

Points: Ingrid Haringa (NED) 4,  Olga Slyusareva (RUS)  4 world + 1 Olympic gold

Time Trial: Felicia Ballanger (FRA) 5 world +1 Olympic gold,  Natalia Tsylinskaya  (BLR) 5

Omnium:  Laura Trott/Kenny  (GB) 2 world + 2 Olympics

Pursuit:  Tamara Garkouchina (URS) and Rebecca Twigg (USA) 6

 

 

 

 

Posted in All-time Greats, Cycling | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sports History Chronicle – World Sports Hall Of Fame 1947: Christl Cranz, Ragnhild Hveger, Barney Ross and Gene Sarazen

My choices for the World Sports Hall of Fame for 1947 are

Christl Cranz (Germany – Alpine Skiing) – the outstanding female skier in the era before the Second World War.  She won a total of twelve world championship titles,  five in the Combined event, three in downhill and four  in the slalom, between 1934 and 1939, including clean sweeps of three golds in 1937 and 1939.  This remains a record for a woman but in those days the championships were held annually. She also won the Olympic gold in the Alpine Combination event in 1936 when her great slalom skiing gave her the title although she only placed sixth in the downhill part of the event following a crash.  She also won three unofficial world titles in 1941 when only Germany-friendly countries competed.

Ragnhild Hveger (Denmark – Swimming) – one of the most prolific record setters in the history of swimming. From 1936 to 1943 she set 44 world records, and at one time she held 19 world records in different distances and disciplines. In 1936 she won three gold medals at the world championships. She took silver at the 1936 Olympics in the 400m freestyle.  However, the Olympic Games were not held in 1940 or 1944 when she was at her peak and so she never won a gold.  She did manage fifth place in 1952 aged 32.  Her best distance was the 400m at which she set eight world records and held the record from 1937 to 1956.  She was named Danish sportswomen of the 2oth Century.

Barney Ross (USA – Boxing) – as one of the few triple division world champions  at lightweight, light welterweight and welterweight. He was never knocked out in 79 fights and defeated great champions like Jimmy McLarnin and Tony Canzoneri, who he defeated in 1933 to become world lightweight and light welterweight champion.  He held the titles until 1935 when he vacated them.  He stepped up to welterweight in where he fought Canzoneri three times, winning the first fight in 1934 and third in 1935.  He held the title until 1938 when losing to another great in Henry Armstrong.  In his career he won 72 and drew three of his 79 fights.

Gene Sarazen (USA – Golf) – one of the great golfers of the 1920s and 1930s.  He won seven majors and is one of only five golfers to win the career Grand Slam of all four majors.  His first came in 1922 when he took the US Open and US PGA, which he retained in 1923.  He then went until 1932 before winning the US Open again and the British Open.  He won a third PGA in 1933 but his most famous triumph came in the 1935 Masters when he holed his second shot at the par 5 15th to instantly make up a three shot deficit on leader Craig Wood.  He won the title in a play-off.  He won 39 PGA titles in his career but aged 71 he played another famous shot when making a hole in one at the Postage Stamp at Troon in the 1973 Open.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The History of Sport 1925: First Pro Basketball League, The All-Black Invincibles Complete Their Undefeated Tour and Bill Tilden’s Sixth Successive US Open Tennis Title

Some of the main events in sports from 1925.

In football the IFAB reforms the offside law, reducing the number of opposing players required to be in front of the attacker for him to be onside from three to two.

In baseball Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Washington Senators to win the World Series by 4 games to 3. The Pirates are the first team to win a Series in a comeback down three games to one.

The American Basketball League is formed as the first major league of professional basketball.

World Middleweight Champion Harry Greb outpoints World Welterweight Champion Mickey Walker over 15 rounds in one of the all-time great boxing matches at New York’s Polo Grounds.

Benny Leonard’s reign as world lightweight boxing champion ends after eight years.

Victoria Cougars defeats Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Cougars are the last non-NHL team to win the Cup.

Five Nations rugby union Championship series is won by Scotland who complete the Grand Slam.

The All Blacks from New Zealand complete their 1924/5 rugby union tour of Great Britain unbeaten in 32 matches.

In rugby league Jim Sullivan kicks 22 goals in a match for Wigan v Flimby and Fothergill

In horse racing Alec Taylor tops the Flat racing trainers list for a record twelfth time.

Eileen Joel rides Hogier to victory in the Newmarket Town Plate to become the first woman to win an Open horse race.

The Oxford v Cambridge match and British Amateur Championship at Rugby Fives are inaugurated.

The first professional sports commentator, Mick Ferry, begins his career with 2FC Sydney at Randwick racecourse.

The St.Petersburg Kennel Club, Florida Opens.  This is the oldest greyhound track still on its original site.

The first international Handball match is held at Halle/Saale with Austria winning 6-3 v Germany.

The French tennis championships achieve international status by becoming an Open championships.

Bill Tilden wins his sixth successive US Open tennis singles title.

Suzanne Lenglen and Elizabeth Ryan win their sixth Wimbledon doubles title.

The MacRobertson International Shield, the most prestigious team croquet tournament, is instituted.

Britain’s Phyllis Green sets three world bests for the High Jump in meetings at Stamford Bridge and Brussels and at Stamford Bridge becomes the first woman to clear five feet. (1.524m)

Clas Thunberg wins three out of four individual events and the overall title at the World Speed Skating championships.

Yorkshire win their fourth successive County Cricket Championship.

The first broadcast cricket commentary is made by L.G.Watt of the match between Australia and The Rest in Sydney.

 

 

Posted in Sports History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment