World Sports Hall of Fame 1927: Sydney Barnes, Billy Fitzgerald, Suzanne Lenglen and Jimmy Wilde

My choices for the Hall of Fame for 1927.

Sydney Barnes


 (England –  Cricket) – One of the greatest bowlers of all-time. He was tall and could vary his pace from slow-medium to fast. Compared with others of his time he played little county cricket but in Test matches he took 189 wickets in 27 Tests at an average of 16.43 between 1901 and 1914. This total of wickets wasn’t beaten until 1936. In a tour of South Africa in 1913/4 he took a record 49 wickets at 10.93 including 17-159 in one match. This record analysis for a Test wasn’t surpassed until 1956. In all matches he took 6229 wickets at an average of 8.33 although some of this was in minor counties and league cricket which he played for many years.

Billy Fitzgerald (Canada – Lacrosse) – one of the greatest lacrosse players in history.  He led his team, St.Catherines Athletics, to the Globe Shield every year from 1905 to 1912.  He turned professional in 1909 and was later signed by Vancouver.  There he received a salary of $5000 a year, an enormous sum for the time, and helped them win the Minto Cup in 1911, the professional world championship.  He remained a huge star in Canada until he retired in 1922.

Suzanne Lenglen (France – Tennis)

– the greatest female player of the early 20th century and the first to become a worldwide star.  She won her first Wimbledon singles title in 1919 and won the title every year until 1925 except for 1924 when she withdrew through illness.  She won the doubles every year from 1919 to 1925 and the mixed doubles three times.  She won the French Open singles every year from 1920 to 1926 except for 1924 when she didn’t compete.  She was Olympic champion in singles and doubles in 1920 and won ten world hard court titles (four at singles).  She quit amateur play in 1926 after walking out of Wimbledon and turned professional.  She lost only one singles match from 1919 and 1926 and won 81 singles titles in her career.

Jimmy Wilde (Great Britain – Boxing) –

one of Britain’s greatest ever boxers and often rated as the finest flyweight in history.  He was the first generally recognised world flyweight champion after taking the title in 1916, only a few months after winning the British title but vacated the title in 1917.  He won his first 103 fights and in his career won 139 out of 145 fights with 98 wins by knockout.  He had a fearsome punch and his percentage of knockout wins is one of the highest ever.  He was rated the third greatest puncher of all-time by Ring Magazine.


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