World Sports Hall of Fame 1935 – Walter Hagen, Maria Mednyanszky, Clas Thunberg and Mickey Walker

My choices for the World Sports Hall of Fame for 1935 are –

Walter Hagen (USA -Golf) – the winner of eleven golf Majors at a time when there were only three to play for. He won the US Open in 1914 and 1919, the British Open in 1922, 1924, 1928 and 1929 and the US PGA in 1921 and from 1924 to 1927. Those four consecutive PGA titles are the only time in golf history that one player has won the same major in four straight years. He won 45 PGA titles and 30 other titles.  He also had an outstanding record in Ryder Cup matches from 1927 to 1935 where he won seven out of nine matches and only lost one.  He captained the USA team six times.

Maria Mednyanszky (Hungary – Table Tennis) – one of the greatest female tennis players of all-time and probably the bet European woman. She won the first five world women’s singles titles from 1926 to 1931. In the next two years she was runner-up to Anna Sipos who she combined with to win six women’s doubles world titles from 1930 to 1935. She also won the first doubles title in 1926 and six mixed doubles titles. Her total of 18 titles remains a record for world championships.

Clas Thunberg (Finland – Speed Skating) – the world overall champion a record equalling five times and the first great speed skater of the modern era.  He was a relatively late starter but competed at the world championships over a 14 year period until he was 42 in 1935. As well as his all-round titles he won the 1500m title seven times, the 500m six times and the 5000m once.  He won five Olympic golds (three in 1924 and two in 1928) making him the most successful competitor in any sport at those Games.  He set four world records.

Mickey Walker (USA – Boxing) – regarded by many as one of the top middleweights in boxing history and amongst the top twenty or thirty at any weight.  He turned pro in 1919 and after mixed fortunes early in his career became world welterweight champion in 1922.  He held the title until 1926, defending it five times and made an unsuccessful attempt to take the middleweight title in that period.  He had outgrown the welterweight division and later that year won the middleweight world title.  He held that for five years, although only defending three times, before giving it up to try at higher weights.  He tried and failed to win the world light-heavyweight crown though he did beat the champion in a non-title fight.  He won 131 of his 163 fights.

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