stated in the introduction to this thesis, the candidate feels that a more or
less close examination of the sports already touched upon should be sufficient
to indicate general trends during the Age of Sport. The candidate believes (and
he again acknowledges his debt to some of the "elder statesmen" who
assisted him) that he has been able to give a unique insight into the age
through the quotation of forecasts made in bygone days. Although, as the reader
has seen, these forecasts were sometimes intended to be frivolous, time has
proved some of them to be quite sound.
If the candidate
were to tell the whole story, sport by sport, he would, of course, require a
score of volumes to contain it. And probably a longer lifetime than he may
expect—even in this Age of Age.
The growth of
aquatic sports alone, with boats now as numerous as automobiles were at the
dawning of the age, could be recommended as the subject for another student's
thesis—to say nothing of skin diving.
And would not
bowling, which now claims 50 million devoted adherents, also be entitled to a
volume of its own? Who but Victor Kalman of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED could have
foreseen the great boom of bowling as a spectator sport with a television
rating only a fraction of a point behind baseball?
There are so many
stories to be told that the candidate (granted the agreement of the jurors
who will pass judgment on this thesis) hopes to spend the rest of his life in
the finding and the telling of them. There will be the story of the 3:40 mile,
the 8-seconds-flat 100-yard dash, the 8-foot high jump and the 76-foot
And now, begging
the indulgence of the jurors, the candidate presumes to close this thesis with
another apt quotation from the baseball immortal for whom he was named, Mr.
Branch Rickey. Speaking to the crowd at Kleinsasser's Stadium in Levittown on
his 95th birthday, Mr. Rickey explained that he would like to paraphrase
another great man of his times, Sir Winston Churchill, who expressed a similar
sentiment on the occasion of an alliance between Britain and the United States.
Mr. Rickey then went on to say:
"I have seen
the Age of Sport coming. I have fought for it and labored for it and prayed for
it. And now that it is here, I say to you good people of Levittown, 'Oh, let it
roll on and on and on!' "
January 20, 2005.
entertainment was revolutionized by the new importance of sports. In 1961 The
Ed Sullivan Show, a fabulous mid-century hit, abandoned its vaudeville format
and was devoted to 60 minutes of golf instruction by leading professionals.
 Other cities
in the western major league are Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, Seattle, Los
Angeles, San Francisco, Oklahoma City and Spanish Gardens, Texas. Spanish
Gardens was once a suburb of Dallas.