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1958: The Year U.S. Track Died

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  • T&F was in it's death throes when ratings driven TV execs got their hands on it.

    cman

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    • Originally posted by gh
      HAPPENSTANCE TWO
      Colts/Giants on December 28, 1958 (in Yankee Stadium, no less!). A thrilling game frequently cited as the real birth of the NFL.
      Two new books about The Game, and another about the Giants of that era, are reviewed in the NY Times Book Review (dated tomorrow, online now).

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/books ... upt-t.html

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      • Another candidate for a seminal 1958 event leading to the demise of Track and Field would be: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/nyreg ... ref=slogin
        The invention of the video game.
        Last edited by G.Ahearn; 09-26-2014, 09:46 PM.

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        • Never wanting to let a good thread die, it's time to add to this one. If people want to skip from GH's posing of the question (post #1) to his answer (#97), you may, but you'd be missing lots of interesting stuff.

          In any case, I just came across this ominous bit of news, a precursor to GH's "death of track." On June 11, 1957, The Olympic Club of San Francisco and the Los Angeles Athletic Club each announced they would no longer be funding track & field teams. The two clubs had been the most prominent clubs west of Chicago since their formations more than 100 years ago.

          The Olympic Club had produced national-level track athletes as early as 1876, the Los Angeles AC as early as 1911. The Los Angeles Times noted that among the new "free agents" would be Parry O'Brien and Bud Held of the SFOC, and Bob Richards and Phil Conley of the LAAC.

          Art Rosenbaum's story about the SFOC quotes Club President Gene McAteer as saying too many of the track team members were "outsiders" with little ties to the club, O'Brien and Held among them. Rosenbaum quoted McAteer, saying, "He sees no reason why the OC should sponsor a team just to 'wear our jerseys.'" McAteer cited Dutch Warmerdam as representing the OC all over the U.S. but "never stepped foot inside our club."

          At the time of their demise, no clubs west of the Hudson River had won as many AAU men's outdoor track team titles as either of the two clubs, the LAAC with seven championships and the SFOC with six.

          Call this a tack in the coffin.

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          • 1958?

            That year, both Mary Decker and Alberto Salazar were born!!
            In fact, weren't they both born on August 4th of that year??

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            • Originally posted by aaronk View Post
              1958?

              That year, both Mary Decker and Alberto Salazar were born!!
              In fact, weren't they both born on August 4th of that year??
              No, in fact, Salazar was born 3 days later.

              Is your link to Google broken?

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              • Originally posted by gh View Post
                So (this extrapolation mine, not anything he said) whereas the hoops junkie in the old days might have switched to track during the off-season, just so he had a sport to stay hip on, now the hoops junkie can be that full time.

                Less love left for us. :-(
                imagine a time when the US gold medalist at 400m and the US silver medalist at 100m were respectively a west coast basketball recruit and an east coast baseball recruit !!

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                • Originally posted by dj View Post
                  Never wanting to let a good thread die,....
                  oo!-oo! does that it mean it's time for somebody to resurrect "you, your iPod a desert island"?

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                  • Originally posted by dukehjsteve View Post
                    Also, there was an important scientific advancement that made the West Coach expansion of Baseball feasible.... Passenger Jet Airplanes. They kicked in that same year ( 1958) and the knowledge that they were coming was deeply entwined in the plans to move the Giants and Dodgers to the west coast. That had not been a barrier for football as they only played once a week.
                    For many years, if I recall correctly, the Dodgers had their own plane (a 707 initially?) that they used to get around the country very effectively on road trips because they could show up at the airport and hop right on to the plane. No waiting for space to become available or waiting a long time for the next service to the right next city.

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