In the late nineteenth century, cycling became a popular American pastime. The League of American Wheelmen, a prominent club for cyclists, claimed forty-four members at its founding in Rhode Island in 1880, but within seven years its membership had increased to ten thousand members nationwide. Hundreds of other cycling clubs also were formed as both recreational riding and competitive racing flourished across the country. In St.
Sports and Recreation
By popular consensus, Tom Bass was one of the most skillful and popular horsemen of his era. At the time of his death in 1934, his home in Mexico, Missouri, was overflowing with awards he had collected over a lifetime as a rider and trainer of fine show horses.
Pitching immortal Satchel Paige, noted for his tall tales as much as his pitching, claimed that James “Cool Papa” Bell could run so fast—in the outfield or on the base paths—that when he turned out the light at night, he was in bed before the room got dark. Then there was the time, said Paige, that Bell hit a line drive up the middle between the pitcher’s legs, but was called out because the ball hit him as he slid into second.
Curt Flood spent most of his baseball career with the St. Louis Cardinals, playing center field for them from 1958 to 1969. A three-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove recipient, he played on three National League pennant winners, two of which also won World Series titles. Flood is best remembered, however, for his lawsuit challenging Major League Baseball’s reserve clause.
The 1944 World Series was the first played entirely west of the Mississippi River. St. Louis, then the westernmost outpost of Major League Baseball, hosted the series between the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals and the American League champion St. Louis Browns. All games were played at Sportsman’s Park, home to both teams. The Browns had won their first-ever league pennant on the final day of the regular season, finishing with a record of 89–65, one game better than the Detroit Tigers.