THE HISTORY OF SPORTS
In the 1900's football was popular at only a few Ivy League colleges, and basketball had yet to catch on. The upper class preferred expensive, sports like tennis, golf, horse racing, sailing, and polo. Baseball, however, was already America's most talked about sport and was on its way to becoming a national obsession. Amateur baseball teams had existed for decades. By the 1900's, every small town had a fiercely competitive league. Professional teams, meanwhile, had been around since 1880's began to really get popular. In 1902, professional teams had an over all fan ratio of 3.5 million people. And by 1911, that number had nearly doubled to 6.5 million. The American league was established in 1900, to rival the National League to organize teams. The rival leagues played the first World Series in 1903, with Boston defeating Pittsburgh. Also, the first baseball stadium was constructed in Pittsburgh, followed soon by similar stadiums in Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and New York. The famous baseball anthem, "Take Me Out To The Ball Game", was first heard in 1909.
19th century timeline for women in sports
This outline of women in sports was developed by the St. Lawrence County Branch of the New York State, American Association of University Women. The AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. See here.
1804 - Horseracing The first known woman jockey was Alicia Meynell of England. She first competed in a four-mile race in York, England.
1805 - Ballooning Madeleine Sophie Armant Blanchard solos in the first of 67 gas-powered balloon flights. She made her living as a balloonist, was appointed official Aeronaut of the Empire by Napoleon, and toured Europe until she fell to her death in an aerial fireworks display in 1819.
1805 - Ice Skating The first known ice skating race for Dutch women is in held in Leeuwarden.
1805 - Horseracing Englishwoman Alicia Meynell, riding as Mrs. Thornton, defeats a leading male jockey, Buckle, in a race.
1811 - Golf On January 9, the first known women’s golf tournament is held at Musselburgh Golf Club, Scotland, among the town fishwives.
1819 - Thightrope Mms. Adolphe becomes the first known woman to perform on a tightrope in the US in New York City.
1825 - Ballooning Madame Johnson takes off in a hot air balloon in New York, landing in a New Jersey swamp.
1834 - Lacrosse The first modern Lacrosse games are played. Lacrosse will become a major new sports opportunity for women in the 1990's with many colleges offering scholarship dollars. The original game was played by North American Indians.
[SEE THE FULL TIMELINE HERE]