In the 1920’s America introduced new laws limiting working hours and increasing leisure time. America turned to sports to fill their leisure time and they became a national phenomenon. During this time participation as well as spectator interests soared to great numbers in a short period of time.
Considered the most popular sport during this time and soon became known as “America’s Pastime.”
Players and teams such as Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees were raised to pedestals of heroism.
Less known but just as talented players included, Satchel Page, James Bell, and Josh Gibson contributed to the diversity of the game by starring in newly created Negro Leagues.
1927 New York Yankees Lou Gehrig
Another popular sport during the time, but with less popular players.
Hero of the game was Harold “Red” Grange who scored 5 consecutive touchdowns in a collegiate battle against Michigan.
Grange’s decision to go pro sparked the establishment of football, the NFL, as a professional sport.
He was also the first athlete to make the cover of Time Magazine .
Red Grange in his days of glory
One of the only sports of the time to feature females as well as males.
Suzanne Langlen, one of if not the best female athlete of the time, brought attention to the game through her exceptional play as well as her daring outfits.
In a era where women were very concealed, Langlen wore dresses that left her ankles and forearms exposed, a very daring and soon accepted fashion statement.
Bill Tilden, the male star of the time, was the first nationally known tennis star in the U.S., winning 10 majors, including the Wimbledon and the age of 37
“ Big” Bill Tilden, left, in his match versus Rene “ The Crocodile” Lacoste, right Suzanne Langlen and friends Grange and Pile, left, out on the town and one of her opponents, Helen Wills, right, getting off a boat in France
In the first half of the 20’s, the NHL competed with rival leagues the PCHA and the WCHA.
Both of these leagues folded and soon the NHL began to thrive with the introduction of new rules to increase the game’s difficulty and star players.
Athletes like Frank Boucher and the Cook brothers on the Rangers and Dit Clapper and Eddie Shore on the Bruins brought new excitement, interest, and popularity
The 1928-1929 Boston Bruins, left, and the New York Rangers, right, who competed for the 1929 Stanley Cup 1929 series MVP Cooney Weiland of the Boston Bruins
With the end of so many violent wars, a brutal sport like boxing had to fight it way to become accepted by America.
With a star just as big as Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, this sometimes gruesome event soon made its way into our hearts.
The most famous fight in boxing history, “The Long Count”, featured the rematch of Dempsey versus Gene Tunney in 1927.
Over 100,000 fans flocked to Soldier Field and thousands more listened on the radio to hear the outcome of the great fight.
Dempsey has Tunney on the ropes, thrashing him with every punch. Regardless of his valient effort his opponent, Tunney, ended up keeping the title of heavyweight champion by way of points.
The 1920’s sparked an up-rise in sports mania throughout the country. In addition to the more popular sports were horse racing, golf, and the world of motor sports. Through this era arose dedicated athletes as well as spectators. Sports society today has been greatly influenced by the everlasting impact of that decade.