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100 Years Ago

January 8, 2010 - Michael Palmer
It’s cold and snow is deep on the ground, college football has wrapped up and no high school sports are being played….so let’s take a look at what was happening in the Wide World of Sports 100 years ago in 1910.

In the 1900's football was popular at only a few Ivy League colleges, and basketball had yet to catch on.


Harvard defeated rival Yale in the College football championship game and thus shared the national title with Pittsburgh.


Amateur baseball teams were popular in every small town and each area had their own fiercely competitive league. Baseball stadiums were springing up across the country, the first 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.

On April 14, William Howard Taft became the first president to throw out the first ball of the baseball season at a game between the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics.

(With apologies to Seth) The Philadelphia Athletics (102-48) beat the Chicago Cubs (104-50) to win the World Series 4 games to 1.

In the American League. Future Hall of Fame pitcher and Cleveland Indians ace Cy Young won his five-hundredth game on July 19th after beating the Washington Senators 5-4 at American League Park II.

A big controversial decision that year was when on October 9, 1910, Ty Cobb stayed out of the lineup to preserve his .383 (.3833992) batting average. Nap Lajoie, who was playing in St. Louis, went eight (8) for eight (8) in a doubleheader where six (6) of his hits were bunt singles. He finished with a .384 (.3840947) batting average and rumor has it that the Browns "gave" Lajoie the singles by playing too deep. Ban Johnson investigated and found no wrong doing. The Chalmers Award was given to both players and the following season new rules with baseball writers voting were instituted.

In the National League.

On August 13th, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Brooklyn Dodgers played in perhaps, the most evenly matched game ever. Both teams finished the 8-8 tie (called on darkness) with exactly eight runs, thirteen hits, thirty-eight at bats, five strikeouts, three walks, one hit batter, one passed ball, thirteen assists, twenty-seven putouts and two errors with two pitchers used for each team.


5 January — National Hockey Association (NHA) commences its inaugural season

15 March — Montreal Wanderers wins the NHA championship and the Stanley Cup. The club then defeats Berlin Dutchmen in a challenge. It is the fifth season in a row that Montreal Wanderers has won the Cup outright or won a Cup challenge.

Your local sports pages were in a newspaper that cost just 1 red cent.

Here are some statistics for a century ago:

The average life expectancy was 47 years.

Fuel for Ford automobiles was sold in drug stores only.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in 1909 was 22 cents per hour.

The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .

Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as 'substandard. '

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death were: 1. Pneumonia and influenza 2. Tuberculosis 3. Diarrhea 4. Heart disease 5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30 !

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea Hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school... Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, 'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health' ( Shocking ? DUH ! )

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A..!

Plus one more sad thought -- 95 percent of the taxes we have now did not exist in 1909.


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