Sporting Through History

History has shaped sports (and vice versa) in ways you may not have realized. Want to explore some unforgettable athletic feats of yesteryear? Here’s a sampling of what the Lititz Public Library has to offer.

For kids
“Sports Illustrated Kids Football: Then to Wow!” edited by Bob Der
Football has changed significantly since its beginnings in the late 1800s. The rules have evolved, the equipment looks radically different, and football players did not always earn as much as they do today… just to name only a few changes.

Champions of Women's Soccer“Champions of Women’s Soccer” by Ann Killion
With women’s soccer rapidly rising in popularity, get inspired by learning about its biggest stars and most defining moments in history, including the World Cup in 1999.

“Who Was Jackie Robinson?” by Gail Herman
Jackie Robinson was not only the first African American major league baseball player, but he was also a prominent figure in the civil rights movement who made a difference in the world of sports and beyond.

“Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports” by Phil Bildner
Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, known for their radically different styles of playing tennis, go from being fierce rivals to good friends over the course of their careers.


For adults
Upon Further Review : The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History“Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History” by Mike Pesca
Injuries, politics, a matter of seconds—all of these can influence outcomes in sports, maddening as it can be for fans and athletes. Consider some pivotal moments in sports history and what the alternatives could have been.

“Season of Saturdays: A History of College Football in 14 Games” by Michael Weinreb
Did you know that college football has been around in America since 1869? Learn about its early days, speculate on its future, and discover more about the sport’s ups, downs, and legendary personas.

“Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in August” by Oliver Hilmes
Take a day-by-day look at the strains of life during the Olympics held in Nazi Germany from the perspectives of a variety of people—from the athlete’s-eye-view to that of the locals of Berlin.

Glenn Killinger, All-American : Penn State's World War I Era Sports Hero“Glenn Killinger, All American: Penn State’s World War I Era Sports Hero” by Todd M. Mealy
While many athletes are recognized for skill in a single sport, Glenn Killinger was gifted not only in football, but also basketball and baseball at a time when America’s interests in sports was on the rise.

“The Last Great Walk: The true Story of a 1909 Walk from New York to San Francisco and Why it Matters Today” by Wayne Curtis
When Edward Payson Weston, America’s most famous pedestrian, decided to make a transcontinental walk in 100 days at the age of 70, the popularity of walking was declining in a world that increasingly favored speed and cars.

“Showdown at Shepherd’s Bush: The 1908 Olympic Marathon and the Three Runners Who Launched a Sporting Craze” by David Davis
With three contenders for the victory of the world’s first marathon came a massive controversy with one runner disqualified and the runner-up snubbed due to bias, all of which gave rise to the popularity of marathon running.

Electric October : Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever“Electric October: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever” by Kevin Cook
Six underdog players gained the spotlight in the historical 1947 World Series, outshining the many famous figures who surrounded them.

“You Stink! Major League Baseball’s Terrible Teams & Pathetic Players” by Eric J. Wittenberg and Michael Aubrecht
Consider baseball from the loser’s perspective. The winners reap all the attention, so we tend to forget about the mishaps and the less-inspiring (and sometimes more relatable) players.

“Orr: My Story” by Bobby Orr
Some people find themselves in the public eye and manage to remain a mystery. Bobby Orr, famous for his prowess in hockey, is a private man of humble beginnings who, for many years, has kept quiet about his life. This memoir goes beyond hockey and explores personal struggles and valuable lessons he has learned over the years.

“The Game Must Go On: Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII” by John Klima
When famous athletes like Hank Greenberg left baseball to serve in WWII, lesser-known players had to step up to the plate to keep the game alive, thus transforming baseball.

Kathryn Raynor
July 24, 2019