The Lake Placid Curling Club has invited the public to a “Learn To Curl” session at the Saranac Lake Civic Center on January 12, 2020, from 3:45 to 6 pm. The program will briefly cover the history of the game, and then focus on etiquette and sportsmanship, game rules, on-ice training, and practice. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘sports history’
The French Cyclone: Early Professional Wrestler Al Marlowe
“Al Marlowe, ‘the French Cyclone,’ returned yesterday from Alburg, Vt. where he wrestled Leo Desbriches, champion of the New England states, to a draw…. The Ogdensburg man is proving himself one of the best wrestlers in this section….”
On November 28, 1919, this was the reportage in Ogdensburg’s Republican Journal’s sports section regarding the city’s 21 year old professional grappler’s two hour match. His career was marked by two championships, and many print sources referred to Marlowe as “an artist of the mat.” Today he is recognized as one of the last legitimate professional wrestling champions in the North Country as well. » Continue Reading.
Golfer Babe Ruth Played at Plattsburgh’s Hotel Champlain
Babe Didrikson’s visit to the North Country in 1934 was historic, especially for Plattsburgh, where it was acknowledged as one of the greatest moments in the city’s history. She was an American hero (thanks to a startling performance in the 1932 Olympics), undeniably one of the world’s top athletes, and a phenomenon because of her high levels of talent in various sports. Plattsburgh’s remote location in New York’s northeast corner makes it difficult to get noticed, so Didrikson’s visit was regarded as a major coup.
Coincidentally, she wasn’t the only Babe from the stratosphere of sports fame to visit Plattsburgh in the 1930s. Even more unlikely is that both Babes were among the most famous athletes in America, and both were able competitors in sports other than the one that brought them the greatest fame. Didrikson, a track-and-field gold medalist, brought her basketball team to Plattsburgh, while Babe Ruth, a baseball giant, came north to play in an international golf tournament. » Continue Reading.
William C. Geer, North Country Inventor, Had A Ball
Whether you’re a fan of golf or sports in general, you’re probably aware that Tiger Woods recently won the Masters. His impact on golf history has been tremendous, but the latest chapter in his saga has been inspirational for several reasons: through lengthy, rigorous effort, he overcame physical obstacles that would have ended most sports careers; as an old man, he defeated all the best young players on the planet (he’s only 43, but athletes in their forties seldom win the biggest events); and overall, it was a rare comeback effort that most experts dismissed as impossible because of the factors just cited — and we do love comeback stories.
But this isn’t about Tiger Woods and it isn’t a comeback story. It’s about a remarkable North Country man who affected in a positive way untold millions of people around the world through his inventions, including one of his lesser creations — a new and improved golf ball that was the industry standard for decades. » Continue Reading.
Nonpareil Athlete Babe Didrikson’s North Country Visit
During the first half of the 20th century, traveling basketball and baseball teams were part of America’s social fabric, providing great entertainment for millions of appreciative fans. Mostly visiting cities and surrounding communities, the famous and near-famous made the rounds each year. Their competition consisted of locally organized squads that often recruited one or more talented college or semi-pro players.
In New York, the most popular routes for traveling teams were from New York City north to Albany, and west to Buffalo. It was uncommon to find nationally known stars straying from those paths to visit the state’s northernmost regions, but in 1934 — 85 years ago this week — Plattsburgh and other lucky sites played host to sports royalty in the person of Mildred “Babe” Didrikson. At the very least, she was the equal of most men in several sports. Invariably, she is listed among the greatest female athletes of the 20th century. Compilations, like this one by Sports Illustrated, usually place her at the top among athletes who specialized in single disciplines, but when it comes to all-round talents and achievements, there are few if any challengers to Didrikson. » Continue Reading.
Something BIG Was Once Afoot in the Adirondacks
This appears to be the easiest North Country riddle ever, but humor me and give it a try anyway. What is very tall, very hairy, probably didn’t smell very good, and set tongues wagging when it was seen in the northern Adirondacks several times in early 1933? Just to be safe, take a moment and think about it. Hey, you never know — it could be a trick question. But if you’re still stumped or not certain of your answer, here’s another clue that might prove the clincher: it was known for having very large (OK … BIG) feet.
If you answered anything other than Gil Reichert, you’ve been successfully misled. No apologies here, though, for the description above fits both Reichert and your likely choice (Bigfoot) to a T. » Continue Reading.
Jack Lagree: Dannemora’s Bobsled Guru
Long before the 2015 escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat, the word Dannemora instantly conjured images of the prison. While the high wall dominates the landscape, the village does have other historical connections, some of them in the world of sports, including one through the person of John “Jack” Lagree. Jack was a native of Churubusco, a tiny hamlet in northwestern Clinton County.
Blessed with engineering talent, mechanical skill, and a strong, traditional, North Country work ethic, he rose to national prominence in the world of bobsleigh competition (referred to hereafter by the more popular term, bobsled). » Continue Reading.
Chateaugay Olympian Karl Frederick: Literally A Shooting Star
The 2016 Summer Olympics have ended, and as usual, they were quite the spectacle. Folks in the Adirondacks and North Country are perhaps bigger fans of the Winter Olympics, for obvious reasons: the games have been held twice at Lake Placid, and a number of area natives have attained lifelong dreams by earning a place on the podium. But a man born in this region achieved summer Olympic glory long ago, one of many highlights in a very accomplished life.
Karl Telford Frederick was born in 1881 in Chateaugay (northern Franklin County), where his father was a Presbyterian minister, which required a somewhat nomadic existence (five relocations in 14 years). Before Karl was three, the family moved to Essex on Lake Champlain, remaining there until 1888—not a long time, but sufficient to establish a lasting connection between him and the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
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