“Sport’s Answer to the Three-Ring Circus”: Indoor Track and American Identity in the 1950s

By Cat Ariail “Indoor track, sport’s answer to the three-ring circus, springs full-grown from the winter much as Athena sprang fully-armed from the head of Zeus,” asserted Sports Illustrated’s Tex Maule in 1958.[1] In a subsequent article, Maule suggested the sport “takes on a carnival air when the lineal descendants of the fleet cave man…

Review of Cuba’s Baseball Defectors

Bjarkman, Peter C. Cuba’s Baseball Defectors: The Inside Story. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. Pp. xxxviii+348. Notes, Index, Appendices, Photographs. $36 hardback, $35.99 eBook. Reviewed by Dain TePoel Twenty-three Cubans were on MLB club rosters to open the 2016 season, an increase of five players from 2015 and the most since the Commissioner’s Office…

The Bud Wilkinson Show: Television, the NCAA, and the Cold War

By Andrew McGregor During the fall of 1953 Bud Wilkinson, head coach of the University of Oklahoma, launched his own coach’s show. The fifteen-minute program initially aired live on Tuesday nights at 10:15 p.m. on Oklahoma City’s WKY-TV. Plainly titled “Bud Wilkinson’s Football,” newspapers simply described it as “OU’s famous coach discusses football.”[1] The show…

Review of Globetrotting: African American Athletes and Cold War Politics

Thomas, Damion L. Globetrotting: African American Athletes and Cold War Politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012. 232 pp. $60.00 cloth. Reviewed by Andrew D. Linden In Globetrotting: African American Athletes and Cold War Politics, Damion L. Thomas analyzes the US government’s use of African American athletes as tools in the ideological battle between American…