Story Bibliography
Pennsylvania Sports Bibliography
Further Reading

Bernstein, Mark F. Football: The Ivy League Origins of an American Obsession. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.

A fascinating look at why football took root in elite eastern universities in the late 1800s, and how those schools codified the game and gave it an air of respectability.

Bloom, John. To Know What an Indian Con Do: Sports at Native American Boarding Schools. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.

Though Bloom examines the obvious–Carlisle, Jim Thorpe, and Pop Warner–he also shows how competitive sports programs at the federally operated Indian boarding schools helped instill a sense of dignity, accomplishment, and community purpose.

Cahn, Susan K. Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Women's Sport . Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998.

Cahn not only tells the story of women in sports, she connects that story to social trends and issues, including class and race, beyond the playing fields.

Callis, Tracy, Chuck Hasson, and Mike DeLisa. Boxing Philadelphia's Boxing Heritage, 1876-1976. Portsmouth, N.H.: Arcadia Publications, 2002.

A photo album of Philadelphia boxing history.

Carroll, Bob, ed.. Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. New York: Collins, 1999.

Football's best overall reference book, complete with team histories and the year-by-year records of everybody who ever played in the NFL.

Finoli, David, and Tom Aikens. The Birthplace of Professional Football: Southwestern Pennsylvania. Portsmouth, N.H.: Arcadia Publishing, 2004.

A photo-filled excursion through the region's contribution, especially the town of Latrobe's, to the earliest years of professional football.

Fitzpatrick, Frank. The Lion in Autumn: A Season with Joe Paterno and Penn State Football. New York: Gotham Books, 2005.

A powerful portrait of one of college football's greatest coaches trying to cope with one of his most dismal seasons.

Freligh, Sara. "Crews, Clubs, and Clubhouses." Pennsylvania Heritage :14(4) (1988): 22-29.

A brief history of the sport of crew rowing on Philadelphia's Schuylkill River, famous for its international regatta and "Boathouse Row."

Guenther, Karen. Sports in Pennsylvania. Mansfield Pa.: Pennsylvania Historical Association, 2007.

A short, illustrated introductory history of sports in Pennsylvania from Native American games through modern professional sports, with a chapter on Pennsylvania sports-related historic sites, museums and exhibits, and films.

Herzog, Brad. The Sports 100: The One Hundred Most Important People in American Sports History. New York: Macmillan, 1995.

Short, highly readable biographies of the sports personalities, not all of them athletes, who have left a clear and lasting mark on the sports with which they were involved.

Jable, J. Thomas. "Pennsylvania's Early Blue Laws: A Quaker Experiment in the Suppression of Sports and Amusements, 1682-1740." Journal of Sport History 1:2 (1974): 107-122.

On the origin of the Pennsylvania "blue laws," which outlawed immoral sports and amusements, and the struggles over their enforcement during the Commonwealth's early years.

Jable, J. Thomas. "Social Class and the Sport of Cricket in Philadelphia, 1850–1880." Journal of Sport History 18:2 (1991): 205-223.

Jay, Kathryn. More Than Just a Game: Sports in American Life Since 1945. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.

Jay's sociological exploration of America's modern sporting scene examines how our games influence our society, and how our society influences our games.

Jenkins, Sally. The Real All Americans: The Game that Changed a Game, a People, a Nation. New York: Doubleday, 2007.

A fascinating history of the Carlisle Indian School football team, which places its story in the context of the history of American Indians from the 1870s onwards.

Kirsch, George B., ed.. Sports in North America: A Documentary History. Gulf Breeze FL: Academic International Press, 1995.

A rich collection of newspaper and journal articles, letters, and other primary sources on the history of American sports in the 1800s, including many that document the history of sports in Pennsylvania.

Kudlik, John J. "You Couldn’t Keep an Iron Man Down: Rowing in Nineteenth Century Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh History :73:2 (1990): 51–63.

On the emergence of Pittsburgh as a center of competitive rowing between the 1850s and 1880s.

Levinson, David and Karen Christensen, ed.. The Encyclopedia of World Sport. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Sport by sport, the most-comprehensive single-volume look at our games, why we play them, and how they evolved.

Lucas, John A. "Penn State University’s Olympic Medal Winners and Its Olympic ‘Family'." Pennsylvania History 65:2 (1998): 223–235.

A history of Penn State athletes and alumni who competed in the Olympic Games from 1900 through 1996.

Lyons, Robert S. Palestra Pandemonium: A History of the Big 5. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2002.

A spirited look by a former Philadelphia sports columnist at the sometimes wild and wooly basketball hardwood rivalry that connects Philadelphia's five collegiate powerhouses: Penn, Villanova, Temple, LaSalle, and Saint Joseph's.

MacCambridge, Michael, ed.. ESPN Sports Century. New York: ESPN Books, 1999.

An excellent one-volume, photo rich, decade-by-decade history of the evolution of sports in America, with essays by such noted writers as Gerald Early, Robert W. Creamer, Whilfred Sheed, Dick Schaap, and Joyce Carol Oates.

North, E. Lee. "Pennsylvania‘s Gridiron: Washington and Jefferson College’s First Century of Football." Pennsylvania Heritage 16:4 (1990): 4-9.

A brief account of one of the nation's most unlikely early college football powerhouses.

Peterson, Robert W. Pigskin: The Early Years of Pro Football. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Skillfully weaving together oral histories with fascinating anecdotes, Peterson revives pro football's almost carnival-like beginnings en route to examining its on and off the field growth through 1959, when it began overtaking baseball as America's most popular sport.

Pirro, Joseph. "The United Bowmen of Philadelphia." Pennsylvania Heritage 19:1 (Winter 1993): 8-13.

An introduction to the nation's oldest archery association.

Putney, Clifford. Muscular Christianity: Manhood and Sports in Protestant America, 1880-1920. . Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003.

Solid study of how Protestant ideas about physicality and competition radically changed in the late 1800s as a way, in part, to foster social reform.

Riess, Steven A., ed.. Major Problems in American Sports History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

Riess matches original documents on topics like sporting restrictions in colonial America and sports as big business with a series of enlightening scholarly essays on the topic itself.

Roberts, Randy, ed.. Pittsburgh Sports: Stories from the Steel City. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000.

A fine collection of essays by various writers covering Pittsburgh's sporting scene.

Roberts, Randy, and David Welkys, ed.. One for the Thumb: The Steelers Reader. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006.

From the founding to the fifth Super Bowl victory, this fine anthology collects of some of the best writing about one of the best franchises in NFL history.

Watterson, John Sayle. College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.

A well- researched and thought-provoking history of college football that compares the controversies of earlier generations to those of the present.

Westcott, Rich. A Century of Philadelphia Sports. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001.

A sweeping exploration of sports in Philadelphia that covers amateurs and pros, men and women, and sports ranging from fast-pitch softball to U.S. Open golf tournaments.

Whittingham, Richard. Rites of Autumn: The Story of College Football. New York: The Free Press, 2001.

A superb illustrated history of college football, with particular emphasis on the important personalities, the great games, and the lasting rivalries.

Wiggins, David K. and Patrick B. Miller, ed.. The Unlevel Playing Field: A Documentary History of the African American Experience in Sport. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003.

This fascinating assemblage of documents and eyewitness recollections sheds light on how African Americans created a sports world of their own.

Wind, Herbert Warren. The Story of American Golf. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956.

The most-honored American golf writer explores the sport, its growth, and its influence on society from the late 1880s to the mid-1950s.

Web Guide

"Penn in the 19th Century: Sports Teams," University Archives and Records Center, University of Pennsylvania

Includes online exhibits and histories of University of Pennsylvania baseball, crew, cricket, and football teams, with images drawn from the University of Pennsylvania archives.

"Penn in the Olympics" University Archives and Records Center, University of Pennsylvania

An online history of Penn athletes, coaches, officials, and others who have participated in the Olympic games.

"Philadelphia Big Five" University Archives and Records Center, University of Pennsylvania

A history of one of college basketball's most intense regional rivalries from the 1950s to the present.

Famous Race Horses

A collection of links to archives, photographs, biographies, and tributes to the greatest Thoroughbreds in history, including Man o" War, War Admiral, Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex, and Barbaro.

Friends of Rowing History

This website includes a comprehensive time line, essays on the sport, vintage images, major regatta winners, and a host of links, including one to the Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia.

Ghosts of the Gridiron: The Early Days of Pro Football in Philadelphia

Including sixteen separate stories on teams ranging from The Wheelmen Bicycle Club Football of 1892 and 1893 to the Frankford Legion Independent Professional Champions of Pennsylvania in 1931.

International Boxing Hall of Fame

The official site of the International Boxing Hall of Fame includes short biographies of all the inductees, feature articles about the sport, a solid bibliography, and lots of statistical data.


The NBA's website connects directly with each team's individual site, all of which include comprehensive team histories by decade and pages of player stats.

NFL Internet Network

In addition to team links, the NFL's official site offers an especially comprehensive look at the league's evolution decade by decade, plus league records, player statistics, and franchise histories.

National Hockey League

The official site of the offers links to each team - all of which include histories and stats - plus current schedules, standings, and results.

Official Website of the Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles official site offers team news, statistics, schedules, standings, history, a detailed look at Lincoln Financial Field, and a variety of multimedia features

Official Website of the Pittsburgh Steelers

The official site of the Steelers features team news, statistics, schedules, standings, history, a fact sheet on Heinz Field, and various multimedia reports.

Penn State All Sports Museum

An interactive introduction to the history of many of Penn State's intercollegiate athletic programs, produced by the Penn State All-Sports Museum.

Pro Football and Philly Sports Links

Excellent bibliography of websites on the history of Professional football and Philadelphia sports history, including sections on General Football History and Information, Historical Football Teams, Professional Football Leagues, Philly Football Team and Fan Sites, and Other Philly Sports Teams.

The Online Resource for the National Collegiate Athletic Association

The National Collegiate Athletic Association's comprehensive site provides links to all NCAA member schools with connections to records, schedules, conferences, and rankings.

USA Track and Field

USA Track and Field's home page has up-to-date news about the sport worldwide, plus a stats link with world records and other top marks in each event, as well as biographies of all hall of fame inductees.

United States Golf Association

The United States Golf Association's site tees up a year-by-year history of its major championships, tours its museum displays, and has a searchable database of its extensive book and magazine library.

Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum

Part of the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, the Museum includes extensive exhibits and collections on the history of sports in western Pennsylvania.

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