Tag Archives: sports

Joe Rabbitt

The July 14 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star had a brief article about a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team who was battling for the International League lead in stolen bases. Appropriately enough, his name was Joe Rabbitt:

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The Baseball Reference web site has an entry for Joe Rabbitt – unfortunately, it doesn’t list the International League stolen base statistics for 1930, so I don’t know whether he actually succeeded in winning the “base-running championship”. It does state that Rabbitt did make it briefly to the major leagues many years before, as he played in two games with Cleveland in 1922 and got one hit. It was a brief showcase, as he was sent back to Class C ball the next year.

Rabbitt played one more season for the Leafs, and played his last year of organized baseball in 1932. He passed away in 1969.

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Joan McSheehy

The July 5 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of a woman who had just won two swimming events at a race in Long Island.

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Joan McSheehy (1913-1948) competed in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, finishing fifth in the 100-metre backstroke. Footage of the 220-yard backstroke that she won at Jones Beach can be found here.

She later married, becoming Joan Huffman, and passed away at the age of 34. I could find no details on how or why she died so young.

Canada’s Olympic hopes

The July 5 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained a photograph of two women who were slated to run in the 100-metre dash in the upcoming 1928 Olympic Games.

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Myrtle Cook and Ethel Smith wound up collecting gold in Amsterdam: they were half of the relay team that finished first in the women’s 4 x 100 event.

Cook captained the relay team, and her time of 12.0 seconds in the Olympic trials tied the world record for women in the 100 metres and was not beaten until 1932. She became a sportswriter in Montreal, and remained a member of the Canadian Olympic Club, running the hospitality suite for the 1976 Olympic Games. At that time, she was 74, but was still fit enough to run a lap of the track after the events finished at the Olympic Stadium. She passed away in 1985.

Besides being part of the relay team, Smith earned a bronze as a solo competitor in the women’s 100 metre event. She was from a poor family, and had to leave school in the eighth grade to work in Toronto’s garment district. She retired from competition in 1929, and passed away in 1979.

A smart junior hurdler

Editors used to sometimes add outlines in old newspaper photos to help the reader distinguish foreground from background. The July 3 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contains a particularly clumsy example of this.

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Sadly, the “smart junior hurdler” now looks like he was drawn in crayon.

Arthur Ravensdale (1911-1975) continued to compete in the hurdles until the British Empire Games of 1934, despite breaking his hip while playing rugby. A street in his native Cobourg is now named after him.

Here is footage that includes Ravensdale winning in a hurdles event.

Australian sprinter

The July 2 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included this photograph of Australian sprinter Alice Wearne, who was about to represent her country at the upcoming Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

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Eileen Wearne (1912-2007), whose full name was Alice Eileen Wearne, did not qualify for a medal at the 1932 games, but did win a gold medal and a bronze medal at the 1938 Empire Games in Sydney. At the time of her death in 2007, she was the oldest living Australian Olympian.

Tennis players

The July 2 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two photographs of famous tennis players performing at Wimbledon:

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Ellsworth Vines (1911-1994) wound up winning the men’s singles title at Wimbledon that year. He was ranked #1 in the world or tied at #1 for four years: 1932, 1935, 1936, and 1937. He was so good at tennis that he eventually got bored with it and switched to golf, winning a tournament in 1946 and another in 1955.

Jacques Brugnon (1895-1978) was also a winner at Wimbledon in 1932: he won the doubles title with his partner Jean Borotra. Brugnon and Borota were two of the Four Musketeers, four Frenchmen who dominated tennis in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Giant football

Here’s a publicity photograph from the September 23 1930 Toronto Daily Star showing three members of the University of Southern California Trojans football team.

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There are Wikipedia entries for two of these three men:

  • Erny Pinckert (1908-1977) played in the NFL between 1932 and 1940. He was the younger brother of astrologer Jeane Dixon.
  • Tay Brown (1911-1994) went on to coach college basketball and football.