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Sports Trivia

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Ray Harroun was the first Indianapolis 500 winner in 1911.

Roberto Clemente was first Hispanic player inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. This event took place on August 6, 1973.

Roger Bannister was the first man to break the four-minute mile; however, he did not break the four-minute mile in an actual race. On May 6, 1954, he ran 3:59.4, while being carefully paced by other runners. Bannister's quarter-mile splits were 57.5 seconds, 60.7, 62.3, and 58.9. Twenty-three days after Bannister had run the most famous mile of all time, fellow Briton Diane Leather became the first woman to break five minutes with a time of 4:59.6 in Birmingham, England, on May 29, 1954. In the forty-plus years since the two British runners broke these significant marks, women's times have improved by a far higher percentage than men's.

Golfer Payne Stewart was a highly recognizable figure on the green because of his color-coordinated outfits. For a time, he wore the colors of NFL teams in the cities where he was competing. At the Phoenix Open, he wore outfits created to reflect the colors of Super Bowl teams, because the game traditionally was played the same day as the Open's final round.

Golf-great Billy Casper turned golf pro during the Korean War while serving in the Navy. Casper was assigned to operate and build golf driving ranges for the Navy in the San Diego area.

Golfing great Ben Hogan's famous reply when asked how to improve one's game was: "Hit the ball closer to the hole."

Golfing legend Lee Trevino was born and reared in Dallas, Texas, by his mother who worked as a house cleaner, and his grandfather, who was a gravedigger.

Helen Wills Moody was the first female African American tennis player to achieve international fame. She had more Wimbledon titles than any woman in tennis history, until Martina Navratilova broke the record in 1990.

High temperatures can make rubber or plastic grips on tennis, golf, or racquetball equipment totally unusable. Avoid storing racquets or golf clubs in your vehicle's trunk, particularly during the summer.

Hockey netminder Georges Vezina picked up the nickname "The Chicoutimi Cucumber" based on the name of his birthplace in Quebec and because opponents said he was "as cool as a cuke" when he tended nets for the Montreal Canadiens from 1917 to 1926. The trophy for NHL goalies is named after Vezina.

Horse racing is one of the most ancient sports, originating in Central Asia among prehistoric nomadic tribesmen around 4500 B.C. When humans began keeping written records, horse racing was already an organized sport throughout the world.

Horse racing was the first sport to have strict regulations against drugs.

Ronald Reagan's favorite pastime sport was horseback riding.

Saint Lydwina is the patron saint of ice skating.

Seven thousand years ago, the ancient Egyptians bowled on alleys not unlike our own.

Soccer gave us the term "melee." It means a "confused mass," which was what the playing field looked like in Europe in the Middle Ages. Towns competed using teams of up to a hundred players, with the goals a half-mile or so apart.

Soccer midfielder Mia Hamm was nicknamed "Jordan" when she attended the University of North Carolina. The name was derived from basketball alumni Michael Jordan.

Some form of bowling is played in more than 90 countries around the world. Approximately 100 million people participate in bowling today.

Sports historians have traced roller skating to the early 1800s when an unknown Dutchman sought to find a warm-weather equivalent to ice skating. He decided to attach wooden disks to shoes; after a short period of refinement, roller skating became a popular pastime in Holland. The sport attained even greater popularity among the North American public with the introduction of the steel wheel with ball bearings.

Stan Musial, on July 9, 1963, became the first baseball player to appear in twenty-four All-Star games.

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