Lecture 5 – Nineteenth-Century Sport Spectacles
Victorians or new middle class
Space and time
o Steam boats
1860, Excelsior’s baseball team (Brooklyn)
1876, National League (professional baseball)
Until 1950, baseball teams traveled by train until air flight became affordable.
Mass produced watches (people will be able to know when the sports games are to watch art a
Telegraph (big because results can be known quickly – important for the paper as they can make
the papers quickly for the people to read the next morning with results of the games)
Print media (largely dedicated to the educated elite)
Daily newspaper (political news)
o Weekly specialized news sheet
William Trotter Porter’s Spirit of the Times (1831) – Had to subscribe yearly.
New York Clipper (1845) and The Sporting News (1886) focused on baseball.
National Police Gazette (1845) covered all forms of entertainment
o Yellow journalism
The Boston Transcript, the Baltimore Sun and the New York Herald (reported
gossip, scandals, made up stories)
Middle Class Victorian culture
Successful self-made men (farmers, business men etc.)
Money bought respectability
o Methodist and Baptist denominations
o Special responsibility to women
Attitudes towards sport
o Rational recreation
o Private sphere of family
Muscular Christianity (muscular morality)
Thomas Wentworth Higginson (studied the Greeks) – Had a balanced life. Being ethical, moral
and physical. This will lead to personal success for little kids as it will make then tougher and successful when
they are older (not committed to sport)
o Moral benefits guided and controlled spirit of amateurism.