Cleveland Sports have a long and sometimes bittersweet history. The world knows about some – Bob Feller, Jim Brown, LeBron James, Jesse Owens… But they need to know about Johnny Kilbane, Harrison Dillard, Charlie Sifford and others.
Here are some Cleveland Sports stories and locations celebrating the people, teams and events.
Jim Brown. The greatest running back in football history and arguably the greatest NFL player ever.
Cleveland Buckeyes. Cleveland’s Negro league baseball team that played from 1942 to 1950 in the Negro American League.
Ray Chapman – Cleveland Indians shortstop Ray Chapman is the only Major League Baseball player to have died from an injury received at a major league baseball game. See his grave in Cleveland where fans leave baseballs, gloves and Cleveland Indians memorabilia.
Harrison Dillard – the only person to ever win Olympic Gold in both hurdles and sprints. 4 gold medals total. Don’t miss his statue at Baldwin Wallace College.
Larry Doby – In July 1947, Larry Doby joined Jackie Robinson in breaking the MLB color barrier as he became the first black player to integrate the American League when he signed to play with the Cleveland Indians.
Bob Feller. Greatest right-handed pitcher in baseball history, this record-breaking Hall of Famer was the first US athlete to enlist after Pearl Harbor and gave up 4 prime years.
League Park. Historic field that served as home of the Cleveland Indians, Negro League Cleveland Buckeyes, NFL Cleveland Rams and Browns and more. Many historical events.
John W. Heisman. The football player and coach who is best known for the Heisman Trophy that bears his name.
Johnny Kilbane – featherweight boxer who held the world featherweight title from 1912 to 1923, the longest period in the division’s history. He was the second longest world title holder in boxing history, behind only Joe Louis. See his statue in Cleveland.
Jesse Owens. Greatest track and Field athlete of all time. His 4 gold medals in Berlin in 1936 shamed Adolph Hitler.
Frank Robinson. The first African-American hired to serve as manager in Major League history. Cleveland Indians.
Charlie Sifford – The Jackie Robinson of Golf. Before there was Tiger Woods, there was Charlie, the first African American to play on the PGA Tour.
- Soap Box Derby
- LeBron James home, school
- Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Softball Hall of Fame
- City of Champions 1948
- and many more
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