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The Rise of Professional Sports

Throughout most of human history, men and women have worked too hard to enjoy much leisure time. Leisure was a privilege for the affluent or a reward for hard work rather than a right in itself. For most people, only the weekly Sabbath days, which already had specific purposes, broke up the incessant struggle for food, shelter and clothing. Indeed, the Sabbath day of rest was the cause of a persistent social conflict in nineteenth and early twentieth century Wisconsin: Yankee Protestants often tried to impose laws regulating the conduct of Catholic immigrants who enjoyed beer gardens, picnics, sports, and... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: La Crosse's first bowling alley built in 1846  La Crosse's first bowling alley built in 1846
Link to article: A Beloit baseball team has a record-setting season in 1867  A Beloit baseball team has a record-setting season in 1867
Link to article: Early baseball in 1860s Baraboo  Early baseball in 1860s Baraboo
Link to article: The Black Hawk Country Club golf course nears completion in 1921
  The Black Hawk Country Club golf course nears completion in 1921
Link to article: Janesville baseball player becomes assistant secretary of war  Janesville baseball player becomes assistant secretary of war
Link to article: Programs and scorecards from the Kenosha Comets  Programs and scorecards from the Kenosha Comets
Link to article: Men in La Crosse form a Toboggan Club, 1885  Men in La Crosse form a Toboggan Club, 1885
Link to article: An 1897 bamboo bicycle  An 1897 bamboo bicycle
Link to article: "Ikey" Karel leads the Badgers to victory in 1894  "Ikey" Karel leads the Badgers to victory in 1894
Link to article: Milwaukee gymnasts take the world by storm in 1880  Milwaukee gymnasts take the world by storm in 1880
Link to artifacts: Baseball uniform of Wittenberg's own Bill Gates, 1922  Baseball uniform of Wittenberg's own Bill Gates, 1922
Link to artifacts: Brett Favre jersey, 2005  Brett Favre jersey, 2005
Link to artifacts: "Red" Schoendienst's World Series bat, 1957  "Red" Schoendienst's World Series bat, 1957
Link to artifacts: An Aqualand water ski used for slalom skiing  An Aqualand water ski used for slalom skiing
Link to artifacts: Memorabilia from the Milwaukee Braves, 1953-1965  Memorabilia from the Milwaukee Braves, 1953-1965
Link to book: A review of the 1878-79 curling season for Milwaukee and Portage  A review of the 1878-79 curling season for Milwaukee and Portage
Link to book: Yearbooks and scorecards from the Racine Belles  Yearbooks and scorecards from the Racine Belles
Link to book: The Pneumatic, a progressive monthly paper for cyclists  The Pneumatic, a progressive monthly paper for cyclists
Link to book: Green Bay Packers Yearbooks from the Lombardi Era  Green Bay Packers Yearbooks from the Lombardi Era
Link to book: Pre-season media guides to the 1966-1967 Green Bay Packers teams  Pre-season media guides to the 1966-1967 Green Bay Packers teams
Link to book: Green Bay Packers game programs, 1939-1965  Green Bay Packers game programs, 1939-1965
Link to book: A celebration of the Lombardi Era, 1959-67  A celebration of the Lombardi Era, 1959-67
Link to book: Yearbooks from the Milwaukee Braves  Yearbooks from the Milwaukee Braves
Link to book: The sports and games of Indians  The sports and games of Indians
Link to book: The Oshkosh Base Ball Club from 1872-1913  The Oshkosh Base Ball Club from 1872-1913
Link to book: Bowling souvenir from the 1895 tournament season  Bowling souvenir from the 1895 tournament season
Link to images: Memorabilia from the Green Bay Packers, 1944-1968  Memorabilia from the Green Bay Packers, 1944-1968
Link to images: Photographs of Wisconsin bowlers  Photographs of Wisconsin bowlers
Link to images: Photographs of Wisconsin golfers  Photographs of Wisconsin golfers
Link to images: Images of baseball in Wisconsin, 1900-1965  Images of baseball in Wisconsin, 1900-1965
Link to images: A women's curling team in Madison  A women's curling team in Madison
Link to images: Pictures relating to the Green Bay Packers  Pictures relating to the Green Bay Packers
Link to images: A performance by members of the Madison Turnverein, 1939  A performance by members of the Madison Turnverein, 1939
Link to places: Eagle River Stadium, Wisconsin's hockey capitol  Eagle River Stadium, Wisconsin's hockey capitol
Link to places: Carson Park Baseball Stadium in Eau Claire  Carson Park Baseball Stadium in Eau Claire

Primary Sources Available Elsewhere

Link to article: Follow an African American baseball team on a tour through Wisconsin in 1923  Follow an African American baseball team on a tour through Wisconsin in 1923
Link to book: A 1922 winter carnival in La Crosse  A 1922 winter carnival in La Crosse
Link to collections: Interviews with former members of the women's baseball league  Interviews with former members of the women's baseball league
Link to images: Trading cards of Wisconsin athletes, 1870-1890  Trading cards of Wisconsin athletes, 1870-1890

Related Links

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Learn about other topics from our new book, Wisconsin History Highlights
Read more about baseball in Indian Country
Find out what happened this day in Wisconsin sports history
Learn more about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
Read more about women's baseball at the Baseball Hall of Fame
See pictures and learn more about the "girls of summer"

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