Three Major Sports Events in the 1960s

The 1960’s was an era of change that left its mark on sports. Television introduced an entirely new way for us to watch and engage with sports; thus increasing popularity. Additionally, professional leagues were formed, leading to players receiving higher salaries as well as more physical contact in football games – as well as witnessing its inaugural event; Super Bowl I in 1967 being just one of many memorable examples.

In the 1960s, The Boston Celtics were an unstoppable basketball force – winning nine out of ten possible championships and featuring such iconic players as Wilt Chamberlain. Muhammad Ali also rose to fame during this time period – both entertaining fans with his fighting style as well as making headlines by speaking out on political matters.

Jack Brabham of motor racing fame won his second F1 title while tragedy struck when all members of the USA figure skating team died in a plane crash while traveling to Prague, Czechoslovakia for World Championships. Australia and Soviet Union tied for overall medal count winners during major multi-events such as FIFA World Cup (football), Commonwealth Games and Winter Universiade held in Sestriere Italy;

baseball became immensely popular during the 1960’s with superstar players like Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Roger Clemente and Sandy Koufax leading their respective teams to World Series victories. Pittsburgh Pirates defeated Casey Stengel’s New York Yankees in Game 7 for another World Series championship victory with Bill Mazeroski hitting a home run that won it for them – an iconic moment indeed!

Soccer was another immensely popular sport during this era, and England took home their second FIFA World Cup while Spain were dark horses but reached the semi-finals before losing on penalties to West Germany. Meanwhile, 72 people on board an airplane crash killing coaches and members of their USA squad headed for Mexico City were taken from us before we could even compete at that year’s World Cup tournament began.

Notable events of this decade included the rise of professional sports leagues and women’s involvement in previously male-dominated sports. Australia excelled internationally while participation rates were high with women pushing for equal opportunities within local sport participation rates. Australian rules football and tennis became professional while broadcasting and television helped increase interest in these activities.

Coverdale’s book is a stunning accomplishment and it would be impossible to pick just three major sporting events from its ten year coverage of major sporting events and their related historical contexts. Coverdale covered almost all major sports played during that era (with the exception of auto racing, bowling, horse racing and tennis) along with plenty of national and international historical accounts that include details about fact-finding. His meticulous research provided comprehensive notes about sources cited throughout. Ultimately his book illustrated how sports, history, social change and political developments all intertwined during that ten year span of time.