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Sporting Oregon

A Pictorial History of Early Oregon Sports

Brian S. Campf

Foreword by Carl Abbott. Afterword by John T. Hawk.

7 × 10. . 240 pages. Approx. 350 b&w and color photos and illustrations. Index. 240 pages.

2019. ISBN 978-0-87071-971-4. Paperback, $29.95.

For thirty years, Brian Campf collected vintage photographs and ephemera related to Oregon sports. Sporting Oregon includes more than three hundred images that offer an overview of the first fifty years of organized sports in the state, primarily baseball, football, and basketball, but also such pastimes as horse racing, track, hockey, tennis, and cricket.

In his introduction, Campf traces the origins of team sports in Oregon, using period newspaper accounts to chronicle their increasing popularity. Detailed captions provide additional information on how and where sports developed, team histories, and records of noteworthy games and seasons. The book features the earliest original photo of Oregon sports and other historically significant images, including a number from early Oregon Agricultural College (now OSU) and University of Oregon teams.  

Ranging across the state’s regions and communities, the images in Sporting Oregon include women’s basketball, African American baseball, and teams representing a variety of towns, schools, and organizations. Even the smallest communities welcomed organized sports, often an agreeable diversion from a hardscrabble life. Campf shows how sports brought people together, as teams and their fans ventured to neighboring towns, traveling by horses, wagons, trains, and even boats—the start of sports rivalries that continue to this day.  

Sporting Oregon will appeal to readers interested in sports history, Oregon history, vintage photography, Americana, and local history. A foreword by historian Carl Abbott and an afterword by special collections librarian John Hawk provide additional context for this visual treasure trove. Packed with images from the past that provide a fascinating lens through which to view Oregon history, Sporting Oregon’s pages will be savored by people of all ages, by scholars and casual readers alike.

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