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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 more than twenty-five years, Brian Campf collected vintage photographs and ephemera related to Oregon sports. Sporting Oregon includes approximately 350 images from Campf’s extensive collection that offer an overview of the first fifty years of organized sports in Oregon, 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 the increasing participation in and popularity of organized sports in the state. Detailed captions provide additional information on how and where the sports developed, on team histories, and on records of games and seasons. The book features a number of images from early Oregon Agricultural College (now OSU) and University of Oregon teams.

The book’s images range from historically significant (the earliest original photo of Oregon sports) and diverse (women’s basketball, African American baseball) to athletes representing towns, schools, and organizations across Oregon. It is a book about sports but the images also reflect the people, places, and society of their time. Whites did not play on the same teams as blacks. Women wore modest attire. Sports were played in even the smallest communities, a welcome diversion from a hardscrabble life. Using horses, wagons, trains, and even boats, teams and their fans ventured to neighboring towns, bringing people together.

Sporting Oregon is intended for 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 the 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 and lingered over by people of all ages, by scholars and casual readers alike.

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