Twin Cities Sports History

I’m happy to alert you to the publication of a new book that many of you will enjoy. Twin Cities Sports: Games for All Seasons, edited by my friend Sheldon Anderson, was released yesterday by the University of Arkansas Press. The book presents many of the most interesting aspects of sports in Minnesota history. It provides a behind-the-headlines look at sport and society. I can guarantee everyone will learn something new about sports history in Minnesota.

Dick Dahl writes about pro football, Stew Thornley about the Minneapolis Lakers, Tom Jones about golf — just three of the nine chapters. I think you’ll also enjoy reading about Minneapolis park history from someone other than me in Shannon Murray’s excellent chapter on the creation and evolution of the park system.   Twin Cities Sports Cover

I contributed a chapter on the history of Twin Cities speed skating in addition to collaborating with Shel on chapters about high school basketball and high school hockey. I am especially proud to have written the first broad account of speedskating in Minneapolis and St. Paul, from early superstars like John S. Johnson to the great skaters that came out of the Hippodrome Skating Club in St. Paul and Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis. While researching that chapter I learned so much about extraordinary athletes who have never gotten the attention they deserve. There is so much more to tell. Might be worth a book in itself someday!

Here’s my brush with greatness in the book: we illustrated the basketball chapter with an action photo of Lindsey Whalen in high school. I remember playing in the same gym in which that shot was taken. How cool is that? I bet there’s fewer than six degrees of separation.

The Roseau high school hockey cheerleaders also talked with me and a friend at the lunch counter in the old W.T. Grant’s store on Seventh Street in downtown St. Paul during the state hockey tournament one year when I was a kid. They must have thought we were cute little kids. We were probably staring at them. We were star struck. When you grew up on the East Side of St. Paul hockey was a big deal, so Roseau hockey cheerleaders were nearly celebrities. They were on tv!

I hope you will pick up a copy of the book. Of course, it’s available on Amazon, but I would encourage you to shop at local booksellers when you can.

David Carpentier Smith

1 comment so far

  1. JOAN PUDVAN on

    GREAT JOB OF TELLING US ABOUT THIS, DAVE…THE WRITERS OF THIS WINNER ARE LUCKY TO HAVE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK.


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