Welcome to The Horsehide Historian blog. You might find yourself asking, "What is the significance of "horsehide" in baseball, and why choose to use such a moniker?" Quite pointedly, the name stems from the use of horsehide leather baseballs in the major leagues until the conclusion of the 1973 baseball season. In 1974, MLB switched to cowhide … Continue reading Horsehide? Who and what IS The Horsehide Historian?
As part of the Oklahoma black rodeo digital history project, The Oklahoma Black Rodeo Roundup Archive (OBRRA), I decided to read and review Kristine Fredriksson’s 1985 text about the history of rodeo in the U.S. from the 1860s to the 1980s. Up front, it should be mentioned that I read this book explicitly to probe … Continue reading American Rodeo, Whitewashed Versions of Colorful Sport, A Book Review
Jim Thorpe parades onto a baseball field in full Native regalia, his war bonnet headdress whips about making it easily visible to the spectators in the stands. He shuffles his feet to the sound of a distant tom-tom beating out the rhythm of a Native song. In Middletown, New York, this exposition might have happened … Continue reading Hardball and Headdresses: Jim Thorpe, Harjo’s Indians, and Playing Social Stereotypes in Oklahoma Native American Baseball
Many of baseball’s biopic tales begin with a love for the game shared between a father and a child. My love for baseball started at a young age hearing accounts of talent and tragedy. My father Willard was an extremely adept baseball player growing up. He could play all positions, throw right or left handed, … Continue reading The Dominican American Dream
On an overcast March day—too dark for sunglasses, too bright to go without—Tulsa baseball historian, Wayne McCombs, eases his sky blue Mercury just beyond the shadows of “old” Drillers Stadium and parks cattycorner in a nor’easter view. McCombs looks calm and collected. Outside his driver side window, he hears the chatter and bustle of 15th … Continue reading Wayne McCombs: Safe at Home
108 S-t-i-t-c-h-e-s Mickey Mantle still lives in the fresh cut grass of centerfields each Spring. Working class legends from the mines of Oklahoma, fields of Van Meter, Iowa, orphanages of Baltimore, streets of St. Louis, and the textile mill towns of South Carolina produce a patchwork of national citizenry. Apple Pie. America. Baseball. One hundred … Continue reading 108 S-t-i-c-h-e-s