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Sports Then and Now



Remembering Women’s Tennis Legend Pauline Betz Addie 10

Posted on June 11, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Pauline Betz Addie's amateur career ended abruptly in 1947.

Considering how blurred the lines are today between amateur and professional sports, it is difficult to imagine a time when the rules were so strict that athletes were actually banned from competing in amateur competition simply for considering the idea of becoming a professional. Such was the case for tennis legend Pauline Betz Addie, who recently passed away at the age of 91.

As women’s sports rose in prominence and stature during World War II, Betz Addie was the most dominant women’s tennis player in the country.

After having reached the finals the previous year, she won the U.S. National Championship (now the U.S. Open) for the first time in 1942 while still an undergraduate student at Rollins College in Florida.  She went on to appear in the finals every year between 1941 and 1946 and claimed the championship four times.

In 1946 she appeared at Wimbledon for the only time in her career and easily won the title without dropping a set. Later that year, she won the U.S. Nationals for the fourth time and appeared on the cover of Time magazine, which pronounced her the “first lady of tennis.”

However, that would be the last year in which she would be able to compete for the most prestigious titles in tennis.

Until 1968, the four major tennis championships – U.S. National, French, Australian and Wimbledon – were all amateur events with no prize money and professionals were barred from competing. Read the rest of this entry →

Rollins College Women’s Tennis: Small School With A Big Tradition 12

Posted on August 25, 2009 by Dean Hybl
A four-time championat the U.S. Nationals, Pauline Betz-Addie claimed the 1942 title while still attending Rollins College.

A four-time champion at the U.S. Nationals, Pauline Betz-Addie claimed the 1942 title while still attending Rollins College.

Teenage girls patrolling the courts at Grand Slam tennis tournaments is nothing new for the sport of women’s tennis. However, unlike the players of today, some of the stars from the past didn’t just juggle tennis schedules, they also often juggled their college course schedules.

Greats of the game including Doris Hart, Helen Wills Moody, Althea Gibson, Billie Jean King and Helen Hull Jacobs all competed in Grand Slam tournaments while also balancing their academic calendar.

Surprisingly, the college with the grandest tradition as home to women’s tennis greats of the past is a tiny school located just outside of Orlando, Florida.

With less than 2,000 students, Rollins College is a small liberal arts college popular with students from the northeast and known for producing champion water skiers, golfers, tennis players and occasionally even a movie star (most notably Buddy Ebsen and Anthony Perkins).

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Archie Griffin: 2-Time Heisman Winner
      December 11, 2022 | 1:42 pm
      Archie Griffin

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is the only football player ever to capture college football’s top individual award twice.

      As a star running back for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Archie Griffin claimed the Heisman Trophy during his junior season in 1974 and then was able to repeat the honor the following season.

      Griffin joined the Buckeyes for the 1972 season, which happened to be the first in which freshmen were eligible to play varsity football, and made an immediate impact. After fumbling in his only carry of his first game, Griffin more than made up for it in his second game by rushing for 237 yards against North Carolina. By the end of the season, Griffin had rushed for 867 yards.

      Read more »

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