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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

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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