Sports & Leisure
The nation's passion for sports is obvious every day—at NASCAR races, kiddie soccer matches, and countless other contests. From a handball used by Abraham Lincoln to Chris Evert's tennis racket to a baseball signed by Jackie Robinson, the roughly 6.000 objects in the Museum's sports collections bear witness to the vital place of sports in the nation's history. Paper sports objects in the collections, such as souvenir programs and baseball cards, number in the hundreds of thousands.
Leisure collections encompass a different range of objects, including camping vehicles and gear, video games, playing cards, sportswear, exercise equipment, and Currier and Ives prints of fishing, hunting, and horseracing. Some 4,000 toys dating from the colonial period to the present are a special strength of the collections.
"Sports & Leisure - Overview" showing 1 items.
- The soccer ball has evolved over the years, but the most famous model is the Adidas Telstar. It is made of leather and consists of 32 hand-stitched panels - 12 black pentagons and 20 white hexagons. These shapes are used to create the “roundest sphere of all time.” The use of white and black made the ball more visible on television. The first was used in 1970 for the FIFA (International Federation of Football Association) World Cup.
- Different leagues began to use different colored balls to create “trademark” looks. The red, white, and blue ball shown here was used in the NASL’s (North American Soccer League) first championship game. The “Soccer Bowl,” as NASL commissioner Phil Woosnam christened it, was played on August 24, 1975, in San Jose, California, between the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Portland Timbers, two expansion teams that joined the league that year. Tampa Bay beat the all-British Timbers, 2-0, and became the third consecutive expansion team to take the NASL crown.
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- ca 1975
- date made
- North American Soccer League
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center