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The Robinson Library >> In The Year... >> 1947

Sports News and Highlights

Champion sculler John B. Kelly, Jr. was voted the James E.Sullivan Memorial Trophy as the nation's top athlete for 1947. Kelly received 663 votes; runner-up Harrison Dillard, a hurdler, received 608; and three-time decathlon champion Irving Mondschein received 572 votes for third.

Automobile Racing

Mauri Rose won the 500-mile Memorial Day race at Indianapolis, Indiana, on May 30.

On September 16 John Cobb, a 47-year-old fur broker, drove his Railton Mobil Special at 394.196 miles per hour over the straightaway of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, making him the fastest man on land.

[All Automobile Racing Highlights]


On April 15, Jackie Robinson became the first black to play in a Major League Baseball game.

The World Series, September 30 - October 6, pitted the Dodgers against the Yankees for the second time since 1941. For the third successive year, a seventh game was necessary before the championship was decided, in favor of the Yankees.

[All Baseball Highlights]


Holy Cross College defeated the University of Oklahoma 58-47 to win the 1946-47 N.C.A.A. Basketball Championship at Madison Square Garden on March 25.

[All Basketball Highlights]


Willie Hoppe regained the World Three-Cushion title in a tournament held in March by winning 8 out of 9 games. Arthur Rubin came in second.

Willie Mosconi defeated Irving Crane 2,000 to 917 in a series of matches held in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Chicago, Illinois, in May to regain the World Pocket Billiards title he had lost to Crane in 1946.


The 44th American Bowling Congress championships were held at the National Guard Armory in Los Angeles, California, March 27 to May 12. Eddie and Earl Linsz won the team championship with a total score of 3,032 pins over three matches.


On February 7 the New York State Athletic Commission revoked Rocky Graziano's boxing license for his failure to report a $100,000 bribe offer.

Jersey Joe Walcott managed to knock Joe Louis down twice (in the 1st and 4th rounds) during a 15-round match at Madison Square Garden on December 5, but Louis ended up retaining his World Heavyweight Title by virtue of a split decision.

[All Boxing Highlights]


After losing to Yale and Penn, Columbia University, under the direction of Lou Little, entered their home game against Army (on October 25) as 13-point underdogs. Trailing the Cadets 20-7 at halftime, the Lions rallied to win the game 21-20, thanks in large part to Bill Swiacki's pass catching skills. Columbia's win ended Army's streak of 32 games without a loss (30 wins, 2 ties).

Notre Dame quarterback Johnny Lujack was chosen as All-American quarterback and won the Heisman Trophy.

[All Football Highlights]


Byron Nelson came out of retirement to score 283 in the Masters Tournament (April 3-6) and finish tied for second with Frank Stranahan, two strokes behind Jimmy Demaret.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias defeated Jacqueline Gordon 5-4 at Gullane, Scotland, to become the first American to win the British Women's Amateur Golf Championship.

[All Golf Highlights]

Horse Racing

The Kentucky Derby, run on May 3, was won by Maine Chance Farm's Jet Pilot, Eric Guerin up.

Legendary race horse Man O' War died at the age of 30 on November 1.

[All Horse Racing Highlights]

Ice Skating

Barbara Ann Scott, Hans Gerschwiler, and the pairs team of Micheline Lannoy and Pierre Baugniet won the first international competition of the year, the European Figure Skating Championships at Davros, Switzerland

Barbara Ann Scott training in Davos, Switzerland, for the 1948 Olympic Games
Barbara Ann Scott

Motorboat Racing

Miss Peps V, piloted by Danny Foster, wins the 40th International Motorboat Classic (Gold Cup) at Jamaica Bay, New York, August 10. Foster and Miss Peps V also won the National Sweepstakes at Red Bank, New Jersey, on August 24 and the President's Cup on the Potomac River at Washington, D.C., on September 21, making Foster only the third man in history to win all three of those events in the same season.
Miss Peps V


Navy won the Poughkeepsie Regatta (June 21) won by less than half a length over Cornell. Cornell was followed by Washington, California, Princeton, Syracuse, Wisconsin, M.I.T., Pennsylvania, Rutgers, and Columbia.

John B. Kelly, Jr. won the Diamond Sculls over Carl Fronsdal at the Royal Henley Regatta, July 2-5. The Kent School of Kent, Connecticut, defeated Tabor Academy of Marion, Massachusetts, in the final of the Thames Challenge Cup.


John Kramer won the Men's Singles title at Wimbledon.

The U.S. Davis Cup team defeated Australia four matches to one.

[All Tennis Highlights]

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This page was last updated on November 12, 2017.