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The Robinson Library >> In The Year... >> 1958

Sports News and Highlights

Herb Elliott, Australian distance runner who set world records for the mile and 1,500 meters, was named Outstanding Male Athlete of 1958 by an East-West European sports editors' panel on December 12 and in an Associated Press poll reported on December 24.

Automobile Racing

Jimmy Bryan won the 500-mile Memorial Day race at the Indianapolis Speedway on May 30, driving a Belond Special at an average speed of 133.791 miles per hour. Pat O'Connor was killed in a 13-car crash in the first lap.

[All Automobile Racing Highlights]


The 1958 Major League season was marked by the National League's abandonment of New York, with the New York Giants moving to San Francisco, California, and the Brooklyn Dodgers moving to Los Angeles, California.

On January 28, Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella was seriously injured in an auto accident in Glen Cove, New York. The accident left him paralyzed from the neck down.

On February 27, New York Yankees center fielder Mickey Mantle signed a contract worth an estimated $72,000 to $75,000.

The Washington Senators defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-2 in the first Major League game of the 1958 season in Washington on April 14.

The New York Yankees, leading the American League by 12-1/2 games, clinched their ninth pennant in 10 years under Manager Casy Stengel with their first two victories in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 14. The Milwaukee Braves, 5-1/2 games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates, clinched their 2nd consecutive National League pennant on September 21 by winning in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Yankees beat the Braves 4 games to 3 to win the World Series, October 1-9.

[All Baseball Highlights]


The National Basketball Coaches Association All-American Team, announced on March 12, included Wilt Chamberlain of Kansas, Oscar Robertson of Cincinnati, Elgin Baylor of Seattle, Guy Rodgers of Temple, and Don Hennen of Pittsburgh.

Kentucky won the National Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 22 with an 84-to-72 victory over Seattle.

[All Basketball Highlights]

Bicycle Racing

Charley Gaul won the Tour de France, which finished at the Parc des Princes Velodrome in Paris on July 19. Gaul's winning time was 116 hours 59 minutes 5 seconds. Although the race usually starts and finishes in Paris, this year it started in Brussels, Belgium, scene of the World's Fair.

A racer collides with a track official near the finish line of the Tour de France.
cycling crash

Ercole Baldini won the Professional Road Title at Rheims, France, on August 31.

Michel Rousseau won the World's Professional Sprint Championship at Paris, France, on September 7.

Michel Rousseau turns to see Enzo Sacchi hit the ground in a spectacular fall in the World's Professional Sprint Championship.
Michel Rousseau

Roger Rivière, who in 1957 set a new one-hour unpaced record of 29 miles 276 yards, bettered his mark to a distance of 29 miles 938 yards at the Vigorelli Velodrome in Milan, Italy, on September 23.


Willie Mosconi retained his crown as World Pocket Billiard Champion and Harold Worst held his title as World Three-Cushion Billiards Champion, as 1958 saw no professional championship matches or national tournaments in either sport.

Boat Racing

An outboard motorboat speed record of 107.821 miles per hour was set on June 7 on Lake Washington, Seattle, Washington, by Hugh Entrop, in his 12½-foot boat. The previous record of 100.3 miles per hour had been set by Massimo di Priolo in 1956.

Hugh Entrop sets a new outboard motor speed record.
Hugh Entrop

The Hawaii Kai III, Jack Regas driving, won the Gold Cup Speedboat Race on Lake Washington on August 10.

Donald Campbell, driving his jet-propelled Bluebird K7, set a world boat speed record of 248.62 miles per hour on Lake Coniston, England, on November 10.


The 72-day American Bowling Congress Tournament in Syracuse, New York, which ended on June 6, attracted 5,434 five-man teams, 8,712 doubles teams, 17,402 singles entrants, and 15,184 all-events competitors. The Falstaff Beer team of St. Louis, Missouri, won the men's team event with a score of 3,210 (including a tournament record single-game score of 1,226) and the team all-events title with a new tournament record of 9,608 pins. Bill Tucker and James Vrenick won the doubles event with 1,414. Ed Shay was voted the tournament's most spectacular performer; his championship singles score of 733 included the 15th perfect game in ABC tournament history. Al Faragalli scored 2,043 for the individual all-events crown and Tom Hennessey averaged 209.15 pins as he swept seven matches to win the ABC Masters title.

Al Faragalli
Al Faragalli

Chicago, Illinois's, Allgauer Restaurants took the team championship at the 42nd annual Women's International Bowling Congress tournament in San Francisco, California, with a total score of 2,972. Mae Ploegam, who was instrumental in the Allgauer victory, also won the all-events crown with 1,828. Ruth Hertel took the singles crown with 622 and Jean Schultz and Tess Johns won the doubles with 1,173.

Ed Lubanski won the men's bowling title and Charlotte Grubic won the women's title in the World Individual Match-Game Tournament in Chicago, Illinois, on December 12.

Don Carter and Marion Ladewig were named Bowlers of the Year by the Bowling Writers Association of America.


"Sugar Ray" Robinson, weighing 159-3/4 pounds, won the world middleweight championship for the fifth time by scoring a 2-to-1 decision over Carmen Basilio, 153 pounds, in 15 rounds in Chicago, Illinois, on March 25.

[All Boxing Highlights]


The German equestrian team won the Prix des Nations on November 11 and the over-all jumping title in the National Horse Show, held in New York, New York, November 4-11.


The U.S.S.R. outscored France, Hungary, and Italy to capture the Prince Rainier Trophy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the first world championships held on the American continent. The Soviets won the women's team, the women's individual foil with Valentina Kisseleva, and the saber individual with Iakov Rylskii. They lost the foil team to France on a count of touches, after tying in matches and bouts. Italy won the épée team, Hungary retained the saber team crown, Great Britain's H. William Hoskyns won the individual épée, and Italy's Giancarlo Bergamini won the foil individual.

Hungarian fencer Linda Domolky (left) lunges at her opponent, Valentina Kisseleva of the U.S.S.R., in a bout at the world championship meet.
Domolky vs Kisseleva

Canadian Thomas Pearce (left) and France's Gerard LeFranc in the world championship match; LeFranc won.
Thomas Pearce vs Gerard LeFranc

Jose Gutierrez of Venezuela (right) avoids a thrust by Jurgen Theurkauff of Germany in an individual epee elimination match.
Gutierrez vs Theurkauff


The West beat the East in the Pro Bowl National Football League All-Star Game in Los Angeles, California, on January 12.

The Baltimore Colts won the National Football League championship on December 28 by beating the New York Giants 23-17 in "sudden death" overtime at Baltimore, Maryland.

Army halfback Pete Dawkins was awarded both the Maxwell and Heisman Memorial trophies. Teammate Billy Cannon was voted "Back of the Year."

[All Football Highlights]


Stan Leonard won the $40,000 Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 27.

Mickey Wright won the Ladies Professional Golf Association title in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on June 8.

Tommy Bolt won the U.S. Open title on June 14 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

[All Golf Highlights]


The Deutscher Turner Bund, a West German gymnastics team, toured the United States in 1958.

Ursula Brian, a member of the Deutscher Turner Bund, demonstrates precision maneuvers on the parallel bars in Chicago, Illinois.
Ursula Brian

The Amateur Athletic Union championship competition, held in San Fernando, California, on May 9 and 10, was won by the Los Angeles Turners.

The United States was represented in gymnastics at the World Games in Moscow, Russia, July 6-10, by a men's team only. Members of the team were Abe Grossfeld and Don Tonry, both from the University of Illinois; Armando Vega, Pennsylvania State University; John Beckner, Arthur Shurlock, and Larry Banner, all of the Los Angeles Turners.

Glenn Wilson, Don Tonry, Abe Grossfeld, Leonard Harris, and Armando Vega gave gymnastics exhibitions in Afghanistan, Turkey, and Iran from August 23 through September 10 on a tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

Horse Racing

Eddie Arcaro brought in the 4,000th winner of his career as a jockey, at Santa Anita, on February 20.

Tim Tam, Ismael Valenzuela up, won the $160,500 Kentucky Derby on May 3.

Cavan, Pete Anderson up, won the Belmont Stakes on June 7.

[All Horse Racing Highlights]

Ice Hockey

The Montreal Canadiens, after winning the National Hockey League title for the tenth time, won their third straight Stanley Cup by defeating the Boston Bruins 4 games to 2, April 8-20.

Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings, was named Most Valuable Player of the National Hockey League.

[All Ice Hockey Highlights]


The Meadow Brook polo team (Long Island, New York) won the U.S. 20-goal tournament in Jericho, New York, on July 13.


Cambridge defeated Oxford in London, England, on April 5 in their 104th crew rowing meet since 1841; it was the 58th victory in the series for Cambridge.

The University of Washington rowing crew defeated the Leningrad Trud crew (Henley Regatta winners, July 5) in a race at Moscow, Russia, on July 19.


In the World Championship Ski Meet at Bad Gastein, Austria, Toni Sailer of Austria won the men's giant slalom, the downhill run, and the Alpine combined title.

[All Skiing Highlights]


On February 8, a plane carrying the Manchester United soccer team crashed on a take-off in Germany. Although seven of its players were killed and several more were seriously injured, Manchester United continued to the final of the English Cup, which it lost to the Bolton Wanderers, 2-0. The Wanderers subsequently fell to Milan of Italy, who in turn were defeated by Real Madrid of Spain in the European Cup.

Manchester United playing its first game after the plane crash that killed seven team members.
Manchester United

Manchester United's center forward lunges after kicking a point in the semifinal match against Fulham in London on March 26.
Manchester United scores a goal

Sixteen nations met in Sweden in June to compete for the 1958 World Championship. Brazil defeated Sweden, 5-2, in the final; France took third place with a 6-3 victory over the defending champions from Germany.


For the first time in history the world championships for both men and women were won by the same sponsor. Raybestos of Stratford, Connecticut, whose Cardinals defeated the McDonald Scots of Lake Charles, Louisiana, for the men's title, completed the feat when their Brackettes defeated the defending champion Rockets of Fresno, California, for the women's title.

Speed Skating

At the National Outdoor Speed Skating Championship held at Lake Como, St. Paul, Minnesota, in January, Jean Omelenchuk won four of the five top events in the senior women's division and Gene Sandvig won three of the seven events in the senior men's division.

[All Speed Skating Highlights]


Forty-one new world records were confirmed by the Fédératio Internationale de Natation Amateur, the world governing body of amateur swimming.

Fifteen-year-old Jon Konrads set seven of those new world records -- 220-yard free-style, 2:03.2; 400-meter and 440-yard free-style, 4:21.8; 800-meter and 800-yard free-style, 9:14.5; 1,500-meter and 1,650-yard free-style, 17:28.7.

Jon Konrads (center) poses with pace setters after breaking four records on the last night of the Australian swimming championships.
Jon Konrads

Sylvia Ruuska tied a record when she won four titles at the Women's National AAU Outdoor Championships -- the 400- and 1,500-meter free-style, 200-meter butterfly, and 400-meter individual medley, the latter with a world record time of 5:43.7.

Sylvia Ruuska
Sylvia Ruuska

The Santa Clara (California) Swim Club retained its national AAU outdoor team swimming title in Topeka, Kansas, on August 1-3.

The University of Michigan won the 35th annual National Collegiate swimming championships.

In October Greta Andersen became the first person to make a round-trip swim of California's 22-mile Catalina Channel.

Track and Field

The National AAU Championships held at Bakersfield, California, June 20-21, produced three world records, one tied world mark, an American record, and a total of ten championship records.

The Soviet Union and the United States met in a two-day track and field match in Moscow, Russia, on July 27-28.

Herb Elliott ran the mile in the world record time of 3 minutes 54.5 seconds in Dublin, Ireland, on August 6.

[All Track and Field Highlights]


A group of eight Russian wrestling champions came to the United States in the spring. They faced a picked American team in matches in Norman, Stillwater, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and in New York City, New York. Terry McCann, the U.S. 125½-pound Amateur Athletic Union Champion, defeated Vladimir Arsenyan three times and tied him once. Bill Kerslake, the Amateur Athletic Union heavyweight champion, tied Otar Kandeleki three times. None of the other six American wrestlers fared well against their Russian opponents.

Terry McCann (left) battles Vladimir Arsenyan in New York City; McCann won.
Terry McCann and Vladimir Arsenyan

Oklahoma State University won its 20th National Collegiate Wrestling Championship on March 29.

The National A.A.U. Wrestling Championships were held in San Francisco, California,in April. Tsukukisa Torikura of Japan, victor in the 114½-pound class was named outstanding wrestler of the meet.


In the 17th attempt to take the America's Cup away from the United States, the British Yacht Club's Sceptre was soundly defeated in four straight races by the New York Yacht Club's Columbia off Newport, Rhodes Island, September 20-26. The Columbia won by margins ranging from 7 minutes 5 seconds to 11 minutes 42 seconds in time and up to 1-1/2 miles in distance.



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The Robinson Library >> In The Year... >> 1958

This page was last updated on March 21, 2018.