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Handbook of Texas Online

Having a Ball with Texas History

Our fourth contest focuses on the history of sports in Texas. The questions vary in difficulty, but all can be readily answered with the help of the New Handbook of Texas, or the Handbook of Texas Online. This is an "open book quiz" offered as an educational and, we hope, entertaining exercise. We encourage you to consult both the print and online editions of the Handbook of Texas as you answer the questions. For those who relish the thrill of victory, we even offer a couple of prizes (details below).

Sporting events of many kinds have played an important role in Texas history. Activities ranging from rodeo and horse racing to golf and basketball are part of our collective heritage and reflect the exquisitely varied cultural fabric of the Lone Star State. Texans of all ages take their sports seriously. The state has a long history of athletic excellence at both the amateur and professional levels in team and individual sports. Individual athletes, as well as teams, events, and even sporting venues, have been the focus of public fascination within the state, across the country, and, on occasion, around the world.


The Questions

Question 1:

The legendary King Ranch began breeding quarter horses and English thoroughbreds in the early 1940s. One of its horses won racing's fabled Triple Crown (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont) in 1946. Who was this champion?

Bold Venture
High Gun

Question 2:

The Houston Astros of the National Baseball League went by another name when they began play in 1962. What was it?

Colt 45s

Question 3:

Which Texas athlete won medals in seven events (out of eight entered) at the 1932 Amateur Athletic Union track and field championships, breaking four world records in the process, then became a successful professional in another sport?

Doak Walker
Bobby Layne
Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Bibb Falk
Bobby Morrow

Question 4:

Which of the following schools was not a charter member of the Southwest Conference, formed in 1914 as the Southwest Intercollegiate Athletic Conference?

Oklahoma A&M University
Rice Institute
Texas A&M University
Southern Methodist University
Southwestern University

Question 5:

Texas has always been a stronghold of rodeo, which grew out of the cattle industry in the American West and traces its roots back to the Spanish conquistadores, who introduced horses to Mexico in 1519 and cattle in 1521. Which Texas town was the site of the first rodeo to award prizes?

Fort Worth

Question 6:

This golfing immortal, a Stephenville native, almost died in an automobile accident near Van Horn in 1949, but won the U.S. Open only sixteen months later. Was he:

Byron Nelson
Jimmy Demarest
Lee Treviño
Ben Hogan
Harvey Penick

Question 7:

This team, a charter member of the American Basketball Association in 1967, was originally known as the Dallas Chaparrals, joined the National Basketball Association after the ABA folded in 1976, and won its first NBA title in 1999. Which team is it?

San Antonio Spurs
Indiana Pacers
Houston Rockets
New Jersey Nets
Dallas Mavericks

Question 8:

Which of the following members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame never played in the Texas League?

Mickey Mantle
Dizzy Dean
Hank Greenberg
Duke Snider
Al Simmons

Question 9:

The National Hockey League franchise now known as the Dallas Stars began play in 1967-68, but moved to Texas before the 1993-94 season. What was the team's original name?

Montreal Canadiens
Houston Aeros
Minnesota North Stars
Oakland Seals
Austin Ice Bats

Question 10:

This historian served for many years as treasurer of the Texas State Historical Association, and also as director of the Interscholastic Athletic Association, which was succeeded by the University Interscholastic League in 1912. Was he:

Walter Prescott Webb
Eugene C. Barker
Charles W. Ramsdell
George P. Garrison
Lester G. Bugbee