Jackie Robinson Not the Only Headline in 1947

Welcome back to Peculiar Side of Sports.  Every so often something in sports perplexes me.  So, I do what any normal, sane sports fan does – I search ad nauseam for the answer by any means necessary.  The good news is that I take all my hard work and relay the results to you.  If you are a fan of Sports History, check out the other articles I have written in this column, which covers virtually all major sports. Today we look at the year 1947, best known for the MLB debut of Jackie Robinson.

Sports Snapshot is meant to present to you some of the most important years in sports history. While you most likely already know about the headline story, there were other significant goings-on in the sporting world that were eclipsed and in some cases, entirely forgotten about.

While Jackie Robinson breaking the colour barrier (whether or not others were equally as responsible is debatable), and for good reason, is the most significant story and the one most of us associate with 1947, the NHL, NFL and NBA all had significant moments as well.

The Art Ross Trophy—the trophy awarded to the player with the most points in a season—is one of the most revered trophies in hockey. It was in 1947 that the iconic trophy was first awarded having been donated by Art Ross, a former player and team executive. Elmer Lach was the award’s first recipient.

Football, too, changed in 1947 with the advent of several new rules that are still in existence today. Most notably, a backjudge was added, a point after touchdown became a dead ball, and a penalty would be enforced for illegal hands to the face.

Finally, the Basketball Association of America played it’s second to last season before merging to become the current National Basketball Association. With the exception of the Providence Steamrollers who did anything but (with only six wins on the season), the league enjoyed parity. Regardless, the league was coming to an end.

Snapshot 1947 (1)