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TBT: Villanova Basketball

We may not be able to be in the stands this basketball season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show our Wildcat Pride and cheer on our team! This week’s TBT takes us back to a photo inside the Villanova Field House in the 1970s during a basketball game. This photograph comes from the University Archives and can be found in Villanova’s digital collection.


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Wildcats: Then & Now

picture of a Football Brochure, 1958

The spirit of the Villanova Wildcats is strong in all that we do – whether it’s dominating in the sports realm, succeeding academically, or “proving them wrong” by wearing our masks on- and off-campus. Above you can see a picture depicting the 1958 football schedule along with two pictures of Wildcats. Although Will D. Cat’s look may have evolved over the years, ultimately the ability of Wildcats to successfully survive and adapt is the spirit the Villanova community embodies. 

Here are a couple of fun throwback facts about the Villanova Wildcats:

  1. Villanova’s Wildcat most closely resembles the bobcat, which is found in the Southwest part of the United States.
  2. In 1930, 1945, 1947, and 1949 Villanova acquired a wildcat that was kept in a cage on campus at the Fieldhouse and traveled to both home and away games.
  3. For a short period during the late 1970s and early 1980s the word “cat” was added to the name of the individual sports: “Trackcats”, “Watercats”, and “Polocats.”

To read and see more about the evolution of the Wildcats, visit the digital library exhibit Wildcats Past & Present: Moments from the History of Sports at Villanova.


Headshot of post author and graduate assistant, Jenna NewmanJenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Rocking my Villanova mask around campus.


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Try This Database: SPORTDiscus with Full Text

sport Discus screen shot

Are you interested in sports medicine? Athletics marketing and advertising? Sports psychology? The sociology of sport? Sports studies is an interdisciplinary field and it can be hard to know where to search for information. Falvey Memorial Library has a solution for you!

We have arranged for campus-wide trial access to SPORTDiscus with Full Text, an online database for articles and other materials on all aspects of the study of sport.

SPORTDiscus provides access to the scholarly and popular literature of sport, including medical, social, biomechanical, business and management, public health, and psychological aspects of the topic. It offers indexing and full text of scholarly journals, magazines, books, conference proceedings, dissertations, and more. Coverage is international and goes back to 1800.

Full text journals covered include everything from NCAA News, Soccer & Society, and the Journal of Sport History, to Kinesiology Review, the International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sports, and the Entertainment & Sports Law Journal.

“Sport studies is a very interdisciplinary area, and until now Villanova hasn’t had a library resource that could help a researcher get access to all facets of the topic at once. SPORTDiscus with Full Text is the premier resource for the study of sport,” says Susan Turkel, Social Sciences Librarian.

To access, click here: SPORTDiscus with Full Text  or navigate to the database from the library’s Databases A-Z listing.

Villanova has trial access to this resource through November 30, 2019. Please contact Susan Turkel (susan.turkel@villanova.edu) or another subject librarian if you’d like to recommend this database for purchase by the library.


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The Curious ‘Cat: Falvey’s Starting Lineup

On this day in 1922, the Supreme Court ruled that organized baseball is not a business, but a sport. Celebrating America’s pastime, the Curious ‘Cat asked Falvey Library staff,

“If you were a professional baseball player, what position would you play?”

Jeannine Ahern, Finance and Administration Specialist

Jesse Flavin, Acquisitions and Electronic Resources Coordinator

Jackie Smith, Finance and Administration Specialist

Brian Warren, Library Technology Developer

Lorraine Holt, Finance and Administration Specialist


Interested in learning more about the game? Check out the resources below and view more on our website:


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One, two, three strikes: Villanova Baseball scorebooks

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Students at Villanova College played baseball, and indeed had great sport at playing other teams. Not only did they play other local colleges but they also played amateur teams, like the St. Charles Seminary team, throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Two newly digitized scorebooks document these early Villanova College baseball games and show the historic development of collegiate baseball. Indeed the earliest recorded Villanova game of the “Villanova 9” just after the end of the U.S. Civil War, November 12, 1866 was a great blowout with the Villanova College team scoring a winning 46 runs to 13 against the amateur team, the “Picked Nine”.

As part of the growing Athletics Collection of the Villanova Digital Library, these box scores allow the reader to visualize the games as they transpired.

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There is no one method of scoring a baseball game. Many different methods prevailed during the development of the modern game. In 1874 Henry Chadwick, known as the father of baseball score keeping, noted, “It is about time that one system of scoring should be adapted throughout the country” [Dickson, 9]. That development never happened, as different publishers produced competing versions. From the 1860’s to the mid-1890, Villanova used a more free form of scorebook, but Villanova scorers switched to the more detailed Caylor System in the late 1899s that included the now common “box score” for recording hits, runs, and fielding outs. The first known scorecard for a professional game was produced for the game between the Brooklyn Atlantics and the Philadelphia Athletics on October 11, 1866 [Light, 832]. Collegiate records are much more fragmented, but the dates of these Villanova scorebooks makes them among the earliest in the country.

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Scorebooks remain an essential part of documenting athletic competitions. Indeed today every major league baseball game is required to have an official scorekeeper and scorebook [Light, 833].

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Sources:

Paul Dickson. The Joy of Keeping Score: How scoring the game has influenced and enhanced the history of baseball. New York: Walker and Company, 2007.

Jonathan Fraser Light. The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball. Second edition. McFarland & Company, 2005.


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Gentleman Jim, Sailor Brown, the Ithica Giant, and the Brooklyn Strong Boy

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The reigning champion of the world of boxing in 1894 was Gentleman Jim Corbett. Or was he? Corbett was one of the first to treat the sport of boxing as a science and did much to create the modern sport, moving the contest from bare knuckled brawlers of prior days to more “gentle” gloved boxers of the 20th century.

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The Pugilistic Publishing Company of Philadelphia was one of the promoters of this movement toward a more educated sport. In 1894, they published a glamorous large photograph laden volume: Portrait gallery of pugilists of America and their contemporaries from James J. Corbett to Tom Hyer. This title features sketches and photographs of famous current fighters, not just from America but from around the world. These oft mustachioed men performed with a theatrical air, even applying makeup before a match, and are somewhat reminiscent of the modern World Wide Wrestling scene. With ear grabbing sobriquets like: “The Marine”, Professor Clark, “The Cleveland Trumpeter”, Sailor Brown, “The Ithica Giant”, “The Brooklyn Strong Boy”, “The Prussian”, “The Nonpareil “, and “The Thunderbolt”, these were the sports celebrities of the Gilded Age. Contained within this title also are a number of plates detailing and describing the best of the modern boxing and footwork techniques.

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Like other historical cultural objects this book is a product of the times that created it. At that point in time, race divided and segregated athletes. This book does include boxers of different races and nationalities, but the irrational prejudices that still pervaded the sport can be seen manifested in the ways that awards and boxing titles were awarded and contests scheduled. While Jim Corbett is titled the “World Champion”, George Godfrey is given the title “First Colored Heavy-Weight Champion of America”. Indeed, the white boxer John L. Sullivan refused to fight Godfrey for the championship because of his race. So who was really the best boxer of the bare knuckle era? The defining competition never took place so we can only speculate.

Photo of Godfrey:
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Last Modified: February 6, 2009