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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Jim Thorpe (1888–1953), outfielder, New York Giants, at the Polo Grounds, 1913. Reproduction. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (056.00.00)

Jim Thorpe

Neither an immigrant nor an American citizen at the time, Jim Thorpe, a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, earned international acclaim in winning the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Summer Olympics. He then toggled between professional baseball and football. The New York Times marveled, “He burned around the base paths so fast that the edges of the lawn were scorched. He went to second in about three steps and as he was galloping past third he was just a blur in the landscape.”