Title

Cuckoo Collins: The Crooked Path of a Nineteenth-Century Professional Sprinter

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2018

Keywords

track and field, professional sports, running, sprinters, pedestrianism

Abstract

The experiences of sprinter James “Cuckoo” Collins provide a frontline view into the history and popular perception of professional foot racing in late nineteenth century America. Collins’s colorful career embodies both the openness and the excesses of this freewheeling chapter in track and field history and coincides with the final years of professional running as it transitioned to the more regulated and narrowed focus of amateurism. The convergent trajectory of an individual career and a once flourishing sport emerges through an examination of newspapers and other contemporary accounts, along with current scholarship on the rise and fall of pedestrianism.

Publication Title

Journal of Sport History

Volume

45

Issue

3

First Page

334

Last Page

351

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