|Artefact:||Golf Club - Driver|
The origins of golf can be traced back to late medieval Scotland. The game rose in popularity throughout the 16th century and the first golf association, The Gentlemen Golfers of Leith, was formed in 1744. Early golf clubs were made entirely of wood with a flat faced design. There was some experimentation with iron clubs throughout the 19th century but these designs proved too heavy and would damage the leather golf balls of the time. In 1908 manufacturers discovered that a grooved surface on the club face would cause more backspin to be placed on the ball. By 1930 steel shafts began to emerge, and in 1939 the standard numbering system for clubs developed. The first graphite shaft was introduced in the 1970’s and club technology has been increasing ever since, with wood clubs becoming all but obsolete.
The 2019 Open Championship will be played this July at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, marking the 148th time the tournament has been held.
|Artefact:||Horse Racing Saddle|
|Year:||1950s - 1960s|
This saddle was used by horse racing jockey and honored member Jimmy Fitzsimmons. It is a thoroughbred racing saddle designed specifically for jockeys. Because of the diminutive stature of jockeys, saddles like this also very small and lightweight in order to maximize speed on the race track. Horse racing has a long and rich history. The governing body of the sport, the Jockey Club, was created in 1750. The three most important races in Canada are called the Canadian Triple Crown. These races are: the Queen’s Plate, the Prince of Wale’s Stakes and the Breeder’s Stakes. Fitzsimmons was the winner of the Queen’s Plate in 1962 and 1964. He also rode the famous Canadian champion racehorse Northern Dancer
Early metal skates date back as late as the medieval period of Dutch history and consisted of heavy iron blades which were attached separately to boots. These were used mainly as a form of transportation across frozen bodies of water. Once blades began to be sharpened and made of lighter materials, the different forms of skating activities emerged. From 1865 onward, skaters began screwing blades directly onto their boots and adding toe picks to the blades to offer more control and better movement on the ice. Skaters also began incorporating music into their practice, and thus the sport of figure skating was developed. Figure skating would eventually debut as an Olympic sport in 1908. The skates shown here were made in the 1950’s.
In the early years of baseball, catchers would stand far away from the hitter and field pitches on the first bounce. In the 1880s, protective equipment started to become a requirement once catchers began creeping closer to the batter. During the 1920s, the modern shape of the catcher’s mask began to emerge. Throughout the rest of the century the traditional catcher’s mask would develop more and more protection, with a skull cap eventually being worn to protect the head.
Although a new style of catcher’s mask was introduced in the late 1990s, modeled after the headgear that NHL goaltenders wore, the traditional cage and skull cap combination is still very popular. Nowadays, catchers can be seen wearing either style of mask according to their personal preference.
|Artefact:||1995 Canada Winter Games Torch|
This torch is from the AGT March of Champions 1995 Canada Winter Games Torch Relay. It visited 16 Alberta communities before lighting the cauldron to open the 1995 Canada Winter Games in Grande Prairie.
This torch was preserved by being stored sealed in the AGT March of Champions Time Capsule given to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in trust to be opened the next time the Canada Games were held in Alberta. At a press conference on January 15th, 2019 the time capsules were opened in preparation for the 2019 Canada Winter Games to be held in Red Deer from February 15 - March 3, 2019.
Baseball bats began to be produced for the general public by the Louisville Company around the end of the 19th century. Early bats were heavy, made of ash wood, and had a very cylindrical shape to them with a thick handle. As baseball became more and more popular, bats started to be perfected and their shapes came to resemble the present-day bat with a heavy barrel and thinner handle. Metal bats also began to be manufactured and remain the most common option for casual or little league baseball; however, they are banned for use in the MLB. Bats continue to evolve with varying styles of handle now being used at all levels of the sport, ranging from tapered, wider handles, to an axe-shaped handle.
This bat belonged to Honoured Member Glen Gorbous, who played several years in the minor leagues and a season for the Philadelphia Phillies.