Arch Ward

From BR Bullpen

Archie Burdette Ward

Biographical Information[edit]

Arch Ward was an influential sportswriter in the first half of the 20th century who is credited with the creation of the All-Star Game.

His first newspaper job was for the Dubuque Telegraph in Dubuque, IA after graduating from a local college in 1919. He then attended the University of Notre Dame where he also worked as the publicity director for the football team led by the legendary Knute Rockne, graduating in 1921. He joined the Chicago Tribune in 1925 and became its sports editor in 1930.

He proposed the holding of an exhibition game between the best players in the American League and National League, an idea that was taken up by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis and resulted in the first All-Star Game being played at Comiskey Park in Chicago, IL in July of 1933. He attended every subsequent All-Star Game until his passing in 1955, as he was about to leave for Milwaukee, WI for the playing of the 22nd All-Star Game. To be fair, the concept was not entirely new, as similar All-Star contests had been played before on special occasions, such as for raising funds after the death of a prominent player, but Ward,s plan was to make this game a permanent fixture, which is what happened. The Negro Leagues also took up Ward's idea and made their own East-West Game the focal point of their baseball calendar, starting in 1933 as well.

He was not only an innovator in baseball: in boxing, he devised the Golden Gloves amateur tournament, which was originally limited to Chicago but eventually became a national event, and he was offered (but turned down) the job of Commissioner of the National Football League in recognition of his efforts to promote the professional game. He then helped launched a rival to the NFL, the All-America Football Conference, in 1946.

He wrote a number of books on sports, some of them based on his columns in the Tribune, as well as a history of the Chicago White Sox.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Arch Ward: The New Chicago White Sox, Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, IL, 1951.

Related Sites[edit]