How the sports world has changed during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign
Queen Elizabeth II of England’s reign now stands at 23,226 days, or over 63 years, making her Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
Believe it or not, the connection to sports we’re making here isn’t all that tenuous. Soccer trophy presentations in England still occur in the stands, where players climb the stairs to meet some dignitary or another. It’s a throwback to when the players used to climb to the queen’s box to receive the trophy.
So what’s happened in sports since Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in February 1952? Let’s take a look.
- England hosted and won the 1966 World Cup. They haven’t won a World Cup since.
- The Yankees have won 13 World Series
- Manchester United has won England’s top flight 18 times, along with nine FA Cups.
- In 1952, Ted Williams was the highest-paid player in baseball at $85,000. That’s $750,000 in 2015 dollars. Clayton Kershaw is making $30 million this year.
- College football finally got a playoff
- Sports Illustrated was founded
- Elizabeth II knighted dozens of athletes
- There were three MLB players named Queen (Billy, Mel and Mel Jr.) and one NFL player (Jeff), but no NBA or NHL players.
- The Queens College (N.Y.) Knights, men’s basketball team won two NYCAC championships
- Englishman Roger Bannister became the first man to break the four-minute barrier in the mile
- Seven players hit more home runs in a season than Babe Ruth
- The NFL added 23 teams, the NBA added 22, the NHL added 24 and MLB added 14.
- Rugby was professionalized in 1995
- Technology advanced to point that Pablo Sandoval could be benched for using Instagram while on the toilet