I was watching the Masters today and the leaderboard had about 4 Americans out of the top 7. This got me thinking, why are 3 of the 4 majors hosted in the United States, why are mostly Americans on the leaderboard, and when did this start? It was only in 1776 that the US declared independence and now our sports leagues and athletes hold extreme clout worldwide. With this post I’ve decided to research when a few esteemed events began and how they’ve evolved throughout time.

The Masters – 1934

A golf tournament tradition since 34′ always held at Augusta National Golf Club. This tournament differs from other majors because it is invitation only. The field is usually around 90 players and includes several amateurs. This year, 2013, 14 year old Guan Tianlang was the youngest player to ever make the cut in history. Known for the green jacket delivered to its champion, the winner becomes an honorary member of Augusta. Past Master’s champions are also invited to the other majors for the next 5 years and have a lifetime invitation to the Masters. Nicklaus holds the record with 6 Masters titles but Woods is close behind with 4. Someone from the US has been a winner 8 of the last 12 years.

Wimbledon – 1877

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and widely considered to be the biggest and the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London since 1877. Wimbledon traditions include a strict dress code for competitors (all white), the eating of strawberries and cream by the spectators, and Royal patronage. In the championship games, ball boys and girls, known as BBGs, play a crucial role in the smooth running of the tournament, with a brief that a good BBG “should not be seen”. They should blend into the background and get on with their jobs quietly. Sampras and Federer both have 7 Wimbledon titles setting the high mark. Martina Navratilova holds 9 for the women.

World Cup – 1930

The current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nations over a period of about a month; this phase is often called the World Cup Finals. The 19 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight different national teams. Brazil have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The other World Cup winners are Italy, with four titles; Germany, with three titles; Argentina and inaugural winners Uruguay, with two titles each; and England, France, and Spain, with one title each. Let’s note the US has 0. The World Cup is the world’s most widely viewed sporting event; an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany.

World Series – 1903
world series

The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner’s Trophy. As the series is played in October, which falls during autumn in North America, MLB also refers to it as the Fall Classic. The New York Yankees purchased Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox after the 1919 season, appeared in their first World Series two years later in 1921, and became frequent participants thereafter. Over a period of 45 years from 1920 to 1964, the Yankees played in 29 World Series championships, winning 20. The Cardinals are the next closet team with 11 World Series wins.