The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 2, January 13, 2019, Article 12


Last week Pete Smith submitted an interesting (and tough!) quiz on numismatists in sports. -Editor

Vic Mason of Mamaroneck, NY writes:

"In Pete's sports quiz, I know only Kareem Abdul Jabbar (number 9) as an answer to one of the 20 questions. However, as a life-long Detroit Tigers fan, I’ll be interested to see who on the Tigers or the San Diego Padres (who met in the 1984 World Series) has been a dedicated coin collector."

Bill Burd writes:

I only know the answer to a couple of them. Just for fun thought I would write and list my adventures.

I skied the last degree (80 miles and 6 days) to the North Pole in 2002 at age 57. After that (from 2003 to 2016) I went on to climb each of the highest mountains in Europe, Africa, Australia and Antarctica. I got to 21,000 feet on Cho Oyu in the Himalayas and 19,000 feet on Aconcagua in South America. I also summited the highest point of each of the lower 48 States.

ANA Edition reader Paul E. Peelle writes:

"I will admit that I know only the answer to number 9 (although I could make some guesses). For number 15, I was on my way to easily surpass 37 marathons until I broke my back (the result of a hit-and-run by a car)--I intentionally got married on Patriot's Day and ran the Boston Marathon for the honeymoon--but no one would ever know about me."

Keith Scott writes:

"I was compelled to respond since I’ve run more than 50 marathons since 1983. In addition there is over 100000 miles of running, 2000 miles of races ( 1 to 100 miles), and lots of walking.

"I know people who have run 5 day “races”, though nothing is as brutal as the Race Across America (bike 7-10 days).

"The numismatic tie is the interesting coin finds such as roadkill cents. I’ve found four fractional cents with both pieces in close proximity. Zinc cents fracture while copper alloys bend. Think of the probability of car tires randomly moving a cent on edge so it would then be struck by another tire within a second or so.

"What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger."

Thanks. Those responses could help shape a future quiz, but here are all the answers based on what Pete was aware of at the time. Thanks, Pete! -Editor

1. Who won the first gold medal at the 1896 Olympics in Athens?

Trick question! In The History of United States Coinage As Illustrated by the Garrett Collection, it states on page 96:

“Robert Garrett … entered the discus-throw competition at the Olympics, held in Athens in 1896… In spite of having no previous competitive experience, he won the discus throw and became the first American to capture a gold medal in the Olympics. He also took first honors in the shot put, placed second in the broad jump, and tied for second in the high jump.”

In fact, no gold medals were presented at the 1896 Olympics. First place winners received a silver medal.

On April 6, 1896, American James Connolly won the triple jump to become the first modern Olympic winner. The discus throw was contested later the same day.

2. In early Olympics there was an event called the “Plunge” that involved swimming a distance underwater. What numismatist took a silver medal in this event?

Edgar Holmes Adams took second place in the Plunge in St. Louis in 1904.

3. What living numismatist has scored ten perfect 300 games bowling?

Mark Borckardt

4. What coin collector is in the American Bowling Congress Hall of Fame and the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame?

Chris Schenkel

5. What numismatist earned a World Series ring in 1984?

Albert Bobrofsky worked as a replacement umpire during a strike.

6. What numismatic author scored seven holes-in-one golfing?

John McCloskey, who died on December 15, 2018.

7. What coin collector was inducted into the International Game Fishing Association Hall-of-Fame?

Ted Naftzger

8. What numismatist climbed 32 mountains greater than 14,000 feet?

John McCloskey, again.

9. What professional basketball player served on the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

10. What member of the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame was partial owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team?

Amon G. Carter. A later owner was George W. Bush.

11. What numismatist once owned the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA?

Jerry Buss

12. Name two coin collectors who owned the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL.

Jerry Buss sold to Bruce McNall

13. Who owned the Indiana Pacers basketball team?

Ira, Larry and Mark Goldberg.

14. Who was captain of a national championship cycling team?

Nathaniel C. Fick, Young Numismatist of the Year for 1994.

15. I am aware of a coin collector who has completed 37 marathons. Can you identify him or any collector who has completed more marathons?

Al Boka

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Davisson E-Sylum ad Sale38 2018-01-06

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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