Black History Month & Indianapolis Sports Legends

At Myriad Health + Fitness, we love to see people push the boundaries of what they believe is possible. Black History Month is the perfect time to honor and remember some of the sports legends in the city of Indianapolis who strove for excellence in their respective fields.

Marshall “Major” Taylor (Nov. 26, 1878-June 21, 1932)

Taylor was a professional cyclist born and raised in the city of Indianapolis. At the age of 16, he won a 75-mile race from Massachusetts Ave in downtown Indianapolis to Matthews, Indiana.1 He was one of the first professional athletes to break the color barrier and became an eventual national and world champion in sprint cycling events.

Oscar Charleston (Oct. 14, 1896-Oct. 5, 1954)

Charleston was born in Indianapolis before enlisting in the army at the age of 15. He was stationed in the Philippines where he first learned baseball before returning to Indianapolis and joining the Indianapolis ABC’s in the Negro League.1 Though he was never able to play in the MLB, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976 and is considered by many to be among the greatest baseball players of all time.2 

Maicel Malone (June 12, 1969)

Malone was born in Indianapolis and began her competitive track & field career at North Central High School. She became an 11-time state champion, winning the 100m and 400m titles all four years of her career and earning the 200m title three times (coming in second her sophomore season). This impressive record led her to be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame in 2021. She also helped team USA to a gold medal in the women’s 4 x 400m relay at the 1996 Olympic Games!3

References:

  1. Green, J.,Woods, D., & Neddenriep, K. (2021, February 16). Indy’s greatest athletes: Home-grown stars from Indy’s first 200 years. Indianapolis Star. Retrieved from: https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/2020/06/28/indianapolis-greatest-athletes-first-200-years-oscar-robertson-oscar-charleston-major-taylor/3052526001/
  2. Doolittle, B. (2022, February 2). Top 100 MLB players of all time: What if Oscar Charleston is the best baseball player of all time — and why it’s so important to try to find out. ESPN. Retrieved from: https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/33194902/top-100-mlb-players-all-oscar-charleston-best-baseball-player-all-why-important-try-find-out
  3. Perry, N. (2021, October 6). Title IX Opened Doors for Indiana Track Star Maicel Malone. National Federation of State High School Associations. Retrieved from: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/title-ix-opened-doors-for-indiana-track-star-maicel-malone/
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