Baseball season is upon us! Chiropractic and baseball have had a strong association throughout the years. In “Baseball & Chiropractic: Maturing Together” (Chiropractic History, vol. 29., no. 1, 2009, pp. 15-18), Steven Parker, D.C., states: “. . . throughout the twentieth century, baseball’s professional athletes came to rely on chiropractic for both the treatment and prevention of injuries. Today, chiropractic has become an integral part of the healthcare team within professional sports.” Parker describes players such as pitcher Mordecai “Three-Finger” Brown, who he speculates as being in 1911 the first professional athlete to receive chiropractic treatment. The Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Lou Gehrig are also known to have benefited from chiropractic treatment throughout their careers.

The image here is of the Palmer School of Chiropractic (P.S.C.) baseball team in 1938. Student Daze, the 1938 yearbook, details the 1937-38 baseball season as very successful despite the hot weather and the “disadvantage of the fairer sex attracting the attention of a few of our outstanding players.” At this time, Palmer played in the same league as the U.S. Engineers, French and Hecht, Firestone, Victor, International Harvester, and the Y.M.C.A. Reserves. Team leaders for the season included Wolfe with a .385 batting average and 4 home runs, Clements and Rising with 13 singles, and Schmidt with 19 runs batted in.

Interested in being a sports chiropractor? Consider joining the Professional Baseball Chiropractic Society, which was founded in 1995 “to integrate chiropractic into professional sports and build a network of practitioners to call on.” To learn more about chiropractors for successful teams, check out “St. Louis Cardinals: Primed for a Pennant”  (Today’s Chiropractic, vol. 30, no. 3, 2001, pp. 34-38). The article contains a fascinating interview with Dr. Ralph Filson, who followed in his father’s footsteps to become the team chiropractor for the Cardinals. In an interview on the American Chiropractic Association web site, Michael Trancedi, D.C., discusses what it was like to be a sports chiropractor with the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2008 World Series Championship.

To see original archival material which documents Palmer’s own baseball team through time, as well as resources concerning other sports, visit Special Collections and Archives in the Library today.