Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sports Sunday: "The Kid Who Beat the Oakland A's!"

In July, 1973, the month following the debut of Julie Schwartz's Strange Sports Stories, DC began publishing a second sports-related comicbook, Champion Sports, edited by Joe Simon (co-creator with Jack Kirby of dozens of memorable characters like Captain America, Boy Commandos, and the Newsboy Legion). Evidently, with the reprinting of the Golden Age Simon/Kirby classics in the back of the Kirby-edited DC titles, Simon's star had begun to rise again. During this period Simon created Prez, a new Sandman, and today's feature, Champion Sports.

With Champion Sports, Simon plowed much of the same ground as Strange Sports Stories with tales involving supernatural or science-fictional trappings, but there were also "realistic" tales involving sheer guts and talent. Evidently most Groovy Age sports fans preferred actually playing or watching their sports on TV, and few comicbook fans wanted to read about sports, so Champion Sports ran for only three brief issues (July-November 1973).

Simon employed a small stable of artists for his corner of the DC Universe, mainly Golden Age artists Jerry Grandenetti and Craig Flessel. I think you'll dig the team of Simon, Grandenetti, and Flessel as they tell the story of "The Kid Who Beat the Oakland A's!" from Champion Sports #1!


  1. I had this issue when I was a kid. I bought it again a few years ago. The plot is like the movie "rookie of the Year". If you haven't seen it the plot is about a boy who loves baseball but can't play very well. then during one Little League contest, he breaks his arm. After it heals, he can pitch better then any major leaague player. He joins the Cubs and takes them to the World Series. Since 20th Centurey Fox produced the movie around 1992 or 1993 and Warner Brothers owns DC I wonder how Fox avoided being sued?

  2. Hmmm. You might be on to something Rick! I hadn't thought of the parallels there, but you're right. Wonder if DC got wind of this they could use it to get Fox to turn loose of the Batman TV show so they could put it on DVD? Hmmmmmmm...



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