The House That Andy Built: The Making of Memorial Stadium

When its gates opened on November 24, 1923, it was called “the House the Andy Built.” Rightly so, since the impetus for the construction of California Memorial Stadium was the tremendous enthusiasm and fan support created by Coach Andy Smith and his Wonder Teams, which rendered venerable old California Field far too small, and requiredContinue reading “The House That Andy Built: The Making of Memorial Stadium”

1986: The Biggest Big Game Upset of Them All

Joe Kapp is the living embodiment of Cal football. As a Cal fan I know once said, “Joe Kapp is Oski made flesh.” It is no coincidence, then, that Joe Kapp played a role in three of Cal’s biggest Big Game upsets: in 1956 as Cal’s starting quarterback in Pappy Waldorf’s final game; in 1982Continue reading “1986: The Biggest Big Game Upset of Them All”

“Hey Stanford, Eat My Peach!” Wherein a Walk-On Cal Quarterback Beats John Elway

1980 was a truly abysmal season for the Bears. After a modestly successful 7-5 season in 1979, which had culminated in Cal’s first bowl appearance in 20 years (a loss to Temple in New Jersey’s Garden State Bowl), Cal fans hoped better times were ahead in 1980. This was especially so because of the returnContinue reading ““Hey Stanford, Eat My Peach!” Wherein a Walk-On Cal Quarterback Beats John Elway”

1920 Rugby: Cal’s First Olympic Gold

Nothing could be more fitting than that rugby, one of the University of California’s signature sports, should have brought the first Olympic Gold Medals to Berkeley. The 1920 United States Olympic Rugby team was comprised entirely of northern Californians: six players from Cal, nine from Stanford, five from Santa Clara, and two club players. TheContinue reading “1920 Rugby: Cal’s First Olympic Gold”

The World’s First Women’s College Basketball Team

It is not widely known that it was the University of California, Berkeley, which gave the world the very first women’s college basketball team. The Cal women became the first women’s team to play a basketball game as the representatives of their school the fall of 1892, less than a year after the game ofContinue reading “The World’s First Women’s College Basketball Team”

Nion Tucker: The Improbable Story of Cal’s First Winter Olympics Champion

The University of California can boast of over 200 Olympic Medals won by its students, alumni and coaches. But of all those Olympic Medals, only two have come in the Winter Olympics. Jonny Moseley won a Gold Medal in Moguls in 1998, nearly a decade before he graduated from Cal. And way back in 1928,Continue reading “Nion Tucker: The Improbable Story of Cal’s First Winter Olympics Champion”