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Herbert Bayard Swope, Sr.

Herbert Bayard Swope, Sr.

If one man could be credited with establishing the game of Croquet in this country, altering it from the familiar one with wooden mallets and wire wickets to the present formidable mallets of lignum vitae weighing over three pounds, and iron wickets it is Herbert Bayard Swope, Sr. The firey Pulitzer winning reporter, editor, advisor to presidents and sportsmen, was the creator or the descriptive "Croquet is playing chess on your feet." It was on his lawns, first at Great Neck, then at Sands Point, that the game reached a new level. The keen brains and sharp eyes of Alexander Woollcott, Meysa McMein, Charles Schwartz, Reoul Fleischmann, George S. Kaufman, Gerald Brooks, Averell Harriman and many more, competing not only in daylight but throughout the night encircled by the headlights of a dozen cars. Swope was a dynamic competitor and few weekends passed without titanic struggles on the court, with furious arguments lasting through the weekend.

Herbert Bayard Swope, Sr. was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1979.

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