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Professor James Whiteside, a member of the history faculty at the University of Colorado at Denver, published his book: Colorado: A Sports History 1999. In that same year he was co-winner of the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Publication Prize. His book has been well received and according to the CEH Publication Prize Committee, “James Whiteside digs beneath the surface-hype of Colorado sports to unearth the social and economic substrata of big industry pastimes such as skiing, baseball, football, basketball, and hockey.” Also, according to Tom Noel, author of Denver Landmarks and Historic Districts “Jim Whiteside’s Colorado: A Sports History is a grand slam! This is not yet another slick photographic bunt, but a thoroughly researched, well written, comprehensive overview of the athletic arena from Arapaho stick ball to the Super Bowl.”


On page 47 of Colorado: A Sports History, William J. “Billy” Irwin is mentioned as follows:


Leadville’s bantamweight champion, William J. “Billy” Irwin, was less famous but more important to his town than Jack Dempsey. Irwin came to Leadville as a boy in 1879 and, except for brief interludes in Aspen and Butte, Montana, spent the rest of his life there. Irwin’s boxing career spanned the 1890s and he fought challengers from all over Colorado, earning a reputation as “an aggressive fighter with a thorough mastery of ring generalship and the grand tactics of the game.” After he left the ring, Irwin became prominent in Leadville’s civic life, serving as fire chief, deputy county clerk, secretary of the county Democratic Party, and president of the Eagles club. Irwin died of pneumonia in November 1910.

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