Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lacrosse Outliers, The 1930s

In his book, Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell argues that success is a combination of opportunities, timing, and people in one's life. I want to use that theory help explain the reason why and others have had some degree of success in lacrosse. Elliot Stark introduced the game to Croton-on-Hudson back in the 1960s. A Brooklyn native, Stark played lacrosse at Rutgers University and later at New York University (NYU) in the early 1930s. NYU had one of the oldest collegiate-level lacrosse programs in the country with the first game played against Manhattan College in 1877. Until the 1970s, just about all the city universities had lacrosse teams. Stark would later go on to play and promote professional indoor lacrosse throughout New York City (NYC). Stark organized a game between members of the Onondaga Nation (near Syracuse University) and the “New York City All-Stars” for the 1939 World’s Fair held that year in NYC.  A onetime reporter turned political relations guy, Stark settled in Croton in the 1960s and started lacrosse in the town. Stark had both passion for the game and the ability to sell it to school and recreation department officials. I was born in 1963 and my family moved to Croton from Ossining about the same time has Stark. My mother grew up in Ossining and she believed that Croton had better schools and would offer her three boys more opportunities than she had experienced growing up in Ossining and she was right. By the time I began playing lacrosse in 8th grade in the early 1970s, Stark and others had made Croton one of the few lacrosse programs in Westchester County and a successful program as well.  

Excerpts from Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers, The Story of Success: http://www.gladwell.com/outliers/index.html

Interview with Malcom Gladwell on Outliers: [Listen Now 4 min 31 sec] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz4hPbHIZ6Y

The Croton Diner and Croton Point: http://www.foodasalens.com/2009/09/croton-dinner.html

Croton Point Park History: http://brickcollecting.com/croton.htm

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