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Sports and Recreation Collections

While not a major focus of collecting, the Canaday Center does preserve some important materials that document sports and recreation in American culture. This includes significant documentation of the athletic history of The University of Toledo. Included is not only written and published documentation, but also some artifacts and memorabilia of interest to the community such as one of the first costumes of UT’s mascot Rocky the Rocket, and a football signed in 1928 by legendary player and commentator Red Grange.

One of the most interesting collections documents sports locally and internationally—the papers of Joseph Scalzo. In addition to being a lawyer and a member of Toledo City Council, Scalzo started to coach wrestling at The University of Toledo in 1949, and soon became involved in wrestling internationally. He served as a referee, judge, or coach at several Olympic games, including Helsinki (1952), Melbourne (1956), Rome (1960), Tokyo (1964), and Mexico City (1968). His service led to membership on the Olympic Board of Directors Executive Committee in 1973. In addition to his involvement in the Olympics, Scalzo’s collection includes documentation of his effort to bring the Amateur World’s Wrestling Championships to Toledo in 1962. Held in UT’s Field House, the games featured wrestlers from 28 countries, including from the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc during the height of the Cold War. The event drew international attention to the city, and Scalzo brought the championships back to the city in 1966 and 1973.

Featured collections

"Sports and Recreation Collections" exhibits

This exhibit features the Canaday Center's collections on sports and recreation.

Sports and recreation


Sports and Recreation:

“Any agency which promotes the bodily well-being of a people automatically stimulates the rise of art and knowledge.”


Sports and Recreation

"Sports and Recreation" exhibit cabinet, top shelf

Top shelf

Middle Shelf



Middle Shelf

Bottom Shelf



Bottom shelf

UT Football Memorabilia



Bottom shelf

Rocky the Rocket Costume, UR 14/10, ca. 1970s, advertisement and photographs

Rocky emerged as The University of Toledo’s mascot as a personified depiction of a real rocket during the 1966-1967 season, making his first physical appearance in the fall of 1968. The costume has seen many changes since this wastepaper basket with a pointed rocket top made of papier-mâché. This costume is actually pieces of multiple Rocky renditions. The helmet is older than the spats and shields.

Rocky the Rocket

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