In preparing for this article, I kept getting the same lame advice…to make the headline “Tennis Anyone”. Well, no…I refused. That’s too simple, too overused, and not very creative. So to avoid using that same hackneyed phrase and criticism for an uncreative headline, I made it what it is.

I used to play tennis a lot when I was in junior high and high school. My pal Steve and I would constantly be on the tennis courts smashing that ball, losing it in the bushes, and not caring if we were any good or not. We didn’t play on any school tennis team or league…we did it on our terms and had a ball doing it.

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The humans have long been fascinated with games that center on balls.

BASEBALL: Hit a ball, then run around in a circle/square
FOOTBALL: Kick a ball to someone, then try to get it back
BASKETBALL: Bounce a ball, throw it through a hoop
GOLF: Smack a ball then chase after it
DODGEBALL: Try to hit someone with a ball
BOWLING: Roll a ball and knock down some sticks
POOL: Hit balls off a table with a stick
VOLLEYBALL: Punch ball over a net. It comes back
PADDLEBALL: Smack rubber ball attached to a rubber band over & over RACKETBALL: Hit ball against a wall to someone who does the same thing
PING PONG: Whack a ball back and forth across a table
TENNIS: The real-life version of ping pong

Those games sound so simple…but each uses some type of ball in a different way…that is except for Ping Pong and tennis, which are exactly the same, just in different sizes.

Tennis thrives in the 2000s, believed to have its origins in France in the 1100s…and it doesn’t seem to lose its popularity. I have fond recollections of playing tennis in my Mid-Michigan youth, and thought maybe a gallery featuring some old 100+-year-old photos of Michiganders playing might be of interest. Hope you enjoy it.

Michigan Plays Tennis: 1900-1950


Abandoned Belle Isle Golf Course

Hot Air Ballooning, Early 1900s

A Few of Michigan's Miniature Golf Courses

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