Joe Batiste

Joe Batiste, track star at Tucson High School, Class of 1939. Photo courtesy of THS Badger Foundation 

Photo courtesy of THS Badger Foundation

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Batistes were the top athletic family in Arizona and among the best in the nation. Joe Batiste set an American record in the 120 high hurdles and won state high jump, long jump and hurdles championships. Fred became the state’s 1943 football player of the year and was first black football player in UA history, in 1949. Frank similarly won state championships in the sprints and long jump at Tucson High. 

Contact sports columnist Greg Hansen at 520-573-4362 or ghansen@tucson.com. On Twitter: @ghansen711

Sports columnist for the Arizona Daily Star.