In the beginning, we can’t even guess what the most prominent ukulele players were. There were several ukulele manufacturers all throughout the first decade (including John Iverson, who was a player at that time). But, since ukulele’s popularity has now spread throughout the world, we will list a few of the more well-known current players below. We have also decided to include the ukulele manufacturers that are still in business at the time that the above list was compiled.
Please note: All of the above names are not the most famous ukulele players worldwide, because many more players are playing today.
As a junior, Iverson played in two tournaments in his first season (1876 and 1877). He was also the umpires for eight tournaments (including the American Collegiate Championships).
In 1877, Iverson was elected captain for the junior United States team and played in the final tournament of that season (The Great Boston College National Championships).
After that he had a career at home in Chicago. He later went on to play for the Chicago Athletic Club, Chicago University, the University U of Chicago (the first black student body), and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
The following year he played in the Great Illinois Championships; he finished 2nd.
U.S. Player Name Years Games Played Wins Losses Win Percentage John Iverson 1877 9 12 1,065 17.10%. .4 George Spitz 1889 17 9 1,065 17.40%. .1 James Haskins 1912 12 6 625 36.70%. .1
Spitz was selected in the first round of the 1904 baseball-only draft and spent his first 17 years at the University of Chicago. As captain of his high school side of the team, he was an athletic standout at the University of Chicago (winning 4 state championships and finishing 2nd in two other), graduating as the top golfer in the state in 1912.
In 1913, Spitz joined his team-mates to play in the NCAA tournament as the host team; he would finish fifth in the overall. Spitz was the most famous ukulele player in history at that time.
U.S. Player Name Years Games Played Wins Losses Win Percentage George Spitz 1914 7 14 1,041 18.90%. .3 Louis C. Spitz 1910 9 25
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