Its inviting climate, enticing rugged mountains, and welcoming beaches have always made Santa Cruz County a haven for athletic activities. A wide variety of sporting endeavors, some beyond the rm, have called Santa Cruz home over the decades. In the 19th century, Santa Cruz served as a springboard for modern surfing. It was an early bastion for organized baseball, too, beginning in the 1860s, and it was home to a series of professional teams as early as the 1870s. Other colorful athletic activities took place here (including fire hose teams, long-distance walking, and bicycling), along with more traditional American sports like basketball, football, boxing, and tennis. The region boasts of a strong tradition of women athletes as well, in particular Marion Hollins, perhaps the greatest all-around woman athlete of the early 20th century.