Two of the world’s best tennis players meet for a match 1912, just weeks after they both survived the Titanic disaster:

“Now consider a scenario in which two of the survivors were dashing, world-class athletes in the same sport, destined to face off against each other many times. The hype surrounding those matches would be immeasurable. After their playing careers, the two men would be bracketed together—the Ralph Branca and Bobby Thomson of the sea—perhaps cowriting a book, then hitting the speaking circuit.

“A century ago the culture was different. Look-at-me sensibilities were considered gauche. Many passengers lucky enough to have ended up on the Carpathia struggled with what today would be diagnosed as post–traumatic stress disorder. This was especially true for the men, whose survival was seen by some as evidence of cowardice.”