1926 Pottsville Maroons Real
Photo Post Cards
In 1926 the Mack Studio in Pottsville, Pennsylvania produced a series of real photo post cards of members of the Pottsville Maroon NFL football team. Some would consider this is the first set of cards for professional football.
In 1929 the Giants issued this schedule with Jack Hagerty on the front. It measures 4.5″ by 6″ on card stock.
Giants vs. Notre Dame All Stars
In December 1930 the New York Giants played a benefit football game against a team of Notre Dame All Stars to raise money for the unemployed in New York City (see Giants vs. Notre Dame) The contest was also promoted as a opportunity to see if the nascent pro game was equal to the venerable and very popular college game. The Giants won the day 22 to 0.
Championship Game Program
But to see an example that was signed by a number of the Giants and with my father’s autograph so well placed -I did not imagine such a piece existed.
Most Amazing Story
This wire photo is from November 28, 1937 and shows Mario (Moots) Tonelli crossing the goal line giving Notre Dame a 13-6 win over Southern California. While that was a memorable event, it set the stage for what might be the most amazing football story every told (thanks to the Notre Dame News, Aug. 19, 2002)
A number of items from the files of Charlie Conerly have recently come up for auction. I thought this contract was a real time capsule – can you imagine what such a contract would look like today?
now, after a long absence
I have a new respect for people who actually keep up with blogs – clearly I’m not one of them since it has been over a year between posts.
Indian Industrial School
In 1893 Richard Henry Pratt, Superintendent of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, permitted students to organize a football team
Chris Cagle had a long college football career – 8 years worth.
Of all famous football coaches, my favorite is Jim Lee Howell, the coach of the New York Giants from 1954 to 1960.
Football Draws Big Crowds
By the 1880 – 1890s College football was drawing big crowds. Here’s a photo from the scapbook of a Yale student showing the line to buy tickets for the Yale Harvard game in the early 1890s
Earl Potteiger was the coach for the New York Giants in their first championship season, 1927
Finding contracts from the early years of the NFL is not an everyday occurrence, but when they turn up they often yield both great autographs and interesting information.
Day in Buffalo 1929
In 1929 the New York Giants traveled to Buffalo for an Election Day game against the Bisons.
This program is the oldest football finding in my collection – 1873 – before Walter Camp joined the Yale squad.
In 1933 the Diamond Match Company introduced a set of matchbooks with photographs of professional and college football players on the front and a brief bio on the back.
Recently on eBay I found this 1931 wire photo of Jim Thorpe and his daughter Grace.
Although the forward pass had been used earlier, it was only legalized by rule changes in 1906.
Haines, A Singular Achievement
Hinkey Haines accomplished something no one had ever done before and no one has ever done since
Jarvis Field, Cambridge MA
A great Pach Brothers photograph of Jarvis Field, Cambridge, MA, where Harvard played football before Harvard Stadium was built in 1903.
Lou Gehrig on the football field
Picked up an interesting Real Photo Post Card the other day – a scene from the game between Columbia and Cornell on Nov. 4, 1922.
I’ve found a 1935 photo of the Giants welcoming back Harry Newman after a year out due to injury. I can identify every player in this photo except one mystery man
In 1922 Jim Thorpe teamed up with the owner of an Airedale hunting dog kennel to create an all Native American football team – the Oorang Indians.
Pro Football Its Ups and Downs
Several efforts to publicize professional football were launched in the 1930s – Dr. Harry March of the New York Giants published “Pro Football Its Ups and Downs, a “Light-hearted History of the Post-Graduate Game.”
Five years ago I wrote an article about Steve Owen for Gridiron Greats magazine (Steve Owen) I’ll begin this post with the same paragraph: I remember Steve Owen as a very big man.
The 1926 NFL Championship
Before 1933, the NFL championship was determined by the best winning percentage of league games. In 1926 the championship was won by the Frankford Yellow Jackets.
The First All American Team
The first list of players presented as an All-American team was selected by Caspar Whitney and appeared in Harper’s Weekly in 1889. Among those selected were three Yale players: W. W. “Pudge” Heffelfinger, Charles O. Gill, and Amos Alonzo Stagg.
The Sneakers Game 1934
The 1934 NFL Championship game has gone down in football history as “The Sneakers Game” because the Giants came out in the second half wearing basketball sneakers instead of football cleats and this gave them better footing on the frozen field.
Update to Mystery Man in photos
It seems to me the most likely identification of the 1930 mystery man remains Hilpert, and the 1935 mystery man is most likely Tony Sarausky.
When Walter Camp Came to Campus
During the early decades the rules of football were in constant evolution. The Yale Princeton Game of 1881 ended in a scoreless tie revealed flaws in the rules which were revised to require a team advance the ball five yards in three downs or give it up to the other side.