Sunday, June 18, 2017

From The Scrapbook Of Princeton All-American William Church

There are hundreds of items in William Church's scrapbook, and we have posted some of the more interesting photographs and ephemera previously on this blog (Jan 2, 2014, Sept 14, 2013, Feb 13, 2014, Nov 2, 2014, July 21, 2013).
Going through one of our bins tonight, we chose a few more pieces that we thought interesting to post. Church kept absolutely everything.

    Church's scrapbook contains over one hundred newspaper clippings and articles.

                   Church even kept all of his train tickets - this selection from 1895.

                                  ..."do up Yale at all hazards". What a great quote!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Extremely Rare Sheet Music Featuring Native American John Levi

Published in 1929, this football themed sheet music is nearly impossible to locate a copy of, and our interest in Native American football made this something of great interest to us. The cover features Arapaho Indian John Levi, who rivaled Jim Thorpe as the greatest Native American athlete. Tradition holds that Thorpe considered Levi the greatest athlete that he had seen. Levi played and coached at the Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas (All-American) and was a player/coach for the professional Hominy Indian team (see our blog entries of August 14, 2013 and August 3, 2015). 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cyanotype of the 1900 Dartmouth Varsity Captains and Managers

Cyanotypes of sports subjects are not common but can be found, and this is one of the best examples we have come across. Having a unique blue hue, these photos are known for their clarity and resistance to fading.
Front row left to right are Irving French, captain of the varsity baseball team, Frank William Lowe, football captain and Frederick White Haskell, captain of the track team.
Back row left to right are Joseph Raphael, manager of the baseball team, Harry Washburn, manager of the football team and Verson Gooch, manager of the track team.
French and Haskell were also classmates at Philips Andover Academy, representing the same sports they played at Dartmouth.

Monday, May 8, 2017

1891 Dudley Riggs Team Cabinet Photo

Normally only referred to by his nickname “Dudley”, Thomas “Dudley” Riggs, at 16 years of age is pictured  holding the ball, as captain, in this 1891 albumin of the “Old Hundred Eleven, S.P.S.”. Before attending Princeton (’97), where he was named an All-American in 1895, he attended the St. Paul School in Concord, New Hampshire. Dudley played only two years for the Tigers, 1894 and 1895. A 1896 Boston Herald article states that “Dudley Riggs, ’97 has been forbidden by his parents to play football again”, thus his relatively short but noteworthy career.  He followed in his brother’s footsteps. First, Lawrence, ’83, then Jesse, ’92.  Jesse was named an All-American in 1890. Additionally, his brothers Frank and Harry played as substitutes.
Riggs is pictured as one of the Princeton cards of the 1894 Mayo Cut Plug series.
Photo 13 1/2 x 10 1/8, on a slightly larger mount. In gilt on the mount "Old Hundred Eleven, S.P.S. 1891".

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Joe Carr 1926 Pottsville Maroons Coal Charm

 Historically significant 1926 Pottsville Maroons anthracite charm presented to NFL commissioner Joe Carr. The significance of this piece cannot be overstated as Carr was responsible for stripping the Maroons of their championship and suspension from the NFL at the end of 1925. In 1926 Carr visited Pottsville and was presented with this charm, an olive branch of sorts. The Maroons were subsequently readmitted to the NFL, having some leverage due to their notoriety (NFL championship and their defeat of the Four Horseman), and given the fact that Carr now needed the Maroons as another upstart league, the AFL, was threatening to bring the Maroons on board (the other league already had Grange) and this may have spelled the end for the NFL. The charm has been in the Carr family from 1926 until this year. The Pottsville Maroon story is an intriguing one and a central figure to it is Joe Carr. Engraved in coal is "Pottsville 1926" and "JFC" (for Joseph Francis Carr).  Roughly an inch in size.  There were numerous controversies and concerns with Carr wielding his power as commissioner unevenly, often favoring teams from larger cities or owners with bigger bankrolls. One cannot help but draw a modern day comparison to Roger Goodell and a number of his rulings, such as those against Brady and the Patriots, as being uneven or excessive or even unwarranted, as in his most high profile rulings against the team.

The coal's significance is due to Pottsville being a coal town as well as originally playing in the Anthracite League. In 1928 coal fobs were awarded to the Maroons' team members. A few have found their way to market, including those having belonged to Wilbur "Fats""Pete" Henry, Tony Latone and Johnny "Blood" McNally.

Friday, December 16, 2016

1892 Yale Athletic Association Trophy

We have seen a number of Yale Athletic Association items offered this past year such as caps, sweaters and the like, so we decided to post one of our related trophies. From the Winter Meeting of 1892, this First Place Yale Athletic Association wrestling trophy was won by C.L. Avery Jr. Avery was a wrestler of note wrestling in various weight classes.
Avery was mentioned in numerous New York Times articles in 1892 and 1893. Mention was made of his wrestling on March 27, 1892, and on March 21, 1893 in the NYT article headlined “Yale's Winter Meeting; Closely contested events in which collegians win chief honors”. He was also mentioned in NYT articles on March 25, 1893. We see records of him wrestling at three weight classes, heavyweight, middleweight and lightweight during these two years. One article from the Times was headlined “Avery's fine Wrestling” in the March 28, 1893 edition.

This is a really neat trophy with outstanding engraving and unusual elephant handles. It measures roughly 6 3/8" height and 9"in width at the handles. One of our favorite non football trophies.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Exceedingly Rare and Important 1868 Princeton Baseball / Football Silk

Printed in October of 1868 and worn by the Princeton Baseball Team as well as members of the student body, there is a great certainty that these ribbons were first worn at the Princeton vs. Athletics game of October 31, 1868. “Such badges, arranged for by the Class of 1869, were much in evidence” in October of 1868, at the time of President McCosh’s inauguration. McCosh was also in attendance at this baseball match. It is also likely that these were worn in April and May of 1869 when Princeton played the Athletics, Philadelphia and then the Atlantics. 

There is an interesting history behind this ribbon. George K. Ward, listed as having played in baseball games for the Nassaus/Princeton in 1866, '67, '68, '69 and '70, had a certain preoccupation with the Princeton Baseball Team ribbons and the team/school colors. An excerpt from his writings in 1869, taken from the book Athletics at Princeton – A History, 1901 is as follows:

It is also likely that these silks were worn at the first Princeton – Rutgers football matches in 1869 and I am currently looking for a reference stating this, that, I believe I had come across some time back. It does make sense that they would have been worn by those playing and those in attendance, as an expression of pride in Princeton's newly recognized colors. We also know that at the Princeton - Yale football game of 1873 (Princeton's only game of that year), Henry Moffatt "wearing an orange badge with the word "Princeton" printed in black"..."started the game by kicking off for the visitors, sending the round, black rubber ball into Yale territory" (Football: The Ivy League Origin of An American Obsession, Bernstein).

Baseball silks are scarce and are very desirable for advanced baseball collections, and this ribbon in particular has the probable additional football association, making it an important silk and a significant addition to our collection.  

For a related blog posting see our July 7, 2013 entry. Photos are of Princeton All-American William Church's orange and black ribbons that were worn by him in the 1890s; from his personal scrapbook.

From the National Baseball Hall of Fame is the following article on silk baseball ribbons.

A second reference from another blog page that deals with a 19th century collage of these ribbons.