Sunday, April 15, 2018

1889 Harvard Freshman Class of 1893 Football Team Photo

This photo was taken in 1889, the year the Harvard freshman beat the Yale freshman 35 to 12 in New Haven on November 30th.

Members of the Freshman team were Hallowell at RE, Elleworth at RT, Vail at RG, Brice at C, Davis at LG, Upton at LT, Dibblee at LE, Kendericksen at Q, Fearing at RHB, Frothingham at LHB and Trafford at FB.
Going on to play for the University Eleven were four of these players, all starting for the varsity as freshman:
Frank Walton Hallowell (far left, seated) played on the varsity for four years, 1889 through 1892, and is considered one of the most notable 19th century ends that played the game,  mentioned in the same company as the likes of  Frank Hinkey (Yale), Charles Gelbert (Penn) and Arthur Poe (Princeton). He also played on the varsity baseball team in 1891, 92 and 93.
Joshua Damon Upton (middle row, seated, fourth from the left) played on the varsity football team in 1889, 90 and 92, and played for the varsity baseball team for four years, from 1890 through 1893.
George Richmond Fearing (back row, middle) played varsity football in1889, and competed for the varsity crew the same year. He excelled at tennis and played on the university team for four years, 1890 through 1893.
Bernard Walton Trafford (back row standing, far right) was another four year man playing on the University Eleven from 1889 through 1892, captaining the team in both 1891 and 1892. He also was a member of the varsity baseball team from 1890 through 1893.
A great early Harvard photo.  Measures  9 5/8” x 13 3/8” without the mat. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Rauch Affidavit

Richard Rauch was both player and coach for the Pottsville Maroons. He coached the Maroons from 1925 through 1928.
Excerpts from this affidavit are within quotation marks and are verbatim.

It all came down to the phone call.

 “I was present in the office of Dr. Striegel, the owner and manager of the Pottsville Maroons, on November 30, 1925 when he telephoned the office of Joe Carr, Commissioner of the National Football league.”
 Joe Carr was ill and unavailable and Jerry Corcoran was the acting commissioner of the NFL. When Doc Striegel called the NFL on November 30, 1925 asking for permission for the Pottsville Maroons to play the Four Horseman and Seven Mules of Notre Dame in an exhibition game at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, he was give this permission by Corcoran, “subject to the Pottsville Maroons beating the Chicago Cardinals December 6, 1925 and thereby becoming the National Football League Champions. Dr. Striegel also related to me that Mr Corcoran wished us “Good Luck””.  Doc Striegel signed a contract with Notre Dame based on this conversation.
“On December 6, 1925 we defeated the Chicago Cardinals thereby winning the 1925 National Football League Championship and becoming the Champions of the National Football League for 1925”.
“On Dec 9, 1925 Commissioner Carr telephoned Dr. Striegel and informed him that Shep Royal, manager of the Frankford Yellow Jackets,  had protested our forthcoming game with the “Four Horsemen and Seven Mules of Notre Dame” on the grounds of invasion of territorial rights.  On the basis of this protest Commissioner Carr directed Dr. Striegel to cancel the game or face severe penalties.”
No such rule related to territorial rights has ever been documented. Additionally, “Mr. Corcoran when asked, as Acting Commissioner whether he had ever given Dr. Striegel permission to play the game, did not deny that he had granted such authority”.
“Dr. Striegel informed Commissioner Carr he was not defying the league and had no intent to do so but that he had signed a contract to play the game and he could not breach his contract nor had the commissioner and legal right to induce him to breach the contract”.
Pottsville did play and beat the Notre Dame All-Stars, 9 -7, largely legitimizing professional football in the process. Pottsville was suspended and lost its generally accepted “Championship” status. A  Championship reign of six days.
To make a long and convoluted but fascinating story, that has been the subject of two books and hundreds of articles a bit shorter, on July 12, 1926 “all penalties imposed and sanctions against the Pottsville Maroons imposed by the National Football League for participating in the game with the “Four Horsemen and Seven Mules of Notre Dame” were rescinded”. For years, Pottsville assumed that the championship title was also restored to them by the NFL, but as it turned out, this was not the case.
Over the decades there have been three major initiatives to have the championship reinstated. All have failed. This affidavit was part of this process.
This three page affidavit is the most comprehensive, documented, first-hand account of the pivotal phone call and the consequences of the Notre Dame All-Star game in existence. Singly, the most significant document related to the lost championship of the Pottsville Maroons and the early history and controversies of the NFL.
The affidavit was signed on December 1, 1966. December 1, is fittingly Jacob’s birthday.
Among the five signatories on the document were Richard Rauch and Joseph Zacko.
This affidavit is referenced in The Pottsville Maroons and The NFL’S Stolen Championship of 1925, Genovese, 2009.
Also see blog entry dated March 23, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2018

 We are continuing to sell sports related memorabilia, still in a very limited way, and have now set up a site to do this rather than utilizing ebay or similar outlets. Bare with me (Joe), since I am not as technically competent as Jake, and wanted to give this a go. It may take some time to work out any glitches. I will be looking to list an item a week for sale and see how this works. I think this will be a lot more fun and rewarding than using ebay, and hopefully I get to correspond with more people who take part in this hobby. I just put the site on line today and would appreciate any input on how to make it more presentable.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Harvard “1892 Center Trio”

From left to right, William Charles Mackie, William Henry Lewis and Bertram Gordon Waters. In an earlier blog posting (“William Henry Lewis”, August 10, 2015) we pictured a copy of the above photograph taken from the book “The History of Harvard Football, 1874 – 1948” by Morris Bealle. We recently had the opportunity to acquire an original of the photograph that happened to have been William Mackie’s personal copy. Additionally we also acquired a dozen other Mackie family photographs, including a cabinet card of William Mackie (pictured below). Among the personal items we photographed but did not acquire were family documents and early family photographs including one of the better daguerreotypes we have come across, of Joseph Mackie, from the 1840s. There were also close to two dozen identified pieces of Mackie family memento mori dating back to 1803. William Mackie played on the varsity eleven for four years, 1891-1894, graduating with an A.B. in ’94 (’95) and getting his M.D. in 1898. He passed away on August 1, 1931 at 61 years of age.  Mackie and Waters were two of the Harvard players pictured on the 1894 Mayo Cut Plug series.
This photo measures approximately 8” x 5”

                                                   Cabinet photo of William Mackie

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ivy League College Girl Tintype

Unusual and wonderful tintype, in the vein of F. Earl Christy whose illustrative art at the turn of the century focused on woman and sports with Ivy League themes. Often these women held pennants or flags representing Ivy League colleges.
This is the only tintype of the sort we have seen, and is an interesting representation of the Harvard – Yale football rivalry.  Tintype c.1900, measuring  3 ½ x 2 3/8.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Congratulations To Paul Pierce

                 Jacob and Boston Celtic's Paul Pierce about 15 Years ago. Pierce had his number retired and raised to the rafters this week.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

1893 Franklin & Marshall Varsity Eleven

    Team roster : G.W. Hartman, '95, Left Tackle, T.F. Hermann, '95, Left Guard, A.H. Ginder, '96, Center, K.H. Stover, '97, Right Guard, T.H. Krick, '95, Right Tackle, M.E. Strour, '95, Right End, E.A. Cremer, '96, Quarterback, E.D. Lantz, '94, Right Half Back, J.B. Long, '97, Left Half Back, J.W.  Baker, '95, Full Back and Eugene P. Skyles, '95, Left End. Substitutes include C.E. Hower, '97,   J.P. Bachman, '96, R.F. Main, '94, J.F. Dechant, '96, W.E. Schaak, '96 and M.A. Kieffer, '96.
  Manager, J.T. Evans, '94.
The 1893 schedule of eight games (occurring September through November) included U Penn, Bucknell, Gettysburg, Dickinson, Haverford, Swarthmore, the Annapolis Cadets and the Second Eleven. The season tally was 5 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie. The losses were to U Penn (48 to 0) and to Annapolis (34 to 6), U Penn using F&M to bolster its number of total wins.

 One of the first early team football photos we ever picked up. An unusual vignette style photo; exceedingly rare to see the white background on a sports related cabinet photo of this period, which is indicative of a gelatin or collodion paper, rather than a  paper using an albumin binder (resulting in the brownish or sepia tones we are all used to seeing). Also of interest due to the inset photo of Captain Eugene P. Skyles, '95 and for the ribbon attached to the lower left of the mat.
   Photo measures 11 x 14 inches and the mat measures 18 x 22 inches.


                                                        Close up of team Captain Skyles.

                                                           Close up of the ribbon