Wednesday, April 29, 2015

1891 Williston Football / Amos Alonzo Stagg

                                                         1891 Williston Football Team 

Amos Alonzo Stagg’s first paid coaching position was at Williston Seminary, a Preparatory school in Easthampton Massachusetts where he coached both football and baseball in 1890 and 1891. Stagg was also Williston’s first non-playing coach. His coaching was limited to one day a week at Williston due to travel time from Springfield to Easthampton as well as demands on his time at the YMCA.  He coached at Williston while simultaneously coaching at the International YMCA College in Springfield. 

This 1891 team was accused, justifiably, for having employed “ringers” or “emergency men” to play for them. As it so happens this was not an isolated or even necessarily a rare occurrence at the time and was not limited to one sport or one prep or boarding school or to one rivalry.

A rival boarding school, Suffield School (Suffield Literary Institution) had lost a game to Williston in October of 1891 after a ringer was brought into the game and significantly ran up the score. This player by the name of Bond, who was not an enrolled student, was never to be heard from again. A quote from a Suffield School editorial at that time regarding the game, and hopefully, a rematch, stated with pride that they would once again play against Williston "as formerly, with our own men”.

I had initially believed this photo to be Williams College as there are individuals who played for Williams in this photo. Recently however, we also found a player on the Amherst football team of 1892 who is in this photo. The riddle was solved by Jacob, utilizing the Williston archives, where the identical photo can be seen. Players after graduation went directly from Williston to play for college or university teams.

Early football photos with African Americans are quite difficult to come by, particularly pre 1900, and this is certainly one of the earliest that we have seen. Williston was integrated by the 1870s and African Americans were members of the athletic teams by the 1880s. 

This near mint albumin measures  13 3/8” x 10 1/8”.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fielding Yost / Ohio Wesleyan / 1897 / Part l

Best known for his coaching years at Michigan (1901-1923, 1925-1926), Fielding Yost got his start coaching Ohio Wesleyan in 1897. This first coaching position lasted for one year which was the beginning of a journey through six schools, the last of which was Michigan. This original rare photo is from that first coaching job and has the names of the coach and players as well as the schedule and scores attached to the photo which is mounted on a mat that proclaims “Ohio Conference Champions”.


The player standing behind and to the right of Fielding Yost in the photograph is his slightly younger brother, Ellis Yost.

Back row, middle is Charles Lloyd Barney. He played professional football for the Latrobe Athletic Association and later for the Pittsburg Stars in 1902, their one year in existence. Barney was also well known as a strongman , lifting horses, pianos and the like.

Nice early piece of Yost memorabilia.

1890 Harvard Football Team Albumin

Period albumin of the 1890 Harvard varsity football team. This team was unbeaten and untied, scoring 555 points while holding its opponents to 12. This included a 12 to 6 win over Yale, only the second win over the Elis since 1875.

The photo includes five All-Americans, including four-time All-American Marshall “Ma” Newell (seated between the two H sweaters), John Cranston, Dudley Dean, John Corbett and Frank Hallowell. Trafford and Lee were named to the second All-American team.

Everett Lake, ex WPI is to the far right (see November 5, 2013 blog posting). 

Original frame and mat, 13 x 19 ½ sight. Pach Bros. photo.