Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sports Center Saturday

--Football Clippings of My Dad's Football Days

My Dad's Football Clippings

I don't think my mother knew what a normal scrapbook was until she was about 50 years old.  I have about three very large ledgers (16" X 11" X 1.5") that weigh about nine pounds each and they were used by my mother as scrapbooks.  My grandfather was very active in several local organizations and always seemed to be the secretary or treasurer who kept all the records of meetings in these ledgers.  Apparently, my mother inherited several of these ledgers and decided they would make great scrapbooks for my father's sports newspaper clippings, letters and photos.  So she pasted all of these items on the pages of the ledger.  

Surprisingly, they have remained fairly well preserved all these years despite the paper not being acid free (I doubt in those days anyone cared about paper being acid free) and just using plain old glue that you got at the Five and Dime store (only my "more senior"  readers will know what those were).

Ledger Cover

Ledger Opened

Today I have scanned some of those clippings from one of those scrap books.  The article below was from the Denver Post and it is the All-Star Team for 1935, my dad's senior year at the University of Colorado.  In those days they were in the Rocky Mountain Conference made up of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah teams.  Note that there isn't a player on the team heavier than 196 pounds.  Today's average high school teams would outweigh them, on average, by 10 to 20 pounds per player! 

The same year the Rocky Mountain News, the other major Denver newspaper, selected their All-Conference Team, as listed below.  Interestingly one paper call it an All-Star team and the other All-Conference.  The same year my dad was selected as an honorable mention to the All-American team.

Below is a photo of the 1937 Detroit Lions at a pre-season workout.  This was my dad's second year with the Lions.  They were the League Champions his rookie year.  He played center and linebacker, as the team only had 23 players and they played both offense and defense.  Note that few of these professionals look like they would have been much over 200 pounds.  A far cry from today's 300 pound+ players.  My dad is third from the left standing.

Following is a write up from the New York Times about the Lions beating the N.Y. Giants.  Highlighted in yellow are the portions of the article describing the interception by my dad which he returned 92 yards for a touchdown against the Giants.

Interestingly, my father played guard his Sophomore and Junior years in college, was shifted to end his senior year and played center for the Lions.  In the pros today it is news if a college right guard is shifted to left guard in the pros, let alone shifting from end to center.  

Because of the bulkiness and size of the ledger that these articles were in, I had to use my portable VuPoint Magic Wand scanner, as positioning the ledger on my scanner/copier/printer was too difficult.  I used it on color (vice B&W) and high (vice low) resolution settings.  Considering the age of these newspaper clippings, I think it does a great job.  It is wonderful for carrying with me to libraries, relative's homes, archives, etc.  I paid about $100 for it about 3 years ago; but today I found them through Google for around $75.

VuPoint Magic Wand

As you might imagine these are only four of hundreds of clippings I have in those ledgers.  Lots more material for Sports Saturdays!