1897 Springfield College Football Team
- 1897 Springfield College Football Team
A photograph of the Springfield College football team on old South Field. It appears this is a photograph of the 1987 football team. Though the back of the photograph says "1898 football," the names listed at the bottom of the picture are consistent with the 1897 football team roster according to "The History of Springfield College Football." The photograph is taken outside and some of the players are kneeling and sitting on the ground, while others are standing behind them. The team was led by Head Coach James McCurdy and team Captain Alanson Fish (class of 1898). The members of the team include [in no order] Edward Tomlinson (class of 1899), William Goodale (class of 1899), John Hunter (class of 1898), Fred Young (class of 1899), Jeremiah Downey (class of 1900), Joseph Merritt (class of 99), John Nesbitt (class of 1900), Carlos Clapp (class of 1898), William Pryce (team manager, class of 1899), Gotthilf Lehmann (class of 1898), Sidney Braman (class of 1899), Charles Dodge (class of 1898), George Dodge (class of 1898), and Charles Record (class of 1897. In 1890, Amos Alonzo Stagg, a Yale all-American and major league baseball pitching prospect, came to Springfield College (then known as the YMCA Training School) and started the college’s first football team. A grad student in a one-year program to become a YMCA Physical Director, he served as Coach, Manager, Captain, and Player on this original team often called “Stagg’s Eleven” or “The Stubby Christians.” The team finished the first season with a record of 5 wins and 3 losses, playing Yale strongly in the first indoor football game ever played in Madison Square Garden. Among other greats to coach the football team was James Huff McCurdy. McCurdy came to Springfield in 1895 and headed the team till 1917. He is largely responsible for helping to grow the Springfield College football team’s reputation and starting a long tradition of being feared by other colleges, in addition to his innovative work in exercise physiology. Later, Oscar “Ossie” Solem, famous Syracuse University coach, coached the team from 1946-1957.
- Brainard, L.M.
- Springfield College Archives and Special Collections
- Collection (local):
College Archives Digital Collections
Springfield College Football Team Papers;
International Young Men's Christian Association Training School (Springfield, Mass.)
McCurdy, J.H. (James Huff), 1866-1940
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The back of the photograph says "1898 football," however, the names listed at the bottom of the picture are consistent with the 1897 football team roster according to "The History of Springfield College Football."