Lone Star’s Baby Curls

A 1974 Sports Illustrated article that was stuffed into the back of the Sports Immortals brochure included something of particular interest to me: “William (Lone Star) Dietz’ baby curls from his first haircut are not in Los Angeles’ Citizen’s Savings (née Helms) Athletic Foundation Hall.” The article went on to say that Lone Star’s baby curls along with a lot, and I mean a lot, of other sports memorabilia are in Joel Platt’s collection. As Lone Star’s biographer, I find this to be very interesting because I was previously unaware of the existence of Dietz’s locks. Considering that the color of his hair at birth was a significant issue at Lone Star’s WWI draft evasion trial, makes this artifact all the more important.

Leanna Ginder Dietz Lewis raised Lone Star and would have had his baby curls. She probably gave them to him and his wife, Doris, when she visited them in Reading. They would have likely remained in his estate until the executrix gave them to Joel Platt.

The prominent mention of Dietz-related memorabilia and the reference to Helms Athletic Foundation attest to his importance to the history of the game. Preceding the curls in the article were mentions of the Polo Grounds’ home plate crossed by Bobby Thompson after hitting his historic home run, Babe Ruth’s Boston Braves uniform worn when he hit his last three home runs, Bronko Nagurski’s 1934 contract with the Bears, and Pudge Heffelfinger’s Yale pants and pads. Following the curls’ mention were Gene Tunney’s long-count gloves and Cassius Clay’s 1960 Olympic Games sweatshirt. Some company, huh?

The Citizen’s Savings Athletic Foundation was a prestigious institution that inducted Lone Star into its hall of fame in 1976. Jim Thorpe and Pop Warner were the only other Carlislers inducted therein. The prominence of Dietz’s mention by Sports Illustrated is further evidence that he should be ensconced in the College Football Hall of Fame. A photo of an older Lone Star Dietz was slipped into the brochure along with the Sports Illustrated article. See below.

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