1903 Carlisle All Stars

The 1904 Spalding Guide includes various pundits’ All Whatever Teams, ranging from Walter Camp’s annual All America teams to others’ nationwide selection to various regional teams composed of who they thought were the best players from the 1903 season.  Not surprisingly, some Carlisle players’ names were included in some of these selections.  More surprising was that some former Carlisle stars were listed but as members of other teams, usually major universities!

Walter Camp named James Johnson to his All-American Team for 1903 First Eleven at quarterback, saying this about him:

“Johnson, captain and quarterback of the Indian team, demonstrated in his Harvard and Pennsylvania games his ability as a strategist as well as his power as a quarter-back. He is versatile, watches the ball splendidly, understands how to use his men, and plays so as to get good work out of them, and finally is a dangerous man on field-kick goals.”

Johnson’s photo differs from that of the other All Americans in that he is wearing a helmet. About half wear their playing clothes while the others sport their letter sweaters. Only Johnson wears his headgear. Perhaps Spalding selected this photo of him because he was wearing something that looks a lot like Spalding’s Head Harness No. A, which at $5.00 made it, along with the equally priced Pneumatic Head Harness No. 70, Spalding’s most expensive headgear at the time. (Less expensive headwear options started at $1.50.) Modern readers might find Spalding’s ad copy for Head Harness No. A interesting:

“Made of firm tanned black leather, molded to shape, perforated for ventilation and well padded. Adjustable chin strap. This head harness presents a perfectly smooth surface, and while giving absolute protection is one of the coolest and lightest made. When ordering specify size of hat worn.”

Next time, more on 1903 Carlisle Stars.

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