Archive for the ‘James Phillips’ Category

Guiding The White Brethren

October 26, 2012

The electronic version of the Fall 2012 edition of the magazine for the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is finally out. My article on Carlisle Indians who went on to coach other teams is on page 46 (page 44 of print version). The idea for this article came to me after attending Lone Star Dietz’s enshrinement ceremony into the College Football Hall of Fame. He is the only Carlisle Indian to be inducted as a coach. Six others, some of whom also coached, were enshrined previously but as players. It is unlikely that any others will receive this honor because no other Carlisle Indian coached as long or with nearly as much success as Dietz.

American Indian athletic prowess is getting much attention this year due to 2012 being the 100th anniversary of Jim Thorpe’s extraordinary triumphs in the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Games. Anyone unfamiliar with Native Americans’ success in the Olympics can read my several previous blog entries on this topic.

Worthy of note is that Dietz and the others had great success coaching white college and professional players. Many of them, including Dietz, coached Indian teams at one time or another but the vast majority of their coaching careers were with white college teams. Having played with Carlisle and knowing the Warner System gave these men instant credibility and opened doors for them. After going through those doors, success or the lack of it was the deciding factor. After all, sports have always been a meritocracy. Performance matters above all. Carlisle players succeeded on the field both as players and coaches. The graduate system of coaching that was tried in the early 20th century limited coaching opportunities for those who hadn’t attended major colleges but numerous smaller schools welcomed Carlisle Indians to lead their teams. Although far from an ideal situation, these men were given the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own merits and they largely succeeded.

Carlisle Indians as Coaches

June 8, 2012

While preparing the 1911 Spalding’s Guide for printing, I noticed that some former Carlisle players could be seen in the numerous 1910 team photos to be found in that volume.  That brought to mind an old newspaper article that I can’t lay my hands on now in which the writer opined as to why there were so few football coaches at a time when Carlisle Indian School players were grabbing headlines.  I don’t recall his reasoning or conclusions but do remember having read the article.

The truth is that several Carlisle Indian School players tried their hands at coaching with varying success.  The names that come quickly to mind are Bemus Pierce, Frank Cayou, Albert Exendine, Caleb Sickles, Lone Star Dietz, James Phillips, Joel Wheelock, Victor “Choc” Kelley, Mike Balenti, and Gus Welch (I keep adding names as they come to me while writing this article).  I’m sure there were others. Given enough time to research this issue, I’m sure that I could come up with more. But I don’t have the time right now because I must get the 1901 Spalding’s Guide ready to print.

The lengths of their careers varied, but Exendine, Welch and Dietz all had long coaching careers.  Of these, Lone Star Dietz had by far the most success and, as an acknowledgement of that success, was honored by the Helms Foundation many years ago. Next month, the College Football Hall of Fame will honor him. It is highly unlikely that any other Carlisle Indian will receive this honor because only a few had long careers and only Dietz, as far as we know, had a Hall of Fame worthy career as a coach.  Also, Exendine and Welch were already inducted as players. My immediate concern is not about the Hall of Fame but with 1910 team photos that include former Carlisle players.

Follows are two of the 1910 team photos.  I’ll leave it to the reader to find the Carlisle Indians in them, but here’s a hint: both wore their Carlisle letter sweaters.  I take that as an indication of how proud they were of having been part of those great teams.

Even More 1903 Carlisle Stars

February 13, 2012

Ed Rogers and James Phillips weren’t the only Carlisle Indians to play for a future Big Ten team in 1903.  Player #4 (players on team photos in Spalding’s guides are conveniently numbered for the ease of the reader) on the University of Wisconsin team photo on page 20 is William Baine. He played for the Indians  from 1899 to 1900, then returned to Haskell Institute to play before enrolling at Wisconsin in 1903. Prior to coming to Carlisle, Baine had played for Haskell and its cross-town rival, the University of Kansas. While at Carlisle, William was enrolled in Dickinson College Preparatory School.

The photo of the 1903 Macalester College team on page 68 includes Lone Star Dietz as player #11. Dietz played for Friends University part of the 1904 season but a Friends team photo is not to be found in the 1905 Spalding’s Guide. Dietz enrolled at Carlisle in 1907. It isn’t clear what he did during the 1905 and 1906 seasons.

On page 123, Archie Rice, Sporting Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, named Weller of Stanford as fullback of his 1903 All-Pacific eleven but mitigated that with his next sentence: “There is a possibility that Bemis [sic] Pierce of the Sherman Indians, but formerly of Carlisle, might be more valuable for the team than big Weller….” When Pierce left Carlisle for Sherman Institute in Riverside, California, the Carlisle school newspaper reported that he was to coach that Indian School team, but it appears that he also donned the moleskins to get into the action as a player.

That the 1903 season results and team photos for both Haskell Institute and Sherman Institute were omitted from the 1904 Spalding’s Guide is unfortunate. According the David DeLasses’, Sherman Institute went 4-4 in 1903 with a win over Southern Cal and losses to Stanford and Carlisle. That site has Haskell Institute going 7-4 with wins over Texas, Kansas and Missouri and losses to Nebraska, Chicago and Kansas State. The 1905 Spalding’s Guide has a lot more about Haskell.

More 1903 Carlisle All Stars

February 9, 2012

Walter Camp didn’t name any other Carlisle players to All-America team teams that year but James Johnson wasn’t the only Carlisle player to receive an honor. Walter Camp also picked an All-Western Team for 1903 “from the University teams of the Middle West,” essentially the teams that would become the Big Ten plus Notre Dame. “What does this have to do with Carlisle Indian School?” you say. Plenty.

Camp’s All-Western Team included Ed Rogers, Captain of the 1903 University of Minnesota team, at end and James Phillips, Northwestern University guard. Perhaps Camp shed some light on his picks when he wrote, “Rogers is an Indian, experienced, quick, and certain” and “Phillips is another Indian, and as he would not play against Carlisle, Northwestern’s line was correspondingly weakened. That game also showed what a large part Phillips had been in Northwestern’s defense.” Rogers and Phillips had both starred at Carlisle before leaving to embark on careers as lawyers. While at Carlisle, Rogers had taken courses at Dickinson College and Dickinson School of Law while playing football for Carlisle. However, in 1898 as a Dickinson College student, Ed played for Dickinson in their game against Penn State. The college’s school newspaper claimed that he was a bona fide player because Carlisle’s season was already over and he was a legitimate student enrolled in the college. However, his Dickinson College football career was limited to that one game. Later, he starred at Minnesota and captained his teammates to a 6—6 tie with Fielding Yost’s undefeated Point-a-Minute team in the first Little Brown Jug battle.

James Johnson and Ed Rogers were eventually inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. James Phillips ended his collegiate football career at the end of the 1903 season, married, and migrated west to Aberdeen, Washington where he had an illustrious career, but that is a story for another time.

The story of Carlisle Indians starring for colleges and universities in 1903 is far from complete…

1903 Carlisle All Stars

February 7, 2012

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.

Were Carlisle’s Jerseys Unique?

January 6, 2012

As mentioned in this blog previously, I am in process of reprinting the Spalding Football Guides for the years that Carlisle Indian School fielded a team.  That process is progressing well but I have not yet found the 1901 and 1911 books as yet and don’t hold much hope of coming across books for the years from 1894 to 1898.  Be that as it may.  I am already discovering interesting things without having a full set.

While flipping through the 1906 volume, I noticed that the Cornell team was wearing jerseys quite similar to those worn by the Carlisle Indians (a Carlisle jersey is depicted in the color drawing on the masthead of this blog).  I had seen photos of many other teams wearing jerseys with stripes but none with the stripes located just below the elbow on an otherwise solid-color shirt.  Of course, I haven’t done exhaustive research on this matter, so the possibility remains that this pattern was not unique, just not widely used.  All the period photos are in black and white, so nothing can be known for certain about the colors on these jerseys just from the photos.  Regarding the dates of photos in Spalding’s guides, most team photos seem to have been taken at the end of the previous season.  In Carlisle’s case, players were generally wearing their letter sweaters which were a solid red and were acquired from Spalding in various styles (see photo below).

So, the Cornell team of 1905 wore jerseys similar to those that Carlisle was noted for wearing.  But when did the Indians start wearing them and were they special ordered?  A circa 1902 photo of James Phillips shows the stripes clearly as does the team photo for that year.  More research is needed to determine exactly when Carlisle and Cornell started wearing those jerseys and who made them.  What is known is that in 1902 Carlisle, then coached by Pop Warner, wore them as did the 1905 Cornell team that was also coached by Pop Warner.  Were these stripes another Warner innovation?  Much more research is needed to answer these questions.




Carlisle Causes Eligibility Rule Changes

September 28, 2010

The on-field influences the government Indian schools, Carlisle mostly but also Haskell to some extent, had on the development of college football are well known. Less well-known are the impacts on the rules under which the game is played. Most football historians are aware that Carlisle Indian School was frequently criticized for not adhering to eligibility rules similar to those agreed to by the major colleges. In 1908, Pop Warner instituted a limit of four years of eligibility on the varsity team for Carlisle’s players. Years spent riding the bench without playing were most likely not counted against the four years. Something that is not known as well is that major colleges routinely ignored the fact that players they recruited from Carlisle had already played for four years prior to enrolling in college. That was about to change in 1905 if some had their way.

A November 29, 1904 article datelined Chicago that was printed in The Boston Globe announced that eligibility rules were about to be enforced more stringently, at least by some schools. “A meeting of representatives of leading western colleges” (read Big Ten) agreed on rule changes to which they were to comply. Two schools were singled out specifically: “Carlisle and Haskell Indian Schools, two formerly unclassified institutions, were raised to the ranks of colleges, and students who have competed for four years from those institutions in the future will not be allowed to compete in events controlled by western colleges.” Since Carlisle and Haskell seldom played more than a total of two games a year against the schools that became the Big Ten, this rule was probably aimed at the schools themselves. Several former Carlisle players had played for these schools after having used up their eligibility at the Indian school. Some that come quickly to mind are: Frank Cayou, Illinois; James Johnson, Northwestern; James Phillips, Northwestern; William Baine, Wisconsin; and Ed Rogers, Minnesota.

Next time – Freshmen.

Archiquette Played Against Carlisle

July 17, 2009

While researching the 1905 Carlisle-Massillon game for an article in an upcoming issue of The Coffin Corner, I noticed that Chauncey Archiquette played in that game. I hadn’t previously realized that he was back in a Carlisle uniform in 1905, but he most definitely was. That line-ups in newspaper coverage of games played that year generally include his name support that fact. In Steckbeck’s Fabulous Redmen, the line-ups for the 1904 Carlisle-Haskell game are on the page opposite the beginning of his discussion of the 1905 season. I noticed that Archiquette was in the line-up for that game as well. However, he wore a Haskell uniform. A look into Archiquette’s file showed that, after graduating from Carlisle in 1899, Chauncey had enrolled in a commercial course at Haskell. Newspaper accounts of Haskell games indicated that he had indeed played football for Haskell. This also explains how Archiquette happened to be at Haskell where, among other things, he became a young Jim Thorpe’s idol.

Few Carlisle players played against their old team after leaving the school. James Phillips, for example, refused to suit up for Northwestern in 1903 when they played the Indians. Instead, he watched the game from the stands. Joe Guyon is a notable exception in that he played in the humiliation of the hapless 1917 squad. He started the game but played just a little more than a quarter in which time he scored two touchdowns. Archiquette joined that small group in 1904 when the two Indian schools met for the only time.

Steckbeck marked nine Haskell players’ names with asterisks to denote that, after the 1904 thrashing, they “later enrolled at Carlisle.” It is worthwhile to note that Pop Warner was not at Carlisle for neither the 1904 season when the game was played, nor for the 1905 and 1906 seasons when many of the players transferred.

Coaches Who Got in on the Action

June 2, 2009

Lest some think the following story about Pop Warner’s toughness is apocryphal, I will share a similar story about another coach of that era. Warner was not happy with his new prospect’s development as a player and pulled him out of his place at a practice. Pop told James that he was not playing nearly aggressively enough and said, “Now get down there and show me how it should be done.” Warner lined up opposite Phillips as he did when trying to demonstrate a technique to a player. When the signal was given, Phillips charged so hard that he knocked Pop unconscious. When he came to and cleared his head, Warner just said, “Now, that’s the way it’s done!”

In Dutchman on the Brazos, Caesar “Dutch” Hohn shared an experience he had with his coach at Texas A & M, Charlie Moran. Moran was teaching the offense a new play but it wasn’t working due to Hohn’s interference. Hohn was lined up across from a guard named “Fatty” Lilliard and on every snap of the ball, “I’d hit Fatty in the face with the heel of my hand, knock him off balance, and break up the play.”

Moran snorted, “Who’s letting that damn Dutchman through here?” Lilliard responded, “There’s nothing you can do when a man hits you in the face with his hands.” “Is that so?” said Moran just before pushing Lilliard aside and taking his position. He then told the quarterback to call the same play.

Seeing that Moran was cocked live a Colt 45 ready to hammer him, Hohn remembered what his Coach told the team earlier: “Don’t spare me, because I expect to knock the hell out of you.”

Hohn recalled, “I had the reach on him, and he wasn’t any heavier than I was. Remember, also, that I was able to use my hands. There was one more fact Moran must have forgotten; I knew the starting signal. I timed myself, and when the ball was snapped I got the jump on him, bowling him over, and broke up the play. That was the day I made the team.”

Galleys Received

May 27, 2008

The advance reading copies (called ARCs in the trade) arrived for my new book and are being sent out to reviewers. This is a big moment in a writer’s life: seeing thousands of hours of hard work turned into something tangible. In the old days (pre-computer), ARCs were called galleys, bound galleys or galley proofs. Authors, editors and publishers go over these babies with a fine-tooth comb looking for errors, typos or things that have changed since writing was complete. It is an impossible task because, after all this scrutiny, some typos escape and find their way into the final book. But we try.

Another important use of ARCs is to see how the photos and artwork come out in print. Overall they came out very well, better than expected. But a cartoon about the Oorang Indians from a 1922 Baltimore newspaper is too dim. The challenge now is to figure out how to darken it without losing the detail.

This weekend I received some additional information and a correction regarding Louis Island from a family member who happened to see a previous blog. That was fortuitous because I want the book to be as accurate as possible. This blog is already proving to be of some value. That encourages me to continue with it.

Having these ARCs provides local booksellers the opportunity to provide their customers something extra. People can look at an ARC and pre-order the book if they choose. The bonus, besides being sure of getting a copy of the book as soon as it comes out, is to receive an inscription of his or her choice signed by the author. On-line booksellers also take pre-orders but personalized inscriptions are impractical.