Posts Tagged ‘Pro Football Hall of Fame’

Montana the Greatest

November 26, 2014

One of the six NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks from Western Pennsylvania that Wayne Stewart writes about in his new book, America’s Cradle of Quarterbacks: Western Pennsylvania’s Football Factory from Johnny Unitas to Joe Montana has been named the best NFL quarterback of all time by none other than his rival.

Yahoo reports that Troy Aikman regards his former rival as the best to ever play the game in an interview on the Dan Patrick Show.

“Joe Montana,” said Aikman. “And I don’t care if we’re comparing him against anyone from today’s game or not, or what his numbers may or may not look like. I saw him do it on the biggest stage, in the biggest moments and bring his team back and do the things that I think are required of the position.”

Listen to his interview here: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nbc-yahoo-sports/troy-aikman-admits-rival-was-greatest-quarterback-of-all-time-152244100-nfl.html;_ylt=A0LEV1z6d3ZUpacAkBRXNyoA

Aikman isn’t the only one to think Montana was the best.

Tom Brady

America’s Cradle of Quarterbacks

November 17, 2014

I’ve been asked why I haven’t blogged lately. There are two major reasons (besides often not having anything worth saying): volunteer work associated with the Craighead House restoration keeps me pretty busy and I’ve been getting another book ready to publish. I’ve published books of my own before, reprinted out-of-print books, helped other authors get their books in print, but, until now, hadn’t published another author’s new book. Going to press as this is being written is America’s Cradle of Quarterbacks: Western Pennsylvania’s Football Factory from Johnny Unitas to Joe Montana. This is author Wayne Stewart’s 30th book, most of which deal with some topic related to sports.

It’s very different promoting a book written by someone else rather than one I’ve written. I’m more comfortable speaking positively about it than I ever was about my own books. I only felt comfortable talking about how interesting the subject of my books were and, in Lone Star Dietz’s case, how descriptive his illustrations were. Sure, I get to talk about how Stewarts subjects, Johnny Unitas, George Blanda, Joe Namath, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, and Joe Montana, led interesting lives. But now, I get to talk about Wayne Stewart’s writing, how it grabs your attention and keeps you wanting to hear what happens next.

Others who’ve read the manuscript agree with me:

“Stewart has written a fascinating book that belongs on the shelves of football historians and everyday fans alike.” Jeffry J. Miller, author of Rockin’ The Rockpile, Buffalo’s Forgotten Champions, and Game Changers

“Any fan of the Baltimore Colts of my era, any fan of my friend and teammate Johnny Unitas, or, for that matter, any fan of football in general should enjoy Wayne Stewart’s book. It contains great stories, statistics, and information on all of the many great quarterbacks who came out of Western Pennsylvania and much more.” Raymond Berry, NFL Hall of Fame Wide Receiver

9781936161461

Miscellaneous Research

November 4, 2010

This blog deals with some miscellaneous research findings and issues that aren’t closely related to each other.

An event that helped trigger my interest in researching the Craighead naturalists was mentioned in this blog some time ago when I noticed that Frank Craighead, age 12, agreed to stock a terrarium for Miss Paull’s classroom at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Later, I noticed that Frank’s older sister, Rebecca, visited Miss Paull at the Indian School. Now, I learn that Rebecca graduated from Carlisle High School and gave an oration at her graduation ceremony in 1906 entitled “Nature Is God’s Mirror.” Frank graduated from CHS two years later. At his ceremony, Carlisle Indian School Superintendent Moses Friedman conferred the diplomas. This was yet another example of the Indian School’s involvement with the local community.

Today, I visit the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio with multiple objectives. First, I want to photograph Leon Boutwell’s Oorang Indians uniform. I have seen several black and white photos of these maroon and orange outfits but haven’t encountered any that are in color. I read where Boutwell’s descendents donated his suit to the HoF and would love to see it. Who knows, it might make a great cover photo for “Carlisle Indians in the NFL.”

Also while at the HoF, I want to do a little research on players about whom I need more information. Chief among them is Joe Little Twig, another Oorang Indian. He played in the NFL for a few years after the Oorang franchise folded and eventually settled in Canton, Ohio. His early life is unclear. Little Twig is reputed to have attended Carlisle Indian School but I have not found any evidence of that. Perhaps, he was enrolled under a different name but I don’t know what that was. Here’s hoping that I find more information on him today.

No Hall of Fame for Jim Thorpe

June 29, 2010

Shortly after Jim’s body had been moved to the Rose Hill Mausoleum in Tulsa, one of his sons, Bill Thorpe, wired Governor Murray to protest the removal, stating that it was done without the approval of the deceased’s children. The Shawnee Chamber of Commerce was in an uproar over losing $3,000 that was donated by area residents, but their fund-raising effort for the project hadn’t advance beyond the planning stages. A month earlier, she threatened to move the body if progress wasn’t made and she carried out that threat.

Plans in Tulsa didn’t advance much either. The JayCees considered it briefly but found that there were “too many complications.” In early November, still in 1953, reports came out of Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania that two neighboring boroughs were considering merging, naming the new municipality after Jim Thorpe, creating a national shrine in his honor, and building a hospital for the treatment of cancer and heart patients (Thorpe suffered from both).

According to Bruce Heydt, managing editor of British Heritage magazine, Patricia Thorpe found her way to Mauch Chunk after meeting with Bert Bell, then the Commissioner of the NFL. She had seen a TV broadcast about Mauch Chunk’s revitalization efforts and Bell was looking for a location for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They negotiated with Mauch Chunk officials and struck a deal. In addition to the above-named items, the Pro Football Hall of Fame would be located in the newly-incorporated Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Bell died before he could bring the Hall of Fame to Jim Thorpe and it went to Canton, Ohio, the city for which Big Jim had his greatest professional years.

It appears that the town fulfilled its side of the agreement but Mrs. Thorpe and Bell were unable to provide everything they promised. The outcome may have been considerably different had Bert Bell succeeded in bringing the Hall of Fame to Jim Thorpe.