Manual The Columbus Panhandles: A Complete History of Pro Footballs Toughest Team, 1900-1922

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If a park visitor interested in the history of professional football or the Dayton Triangles saw only this sign, he or she would likely assume that the game in was little different from 21st century NFL football. This is not the case, as the forward pass was seldom used at the time, 6. The safety equipment was crude and ineffective by modern standards.

The sign is also missing the broader context of early professional football that played a significant role in the history of the Dayton Triangles. There is no mention of how the game developed from its origins in the 19th century nor is there any information regarding the men who played the game, aside from the two players for the Dayton Triangles who scored the first touchdown and extra point.

Furthermore, there is little information about the important role played by the Dayton Triangles organization in the formation of the modern NFL. The Ohio Historical Marker provides the visitor with some information about the origin of the football team, it fails to mention how and why the team fell apart or how long it lasted. This is important as the reasons for the folding of the Dayton Triangles in shed light on the growth and development of professional football.

Triangle Park is an important part of local history, as well as the history of professional football in the United States. Without adequate interpretation at the site, this important story will be forgotten by most people in the local area unless they perform more extensive research. Since most in the general public will not do so, it is important to preserve and present the story of the Dayton Triangles and the park to the public. Vision: The goal for interpretation is simple.

An interpretation of Triangle Park will offer visitors to the park a history of the site, emphasizing the Dayton Triangles and their role in shaping the modern NFL. This interpretation will work alongside the existing recreational facilities to enhance the experience of guests who will be able to use the park for outdoor recreation 7.

Furthermore, the interpretation will foster a greater appreciation for local history, especially this part of largely-forgotten history that has been overshadowed by more well-known local figures such as the Wright Brothers. The Dayton Triangles was one of the first teams in this league with a representative present at the first meeting of the American Professional Football Association in Canton, Ohio on September 17, At this meeting, team owners representing teams from Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Dayton met with others from the states of New York, Indiana and Illinois.

The following year, Carl Storck of the Dayton Triangles was named secretary-treasurer of the new league and would go on to become the acting president of the NFL on May 25, after the death of Joe Carr, who had served as president since The Dayton Triangles History Important figures from the Dayton area shaped the history of the Dayton Triangles and professional football. They lived and worked in Dayton and the surrounding communities even after leaving professional football.

Giving visitors an insight into the lives and personalities of the players and others involved with the Dayton 8. Triangle Park and Audience The park today is mainly used for outdoor recreation. The site of the football field where the Dayton Triangles played home games is now a baseball field which was renovated in the summer of Several local schools hold baseball games at the field during the spring and summer months.

The park also hosts baseball tournaments and championship games. Baseball brings a large number of people to Triangle Park, including the players, parents, coaches and others. This audience should be retained, and the plan seeks to enhance their experience at the park. This presents an opportunity for the park to reach a new audience in a new way. While many of the players, coaches, parents, etc.

History Lesson: Professional Football in Columbus

Another important audience that currently uses the park is locals who visit to walk their dogs or visit with their children and families. Interpretation will enhance their experience by adding a historical aspect to the park that they may not know exists. People will see the park as both a place for outdoor recreation and a place to learn about an important part of local history.

Learning that Dayton played a significant part in the founding of the NFL will foster a sense of 9. The Plan Interpretive Signs The interpretation will be concentrated on Howell Field and the surrounding area, where the historic football games took place. There is an asphalt pathway leading from the parking lot to the baseball field. Interpretive signs along this path will supplement the existing Ohio Historical Marker by providing more context and detail about the Dayton Triangles and their history.

A large sign at the beginning of the path, near the parking lot, will welcome visitors to Triangle Park and give a broad overview of the history of the team in the form of a timeline of important events. Also, individual stories about prominent figures on the Dayton Triangles team will be featured on interpretive signs. The first sign, nearest to the parking lot will welcome visitors to the site and give a brief overview of the history that they will learn about during their visit. Several former University of Dayton basketball players formed a new football team called the St. Such teams formed all around the Midwest and Northeast United States in the early 20th The Triangles and other teams like them played football primarily for fun and competition.

As visitors continue along the path towards Howell Field, they will encounter the current Ohio Historical Marker. On the other side of the path from the marker, an interpretive sign will give more detail about one of the figures mentioned, George Kinderdine. A sample of the text for this panel is: Many Triangles players, since they worked for a Dayton company, came from Dayton and the surrounding area.

Hobby got his unusual nickname from an ankle injury he suffered during practice which caused him to hobble. Despite his injury, he continued to play for the Triangles until the team was sold in This will help the visitor relate to one of the important figures in the history of the team as well as provide a unique, memorable detail about him that will lead some visitors to want to learn more about the Dayton Triangles. Furthermore, other interpretive signs along this asphalt path will give visitors the context in which the Dayton Triangles existed.

They will make the team relevant to visitors by relating the game that the Triangles played to the modern NFL, of which the majority of park visitors will at least be familiar. In its early years, football more resembled rugby than the popular college and professional game today. Even though the forward pass was legalized in , it was still seldom used until much later. This also allows visitors to see the Dayton team and others like it as an integral part of the evolution of the game they know today. Other interpretive panels will inform visitors of the relationship that existed between professional football and college football in this early time.

In the early 20th century, universities and professional teams grappled with issues of amateurism that are still controversial today. A sample of this interpretation will include: As professional football grew and became more competitive, teams tried to entice the best college players to their ranks. While other professional teams at the time disregarded the rules against college athletes taking money to play football, the Dayton Triangles never recruited collegiate talent. Finally, in , the team was sold to Brooklyn businessmen William B. Dwyer and John C. Depler who moved the team there and renamed it the Dodgers.

For the visitor reaching this panel, if he or she has read them all to this point, will have learned about the entire history of the Dayton Triangles.

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This will create a sense of the past and the present meeting since even though the Dayton Triangles no longer exist, the place where they played is still maintained and used for sports and recreation. The visitor will also understand the important role that Dayton played in the In addition to interpretive text, these panels will include period photographs taken at the park or of the individuals mentioned.

Using photographs will help visitors to visualize what Triangle Park looked like during the s as well as what the players would have looked like at that time. Photographs like this will help the visitors connect the ground on which they are standing to people and events that occurred on that ground decades earlier.

In the holdings of Dayton History, several photographs exist, some of which have been digitized, which will be used to enhance the interpretive panels at the park. Live Interpretation Since football is an active, fast-paced and dynamic sport, there will be live interpreters to bring the game of the s to life for visitors.

A small group of men in period football uniforms will visit the park to talk with visitors about the Triangles and their history. They will demonstrate the equipment as it was used in the early years of professional football and show visitors how it was the same, and how it was different from the modern game.

Again the Bays tried to gain and again Columbus held tight. The ball was fairly well over to the north side line when Buck again dropped for a placement. This time the ball went true and cleared the crossbar with a foot to spare. This won the game for the Bays. Once more Columbus kicked off and the teams "mudded" it for the remainder of the quarter with but few gains.

Early in the last period the visitors found themselves for a few minutes. They made two first downs and added another when Hopkins caught a forward pass while sitting on the ground. A fumble cut short the Columbus drive on Green Bay's 40 yard line. The Bays gained on an exchange of kicks and when Nesser fumbled a pass from center on the fourth down, Green Bay secured the ball on the visitors' 35 yard line. Here it was when the whistle blew ending the "muddiest" game ever played on a Green Bay gridiron. The club was founded in by workers at the Panhandle shops of the Pennsylvania Railroads.

They were originally a part of the Ohio League from before folding after one season. The earliest existence of the Panhandles was in ; the Columbus Press-Post reported Jack Walsh creating the "Panhandle railroad team" consisting of "big hardy railroad men. A game was scheduled for October 19 of next year, however, no source provided an outcome.

In , managed by William Butler of the Ohio Medical University, the Panhandles played two games against the Columbus Barracks, a team consisting of local soldiers. The results were split; the first was a 2—6 loss while the second was a 12—6 win. Butler left the Panhandles for unknown reasons, and the new manager for the season was Harry Greenwood.

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Greenwood placed advertisements in every newspaper he could in order to schedule games against local opponents. His ad read "The Panhandle Athletic Club has organized a football team and would like to play any college, high school or manufacturing team on Saturday or Sunday. Once again, the Panhandles got a new manager for the season, E. Griest needed help with the team, so he hired Ben Chamberlain to coach the team.

The Columbus Panhandles A Complete History of Pro Football's Toughest Team, 1900-1922 PDF

After an exhibition game against the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Panhandles won their first game of the season, a 38—0 victory over Neil Avenue Athletic Club. This victory gave the team some unexpected press; the Columbus Citizen wrote the first article praising the team. The Panhandles season ended with a 5—3 record. Joe Carr. Joseph Carr directed the Panhandles in until In , Joseph Carr, who was a sports writer for the Ohio State Journal and manager of the railroad's baseball team the Famous Panhandle White Sox, first took over the football team. Carr tried again three years later in Carr saw the potential for professional football not only to be a great spectator sport but also to become a successful business venture and envisioned pro football being just as popular as Major League Baseball.

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One of the first things Carr did when he became the owner of the Panhandles was to exploit one the railroad's policies. Since most of the team's players were employed by the railroad, they could ride the train free of charge. Because of this perk, Carr was able to schedule mostly road games, eliminating the expenses of stadium rental, game promotion, and security for the field.

However, while the team did play the majority of their games on the road as a traveling team, their home games were played at Indianola Park. The Panhandles adopted an amateur sandlot mentality for their playing style. Since the team was composed mainly of railroad workers, the scenario gave the players limited time to practice and prepare for games. The Panhandles did the majority of their preparation during their lunch breaks.

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  6. Workers had a one-hour break during a normal workday, and the players on the team usually took the first 15 minutes to eat lunch and used the remaining 45 minutes to practice football. An athletic field behind the railroad shops in Columbus became the team's practice field. The Nessers. However Carr knew that if his team was to succeed, he needed an attraction. Carr built his team around pro football's most famous family, the Nesser Brothers, who were already drawing crowds throughout the country.

    Carr used the seven Nesser brothers as the backbone of the Panhandles, and the football-playing family remained in that role for nearly twenty years. None of the Nessers attended college, despite many offers. The seven Nesser brothers, who worked as boilermakers for the Pennsylvania Railroad, were exceptionally large and strong for people living in the early 20th century. Frank Nesser alone was 6-foot 1-inch tall and weighed pounds. They all were exceptionally great athletes for their time. Carr took out ads by describing his Panhandles as the toughest professional team in football, led by the famous Nesser brothers.

    In the Panhandles line-up included player-coach Ted Nesser and his son Charlie. It was the only time in NFL history a father and son played together on the same team. The Panhandles' rosters did not include many former college players or All-Americans, so the athletic field in the railroad yards was the place where the team found out who could play. The team's "dirty" reputation was learned and developed on the railroad yards, not in college stadiums.

    Dumbest Plays in Football History -- HD

    The press sometimes criticized the Panhandles for their rough play; however, the fans who paid the gate money to attend the games loved it. Columbus city champs era. Over a span of twenty years, the Panhandles were considered the best pro team in the city of Columbus. The team compiled a 33—5 record against opponents from Columbus, including a 32—1 record over their last thirty-three games. The Panhandles were the best professional football team to ever come out of the capital city. Between and , which were seen as best years of the franchise, the Nesser-led team went a combined 22—10—1.

    The majority of the early pro teams would go out of their way to schedule the Panhandles, as they knew it would be easy to advertise a game featuring the famous Nessers. In , The Panhandles were rumored to have played against the legendary Knute Rockne six times in According to the team, each time they played Rockne, he was on a different team. This rumor, however, is false; Rockne was too much of a family man to play that much pro football, and Notre Dame had most of its home games during the pro football season.

    At the meeting, the representatives tentatively agreed to introduce a salary cap for the teams, not to sign college players nor players under contract with another team, and became united as the American Professional Football Conference. They then contacted other major professional teams and invited them to a meeting for September During this time, the Panhandles were admitted into the league.

    First AFPA game. However, due to not having the games start at a standardized time, and the failure of the NFL of recording the start times, historians can not determine for sure which two teams played in the first league match-up. What is known for a fact is that the first contests between teams listed as APFA members occurred on October 3, Frank Bacon of the Panhandles is credited with the first punt return for a touchdown.

    Columbus Tigers. He then discontinued the Panhandles after the season because of cost and salary demands. Following the season, the Panhandles became the Columbus Tigers. In , the Tigers attained their best ranking in the NFL, finishing eighth. During that season multiple players won awards. The next season, they finished tenth. Then, the Tigers ended their final two seasons twentieth and nineteenth, respectively. In a letter to the Sport Editor of The Press-Gazette, the club management lays its cards on the table.

    The communication makes interesting reading and it puts before the public straight-from-the-shoulder facts what it costs to maintain a team and play games in "Big League" football. The Football club's communication presenting its side of the case and showing the necessity for an increase in admission prices at the games here is as follows:.

    Sport Editor, Press-Gazette, Fighting with its back to the wall, the Green Bay Football club has found it necessary to raise the price of admission for the remaining football games in this city. Here are the facts of the situation:. Unless the admission prices are increased, there is absolutely no chance of getting out of the hole. The remaining at home games on the Green Bay schedule call for heavy guarantees.

    Despite reports to the contrary the association's books at the Citizens bank are open for inspection , the club has run behind on all the game this season except Rock Island there and Milwaukee there. The club lost by three one-hundredths of an inch the rain insurance which would have covered the loss on the game. The government with its war tax rate takes 10 percent of the total gate. None of the officials connected with the organization are receiving a cent in salary. Here is his statement: 'You have only one way out.

    By football began to gain some ground in the Capital City with teams being fielded by the Ohio Medical College a fore-runner of OSU Hospitals , the Columbus Barracks and the 17th Regiment, both affiliated with the troops stationed at the time at Fort Hayes. However, that was all about to change — specifically at the Northeastern corner of 16 East Broad Street. The AIA Guide to Columbus Architecture tells us that the Hayden Building topped out at twelve stories and was considered a true skyscraper due to its steel frame, which supported the floors and roof and allowed much more window space than the Hayden Bank Building next door, which was built with masonry.

    Glancing up today, if you look closely, you may be able to discern some of the initials. Another Columbus visionary by the name of Joe F. Carr took up residence in the New Hayden in While Joe was organizing a Panhandles baseball team at this time, he heard rumors that a new football team was planned to take shape, as well. The Panhandles shops had fielded a team since as early as , but in Joe Carr took on the role as their manager and found additional players from the PRR to round out the team.

    He scheduled six games for them in with four of them played on the road.

    ABOUT — Before The League

    This was the great advantage of a railroad team — ease of transportation. The team worked at the yard from ampm Monday through Friday and from am — noon on Saturday, when they would board the train and travel to the games destination which was being held on that Sunday. So on October 13, the Panhandles under manager Carr played their first game in front of a crowd of The Columbus Dispatch said of that game:. The Nesser boys were in evidence during the game, Frank getting 3 of 7 touchdowns.

    Lack of accurate knowledge of signals on the part of the railroaders made their play less smooth than it would have otherwise been. Whether at-home or on the road, against the Dayton Triangles or Canton Bulldogs, those guys had a legitimate and real following. Big Huskies who are easily the equal of the best football players turned out by the biggest universities in the country.