In today's post, we're going old school, but first, a bit of celebration:
So then, on to cooler stuff:
Benny Friedman 1955 Topps All American RC
Chuck Bernard 1955 Topps All American RC
Germany Schulz 1955 Topps All American RC
Willie Heston 1955 Topps All American RC
I wasn't kidding when I said "old school." These four cards, combined with the two Spankee so generously sent to me earlier this year, give me six out of the seven Wolverines I know of in the set. The last one is a bit of a doozy--Heisman winner Tom Harmon. That might well be my Michigan PC white whale for now, but I plan to have it by the end of the year one way or another!
Anyway, these four cards represent 80% of the first purchase I made towards this mega-haul. Back in June, flush with some cash from selling on COMC, I set out to buy some stuff I really wanted, and I ended up nabbing these cards (about $145 worth according to COMC's "book" prices) for about $47. Despite the fact that they're not in the greatest of condition, I'm more than thrilled to own cards of these four Michigan Men. First, I'll show off the backs real quick, then give a brief rundown on each player, as they've never been featured on this blog before:
- Adolph "Germany" Schulz played center at Michigan from 1904-05 and 07-08. While some labelled him as a "ringer," he was apparently quite the innovator, considered the inventor of the spiral snap and linebacking position. Considered the greatest center of all time, he was a charter member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Also, his nickname didn't become awkward until closer to his death, and was therefore 100% awesome up until that point.
- Bennie Friedman was Michigan's QB from 1924-26. After a very successful college career, he played for another "Wolverines" team--the pro franchise in Detroit, and according to Wikipedia, "Friedman's performance so impressed New York Giants owner Tim Mara that Mara bought the whole Wolverines team just so he could have the rights to the quarterback." He was that good of a passer at a time when the pass was passé! He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, then went on to earn the greater honor of induction to the NFL Hall of Fame in 2005.
- Chuck Bernard (no relation to Andy or any other "Nard Dawg") was an outstanding center for the back-to-back undefeated champion Wolverines in 1932 and 1933 (e.g., among the years that Ohio State fans pretend don't exist). He was such a great two-way player that he started over Wolverine legend and future president Gerald Ford, who likes beer, nachos, and football, and was tragically eaten by wolves. Check out the Wikipedia link for an amusing anecdote from Ford about not getting to start over Bernard being his greatest disappointment! Bernard himself ended up playing one pro season with the Lions, by the way.
- Willie Heston was a halfback that initially played from 1898-1900 at San Diego St. while working toward a teaching degree, but eventually agreed to follow legendary Michigan coach Fielding Yost to Michigan. That proved to be a boon for all involved as Heston played for the famed 1901-04 "point-a-minute" Wolverine teams, which averaged more than 60 points a game.
Peep these numbers, straight from Wikipedia: "The 1901 team was 11-0 and outscored its opponents 555 to 0. The 1902 team was 11-0 and outscored its opponents 644 to 12. The 1903 team was 11-0-1 and outscored opponents 565 to 6. And the 1904 team was 10-0 and outscored its opponents 577 to 22. In Heston's four years as the starting left halfback, Michigan compiled an overall record of 43-0-1 and outscored its opponents 2,326 to 40." Yeah, we were good back then. And it's no wonder he later found himself in the College Football Hall of Fame.
So that adds four more legends to my small pile of Michigan football RCs. I may have a ton of hits to show off as these posts roll by, but I'm just excited about these outstanding vintage additions to my collection. Now all I gotta do is find top-loaders and sleeves that'll fit them!