Jim Thorpe in Action, c. 1912
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A photograph of Carlisle Indian Instrustrial School football player Jim Thorpe in action. He has his left left planted on the ground, while his right leg is in the air as if he had just punted the football. Jacobus Franciscus "Jim" Thorpe (May 28, 1888 – March 28, 1953) was an American athlete who played football for the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played football (collegiate and professional), and also played professional baseball and basketball. Thorpe retired from athletic competition at the age of 41. The photograph comes from the scrapbook of Springfield College student, Lois Laun, Class of 1914. In 1890, Amos Alonzo Stagg, a Yale all-American and major league baseball pitching prospect, came to Springfield College (then known as the YMCA Training School) and started the college’s first football team. A grad student in a one-year program to become a YMCA Physical Director, he served as Coach, Manager, Captain, and Player on this original team often called “Stagg’s Eleven” or “The Stubby Christians.” The team finished the first season with a record of 5 wins and 3 losses, playing Yale strongly in the first indoor football game ever played in Madison Square Garden. Among other greats to coach the football team was James Huff McCurdy. McCurdy came to Springfield in 1895 and headed the team till 1917. He is largely responsible for helping to grow the Springfield College football team’s reputation and starting a long tradition of being feared by other colleges, in addition to his innovative work in exercise physiology. Later, Oscar “Ossie” Solem, famous Syracuse University coach, coached the team from 1946-1957. Photograph is part of the Lois F. Laun Postal Souvenirs, 1911-1915, Scrapbook
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
|International Young Men's Christian Association College|
Thorpe, Jim, 1887-1953
Carlisle indian industrial school
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