• Creator
  • Ball, William Henry
  • Created Date
  • 1891
  • Publisher
  • Springfield College
  • Description
  • Written by William Henry Ball , Class of 1891, “Stagg and the Madison Square Garden Game” is a brief biography covering Amos Alonzo Stagg’s early years and ending with his acceptance of a teaching position at Chicago University. The document may have been written in 1891, as the subject matter covered and the date written in pencil on the document seems to indicate this, but this may not be the case. The document describes Stagg's many years p... more
    Written by William Henry Ball , Class of 1891, “Stagg and the Madison Square Garden Game” is a brief biography covering Amos Alonzo Stagg’s early years and ending with his acceptance of a teaching position at Chicago University. The document may have been written in 1891, as the subject matter covered and the date written in pencil on the document seems to indicate this, but this may not be the case. The document describes Stagg's many years playing baseball at Yale and how he brought football to the YMCA Training School (what is now Springfield College), and concludes with Springfield College’s well-known game against Yale at Madison Square Garden. An All-American Yale player, Stagg was the institution’s first coach in 1891. After arriving as a graduate student and instructor in 1890, Stagg posted a notice inviting students and faculty to play football for the institution. On an open field overlooking Lake Massasoit, the team would practice and play the less important games, while playing bigger games downtown. The first year ended with a 5-3 record, highlighted by a 26-0 defeat of Amherst and a contest against Yale at Madison Square Garden, the first-ever indoor football game. Yale fielded a team of five varsity players, two substitutes, and a group of Yale graduates. Springfield College, at this time, had less than fifty students from which to draw. Stagg was the only experience player on the Springfield College squad and found his team outsized by an average of twenty pounds per man. In a great contest, Springfield College showed true courage and pride, but ultimately lost 16-10. The newspapers labeled Stagg’s team the “Stubby Christians,” commending the team for the surprise they gave everyone in attendance and how they outplayed the giants from New Haven. After coaching for fifty-seven years at number of different institutions, he became the dean of college football coaches. Stagg pioneered the huddle, the man in motion, the end-around, and the Statue of Liberty play, among others. During October 2006, the refurbished Benedum Field was renamed the Amos Alonzo Stagg Field. In The Fireside Book of Football, Edwin Pope describes Stagg as “football’s Ben Franklin, Alexander Bell, and Thomas Edison all rolled into one.” William Henry Ball was Stagg’s teammate and classmate, and is credited as having brought Basketball to Montreal. He went on to work at the Y.M.C.A. in Montreal, Canada, served from 1916-1917 as a representative of the YMCA on the Joint Committee on Basketball Rules, and wrote an article titled “The Spirit of the Game” for Spalding’s 1917-1918 Official Basket Ball Guide. There are stains from blue ink on the center left edge and bottom left corner. There is an nondigitized photocopy in folder. less
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  • Text and images are owned, held, or licensed by Springfield College and are available for personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that ownership is properly cited. A credit line is required and should read: Courtesy of Springfield College, Babson Library, Archives and Special Collections. Any commercial use without written permission from Springfield College is strictly prohibited. Other individuals or entities other than, and in addition to, Springfield College may also own copyrights and other propriety rights. The publishing, exhibiting, or broadcasting party assumes all responsibility for clearing reproduction rights and for any infringement of United States copyright law. Contact host institution for more information.