Another amazing gem from Michigan memorabilia collector Dennis Dail (thanks DD). Inspired by the post of the 1897 Ohio Wesleyan team photo featuring a 26-year-old Fielding H. Yost in his first coaching gig, Dail sent along this outstanding shot of Yost from his playing days:
[Removed the full image that was originally posted at the request of an MVictors reader. Original photo was claimed to be owned by a different owner]
To the doubters, it’s unmistakably Yost…note the flared out left ear, slightly cleft chin, long nose and piercing eyes compared to the 1901 team shot from the Bentley:
There are a few important things to note here (beyond the striped socks to the delight of the folks in Beaverton).
First off, you’ll notice the beefier, left-tackle-playing-weight version of Yost and obviously the epic moustache. Then you’ve got to love that the studio put Yost in a scene, with a cabin behind him and some type of animal pelt on the floor.
Most importantly is the sweater with the letter ‘L’ , as in Lafayette. Yost of course attended and played for West Virginia but he temporarily defected from the Mountaineers to join Lafayette before their game with traditional eastern power Penn. As you can imagine this was a big deal in the Philadelphia papers (“The Yost Affair”), and it didn’t help when Lafayette dropped Penn 6-4—the Quakers’ first loss in three years. Thanks to the NY Times archive, we know that Yost indeed suited up in the game:
Here’s a shot from Wikipedia of the famous Lafayette-Penn game. If you can pick out Yost, let me know:
It was evidently the only game Yost played for Leopards, although he allegedly promised to complete his studies at Lafayette. He never did, instead entering the coaching world with his first stop at Ohio Wesleyan.