1950 Army Michigan from Yankee Stadium

1950 was a special season in Michigan football history. Many M historians know this is the year that the Wolverines defeated Ohio State 9-3 in the epic Snow Bowl. That classic win earned the Blue a trip to Pasadena where they defeated Cal 14-6 on two late touchdowns.

All’s well that ends well, but things didn’t start well and included a trip to New York. The next edition of eBay Watch features this ticket stub from the Army-Michigan game held October 14, 1950 at Yankee Stadium:

1950 Army Michigan stub

You can see the full auction here.

Army was riding a twenty-two game winning streak heading into the game and dropped the Wolverines 27-6 in front of 67,076 fans including General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Gazing soley at the boxscore you might have figured the Victors prevailed or at least kept the score respectable:

1950 Army Michigan from Yankee Stadium

The New York Times commended the Wolverines effort that day and reported that Oosterbaan’s men put a bit of a scare into the Black Knights, scoring early and threatening often. In the end Army was too tough, capitalizing when they needed to pull safely away. Army’s streak eventually ended later that season in a 14-2 loss to Navy.

While the football squad took a bit of a beating in a hard fought battle, the Michigan Marching Band made a few headlines with a legendary performance on the historic field. Their effort earned a few inches in the Times post-game coverage:

1950 Army Michigan from Yankee Stadium

Brush away tear after reading that. My god, Revelli pulled out all the stops!

Other Notes:
* This was Michigan second trip to Yankee Stadium, the first was in 1945 also against Army. The Wolverines were defeated in a similar fashion 28-7.

* I actually made it out to Yankee stadium last week to check out the stadium before they move to the new digs, a photo for you from my seats featuring the captain and M man Jeter:

Yankee Stadium

* They don’t write like this anymore. From the New York Times, Tuesday January 2, 1951 on the Rose Bowl later that season:

A crowd of 89,939, basking in sunny but brisk ideal football weather, watched Bennie Oosterbann’s indomitable Wolverines, indecisive winners of the 1950 Big Ten crown, cap the immolation of the Coast in the New Year interconference competition with their trouncing of Lynn Waldorkf’s pigskin chasers.

Credits: The lead photo, boxscore and the Marching band summary were all from the October 15, 1950 edition of the New York Times, “Cadet Streak at 23″.

4 Comments

  1. Not sure which one, but wasn’t one of those two games against Army the first use of the offense-defense platoon system in American football? If only I could find my old notes from John U. Bacon’s class…

  2. I have pictures and audio from that 1950 Army show. I will provide later tonight.

    (Last year, I worked with an old MMB alumnus to compile a slideshow out of his old photographs and wire recordings.)

  3. Tim-
    Prof Bacon’s class must be great. You are correct, it was the 1945 game. From the SI Vault (I ran a story on this article earlier this year):

    “Sheer necessity. You see, almost all colleges were playing freshmen at the time, because the older boys were in the service. Now, before the Michigan-Army game I figured that I would have to start nine freshmen against Red Blaik ‘s great Blanchard-Davis team. By comparison with Michigan , Army had a team of mature men. I asked myself, ‘How are our poor, spindly-legged freshmen going to stand up against these West Pointers all afternoon?’ I knew I would have to spell them off during the game. So I picked our best defensive men and said, ‘When we lose the ball, you fellows automatically go in.’ Then I got my best offensive men and ball handlers together and said, ‘When we regain possession, you fellows automatically go in.’ As it turned out, I only platooned the lines, and the linebackers on defense. We lost the game 28-7, but it should have been much, much worse.”

    Here’s my post:
    http://mvictors.com/?p=661

    Here’s the SI post:
    http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1075613/2/index.htm

  4. JeremyB – I’d love to see that video!

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