I don’t feature ticket stubs very often on eBay Watch but this one is special.   On its face, this musty, chewed up stub from the 1943 Michigan-Michigan State game doesn’t look very valuable, does it? 

1943 Michigan State

I’m guessing the seller had no idea and is wondering why as of Saturday afternoon it had 17 bids, the tops at $330.   It was a very nice season by Fritz Crisler’s crew, going 8-1, sharing the conference title and finally beating freaking Minnesota whom they hadn’t beaten since 1932.

Readers of this site might recall that this is a very rare find, so rare, in fact is that it was the final stub that local Jack Briegel needed to complete his collection of every game played at the Big House (dating back to ‘27).    Thanks to a gift of this stub in 2011 from fellow collector Ken Magee, Jack got that final piece of the puzzle.

It’s rare for a few reasons as I explained in an earlier post:

The ticket to that September 25 game actually lists Michigan State as the opponent.   But the Spartans did not field a team that season as it was common for teams to shut down their football squads that year due to obligations to the war effort.  Folks seemed to have better things to do that fall day as just over 14,000 bothered to show up, and apparently it wasn’t memorable enough for many fans to bother to hang onto their stubs.

Toast to Yost.   Speaking of stubs, reader Brian pointed out this ticket stub published in the Ann Arbor library archives.   It’s a ticket to the celebration for Fielding Yost in 1940, the event from which I’ve posted a few audio clips recently. 

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I wonder if Jack or Ken have this one?

The entry associated with the above image states “..the event was held in the compact Waterman Gymnasium. It might have been held at the relatively new Yost Field House which created some controversy among faculty members when Yost named the building after himself.”   

Umm, except the Field House was built by and named after Yost in the 1920s, sooo…

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willieheston

Recently I posted a short audio clip of Fielding Yost from the 1940 nationwide radio tribute the man titled, ‘A Toast to Yost from Coast to Coast’.   Check it out if you missed it.   In that post I promised to share a few more clips, and thanks to the Bentley Historical Library for passing these along.

The man who introduced Yost to the crowd in attendance and the radio audience was none other than the great Willie Heston, the All American who came with Yost to Ann Arbor and by some (suspect) accounting, scored 110 touchdowns.  [The Bentley says 72, which might be still on the high side, but methinks that will be addressed at some point.]

Here are two clips of the great Willie and in the first we have a surprise.   Before offering up his tribute to his old coach, Heston acknowledges that current student athlete and national icon Tom Harmon in the audience.  Old 98 shares the mic & even has a little back and forth with Heston that is all in all pretty priceless.

The second clip has Heston delivering his testimonial to Yost.  Enjoy:

 

As an aside, while I’m sure you’ll be hard pressed to find another audio clip of the Harmon and Heston together, they did appear elsewhere…namely on this campaign pin for Heston [original 2008 post].   This is probably a decent representation of what each man looked like back in 1940:

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For a man whose heyday was in the first part of the 20th century, we certainly know a lot about Fielding Yost, on and off the field.   His robust collection of personal letters were donated to U-M in the early 1970s.  We have countless photos of the Old Man and even a compilation how he looked since he arrived in Ann Arbor:

 

Have you ever heard his voice?  Ever wonder what he sounded like?   We know legendary radio voice Bob Ufer made famous Yost’s pronunciation of Meechigan. 

Well check this out.   As Yost was preparing to retire from U-M in 1940, he was honored with a nationwide radio presentation dubbed, ‘A Toast to Yost from Coast to Coast’.   John U. Bacon mentioned the tribute in Three and Out:  “..his admirers put on a tribute in his eponymous Field House, broadcast on NBC radio and titled “A Toast to Yost from Coast to Coast” (which was also the title of a popular song).”

The Bentley has the original recording of that tribute, choppy in spots, but well worth a listen if you have the means.   The highlight for me is certainly hearing the voice of the legendary Yost as he addresses the audience.   Here’s a small clip where Yost recaps his history of coaching then talks about when he stepped off the train in Ann Arbor for the first time:

You get a little taste of that Meechigan at about 14 seconds in.

There’s much more, even a speech from then-judge Willie Heston and a great story from the man who hired Yost, Charles Baird.  I’ll post a few more clips later on.

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