04. August 2010 · Comments Off on Best of eBay Watch – #10-#6 · Categories: Archive 2009

I did some house cleaning recently on the eBay Watch Index, the year-by-year tally of all the eBay Watch posts from these pages from over the years.   The list now spans over 150 entries and given the excellent lists floating around on the web as we await kickoff of the season, I thought it’d be a good time to run down my favorites to date.

Counting down from 10:

10.  Michigan Baseball Visits Japan (1932) (posted December 15, 2008)

I don’t feature common items like tickets or programs very often in this series, but this was one special stub.  It’s a torn ticket from one of the games the Michigan baseball team played in Japan in 1932.  How this ended up preserved and in an a US auction I have no idea.  An MVictors reader was kind enough to translate shortly after I posted it:

From an excellent summary published in Michigan Today in 1998, it all started with baseball teams from Japan doing a college tour in the US years earlier, with many of the stops in Ann Arbor from 1911 to 1925. Then in 1929, Michigan coach Ray Fisher got an invite from the Meiji University inviting the maize and blue to visit Japan as “ambassadors of good will.” Fielding Yost and the board of athletics approved the trip and so they headed west, then more west, until they reach the Far East in 1929.  

Read more on the original post, including Michigan’s feelings about the local umpires, how M fared in the 13 game series, and the gifts (suit of armor!) presented to Fielding Yost by our Japanese friends.

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9.  U.S.S. Michigan Sinks Penn (posted June 29, 2010)

The postcard that inspired my entry in Hail to the Victors 2009 was auctioned earlier this year and prompted a recap of the events surrounding one remarkable game in an equally remarkable season of 1909.   Here’s that postcard:

Needing a win on the road against Penn, a team they’d be trounced by in recent years, the Michigan team got a huge boost when they arrived in Philadelphia. they got a big boost.  The battleship U.S.S. Michigan happened to be docked nearby and contained around 400 sailors on board “determined to see the name Michigan honored.”  The “jackies”, as they were called, decided to rally behind Yost and the boys and marched onto the field before the game bearing Maize and Blue emblems.   A gift (that flag that made it onto the postcard) was presented to the team.  And to the dismay of Quaker fans the jackies didn’t head back to the ship after the ceremony. They stayed–cheering and singing songs to honor their namesakes on the gridiron and Michigan captain Dave Allerdice later called this gesture, “as fine a spirit as I have ever witnessed.”   Inspired by the Navy men, Michigan crushed Penn 12-6 in a manner not indicative by the final score.  Check out the whole story.

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8.  Norm Daniel’s 1931 Jersey (posted August 23, 2008)

I’ve featured a few different vintage game-worn items in the series but this was pretty unique:


Not only is it old (1931) and in great shape, the jersey was worn by a member of Harry Kipke’s national championship squad – a gent named Norm Daniels.   On top of all of this, while digging around I found out at the time of posting Daniels was still alive & had turned 100 in 2007!

Digging deeper I found out that Daniels, later a football coach at Wesleyan (CN), was at a coaching convention with Bo when he bumped into a former famous teammate:

Schembechler and Daniels waited in a private room at the hotel hosting the convention. At the scheduled moment, a door opened and the President came came in. Daniels’ spontaneous greeting outraced the moment’s protocol as he chimed, “Well, hello, Jerry!” only to catch himself, “…I mean, Mr. President.” “No, no, Norm…,” countered the President, “I will always be ‘Jerry’ to you.”

Sadly I learned that Daniels, described as an ‘icon’, passed away in March 2009 at the age of 102.   Read the original post here.

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7. Michigan Football Turns 100 (guest post on mgoblog, posted February 8, 2009)

Before Brian Cook at mgoblog assembled a team of beat writers, recruiting analysts and prolific diarists, when he went on vacation he needed content.  In February 2009 I delivered a guest post version of eBay Watch that started with the 1979 program & ticket to an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of Michigan football (1879-1979).

In this mgoguest post I walk through the first game back in 1879 and then drill down on the centennial event itself.  The bash featured an amazing array of guests and speakers.  Oh, and I also noted this colossal blunder on the tickets for the event -  I believe this is what the kids call an EPIC FAIL:


I can live with the “BICENTENNIAL” typo (the bi-cent will be in 2079), but referring to the facility housing this banquet as “Chrysler” is beyond forgiveness, especially given Fritz himself attended!   Full post here.   One side note:  most of those items you see inside that Schembechler Hall gallery (or don’t see, since it’s not openly available to the public!) were collected by Millie Schembechler and her committee for this event. 

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6.  Send that to the Bentley Library (Posted May 11, 2010)

If you read these pages you know I spend my share of time perusing the U-M Bentley Library, and last year I wrote a piece about how the Michigan athletic archives ended up at that great facility on Beal Avenue.  

Occasionally I stumble upon something worthy of the attention of library curators.  Last June I presented enough evidence to convince the library to change the recorded score of the 1909 Michigan-Syracuse game, giving the Wolverines an additional point.   In 2008, with the help of some former players, a mystery player in the 1968 team photo was properly identified.

Earlier this year a seller offered up a page from a January 1899 issue of Harper’s Weekly featuring a photo of the 1898 Michigan football team, the team that inspired Elbel’s ‘The Victors’:

I bought it, and it turns out it’s a photo the folks at the Bentley have never seen before and they wanted a copy.  It’s now part of the Michigan football archives and it was a thrill to contribute:

Check out photo of “The Kid” and read the rest of the original post here.

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Coming soon – the top 5.

Honorable mention: 

Have a Highball with Bennie O.
Where Ufer Laid Woody Hayes Away
Bo’s Calling Card
Scot Loeffler’s ’97 Champion Ring  (still in process!)
Shorty Longman’s Ruse

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