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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