toast

H/T to my man Craig Barker of HSR for the reminder and as always, the epic calendar entries in the Michigan Athletics History Calendar.  On this day in 1940 the ‘Toast to Yost from Coast to Coast’ was held at Waterman Gymnasium.  Fielding H. Yost was honored by a host of dignitaries – (Willie Heston, Tom Harmon and Louis Elbel to name a few) in an event that was broadcast on NBC radio around the country.

The Bentley Library has the original recording of that tribute.  It’s a tad choppy in spots but well worth a listen if you have the means.   The highlight for me is certainly hearing the voice of Yost as he addresses the audience.   Here’s a small clip where the 69-year old Yost recalls stepping off the train in Ann Arbor for the first time:

You get a taste of his famous “Meechigan” at about 14 seconds in, which endures today thanks to Bob Ufer, Chris Fowler and TWIMFbH.

There’s much more in the event, even a speech from then-judge Willie Heston – the star of Yost’s epic Point-A-Minute squads from 1901-1904.

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Today marks the 110th anniversary of Willie Heston’s final game at Michigan.  Heston was Michigan’s first superstar, a two-time All-American, who scored (somewhere around) 72 touchdowns.  From 1901 to 1904, Heston’s teams went 43-0-1 and are credited with four national titles.

willieheston

I’ll have more on Heston later this year.

Hearing Willie
Back in 2012 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 Heston.   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 but 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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Seeing Willie
Don’t ask me to point out who’s who (maybe Brian can whip out a UFR), but here’s footage from Willie’s final game played at Regents Field in Ann Arbor, a 22-12 victory over rival (and Yost’s nemesis) Amos Alonzo Stagg and Chicago.  The footage was taken by Thomas Edison’s firm (note the “gridiron” – the lines painted on the field like a grid):

 

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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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