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Got $4,000 Just Lying Around?

I am a huge nerd for Lehigh football history - and somebody just put something very intriguing up on Ebay that is a part of that storied history: a scorecard from the 1896 Michigan/Lehigh game.

And for only $4,000, it can be yours.

112 years ago, the "Lehigh XI" made the trip to the midwest to play Michigan's fearsome football team in a classic David-versus-Goliath match at the Detroit Athletic Club field in Detroit, MI (which is still around today and once hosted amateur fields in the late 1800's). It would be the only time Lehigh would play Michigan - and quite unlike Appalachian State last year, Lehigh would get throttled 40-0 from this reprint of the game summary.

Special thanks to the Michigan Victors blog for all the images from this unbelievably rare item - and an extensive description of the item, including scans of every page inside (including this picture of Lehigh's 1896 team). One of the pages features a list of the players on Lehigh's 1896 travel roster - and none of them are over 200 lbs (Becara, the right guard, weighs in at a "whopping" 196 lbs)!

Another gem inside the program include the "hype" for Lehigh in the program, where they do their best to dress up Lehigh's 1-2 record at that time ("More ground was made in this game against Pennsylvania than had been made against her the entire season" - a polite way of describing a 32-0 shellacking). Lehigh's only win was against Rutgers - the Engineers prevailed 44-0. The 1896, a young, inexperienced squad that would take their lumps and end the season 2-5, refused to play Lafayette at the end of the year - the only year in "The Rivalry" from 1884 to the present day when Lehigh and Lafayette didn't face each other. The reason? Lehigh thought that members the 1896 team - filled with early-century superstars Charles "Babe" Reinhart and George "Rose" Barclay - were not real amateur athletes. With Reinhart and Barclay leading the way, Lafayette would be "paper" co-national champions with Princeton in 1896.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Glad you enjoyed the post and photos, and nice to see the Lehigh nation recovered from this game.

G MVictors.com

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