In 1890, Amos Alonzo Stagg, a Yale all-American and major league baseball pitching prospect, came to Springfield College (then known as the YMCA Training School) and started the college’s first football team. A grad student in a one-year program to become a YMCA Physical Director, he served as Coach, Manager, Captain, and Player on this original team often called “Stagg’s Eleven” or “The Stubby Christians.” The team finished the first season with a record of 5 wins and 3 losses, playing Yale strongly in the first indoor football game ever played in Madison Square Garden. Among other greats to coach the football team was James Huff McCurdy. McCurdy came to Springfield in 1895 and headed the team till 1917. He is largely responsible for helping to grow the Springfield College football team’s reputation and starting a long tradition of being feared by other colleges, in addition to his innovative work in exercise physiology. Later, Oscar “Ossie” Solem, famous Syracuse University coach, coached the team from 1946-1957.
The back of the photograph says "1898 football" however, the names listed at the bottom of the picture are consistent with the 1897 football team roster according to "The History of Springfield College Football."
Text and images are owned, held, or licensed by Springfield College and are available for personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that ownership is properly cited. A credit line is required and should read: Courtesy of Springfield College, Babson Library, Archives and Special Collections. Any commercial use without written permission from Springfield College is strictly prohibited. Other individuals or entities other than, and in addition to, Springfield College may also own copyrights and other propriety rights. The publishing, exhibiting, or broadcasting party assumes all responsibility for clearing reproduction rights and for any infringement of United States copyright law.