Football Footnotes: "Put Me In Coach" - Part 2

Football Footnotes: "Put Me In Coach" - Part 2

Postby SU DOG » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:03 pm

[One final note from last week: Mr. John Pittman and his teammates had a 50 year anniversary/reunion at Seibert Hall in 1992 celebrating the win over the Celtics]

The nearest thing to Jim Thorp that Samford has had is HOF'er Billy Bancroft, a star in football, basketball, and baseball. You can read his bio on the Samford Official Website that ends with a mention of the 1931 Dixie Series Game. Where that article ends is where I will begin. The game matched future Baseball HOF pitcher Dizzy Dean for Houston against the Baron's Ray Caldwell. Now for the rest of the story(no Samford connection).
Ole Diz had made some remarks that angered Billy, Ray, and their teammates. You see Caldwell was 43 years old and Dizzy said things like, "they are pitching grandpa against us." He assured everybody that the Barons didn't have a snowball's chance in Hades. This is where I must talk about Ray Caldwell. He had previously spent 11 years in MLB. He came up with the Yankees, and old heads have said that he could have been one of the greatest of all time. Ray, however, had one BIG problem in that he loved partying more than baseball. Missing practices, arriving drunk, and having to have assistants go look for him at various watering holes angered the Yankees, and after a few seasons they traded him to the Indians. It was with Cleveland that Ray pitched his most memorable game. Memorable in that it was kinda unusual to say the least. It was the top of the 9th, there were 2 outs, and the Tribe had a one run lead. A cloud came up and a bolt of lightening struck the metal button of Ray's cap. He went to the ground, lay motionless, people screamed, assuming that he was dead. Trainers revived him, and tried to escort him off the field - but NO. Ray, using strong language, told them he was going to finish what he had started. His next pitch resulted in the Phillies batter grounding out weakly to third.
Cleveland newspaper headlines read "Caldwell SPARKS Indians to victory."
After his baseball career, Caldwell spent his last years working at a country club near Frewsburg NY. His 4th and final wife was employed there as a Cook. Ole Ray was the Bartender. :?


Wendell Magee was a star in 2 sports at SU. Two things I remember about this guy. I would see him regularly launch homers over the pine trees in left field at JLG. In football he was fast and difficult to tackle. Against Auburn in 1993, this H-Back averaged 9.5 yds/carry, but for some reason he only had four carries. Wendell was drafted in the 12th round in 1994 by the Phillies. He had a 7 year career with the Philly and Detroit.

Rosy Ryan was a good athlete who played QB, sometimes Safety, and was the Punter. He was also the team clown who kept the Bulldogs loose and laughing at his antics. He was actually able to throw the ball with EITHER hand with little difference in accuracy. In a game at Seibert circa 1958, Rosy boomed off a punt and the returner broke free. An official was standing beside Rosy and saw that the rusher had slightly grazed his shoulder and just dropped the flag there, but few noticed it. Rosy Ryan was the last Bulldog between the opponent and the goal line. The crowd was screaming for Rosy to tackle the guy, but instead Rosy bent his knees stared at the ball carrier, placed both thumbs in his ear holes, stuck out his tongue, and waved his hands as the returned went by. :lol: Funniest thing ever at Seibert, IMO.

Colin Hutto was the LAST true two-way player at Samford. He played on both sides of the line in the 1985 season. A few others have made remarkable position changes, however. Two Rings moved from fullback to noseguard in 1987. At 5-10, 215 pounds he wasn't the biggest around, but was one of the toughest. Coming out of HS, he was a finalist for Senatorial Appointments at BOTH West Point and Annapolis. What he has meant to Samford Athletics for decades I cannot even begin to describe. Scott Fountain was an OL at Samford whose last year was 1987. I mention Scott because of his accomplishments in coaching. He has served at such schools as FSU, Auburn, Miss State, and is now the Specials Team Coach at Georgia. Scott has been involved in FOUR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES. Hunter Carroll was a DL for the Dogs who suffered a horrific knee injury and just prior to the 1991 season Hunter had to have total reconstructive knee surgery. Remarkably, he played that season starting at Center for Terry. In Samford's first ever FCS Playoff Game, Hunter suffered an injury to his other knee. He refused to quit, however, and played the entire second half enduring through the pain. Without his courage and determination, Samford might not have beaten New Hampshire. Hunter is now an ultra successful attorney who still supports Samford Athletics.

Speaking of leg injuries reminds me of another that occurred in practice. This was circa 1968 and the players called this guy Country. While at a practice, Country fell and complained that his leg might be broken. Two trainers put this guy on a stretcher and for some reason decide to take him up the hill to wait for the paramedics. As they neared the top, the back guy slipped and the lead trainer lost his hold on the stretcher. Country then rolled over and over as he helplessly plunged down to the bottom. :o At Brookwood, it was confirmed that Country did indeed have a broken leg. Country's playing days ended there, but he went on to success in the banking business and now is the President and CEO of a chain of banks in north Alabama.

Finally there is our own cujo who gets a mention in this FF post. He was a TE from St. Petersburg FL. and made some nice catches in the 1984 bring it back season. Now he admits this is not something he is particularly proud of, and not his finest moment - but it is a part of Samford Footbal History. He went up to snag a high pass, got one hand on it but failed to bring it in. His HC coach yelled very loudly "get your head in the game." Cujo was embarrassed and somewhat angry. The coach later mistakenly sent in his punting team thinking 3rd down was 4th down, he had to call timeout and get his offense back on the field. Our man cujo couldn't resist, and told his coach to "get your head into the game". Coach wasn't amused, and cujo was one Bulldog who definitely occupied the "doghouse" for his rebuttal. :lol: We all know that he is now another ultra-successful attorney and charter member of this Board.
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Re: Football Footnotes: "Put Me In Coach" - Part 2

Postby 77SU » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:42 pm

SU DOG wrote:Missing practices, arriving drunk, and having to have assistants go look for him at various watering holes


I thought this where you were going to talk about Cujo!? —:oops: — JK!
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Re: Football Footnotes: "Put Me In Coach" - Part 2

Postby Cujo » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:27 pm

The story is true. Nice article, SUD.

77, that’s hilarious.
In an imperfect world, absolute truth is divisive. There's no unity in truth. Decide then whether truth before unity or unity before truth?
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