Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, September 19, 1999, pg. 9.

'Tis the season for Albion College Briton football, our local collegiate sports wonder that has certainly made a name for itself over the years. We all know about their accomplishments and the publicity they have given our city, but did you know that Albion once played the "big boys" in Ann Arbor?

Albion's tussles with the Michigan Wolverines go back to the very beginnings of the sport. Although the Wolverines and their school grew dramatically far and above the size of Albion, it is an historical fact that the Albion College football team was an early opponent of the school located fifty miles to the east of here.

The first match occurred in 1884, with Michigan winning 18-0. In 1886, Michigan played only TWO games the entire season and against guess who?--Albion College! Several more games were played against Albion during the 1880s, and finally in 1991, Albion College defeated the Maize and Blue by a score of 10-4! Through the years more games were played, ending in the fall of 1905.

After a hiatus of over two decades, the Albion "Purple and Gold," then the defending MIAA Champions, returned to Ann Arbor to the new Michigan Stadium on the weekend of September 28, 1929. Albion College president John Seaton stated, "The resumption of athletic relations between the University of Michigan and Albion College is a memorable event. In the early history of both institutions their teams met year after year, and alumni of that period tell thrilling tales of the battles they fought."

This football game against Albion inaugurated the 1929 season for the Wolverines, and with it their new coach, Harry Kipke. The Albion team was headed by coach R.R. "Bud" Daugherty and his assistant, L. D. Erwin. The game was part of a two-game "Double-header" package that day the Wolverines had arranged with Albion and another football powerhouse, Mount Unio College of Alliance, Ohio. It was the first such "double header" games in Ann Arbor. The game with Albion was played first beginnning at 1:30 p.m., and the two games lasted a total of nearly five hours. Both were broadcast on Detroit WWJ radio. OK, so Albion lost 39-0.

The Albion player starters and their positions were: Stanley Penzotti, co-captain and Left End; E. Quinn, Left Tackle; A. Good, Left Guard; Charles Baldwin, Center; H. Goldberg, Right Guard; F. Ambler, Right Tackle; John Vallance, co-captain and right End; F. Walters, Quarterback; H. Fitch, Left Halfback; Lightbody, Right Halfback; and L. Osmun, Fullback.

From our Historical Notebook this week we have a real treat. Illustrated here is the cover of the actual program of the Michigan Wolverines verses the Albion College Purple and Gold, and Mount Union. Second, we present a copy of an actual ticket to the event! Even then the price was $2.00. In the background of the text is a picture of a roaring Wolverine. Special thanks to Clifford C. Ott of Cleves, Ohio for supplying this week's illustrations. His parents were students at Albion College at the time.

Wolverines vs. Britons ticket

Wolverines vs. Britons program cover


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