Friday, December 19, 2008
I notice that I have received zero comments on any of my 46 previous Blogs, how could that be as I know that they're widely read? You people act strangely, didn't you have No Proper Bringins' Up? My father was Bob Preusse and he was Large-Boned and 6'6", very tall for somebody born in 1910, in February he would have been "99". My father was Akron University's MVP in Basketball in 1934 and when Akron U played Kent State for the Conference Championship, the last game of the season for both teams, Akron U won with my father scoring two-thirds of Akron U's points. My father graduated with a degree in 3 different types of engineering, Mechanical, Civil and something else but functioned as a Mechanical Engineer. Apparently he had well over a 3 point which was quite good in those days before gross grade inflation and in a hard discipline. Graduating in the Heart of the Depression he had a number of job offers and chose to work for Goodyear. And he also played Basketball for Goodyear for 2 years, all the rubber companies had basketball teams, this was before professional basketball and the Goodyear Wingfoots were one of the best teams in the World at that time. It was extremely rare that Goodyear would have an Akron U player on their team as they only recruited Big Stars. One of my Dad's teammates was a brother of Tom Harmon, who had won the Heisman Trophy at Michigan, and another was Charley Shipp, one of the best players in the World in that Era. On Goodyear's team my Father was no longer a Star but was only a sometimes Starter. About 3 years ago Steve Rushin had a story in Sports Illustrated on the "Harlem Renaissance," an all-Black Team that was one of the best at that time. And every year Goodyear, an all-White Team, played the Harlem Renaissance and in 1936 they played in Akron. During the course of the game one of the Renaissance players took exception to Charley Shipp's play and Decked him. This was a very famous incident in Depression Era Akron. My father said that Charley Shipp was a dirty player and that he got what he deserved. But perhaps my Old Man's Reasoning was colored by Envy because he was no longer the Star and Charley Shipp was, I'm not saying this was the case I'm just tossing this out, could be. I wasn't there, I wasn't going to be born for over a decade and I wouldn't know the Right or Wrong of It. But I do know that if you come in and Beat Up a Team's Star that they might be reluctant to play you. That was the last time that the Goodyear Wingfoots ever played the Harlem Renaissance.