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 Page 12 

THE MAY 2011  



By Carlton Hendricks


16 pages - 16,521 words - 33 photo pages

Pg. 1 Pg. 2 Pg. 3 Pg. 4 Pg. 5 Pg. 6 Pg. 7 Pg. 8
Pg. 9 Pg. 10 Pg. 11 Pg. 12 Pg. 13 Pg. 14 Pg. 15 Pg. 16

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Harvard Square and  University grounds

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Leavitt & Peirce 

Tobacco Shop

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Basketball Hall of
Fame, Springfield MA

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Harvard University Sports Trophies at Murr Center

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Yale Univ. Trophy Room
at Payne Whitney Gym

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Museum of 
Fine Arts Boston



And that....without photos....lighter $22.00 entry plus $24.00 parking....was my visit to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. The next day was Sunday and I ended up sleeping in late. I was hoping to find a church to attend in Plymouth about forty minutes from Boston...I liked the idea of going to church where is all started in America...but I never made it....next time. And so it was off to my next hotel in Norwalk CT. The following day Monday I had an appointment at 11:00AM to see Yale's Trophy Room in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium...the world's largest gymnasium. I recall crossing over the state line from Massachusetts into Connecticut....It was my first time there....so this is it I thought...All my life I'd heard of Connecticut...It was partially where Football took off from...where Camp and Stagg played...not to mention where Martha Stewart and the Keith Richards live....but not together I don't think.


 Part 1 

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Twenty three years ago I bought some sports medals at an antiques show in Sacramento California. The dealer said they were from the estate of renown Yale football and baseball player Amos Alonzo Stagg. As I researched Stagg I started connecting the dots...I learned of his record setting playing days at Yale, his appointment to the first College Football All-America Team in 1889, his remarkable life long coaching career, and his pioneering influence on sports. By these I came to understand his patriarchal place in American athletic history. I ended up visiting the Stagg family in Stockton California, and to make a long story short, close in both.jpg (1446791 bytes)I bought Stagg's personal c1920 football player bookends. Not only were they Stagg's personal bookends, they were stunning football art.  An occurrence like that seems like something that would happen to an advanced collector not a novice. But this was way at the beginning of my collecting career, I hardly knew anything about sports antiques yet. As I drove home with them in my beater 65' Olds Cutlass I instinctively knew I had gone to the top of the mountain...I felt I had reached in and touched the very core of football...So this last May when I visited Yale to photograph their trophy room...in a way I had come full circle....I started with Yale in a sense, and I finally made it there....



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It was a drizzly day as I made the half hour drive from Norwalk to New Haven. My GPS got me to the Payne Whitney Gymnasium at 70 Tower Parkway....I tried to take it all in as I drove into the Yale vicinity...So this is it I thought....Yale...It might as well have been my first day going to school there...it was a big deal....Yale...Camp, Stagg, Heffelfinger, Hinkey, McClung, etc.....they all went there....But back to reality...I pulled up about a half block from the Payne Whitney Gym and stopped...darn, no change for the meter...It was about ten to eleven and I bopped over to a nearby Shell station and pleaded my case to a middle eastern guy who gave in and changed a couple dollars for quarters...




Location of Yale Trophy Room

photos by yale.edu

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Main entrance

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Approaching from 

Tower Parkway

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More Sites of Yale Campus

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Sterling Library

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Harkness Tower

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McClellan Hall

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Yale's Gilder Boat House, located in Derby CT.


I phoned my contact Anthony "Duke" Diaz who manages the gym to explain I was across the street getting change and would be there in a few...I got voice mail, and hurried up to get back there. Parked and situated I made it to the entrance...closed...all doors locked....Then I remembered Duke, as he goes by, telling me the Gym would be closed that week but he would be there to show me the trophy room. But he wasn't picking up....darn...I tried all the doors...looked around for another entrance to no avail.....



click photos

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 New York Times clipping Jan, 1st 1894 announcing Yale Trophy Room inauguration

 and referencing plaque to right

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Bronze plaque Commemorating Eugene Baker 77' and Yale trophy room inauguration, photographed in glass case


So finally I call again and Duke answers...Carlton hello, yes I'll be right down...Phew!....And out he came to the sidewalk...Hi I recognize you from your website he said....follow me...PICT1636_1200x900.jpg (176088 bytes)And he walked me in...up one floor by elevator, past a life size bronze statue of Yale's bulldog mascot Handsome Dan, thru a doorway and BLAM!!!....WHOA!!!

.... boom bam boom and I'm in....just like that...that fast and I'm staring at not only relics from the source....but an almost overwhelming amount of it...displayed with all the character you would expect...a classic example of a college trophy room!


  continue to part 2




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