Saturday, December 9, 2017

Army-Navy Game Day and Two Heisman Winners

I'm getting old.  I used to love football but the changes in the game are causing a waning interest from myself.  Today is the Army-Navy game and I watch it yearly.  There's much more of an innocence and old-timey feel to it.  Perhaps I was born a few years too late.  Regardless, I will take the opportunity to show off some of my vintage Army guys.  Sorry Navy, I don't have any vintage Midshipmen in my PC.  Well, I kinda do (you'll see at the end).

Any discussion of Army football history isn't legit unless it contains "Mr. Inside" and "Mr. Outside." 


1955 Topps All-American #59 Doc Blanchard 

1955 Topps All-American #59 Doc Blanchard (back)
Doc Blanchard played one year of (freshman) football at North Carolina before enlisting in the Army.  During his three years at Army playing fullback the team complied a 27-0-1 record, winning three National championships.  He was named a Consensus All-American all three seasons.  For the 1945 season Blanchard won the James E. Sullivan Award, Sporting News Player of the Year, Maxwell Award and the Heisman Trophy.  He was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959.

After his playing days, Blanchard joined the Air Force.  He flew 84 missions over North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.  Mr. Inside died of pneumonia in 2009. 

1950 Bowman #16 Glenn Davis
This particular card isn't mine, but I will own a copy of it soon.  I did have a 1951 Bowman "Mr. Outside" Glenn Davis at one time, but must have sold it somewhere along the line. 

Davis played in the same backfield with Doc Blanchard and was a part of the same three championship teams, and was an All-American the same three seasons.  Blanchard won the Heisman Trophy in 1944 as a junior and Davis won in 1955. 

Davis served three years in the military before joining the Los Angeles Rams for the 1950 season.  He was named an All-Pro that season but injured his knee in 1951, ending his career. 

Davis died in 2005 and is interred at West Point Cemetery. 

If you love history of the game and don't know much about these gentlemen, I encourage you to research. 

As I went through my 1955 All-American cards I pulled the other Army and Navy players from the set.  However, there either are no Navy players, or I don't have them. 

1955 Topps All-American #95 Chris Cagle

1955 Topps All-American #25 Cas Myslinski

1955 Topps All-American #44 Ed Garbisch 

1955 Topps All-American #32 Hank Foldberg 

1955 Topps All-American #53 Jack Green 
I mentioned that there were no Navy players, but this is close.

1955 Topps All-American #6 Nile Kinnick 
1955 Topps All-American #6 Nile Kinnick

Nile Kinnick did not attend the Naval Academy.  He won the Heisman Trophy playing at the University of Iowa in 1939.  As you can read on the card back (wait, card backs matter?) he died piloting a Navy plane in 1943.  Kinnick was five weeks shy of his 25th birthday and the first Heisman Trophy winner to die. 

If you don't know who Kinnick is but the name sounds familiar, the University of Iowa football stadium has been named "Kinnick Stadium" since 1972. 

This was a different type of post for me and I hope that you enjoyed it.  If you can, tune in for the game today.  It is on CBS at 3pm eastern.  Throw out the records.  Throw out the stupid offenses and throwing 60 times a game that most run now.  Enjoy some football, the way it was created to be played. 

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  1. Army has gone at least four games this year without throwing a pass, including a dominating win over Air Force this year.

    Would love to add a Davis or Blanchard vintage to my collection someday. I did get an old College Football Digest with Bob Anderson on the cover from 1958 for Christmas last year.

    1. Both can certainly be had cheaply. There are so many All-American cards out there. The Bowmans that Davis is on aren't in short supply either.

  2. Man do I love that set, and I know I'd love it even if it didn't have a bunch of Wolverines in it. I'm surprised Topps hasn't gone back to that well much.

    1. When they have gone back to that well, I've loved them. I wish that I had bought a few boxes during those seasons.