History of Athletics (from 1892 Pandora – 1st football game)

From the 1892 Pandora about UGA’s first baseball and football games:

HISTORY OF ATHLETICS.

IT IS AMUSING indeed to hear the older students tell the tales handed down by tradition of how the late Jno. C. Rutherford when in college exercised regularly with a pair of twenty-five pound dumb bells, and how on one occasion when unusually exhilarated, he threw one of them entirely over the Richardson building, a height of forty feet and more. This and other marvelous tales of bygone days, tradition records and bears to generation after generation.

Athletics, however, can practically be dated from a very recent period. Four years ago the Trustees realizing the importance of Athletics in college passed a resolution set ting aside the first Monday in May as an annual Field Day. To show their appreciation of this the students organized what was nominally an Athletic Association. It lacked, however, that spirit of enthusiasm in Athletic sports which is absolutely essential in an organization of this character.

It was not until the fall of 1890, that there was awakened among the students the proper spirit of enthusiasm. At this time Dr. Charles Herty came to the University as Instructor in Chemistry, and the whole success of our Association is due entirely to him. His first step was to call a mass meeting of the students, at which meeting the Association was reorganized, constitution and by-laws adopted (which were very brief) and the following officers elected: President, Dudley Youngblood; vice president, John Boston; secretary and treasurer, Frank Harwell; executive committee, Charles Herty, chairman; J. E. Whelchel, P. D. Youngblood.

During that year the present gymnasium was purchased from the Macon Volunteers for $300, the last payment on same having been made about two months ago. This gym nasium was put up in a building on the campus, and baths, lockers, &c., added.

On the field the athletics were carried on to a greater extent than ever before. A record of Field Day for this year will be seen elsewhere. A base ball league was found and a series of games played resulting in the Sophomore class taking the pennant, A. O. Halsey and B. R. Nalley being the battery for this team.

UNIVERSITY VS. OXFORD.

By far the most important event in Athletics during the year ’90-’91 was the Universities game with Oxford. A special train left Athens Saturday morning carrying the crowd, the ball boys having gone over the evening before.

Bob Gantt and Big Smith were on hand with their ” One stike, two strikes, three strikes, out.” “One strike, two strikes, three strikes, out.”  “Saw my leg off,” and a thousand such hacking songs. There was Raph too, when Oxford was way ahead, betting two to one for the University. These with the college yells did almost as much to win the game as the fine playing of the team, with Herty in the box and Wadley behind the bat.

The University could not be beaten in a match game, and when in the last inning the score of twelve to eleven was made, the boys went wild, carrying Little Herty, Billy Gramling and Wadley off in their arms.

THE MERCER FOOT BALL GAME.

The fall was occupied in practicing and training the foot ball team.

With absolutely no assistance but a book of rules, and their own unyielding energy, they went to work and learned the game thoroughly and well. On January 30th the Mercer boys came over on a special train bringing about two hundred students and citizens of Macon along with them. But the crimson and black, together with the powerful influence of Bob Gantt’s mascotte in the shape of a goat, proved too much for the Macon lads. They went back that night sadly thinking how ” It might have been,” but it wasn’t. The score in this game was fifty to nothing in favor of the University.

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