November 2016 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/19/2016

In 1941, the color line was unfortunately alive and well in the NFL and still in play in many major Universities across the United States.  A College All Star team of white players would be pitted against a squad of African American players on November 30, 1941 at the Polo Grounds in New York City (we’ve attached a copy of a news article about the game.  The program is loaded with photos of the players and has been signed in pencil by approximately 20 some players.  All pages are intact. This could perhaps be a one of a kind item with some super duper rare autographs! Some of these autographs are pretty much non-existent! A treasure trove into African American athletes autographs before they were easily accessible by the masses.

Chuck Anderson (D. 1975 at age 57)  graduated from Ohio State and turned pro in 1945 and 1946 with the Hollywood Bears in the Pacific Coast Football League (along with future CFL opponent Ezzert Anderson.) After playing with the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the PCFL (in 1947) he took his multi-talented skills (he could play any position on the offensive line) to Canada, where he won a Grey Cup in 1948 with the undefeated Calgary Stampeders. In a twist of fate, he joined the Montreal Alouettes the next season and defeated his former (championship) team to win another Grey Cup. He played with the Larks for 3 seasons (missing 1951 after a tryout with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats) and finished his career with the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1953. Following the path blazed by Herb Trawick, the first African-American player in the CFL, Anderson was among the first to break the color barrier.

Vic Baylock – football and basketball star at Syracuse

Max Festa – played minor league baseball

Ted Fisher – drafted in the last round by the NY Giants out of Carnegie Tech; never played in the NFL

Benny Friedman (D. 1982) – New York Giants, University of Michigan, College and Pro Football HOF member

Duffy Garland – a guard out of Kentucky State

Archie Harris Jr. – U of Indiana – end who signed with the New York Yankees of the AAFC

Joe Herzog – a guard out of Lafayette

Joe Hugret – (D. 1977) an end out of NYU, he played in the NFL for one season with the Brooklyn Dodgers

Dolly King (D. 1969 at age 52) is a SUPER TOUGH autograph! He was one of a handful of African Americans to play in the National Basketball League (NBL), the predecessor of the NBA.King was a multisport star at Long Island University during the late 1930s, playing basketball and American football. According to Clair Bee, King's coach in both sports, King once played an entire college football game and an entire college basketball game on the same day. After college, King played several seasons of professional basketball with the all-black New York Renaissance before Lester Harrison signed him to the NBL's Rochester Royals in 1946. King averaged 4.0 points per game in 41 games with Rochester and participated in the league playoffs.

Joe Lillard (D. 1978) is a SUPER TOUGH autograph! He was an American football, baseball, and basketball player. From 1932 to 1933, he was a running back for the National Football League's (NFL) Chicago Cardinals. Lillard was the last African-American, along with Ray Kemp, to play in the NFL until 1946, when Kenny Washington and Woody Strode joined the Los Angeles Rams. Lillard received the nickname "The Midnight Express" by the media. In 1933, he was responsible for almost half of the Cardinals' points. With the advent of an unofficial color line that excluded black players, Lillard did not play in the NFL after 1933. He remained active in football, playing for minor league and semi-professional teams, including the New York Brown Bombers, with whom he spent three seasons. Lillard was also a pitcher in Negro league baseball for five seasons from 1932 to 1944, and a guard in basketball for the future Harlem Globetrotters. After his athletic career, he became an appliance store employee and died in 1978.

Click here to read a fantastic article.

Sid Mills (Trinity) end

Lou Montgomery (D. 1993) debated between going to school at UCLA or staying close to home and decided the latter when he enrolled at BC in 1938. This decision made Montgomery the first black athlete in any sport to play at Boston College. He became the first African American athlete at Boston College.

Maso Ryan – Right tackle out of Morgan State

Wilmeth Sidat Singh (D. 1943 at the age of 25 – Tuskegee Airmen) was an African-American basketball and football player who was subject to segregation in college and professional sports in the 1930s. Wilmeth showed great talent as an athlete and became a basketball star, leading DeWitt Clinton High School to the New York Public High School Athletic League championship in 1934. He received an offer of a basketball scholarship from Syracuse University and enrolled in 1935. While playing an intramural football game, an assistant football coach noticed his talent and asked him to join the football team. Sidat-Singh starred for Syracuse, playing a position equivalent to modern-day quarterback and starring for the basketball team as well.

Syracuse University and nearby Cornell University were among the first collegiate football teams to include African-American players as starting backfield players. In that era, when games were played in Southern segregation states, African-American players from Northern schools were banned from the field. Because of his light complexion and name, Sidat-Singh was sometimes assumed to be a "Hindu" (as people from India were often called by Americans during this time). However. shortly before a game against the University of Maryland, a black sportswriter, Sam Lacy wrote an article in The Baltimore Afro American, revealing Sidat-Singh's true racial identity. Wilmeth Sidat-Singh was held out of the game and Syracuse lost that game 0-13. In a rematch the following year at Syracuse, Sidat-Singh led the Orange to a lopsided victory (53-0) over Maryland.

With unofficial bans on black players enacted in both the NBL and NFL, Sidat-Singh played briefly for a professional barnstorming basketball team in Syracuse and then joined the Washington, D.C., police. After U.S. entry into World War II, he applied and was accepted as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the only African-American unit in the U.S. Army Air Force, and won his wings as a pilot. Sidat-Singh died in 1943 during a training mission when the engine of his airplane failed. He drowned in Lake Huron.

This is only the second autograph of his we’ve ever seen!

Click here to read a fantastic article about him.

Ozzie Simmons (D. 2001) was a college football player for the University of Iowa. Simmons, nicknamed the "Ebony Eel", was one of the first black All-American football players in the 1930s. Simmons had heard of the exploits of black Iowa players like Archie Alexander and Duke Slater, so Ozzie and his older brother, Don, hopped a train to Iowa City. Ozzie Simmons graduated with 1,544 career rushing yards, the third most in Iowa history at the time. He scored 14 touchdowns in his career, eight of them on plays of 50 yards or more. Though the Hawkeyes had just a 9-11-4 record in his three injury-plagued years at Iowa, Simmons gave Iowa fans something to cheer about when Iowa football was feeling the ill effects of a brief Big Ten suspension and the Great Depression.

Ozzie Simmons is probably best known as the central figure in the story that spawned the Floyd of Rosedale trophy. As a talented black player in the 1930s, Simmons was a target of opposing players, which accounted for many of his numerous injuries. During a run against Northwestern University, he was punched. In another game, a newspaper account says a player "rammed his locked hands into Simmons' face."

Ronald Reagan, then a radio sportscaster in Des Moines and later the 40th president of the United States, said, "The problems were when you played another team that did not have a black. For some reason or another, then they would pick on this one man." Reagan then recounted a game against Illinois when Ozzie was injured twice. Reagan said, "I saw (Iowa players) Dick Crayne and Ted Osmaloski walk over to the Illinois huddle during a timeout, and after the game I found out...they said, 'Do that to (Simmons) once more, and we're going to run you right out of the end of your stadium.'

Ozzie Simmons lettered at Iowa from 1934–1936, and his brother Don Simmons lettered as an end in 1935 and 1936. Black players were not allowed in the NFL at the time, and Ozzie Simmons played only two years professionally. Simmons played for the Patterson Panthers of the all-black American Association in 1937 and 1939. He was a second team all-league player in 1937 and a first team all-league player in 1939.

This is the first Ozzie Simmons autograph we’ve ever owned.

Sodie White (D. 2010) played football at Talladega in Alabama and then became a renowned high school football and basketball coach in Baltimore

WoW!!!! That’s all we’ve got to say!

Letter of Authenticity from Richard Albersheim and JSA Auction Letter.

Ozzie Simmons – Dolly King – Joe Lillard - Sidat Singh Signed 1941 Black College All Stars Football Program
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $785.88
Number Bids: 4
Auction closed on Saturday, November 19, 2016.
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