Autographed Rare Early Football History by Dr. Harry March, “Father of Pro Football.”
Lot 266. Autographed Rare Early Football History by Dr. Harry March, “Father of Pro Football.” March may not be a household name, but he significantly influenced the early days of the professional game. His account of those days is presented in “Pro Football: Its ‘Ups’ and ‘Downs’ (A Light-hearted History of the Post Graduate Game),” which was originally published in 1934. This updated version from 1939 is ex, published without a dust jacket and with gilt lettering on the red boards. It contains illustrations by Burris Jenkins, the New York “Journal-American” cartoonist whose original artwork appears elsewhere among the collectibles from the Bert Randolph Sugar estate. Photos also punctuate the book, which contains an introduction by Grantland Rice and a brief, concluding essay by Paul Gallico. A reporter who became a physician and historian, March helped to organize the National Football League and the second American Football League. He talked Tim Mara into buying the NFL New York franchise, which became the Giants, a team March served as secretary and the president from 1925-33. Spending much of his life in Ohio, he was one of the team doctors for the early 1900s Canton Bulldogs. He was present for the 1906 betting scandal related to the Bulldogs and Massillon Tigers. His account of the scandal, presented here, has been questioned by more recent football historians. March signed the flyleaf on Sept. 25, 1939. The autograph is personalized to Rud Rennie, a sportswriter for the “New York Tribune” (later the Herald-Tribune”). In 1940, Rennie passed the book on to Jesse Abramson, a Herald-Tribune writer who became the first reporter inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. Kevin Keating authenticated the autograph March applied with a steel-tipped pen. It is nm-m 8. Winning Bid $180.