American Football League (1926)

American Football Leaguefirst American Football LeagueAFL1926first AFLAmerican Football League of 1926 AFL AFL Ioriginal AFL1920s AFL
The first American Football League (AFL), sometimes called AFL I, AFLG, or the Grange League, was a professional American football league that operated in 1926.wikipedia
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Yankee Stadium (1923)

Yankee StadiumYankee Stadium (I)old Yankee Stadium
While NFL management was contemplating the penalties for the suspended Pottsville franchise (which was eventually reinstated with the payment of a moderate fine) in December, C. C. “Cash and Carry” Pyle surprised the league by requesting a franchise in New York City for himself and star back Red Grange and secured a five-year lease for baseball's Yankee Stadium, in direct competition to Tim Mara's year-old New York Giants.
In 1926, after negotiations failed with the fledgling NFL and the Chicago Bears, Red Grange and his agent C.C. Pyle formed the first American Football League and fielded a team called the New York Yankees based in Yankee Stadium.

Ralph Scott (American football)

Ralph Scott
Coached by Ralph Scott, the Yankees showcased Red Grange, quarterback George Pease, and wingback Eddie Tryon, a backfield who dominated the league in all offensive categories as the team finished in second place with a 10-5 record.
He played professionally in the first American Football League and the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Staleys-Bears and the New York Yankees.

Al Nesser

Coached by Roy Watts, the Panthers featured six players who played for the NFL's Cleveland Bulldogs in the 1925 season: Al Michaels, Al Nesser, Dick Wolf, Dave Noble, Ralph Vince, and Doc Elliott.
He played for seven teams: Akron Pros, Cleveland Bulldogs, Columbus Panhandles, Akron Indians, New York Giants, and Cleveland Indians in the National Football League (NFL) and the Cleveland Panthers in the first American Football League.

Dick Wolf (American football)

Dick Wolf
Coached by Roy Watts, the Panthers featured six players who played for the NFL's Cleveland Bulldogs in the 1925 season: Al Michaels, Al Nesser, Dick Wolf, Dave Noble, Ralph Vince, and Doc Elliott.
He also played in the 1926 American Football League for the Cleveland Panthers.

Big Bill Edwards

Bill EdwardsWilliam Hanford EdwardsWilliam "Big Bill" Edwards
The new league chose former Princeton athlete, former New York City deputy of street cleaning, and former Newark, New Jersey chief of waste disposal Bill Edwards as its league president and prepared to compete against the older league, (established 1920 and reorganized in 1922), for its talent and spectators.
In 1926, Edwards became the first president of the first American Football League, which disbanded at the end of the season.

Harry Stuhldreher

Stuhldreher
Coached by Eddie McNeeley, the Horsemen featured Notre Dame Four Horsemen Harry Stuhldreher and Elmer Layden.
After graduating, Stuhldreher joined fellow member of the Four Horsemen Elmer Layden on the roster of the Brooklyn Horsemen of the first American Football League.

Doc Elliott

Coached by Roy Watts, the Panthers featured six players who played for the NFL's Cleveland Bulldogs in the 1925 season: Al Michaels, Al Nesser, Dick Wolf, Dave Noble, Ralph Vince, and Doc Elliott.
In 1926, the first American Football League was established.

George Pease

Coached by Ralph Scott, the Yankees showcased Red Grange, quarterback George Pease, and wingback Eddie Tryon, a backfield who dominated the league in all offensive categories as the team finished in second place with a 10-5 record.
George Gregory Pease (June 18, 1903 – October 26, 1984) was a professional football player with the New York Yankees of the first American Football League and the Orange Tornadoes of the National Football League (NFL).

Ralph Vince

Coached by Roy Watts, the Panthers featured six players who played for the NFL's Cleveland Bulldogs in the 1925 season: Al Michaels, Al Nesser, Dick Wolf, Dave Noble, Ralph Vince, and Doc Elliott.
Vince also played for the Cleveland Panthers in 1926, in the first American Football League (AFL).

Joey Sternaman

Joe Sternaman
Owned and coached by Joey Sternaman (brother of Chicago Bears owner Dutch Sternaman), the Bulls also featured the younger Sternaman as quarterback.
At 5'6" and 135 pounds he was called "the strongest little man I ever met" by sportswriter Grantland Rice. He played quarterback during the years Red Grange starred with the Bears. In 1926, he was the quarterback, head coach, and owner of the Chicago Bulls of the first American Football League. Joey was also the brother of Chicago Bears co-owner Dutch Sternaman.

Paddy Driscoll

John "Paddy" DriscollJohn L. "Paddy" DriscollJohn L. Driscoll
While the Bulls' owner created havoc within the Chicago Cardinals by securing a lease for Comiskey Park (forcing the Cardinals into a much smaller Normal Field) and attempting to sign their star halfback Paddy Driscoll (who wound up on the Bears as a result of a trade), the Bulls quarterback provided the bulk of the team's offense, scoring 52 of the Bulls’ 88 points in 14 games.
The Cardinals' decision was prompted by an offer Driscoll received for a much higher salary to play in C. C. Pyle's American Football League; the Cardinals could not meet the higher salary and sold him to the Bears in hopes Driscoll would sign there and remain in the NFL.

Al Michaels (American football)

Al MichaelsAl Michales
Coached by Roy Watts, the Panthers featured six players who played for the NFL's Cleveland Bulldogs in the 1925 season: Al Michaels, Al Nesser, Dick Wolf, Dave Noble, Ralph Vince, and Doc Elliott.
The following year, Michaels joined the Cleveland Panthers of the new American Football League and appeared in all five games the team played before folding.

Wildcat Wilson

George "Wildcat" WilsonGeorge WilsonGeorge “Wildcat” Wilson
Named after former University of Washington star halfback Wildcat Wilson and owned by C. C. Pyle and Red Grange, the Wildcats were strictly a traveling team based in Rock Island, Illinois.
Pyle also enticed Wilson to join the first American Football League as a potential rival for Grange.

Bob Folwell

Owned by Leo Conway and coached by Bob Folwell, the Quakers were the AFL's only league champion, finishing with an 8-2 record and possessing a formidable line anchored by tackles Bull Boehman and Century Milstead.
Folwell then moved to the professional ranks, coaching the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL) in 1925, the Philadelphia Quakers of the American Football League in 1926, and the Atlantic City Roses of the Eastern League of Professional Football in 1927.

Barnstorm (sports)

barnstormingbarnstormbarnstorming tour
The Yankees were the only AFL team to outlast the league itself: the league dissolved as the Yankees were on a barnstorming tour of the South and West, and the Yankees entered the NFL as a continuation of the just-defunct Brooklyn franchise for the 1927 season.
It was very common in the early days of professional American football; for instance, the Los Angeles Wildcats of the first American Football League (AFL) of 1926 played the regular season as a traveling team, then went on a post-season barnstorming tour of Texas and California, with Red Grange and the New York Yankees as the designated opponent for most of these games.

John F. Kennedy Stadium (Philadelphia)

John F. Kennedy StadiumJFK StadiumPhiladelphia Municipal Stadium
By Thanksgiving of 1926, there were only four teams operating in the AFL (New York, Chicago, the Wildcats, and Philadelphia), with only the Quakers making a profit for the year (boosted in part by huge attendances stemming from the United States Sesquicentennial celebration and the very large stadium capable of hosting them) and Pyle was spending money to keep the other three teams afloat.
The stadium's first tenants (in 1926) were the Philadelphia Quakers of the first American Football League, whose Saturday afternoon home games were a popular mainstay of the Exposition.

Guy Roberts

Roberts, Guy
Guy Thomas "Zeke" Roberts (May 10, 1900 - 1993) was a professional American football player in the early National Football League and the first American Football League.

Al Kreuz

He played on the Philadelphia Quakers' 1926 American Football League (AFL) team, which won the league's only championship.

Cookie Cunningham

Harold "Cookie" CunninghamHarold Cunningham
He started his professional football career by playing end for the Cleveland Panthers of the first American Football League.

Adrian Ford

He made his professional debut in the first American Football League, formed by Red Grange, in 1926 with the Philadelphia Quakers.

Century Milstead

Owned by Leo Conway and coached by Bob Folwell, the Quakers were the AFL's only league champion, finishing with an 8-2 record and possessing a formidable line anchored by tackles Bull Boehman and Century Milstead.
Milstead went on to play with the professional Philadelphia Quakers of the American Football League and the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL).

Comiskey Park

Old Comiskey ParkWhite Sox ParkComiskey Park (I)
While the Bulls' owner created havoc within the Chicago Cardinals by securing a lease for Comiskey Park (forcing the Cardinals into a much smaller Normal Field) and attempting to sign their star halfback Paddy Driscoll (who wound up on the Bears as a result of a trade), the Bulls quarterback provided the bulk of the team's offense, scoring 52 of the Bulls’ 88 points in 14 games.

Johnny Armstrong

Coached by Johnny Armstrong, the Independents played their first three games at Rock Island and then played the rest of their games as a traveling team before entering oblivion on November 21, 1926.
Professionally, he played on the Rock Island Independents of the National Football League (NFL), and later the first American Football League, from 1923 to 1926 as an end, halfback, and quarterback.

Red Maloney

Red also played in the first American Football League with the Yankees, in 1926 and followed that team to the NFL the very next season.

Erwin Gehrke

Erwin L. Gehrke (April 25, 1898 – June 1966) was a professional football fullback, halfback, and quarterback in the first American Football League.