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Spirit & Sports

Treasures from Ohio Stadium’s first 100 years

A trophy from Jesse Owens’ daughter, 1922 game tickets, Woody Hayes’ handwritten notes — University Archives has dusted off some memorabilia you’ll want to see.

A scarlet sweater with a gray Block 0 is laid out as if the wearer is standing with hands on hips.
So much to cheer about

Six “Gentlemen of the Cheer” were on hand to channel the crowd’s enthusiasm when the stadium opened in 1922. This sweater featuring the Block O was worn by Harold Washburn ’37, ’37, ’44 MA when he cheered in the 1930s. The first women’s cheer squad debuted about 1938.

A shiny black turtle carving can be seen from overhead. Its shell lists games the Buckeyes played in the 1980s against Illinois, which were mostly wins. The text says: Illi Buck 6; 1980 Ohio 49, Ill 42; 1981 Ohio 34, Ill 27; 1982 Ohio 26, Ill 21; 1983 Ohio 13, Ill 17; 1984 Ohio 45, Ill 38; 1985 Ill 31, Ohio 28; 1986 Ohio 14, Ill 0; 1987 Ohio 10, Ill
A turtle to tout the win

Members of the Bucket and Dipper junior honorary teamed up with peers at Illinois in 1925 to introduce Illibuck, a snapping turtle claimed by the football game’s winner. The live turtle was swapped twice, and wooden likenesses such as this one from the 1980s followed.

A Homecoming filled with History

Catch a “tailgate” October 1 in the library atrium for fun, food and photo opps before the official celebration of Ohio Stadium’s 100 years and the game against Rutgers.

This is a large trophy made of polished wood and gold-colored metal. On the center, highest block, an angel holding what might be a torch stands atop a victory cup. On the shorter sides, eagles are perched. The central engraved plaque reads: Homecoming queen 1960, Marlene Ruth Owens.





A prize fit for a queen

Marlene Owens Rankin ’61 earned this trophy in 1960, when she became the university’s first African American homecoming queen. Her parents, Ruth and Jesse Owens, attended the festivities in the ’Shoe, where her father starred on the track before earning four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics.

A pair of worn track shoes are black and white lace-ups. One is turned upside down to show the blackened sole and six thin, black spikes, all on the portion of the shoe that would support the toes and ball of the foot.
The place for a winning pace

The men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Horseshoe until Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium opened in 2001. Herman Turner ’52, a member of a record-setting 1-mile relay team, wore these speedy spikes.

Aged ticket stubs give details about seating. The fronts say: The Ohio Stadium, the Ohio State University. Saturday, Oct. 21, 1922, 2 p.m. Gate number 3. Football, Michigan vs. Ohio State, Admit one, $2.50. Section 6C, Row 16, seat 35. Patrons are requested to be in their seats by 1:30 p.m
A pair of passes for a lucky pair

Few tickets to the dedication game in “The Ohio Stadium” likely exist these days. These two, on loan to University Archives from David Baker, originally cost $2.50 each. The fine print asked fans to be in their seats a half hour before the 2 p.m. kickoff.

A slightly yellowed notebook is opened to a page with notes made by Woody Hayes, some in all capital block letters and some in cursive. Legible text says: Squad meeting (continued) Aug. 24, 1978. 6. Our attitude—winning attitude. Better players, better coaches, better organization, better morale, better behavior, better conditioning, prepared, better people, tougher, tougher, tougher. Always expect to win. At the bottom of the page, underlined, are the words: You are either getting better or you are getting worse. You are never, never staying the same

 

Woody’s words of inspiration

Here’s a page right out of Woody Hayes’ playbook from 1978, the last of his 28 years as Ohio State’s head coach. His talking points here — stressing the importance of a winning attitude, hard work and continuous improvement — were no doubt key to his 205–61–10 record with the Buckeyes.

An old snare drum has wooden shell stained a dark golden brown, a white drum head and silver-colored rims and wires connecting top to bottom. An off-white strap shows how the drummer carried it.

Marching to a singular beat

Alfred Roloson ’32 used this drum as a member of The Ohio State University Marching Band throughout his college years. The stadium was just 5 years old — and the band had existed for 49 years — when he arrived for his freshman year.

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