February 1: A day full of HOF memories

Yale BulldogsAlbie Booth was born on this date in 1908. Booth was a star for Yale University from 1929-1931 when he played halfback for the Bulldogs. Standing just 5-foot-6 and weighing only 144 pounds, Booth nevertheless was one of the most dominant players in college football and earned All-America honors during his junior season in 1930. He was nicknamed “Little Boy Blue” or “The Mighty Atom” in a reference to his small stature.

Booth passed away on March 1, 1959, a month to the day after his 51st birthday. Seven years later, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Also on this date, former LSU star Gaynell Tinsley was born in 1915. Tinsley was a two-time Consensus All-American for the Tigers in 1935-1936 when he was acknowledged as one of the greatest receivers in the college game. He was then drafted with the 12th overall pick of the 1937 NFL Draft, and was immediately successful leading the league in receiving yards that fall with 675 while finishing second in receptions with 36.

His NFL career was short, however, and after just three seasons, he retired. He began his college coaching career while playing in the NFL leading Louisiana College in 1937-1938 before eventually taking over at his alma mater in 1948. He coached LSU for seven years, but the Tigers were just 35-34-6 during his tenure.

Tinsley passed away at the age of 87 on July 24, 2002.

“Colonel Joe” Thompson began his Hall of Fame career as a player-coach for Geneva from 1900-1902 before entering the Western University of Pennsylvania (now the University of Pittsburgh) in 1904 and playing another three years through the 1906 season. Thompson was a halfback and led the Panthers to a 26-6 record during his time playing for the team. He returned three years after his playing career ended to coach the Panthers from 1909-1912.

Thompson later served in the Army during World War I, and later died at the age of 56 on this date in 1928.

Clarence Spears was an All-America guard at Dartmouth in 1914-1915 before taking over as the Big Green’s head coach from 1917-1920. He then moved on to West Virginia as head coach (1921-1924) before landing at Minnesota for a five-year stint (1925-1929) in the same role. He also spent two years at Oregon (1930-1931), four years at Wisconsin (1932-1935), seven years at Toledo (1936-1942), and finally, two years at Maryland (1943-1944) before retiring.

Spears was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1955, and later passed away at the age of 69 on this date in 1964.

Everett Bacon was a two-time All-American at Wesleyan in 1910 and 1912. As a quarterback, he was one of the first players to use the forward pass extensively, and he was later inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.

Bacon passed away on this date in 1989 at the age of 98.



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