It’s been some time for the reason that Cal soccer workforce received the Rose Bowl. How lengthy? The mascot Oski the Bear debuted 77 years in the past. Cal’s final Rose Bowl victory was 4 seasons earlier than that.

A visit to The Chronicle’s basement archive whereas doing Sporting Inexperienced analysis turned up a momentous discovery: the oldest workers sports activities pictures that we’ve ever discovered. The negatives of Cal’s 13-Zero Rose Bowl victory over Alabama in 1938 had been mislabeled, however now lots of them are being revealed for the primary time.

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Figuring out that these pictures have been certainly from the 1938 Rose Bowl was a bit difficult. Fortunately, the 11th adverse within the pack was a shot of Vic Bottari and Dave Anderson celebrating after considered one of Bottari’s two touchdowns. That picture ran in The Chronicle’s Sporting Inexperienced on Jan. 2, 1938, with a caption you wouldn’t see in the present day: “Effectively Dave, that’s considered one of them.”

A fast scan of the pictures makes it clear that faculty soccer has reworked up to now 80 years. The helmets look to be fabricated from thick leather-based with no face masks. The uniforms look like thick sweaters with little padding beneath.

The Cal gamers, who all hailed from California, have been small by in the present day’s faculty soccer requirements. Solely 5 of them have been listed as 200 kilos or heavier. Beginning heart Bob Herwig was one of many largest members of the workforce at 6 toes four and 210 kilos, whereas beginning quarterback Johnny Meek was 5 toes 11.

Many of the starters performed each offense and protection. Within the Rose Bowl, Herwig and Meek every had interceptions to go along with their offensive contributions. All-America halfback Sam Chapman additionally dealt with the punting.

The Rose Bowl had nationwide significance, so famend sportswriter Grantland Rice was in attendance. His tales ran in papers nationwide, together with The Chronicle, and his descriptions of Bottari’s play are an ideal instance of the aptitude of 1930s sportswriting. “Bottari particularly was the primary thorn hid in Cal’s rose arbor,” he wrote, “and there have been occasions when this fleet again was an acre of thorns all dipped in cobra venom.”


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From the Archive is a weekly column by Invoice Van Niekerken, the library director of The Chronicle, exploring the depths of the newspaper’s archive. It’s a part of Chronicle Vault, a twice-weekly e-newsletter highlighting greater than 150 years of San Francisco tales. It’s edited by Tim O’Rourke, The Chronicle’s assistant managing editor and government producer of SFChronicle.com. Join the e-newsletter right here and comply with Chronicle Vault on Instagram. Contact Invoice at [email protected] and Tim at [email protected].



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