Bobby Marshall in 1905
|Date of birth:||March 12, 1880|
|Place of birth:||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States|
|Date of death:||August 27, 1958(aged 78)|
|Place of death:||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Rock Island Independents
|Playing stats at|
|Robert W. "Bobby" Marshall|
|First Baseman / Manager|
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|1907 for the Minneapolis Lund Lands|
|Last professional appearance|
|1923 for the All Nations|
Robert Wells "Bobby" Marshall (March 12, 1880 – August 27, 1958) was an American sports player. He was best known for playing football, however he also competed in baseball, track, boxing and ice hockey.
When Marshall played baseball for Minneapolis Central High School, he played first base for three years. Central was the champion of the Twin Cities High Schools for Marshall's Junior and Senior years, of 1900 and 1901.
When he played baseball for the University of Minnesota, he also played first base for two years, 1904 and 1905, helping the University to win the Western Conference Championship in 1905.
Marshall played end for the football team of the University of Minnesota from 1904 to 1906. In 1906, Marshall kicked a 60-yard field goal to beat the University of Chicago 4-2 (field goals counted as four points). He was the first African American to play football in the Big Nine (later the Big Ten Conference). He graduated in 1907 and played with Minneapolis pro teams, the Deans and the Marines. From 1920 through 1924 he played in the National Football League with the Minneapolis Marines, the Kelley Duluths, and the Rock Island Independents. He along with Fritz Pollard were the first African Americans to play in the NFL.
Shortly after graduating college, Marshall played third base for the Minneapolis "Lund-Lands" for one season in 1906. He played third base for one season for Lamoure, North Dakota helping the team win third place in a league of eight teams.
Outside of athletics, Marshall practiced law as an attorney in the law office of Mr. William H. H. Franklin, and later at the well known firm of Nash and Armstrong.
Marshall left the law offices, spending many years back on the diamonds, playing semi-pro baseball for pre-Negro National Leagues. In 1908, he played utility for the Minneapolis Keystones, then moved to first base latter in the season. In 1909, he joined the St. Paul Colored Gophers. In 1910, he split the season between the Chicago Giants and the St. Paul Colored Gophers, appearing for and managing the Colored Gophers team occasionally until at least 1916.
In a 1916 game, Marshall brought in "Cannonball Jackson" a pitcher acquired from J.L. Wilkinson's All Nations team. Marshall would later appear in games with John Donaldson and the All Nations team in 1923.
In 1913, he took a job after the baseball season, managing a team at the Washburn-Crosby Milling Company.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
- "Robert W. Marshall" St. Paul Appeal, St. Paul, Minnesota, Saturday, October 25, 1913, Page 10, Column 7
- "Keystones Trimmed Oelwein Saturday" Monday, July 13, 1908, Page 4, Column 3
- "Bobby Marshall, one-time football player..." St. Paul Appeal, St. Paul, Minnesota, Saturday, April 15, 1911, Page 3, Column 5
- "Frank Lelands' Chicago Giants Base Ball Club" Fraternal Printing Company, 1910
- "Chicago Giants Will Raise Flag Sunday" Chicago Broad Ax, Chicago, IL, May 14, 1910, Page 2, Columns 4 and 5
- "Colored Gophers to Play Carrs in South St. Paul" The Appeal, St. Paul, Minnesota, August 5, 1916, Page 3, Column 3
- "Mr. 'Bobby' Marshall has received an appointment..." St. Paul Appeal, St. Paul, Minnesota, Saturday, September 2, 1911, Page 3, Column 6
- "Bobby Marshall, Pioneering African American Athlete" by Steven R. Hoffbeck, Minnesota History Magazine, 2004, Volume 59, Issue 4, Pages 158 to 174
- Bobby Marshall at Find a Grave
- Negro league and Cuban League statistics and player information from Seamheads.com