Bobby Marshall

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For other people named Bobby Marshall, see Bobby Marshall (disambiguation).
Bobby Marshall
Bobbymarshall.jpg
Bobby Marshall in 1905
Date of birth: March 12, 1880
Place of birth: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Date of death: August 27, 1958(1958-08-27) (aged 78)
Place of death: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Career information
Position(s): End
College: Minnesota
Organizations
As player:
1920
1921-1924
1925
Rock Island Independents
Minneapolis Marines
Duluth Kelleys
Career stats
Playing stats at DatabaseFootball.com
Robert W. "Bobby" Marshall
First Baseman / Manager
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Professional debut
1907 for the Minneapolis Lund Lands
Last professional appearance
1923 for the All Nations
Teams

Robert Wells "Bobby" Marshall (March 12, 1880 – August 27, 1958) was an American athlete. He was best known for playing football, however he also competed in baseball,[2] track, boxing, ice hockey and wrestling.

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.[4]

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.[4]

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.

Personal life[edit]

Marshall was the son of Richard Marshall and Symanthia Gillespie Marshall. His maternal grandfather was Ezekiel Gillespie, a former slave and civil rights pioneer. In 1918, Marshall married Irene Knott. The couple had four children: Robert Jr., William, Donald, and Bette. [5]

Baseball career[edit]

Shortly after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in law, 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[1] 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.[1]

1910 St. Paul Gophers

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.[4] In 1910, he split the season between the Chicago Giants[6] and the St. Paul Colored Gophers, appearing for and managing the Colored Gophers team occasionally until at least 1916.[7]

It appears that Marshall bought the Twin City Colored Giants team in 1911.[3]

In a 1916 game, Marshall brought in "Cannonball Jackson" a pitcher acquired from J.L. Wilkinson's All Nations team.[7] Marshall would later appear in games with John Donaldson and the All Nations team in 1923.

Later life and death[edit]

At the end of the 1911 season, Marshall received an appointment in the Minnesota state grain department, where he would work for the next 39 years.[8] [1] For years, he coached youngsters in football and boxing in Minneapolis. At his retirement from his government job in 1950, he was honored with a testimonial dinner whose guests included Minnesota Governor Luther Youngdahl and legendary Gophers coach Bernie Bierman. [9]

Marshall died of Alzheimer's disease in 1958. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]