May 15, 1897|
New York, New York, United States
|Died:||December 11, 1948
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||215 lb (98 kg)|
|1919||Phoenix Athletic Club|
|1920||Union Club of Phoenixville|
|1921||Union Quakers of Philadelphia|
|1922–1925||Frankford Yellow Jackets|
|Career highlights and awards|
Joseph "Butch" Spagna (May 15, 1897 – December 11, 1948) was a professional football player during the 1920s.
NFL and AFL experience
He played in the early National Football League (called the American Professional Football Association until 1922) for the Buffalo All-Americans, Cleveland Tigers and the Frankford Yellow Jackets. He also played in the first American Football League for the Philadelphia Quakers in 1926.
Aside from playing in the NFL, Butch also played for several independent teams. In 1919, he began his professional football career with the Phoenix Athletic Club, who later became the Union Club of Phoenixville in 1920. He would play a non-league game with Phoenixville on Saturdays, then hopped the train for Buffalo and the next day’s game. This arrangement helped the Spagna, and several other Buffalo All-Americans players, earn extra money in between league games. In 1921 he also moonlighted as a player for the Union Quakers of Philadelphia, while still playing for Buffalo. Spagna also claimed that during his college days at Lehigh, he would play for Lehigh on Saturday afternoon, then board a train for Philadelphia. There he would play in a Sunday professional game, assuming the cover-identity of "Joby Riba, Heap Big Indian," which did not require him to speak English.
- Ghosts of the Gridiron, which tracks the Football history of the Union Club of Phoenixville
- Ghosts of the Gridiron, which tracks the Football history of the Union Club of Philadelphia
- Ghosts of the Gridiron: The Frankford Yellow Jackets
- PFRA Frankford Yellow Jackets part 1
- PFRA Frankford Yellow Jackets Part 2
- Historical Society of the Buffalo All-Americans, Bisons & Rangers
- 1949-1940 Necrology at Oldest Living Professional Football Players