Eddie Blair

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Eddie Blair
Personal information
Born:(1871-08-05)August 5, 1871
Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Died:March 8, 1913(1913-03-08) (aged 41)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Career information
College:Penn, Saint Vincent College
Career history

James Edward Blair (August 5, 1871 – March 8, 1913) was an early professional football player with the Latrobe Athletic Association. He was also a skilled surgeon. He later relocated to Burlington, New Jersey. He took a prominent part in the city council for a time and was a surgeon for the Third Battalion of the New Jersey National Guard. He was a charter member of the Burlington Elks Lodge and was a thirty-second degree Mason. He also was affiliated with the Sons of Veterans.


Blair began his career with the Latrobe A. A. in 1895 as an amateur player. However, his major claim to fame came when a scheduling conflict led to him being replaced by John Brallier, who became the first openly professional football player.

In 1895 Blair found himself in a scheduling conflict. Edward, who also played baseball in nearby Greensburg, discovered it that the team's first football game against the Jeannette Athletic Association conflicted with a prior baseball commitment. Latrobe manager David Berry, who was now seeking a replacement for Blair, had heard of Brallier's performance as the Indiana Normal quarterback and signed him to play in the game for $10 plus expenses.

Blair coached the Sewanee: The University of the South team in 1896.[1]


Blair attended Saint Vincent College, located in Latrobe. He graduated from that school in 1892. Afterwards he attended the University of Pennsylvania where he played college football and college baseball. During his time at Penn, Blair played halfback on the football team and was a three year varsity player on the baseball team.


Edward was born in 1871 to Mr. and Mrs. John C. Blair, both of whom outlived him. He had two brothers, both of whom he outlived: Charles Richard Blair and Paul Blair, who also played on the Latrobe team. He had a wife and a son, who was seven at the time of his death.[citation needed]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Sewanee Tigers (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1896)
1896 Sewanee 3–3 3–3 T–5th
Sewanee: 3–3 3–3
Total: 3–3


  1. ^ Givens, Wendell (August 20, 2003). Ninety-Nine Iron: The Season Sewanee Won Five Games in Six Days. University of Alabama Press. Retrieved March 9, 2018.


  • Van Atta, Robert (1980). "Latrobe, PA: Cradle of Pro Football" (PDF). Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 2 (Annual): 1–21. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2009.
  • "Dr. J. Edward Blair Dies In Phila. Hospital". The Latrobe, PA "Bulletin (March 9). 1913.