Ghosts of the Gridiron - Virtual Scrapbook Library

Vol. 3: Coaldale Big Green

In the years following World War I, the coal mining towns of Eastern Pennsylvania produced a number of fine football clubs.  The annual competition between local teams for bragging rights to the coveted "anthracite crown" produced a game that was arguably the equal of that played by the fledgling National Football League.  The success of the NFL eventually prompted these teams to form the Anthracite League.  The most well known Anthracite League team was the Pottsville Maroons.  That club jumped to the NFL in 1925 and immediately established itself as a championship contender.  But perhaps the most consistently successful club in the coal region was the Coaldale Big Green.  Managed by the charismatic James “Casey” Gildea and led on the field by the hard-charging “Honeyboy” Evans and “Blue” Bonner, the Big Green were a force to be reckoned with on the coal field gridirons throughout the 1910s and 1920s.  The club played as an independent until the formation of the Anthracite League (1924).  After the demise of that circuit, Coaldale joined then the equally short lived Eastern League of Professional Football (1926-27).

Below is a collection of digitized photos and newspaper clippings reporting on the Big Green during the period 1916-27.  Simply click on an individual image to view a full sized version of that article or photograph.

The team photos and player images in the Miscellaneous Photos section appear courtesy Bill Scutta.  The images of the "Curran Cup" Anthracite Coal Region championship trophies appear courtesy John Wasilko.


Miscellaneous Photos

Coaldale Big Green
Team Photo
1916
Coaldale Big Green
Team Photo
1919
Coaldale Big Green
Team Photo
1921
Coaldale Big Green
1921 Team Photo
Players Identified
Coaldale Big Green
Team Photo
Early 1920's
pic_Coaldale_photo_1916.jpg (95271 bytes) pic_Coaldale_photo_1919.jpg (54694 bytes) pic_Coaldale_photo_1921.jpg (73204 bytes) 1921-11-23_Phila_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (469378 bytes) pic_Coaldale_photo_early_1920s.jpg (104045 bytes)

Joe Garland
Date unknown

Blue Bonner
Date unknown

Blue Bonner & Casey Gildea
Date unknown
Memorial to former
Big Green player
John (Simon) Lewchick
pic_Garland.jpg (28806 bytes) pic_Bonner.jpg (43836 bytes) pic_Bonner_and_Gildea.jpg (42980 bytes) pic_Lewchick_memorial.jpg (66974 bytes)
1922 & 1923
Anthracite Coal Region

Championship Trophies
1922 Curran Cup
Anthracite Coal Region

Championship Trophy
1923 Curran Cup
Anthracite Coal Region

Championship Trophy
pic_Curran_Cups.jpg (429428 bytes) pic_Curran_Cup_1922.jpg (250200 bytes) pic_Curran_Cup_1923.jpg (533439 bytes)

1917  (1-0-0, incomplete)

Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia, PA
11/19/1917

Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/19/1917

1917-11-19_Phila_Inquirer.jpg (37569 bytes)

1917-11-19_Phila_Record.jpg (31070 bytes)

1920  (2-0-0, incomplete)

Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/6/1920

1920-11-06_Phila_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (180969 bytes)


1921  (4-2-3, incomplete)
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
9/21/1921
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
10/3/1921
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/24/1921
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
10/30/1921
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/30/1921
1921-09-21_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (195560 bytes) 1921-10-03_Phila_Record.jpg (29277 bytes) 1921-10-24_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (63327 bytes) 1921-10-30_Phila_Record.jpg (61010 bytes) 1921-10-30_Public_Ledger.jpg (44920 bytes)
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/31/1921
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/2/1921
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/5/1921
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/6/1921
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/7/1921
1921-10-31_Phila_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (84371 bytes) 1921-11-02_Phila_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (94612 bytes) 1921-11-05_Phila_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (223031 bytes) 1921-11-06_Phila_Record.jpg (49688 bytes) 1921-11-07_Phila_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (468624 bytes)
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/11/1921
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/12/1921
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/12/1921
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/21/1921
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/23/1921
1921-11-11_Phila_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (117462 bytes) 1921-11-12_Phila_Record.jpg (42242 bytes) 1921-11-12_Public_Ledger.jpg (131320 bytes) 1921-11-21_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (165211 bytes) 1921-11-23_Phila_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (469378 bytes)
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/23/1921
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
12/8/1921
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
12/9/1921
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
12/9/1921
1921-11-23_Evening_Public_Ledger_2.jpg (155016 bytes) 1921-12-08_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (60658 bytes) 1921-12-09_Public_Ledger.jpg (107647 bytes) 1921-12-09_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (968499 bytes)

1922  (10-1-3)
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/9/1922
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/16/1922
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/23/1922
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/30/1922
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/5/1922
1922-10-09_Public_Ledger.jpg (43870 bytes) 1922-10-16_Public_Ledger.jpg (20906 bytes) 1922-10-23_Public_Ledger.jpg (30968 bytes) 1922-10-30_Public_Ledger.jpg (51841 bytes) 1922-11-05_Public_Ledger.jpg (126852 bytes)
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/13/1922
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/20/1922
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/27/1922
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/27/1922
Evening Bulletin
Philadelphia, PA
12/11/1922
1922-11-13_Public_Ledger.jpg (60172 bytes) 1922-11-20_Public_Ledger.jpg (91907 bytes) 1922-11-27_Evening_Bulletin.jpg (107106 bytes) 1922-11-27_Public_Ledger.jpg (85814 bytes) 1922-12-11_Evening_Bulletin.jpg (159680 bytes)
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
12/11/1922
1922-12-11_Public_Ledger.jpg (156453 bytes)

1923  (10-4-0)
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
10/1/1923
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/15/1923
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/20/1923
Evening Bulletin
Philadelphia, PA
10/22/1923
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
10/22/1923
1923-10-01_Phila_Record.jpg (27082 bytes) 1923-10-15_Public_Ledger.jpg (43034 bytes) 1923-10-20_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (65487 bytes) 1923-10-22_Evening_Bulletin.jpg (153130 bytes) 1923-10-22_Phila_Record.jpg (35249 bytes)
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/22/1923
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/30/1923
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/1/1923
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/2/1923
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/4/1923
1923-10-22_Public_Ledger.jpg (98403 bytes) 1923-10-30_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (86959 bytes) 1923-11-01_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (74914 bytes) 1923-11-02_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (98429 bytes) 1923-11-04_Public_Ledger.jpg (200076 bytes)
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/12/1923
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/19/1923
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/24/1923
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/26/1923
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/26/1923
1923-11-12_Public_Ledger.jpg (136603 bytes) 1923-11-19_Public_Ledger.jpg (78345 bytes) 1923-11-24_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (88201 bytes) 1923-11-26_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (89580 bytes) 1923-11-26_Phila_Record.jpg (98806 bytes)
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/26/1923
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
12/3/1923
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
12/10/1923
1923-11-26_Public_Ledger.jpg (98093 bytes) 1923-12-03_Public_Ledger.jpg (37408 bytes) 1923-12-10_Public_Ledger.jpg (51567 bytes)

1924  (1-6-0, Anthracite League; 5-7-0, overall)
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
10/6/1924
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/6/1924
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
10/20/1924
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
10/27/1924
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/2/1924
1924-10-06_Phila_Record.jpg (27099 bytes) 1924-10-06_Public_Ledger.jpg (36457 bytes) 1924-10-20_Phila_Record.jpg (622661 bytes) 1924-10-27_Phila_Record.jpg (56742 bytes) 1924-11-02_Phila_Record.jpg (179455 bytes)
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/3/1924
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/10/1924
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/11/1924
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/17/1924
Evening Bulletin
Philadelphia, PA
11/24/1924
1924-11-03_Phila_Record.jpg (82031 bytes) 1924-11-10_Phila_Record.jpg (142763 bytes) 1924-10-11_Public_Ledger.jpg (81466 bytes) 1924-11-17_Phila_Record.jpg (89028 bytes) 1924-11-24_Evening_Bulletin.jpg (170663 bytes)
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/24/1924
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/24/1924
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/28/1924
1924-11-24_Phila_Record.jpg (334050 bytes) 1924-11-24_Public_Ledger.jpg (416256 bytes) 1924-11-28_Phila_Record.jpg (73381 bytes)

1925  (4-4-3, incomplete)
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
10/5/1925
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
10/5/1925
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
10/12/1925
Millville Daily Republican
Millville, NJ
10/27/1925
Millville Daily Republican
Millville, NJ
10/30/1925
1925-10-05_Phila_Record.jpg (46142 bytes) 1925-10-05_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (24180 bytes) 1925-10-12_Phila_Record.jpg (31932 bytes) 1925-10-27_Millville_Daily_Republican.jpg (100808 bytes) 1925-10-30_Millville_Daily_Republican.jpg (97975 bytes)
Millville Daily Republican
Millville, NJ
10/30/1925
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/26/1925
1925-10-30_Millville_Daily_Republican_a.jpg (89046 bytes) 1925-11-26_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (88780 bytes)

1926  (4-4-3, Eastern League; 6-4-3, overall)
Bethlehem Globe Times
Bethlehem, PA
9/25/1926
Bethlehem Globe Times
Bethlehem, PA
9/27/1926
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
9/27/1926
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/15/1926
Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
11/29/1926
1926-09-25_Bethlehem_Globe_Times.jpg (88638 bytes) 1926-09-27_Bethlehem_Globe_Times.jpg (108852 bytes) 1926-09-27_Public_Ledger.jpg (60979 bytes) 1926-11-15_Phila_Record.jpg (71694 bytes) 1926-11-29_Public_Ledger.jpg (72994 bytes)
Evening Public Ledger
Philadelphia, PA
12/6/1926
1926-12-06_Evening_Public_Ledger.jpg (67529 bytes)

1927  (3-3-0, EFL; 7-6-0, overall)
Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia, PA
10/24/1927
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
10/24/1927
Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia, PA
11/14/1927
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/14/1927
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia, PA
11/21/1927
1927-10-24_Phila_Inquirer.jpg (103340 bytes) 1927-10-24_Phila_Record.jpg (92853 bytes) 1927-11-14_Phila_Inquirer.jpg (347916 bytes) 1927-11-14_Phila_Record.jpg (208972 bytes) 1927-11-21_Phila_Record.jpg (256788 bytes)

© John J. Fenton, 2013-2007, all rights reserved.