Tillie Lamar

Last updated
Tillie Lamar
Tillielamar.png
Henry "Tillie" Lamar cabinet card.
Princeton Tigers
Position Halfback
Class1886
Personal information
Born:(1865-10-04)October 4, 1865
Augusta, Georgia
Died:March 10, 1891(1891-03-10) (aged 25)
Augusta, Georgia
Career history
College Princeton (18841885)
Career highlights and awards
  • National championship (1885)

Henry Cummings "Tillie" Lamar (October 4, 1865 March 10, 1891) was a college football player. [1] [2]

Contents

Early years

Lamar was born on October 4, 1865, in Augusta, Georgia, to Gazaway DeRosset Lamar and Maria Cumming.

Princeton

1885

The season was notable for one of the most celebrated football plays of the 19th century - a 90-yard punt return by Lamar of Princeton in the closing minutes of the game against Yale. Trailing 5-0, Princeton dropped two men back to receive a Yale punt. The punt glanced off one returner's shoulder and was caught by the other, Lamar, on the dead run. [3] Lamar streaked down the left sideline, until hemmed in by two Princeton players, then cut sharply to the middle of the field, ducking under their arms and breaking loose for the touchdown. After the controversy of a darkness-shortened Yale-Princeton championship game the year before that was ruled "no contest," a record crowd turned out for the 1885 game. For the first time, the game was played on one of the campuses instead of at a neutral site, and emerged as a major social event, attracting ladies to its audience as well as students and male spectators. [4] The Lamar punt return furnished the most spectacular ending to any football game played to that point, and did much to popularize the sport of college football to the general public. [5] The play is referred to as the "Lamar run" and it is considered one of the most notable plays of that century; The game is also often referred to as the "Lamar game". His run against Yale in 1885 gave Princeton its only victory over Yale in a decade (1879 - 1888). [6] [7]

Death

Lamar, the grandson of Henry Cumming who conceived of and promoted the construction of the Augusta Canal, died by drowning at the opening of the canal connecting Lake Olmstead with the Savannah River, near Augusta, Georgia. [8]

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The 1885 college football season had no clear-cut champion, with the Official NCAA Division I Football Records Book listing Princeton as having been selected national champions. The season was notable for one of the most celebrated football plays of the 19th century - a 90-yard punt return by Henry "Tillie" Lamar of Princeton in the closing minutes of the game against Yale. Trailing 5–0, Princeton dropped two men back to receive a Yale punt. The punt glanced off one returner's shoulder and was caught by the other, Lamar, on the dead run. Lamar streaked down the left sideline, until hemmed in by two Princeton players, then cut sharply to the middle of the field, ducking under their arms and breaking loose for the touchdown. After the controversy of a darkness-shortened Yale-Princeton championship game the year before that was ruled "no contest," a record crowd turned out for the 1885 game. For the first time, the game was played on one of the campuses instead of at a neutral site, and emerged as a major social event, attracting ladies to its audience as well as students and male spectators. The Lamar punt return furnished the most spectacular ending to any football game played to that point, and did much to popularize the sport of college football to the general public.

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References

  1. "Sporting Comment" (PDF). The Auburn Citizen. November 21, 1911.
  2. Presbrey, Frank; Moffatt, James Hugh (1901). Athletics at Princeton: A History. p. 594.
  3. Mark F. Bernstein (2009). Princeton Football. p. 15. ISBN   9780738565842.
  4. Parke H. Davis (1911). Football, the American Intercollegiate Game. c. Scribner's sons. parke davis football intercollegiate game.
  5. Parke H. Davis (November 18, 1925). "Lamar's Run, Forty Years Ago". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 26: 187.
  6. "Henry "Tillie" Lamar Cabinet Card".
  7. Robert A. Mullins (2014). 12 Monkeys & A Green Jacket. p. 83. ISBN   9781493189717.
  8. Marion M. Miller (November 21, 1885). "Henry Cummings Lamar". The University Magazine. 4: 441.