Tony Latone

Last updated
Tony Latone
Born:(1897-04-18)April 18, 1897
Edwardsville, Pennsylvania
Died: November 24, 1975(1975-11-24) (aged 78)
Detroit, Michigan
Career information
Position(s) Running back
College None
Career history
As player
1925–1928 Pottsville Maroons
1929 Boston Bulldogs
1930 Providence Steam Roller
Career highlights and awards

Anthony H. Latone (April 18, 1897 – November 24, 1975) was an American football player of Lithuanian descent who played six seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Although he never attended college, he is unofficially considered the leading rusher of 1920s. During the six seasons he played in the NFL, Latone out-rushed (2,648–2,616 in yards) and outscored (26–21 in touchdowns) the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Red Grange, despite playing 30 fewer games. He was also one of the very few known persons to knock Grange out of a game. Grange later said that, "even though (Chicago Bears owner) George Halas was paying me, 500 bucks to barn storm the nation, it wasn't enough to be hit by the likes of Latone." [1]

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

National Football League Professional American football league

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Professional sports hall of fame in Canton, Ohio

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame for professional American football, located in Canton, Ohio. Opened in 1963, the Hall of Fame enshrines exceptional figures in the sport of professional football, including players, coaches, franchise owners, and front-office personnel, almost all of whom made their primary contributions to the game in the National Football League (NFL); the Hall inducts between four and eight new enshrinees each year. The Hall of Fame's Mission is to "Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE."


Playing career

At age 11, after his father's death, he worked in his place in the Pennsylvania coal mines to support his mother and 5 other siblings. By working as a slaypicker in the mines, Tony developed his legs by pushing mining carts up a slope.

Pennsylvania State of the United States of America

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

Latone played for the Pottsville Maroons historic 1925 team. Latone and the Maroons won the 1925 NFL Championship, before the title was stripped from the team due to a still-disputed rules violation. That season, Tony contributed eight touchdowns in which Pottsville attack led the league with 270 points. He also followed the Maroons to Boston in 1929, where they became the Boston Bulldogs in 1929.

Pottsville Maroons

The Pottsville Maroons were an American football team based in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, in the Northeastern part of the state. Founded in 1920, they played in the National Football League (NFL) from 1925 to 1928. In 1929 they relocated to Boston, where they played one season as the Boston Bulldogs.

1925 NFL Championship controversy

The 1925 National Football League Championship, claimed by the Chicago Cardinals, has long been the subject of controversy. The controversy centers on the suspension of the Pottsville Maroons by NFL commissioner Joseph Carr, which prevented them from taking the title.

Touchdown means of scoring in both American and Canadian football

A touchdown is a scoring play in both American and Canadian football. Whether running, passing, returning a kickoff or punt, or recovering a turnover, a team scores a touchdown by advancing the ball into the opponent's end zone.

According to his 1930 contract with the Providence Steam Roller, which is now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame archives, Latone was paid $125 for all NFL daylight games and 60 percent of that sum for NFL "floodlight" games. One of the original team's founders Pearce Johnson explained that the pay reduction for night games was arranged to help pay the installation costs of the floodlights at the Cyclodome. [2]

Providence Steam Roller

The Providence Steam Roller was a professional American football team based in Providence, Rhode Island in the National Football League from 1925 to 1931. Providence was the first New England team to win an NFL championship. The Steam Roller won the league's championship in 1928. They are the last team to win a championship and no longer be in the league. Most of their home games were played in a 10,000-seat stadium that was built for bicycle races called the Cycledrome.

Pearce B. Johnson was a part-time sports editor for the Providence Journal and the general manager of the Providence Steam Roller of the National Football League. He was also one of the original founders of the team and served as the team's manager throughout its entire history (1916-1933). He is best known for hosting the very first night game in NFL history. After the team ended play in 1931, Johnson organized a semi-pro version of the Steam Roller in 1932 to play small-scale local teams. He also managed a minor league version of the Providence Steam Roller in the American Association in the 1940s. Later in life, he became a football historian for the Pro Football Researchers Association and was at one time their oldest member.

Following his playing career, Latone moved to Michigan and went into business with former Maroon teammate Frank Bucher. For many years, he'd sit in the stands at Detroit's Briggs Stadium, watching the Detroit Lions play.

Michigan State of the United States of America

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.

Frank H. Bucher was a football player from Fairport, New York. He played during the early years of the National Football League for the Pottsville Maroons from 1925-1926. In 1925 Bucher helped the Maroons win the NFL Championship, before it was stripped from the team due to a disputed rules violation.

Detroit Lions National Football League franchise in Detroit, Michigan

The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. The team plays its home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit.


Due to having support his family at an early age, Tony only had a fifth-grade education. According to one story, Tony was always paid in cash, a common occurrence for other players of the day. One day, several Maroons players found some money on the bench that belonged to Tony. They asked him, "What are you doing, Tony? Why don't you get yourself a checking account?" Tony didn't understand how a checking account worked and didn't want to get one. But because the other players kept bugging him about it, he eventually gave in and got one. However a week later, the same players found his checkbook lying on the bench, with every check in the book was signed. He'd typically walk into a business and ask the clerk, "What do I owe you?" He would then proceed to fill in the amount on the check because his name was already on it.

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Further reading