Paul Des Jardien
Paul Des Jardien
Des Jardien, c. 1914
Born:(1893-08-24)August 24, 1893
Coffeyville, Kansas
Died:March 7, 1956(1956-03-07) (aged 62)
Monrovia, California
Career information
CollegeUniversity of Chicago
Career history
As player
1920Chicago Tigers
1922Minneapolis Marines

Paul Raymond "Shorty" Des Jardien (August 24, 1893 – March 7, 1956) was an American football, baseball and basketball player. He played for the University of Chicago where he was selected as the first-team All-American center in both 1913 and 1914 and also pitched a no-hitter for the baseball team. He later played professional baseball for the Cleveland Indians and professional football for the Cleveland Indians (1916), Hammond Pros (1919), Chicago Tigers (1920) and Minneapolis Marines (1922). He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955.

Early years and collegeEdit

Des Jardien was born in Coffeyville, Kansas and moved to Chicago as a child. He attended Chicago's Wendell Phillips Academy High School before enrolling at the University of Chicago, where he played on the Chicago Maroons' football, baseball, basketball, and track and field teams.[1] He earned 12 varsity letters, played on Western Conference championship teams in both football and baseball, and became known as one of the best all-around athletes ever produced by the University of Chicago.[2] While attending the University of Chicago, Des Jardien was 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed 190 pounds; his teammates called him "Shorty."[3]

In baseball Des Jardien was a pitcher, but also played at first and third base. The University of Chicago Magazine wrote: "Des Jardien at third base fields well, and adds strength by his spirit. All in all, the tall young man is one of the most excellent athletes Chicago has had in years."[4] In May 1914 he threw a no-hitters and struck out 14 Iowa Hawkeyes batters in a game.[2][5]

Des Jardien gained his greatest fame playing at the center position for Amos Alonzo Stagg's Chicago Maroons football teams from 1912 to 1914. Des Jardien played at the center position on both offense and defense, was considered "the mainstay of his team on defense," and was also known for his ability as a long punter.[6] During Des Jardien's three years as Chicago's center, the Maroons compiled a record of 17–3–1, including an undefeated 7–0 record and Western Conference championship in 1913.[3]

After his sophomore year in 1912, Des Jardien was selected as a first-team All-Western player.[7] Stagg praised Des Jardien as a "spectacular" player and "as flashy a center as I have seen in many years."[8] In naming Des Jardien to his All-Western team in 1912, E.C. Patterson in Collier's wrote: "Des Jardien is not great of bulk, at least not horizontally. He is tall and rangy and remarkably active. His usefulness is accentuated when it is seen that some of Coach Stagg's forward pass tricks center around him."[9]

In his junior and senior years of 1913 and 1914, Des Jardien was selected as a first-team All-American.[10][11][12][13] He was also chosen by his teammates as the captain of the 1914 football team.[14] In 1914 Walter Camp wrote about Des Jardien, calling him "[...] the best center in the country — steady, reliable, absolutely dependable for his share of line work on attack, and a power on defense."[15]

Professional baseball and Asian tourEdit

Shorty Des Jardien
Born: (1893-08-24)August 24, 1893
Coffeyville, Kansas
Died: March 7, 1956(1956-03-07) (aged 62)
Monrovia, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 20, 1916, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
May 20, 1916, for the Cleveland Indians
MLB statistics
Games played1
Earned run average18.00
*Cleveland Indians (1916)

The New York Times reported in January 1915 that Des Jardien had agreed to play professional baseball for the Chicago Cubs upon graduating from the University of Chicago in June 1915. According to the report, Des Jardien declined to sign a contract with the Cubs to avoid endangering his amateur status. The report described Des Jardien as one of the best pitchers in the Western Conference, a right-hander with a good curve ball.[16]

Instead of playing Major League Baseball in the summer of 1915, Des Jardien traveled to Asia with the University of Chicago baseball team. The team played 15 games, winning 12, while traveling to the West Coast of the United States. It sailed from San Francisco on the SS Mongolia and arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii in early September 1915, spending ten days there and playing games against teams from the U.S. Army and the St. Louis Athletic Club and teams made up of Chinese and Portuguese players. The team next sailed to Japan. On September 24, 1915, the Chicago squad played a double header in front of a crowd of 20,000 people in Tokyo. Des Jardien pitched both games, defeating Waseda 5–3 and the Keio University 4–1. Des Jardien hit a home run and struck out 11 batters in the game against the Keio.[17] Des Jardien served as an assistant coach for the University of Chicago's basketball, baseball and track teams upon returning from Japan in January 1916.[18][19]

In early May 1916 Des Jardien signed to play Major League Baseball with the Cleveland Indians.[20] Indians manager Lee Fohl said at the time, "I think I will make him a good pitcher. He already has learned to put more on his fast ball while his control is almost perfect."[21] He made his debut on May 20, 1916, pitching one inning and allowing one hit, one base on balls, and two earned runs.[22] Des Jardien did not pitch another game in Major League Baseball.[22] In the summer of 1917, Des Jardien played semi-professional baseball with the Mohawks in the Chicago League.[23][24][25]

Professional football and World War IEdit

In September 1916 Des Jardien was hired as the football coach at Oberlin College.[2][26] With almost every veteran player missing from the football team due to a fraternity expulsion, Des Jardiens' 1916 Oberlin team failed to win a game for the first time in the program's history and scored only 13 points throughout the season.[27]

That year, Des Jardien also played for Peggy Parratt's Cleveland Indians football team in their first and only season as a professional football team. Parratt built a team of all-stars around Des Jardien. The Indians lost two games to Jim Thorpe's Canton Bulldogs, played the Massillon Tigers to a scoreless tie, and closed the season with three wins against the Columbus Panhandles, Detroit Heralds and Toledo Maroons.[28][29] Des Jardien also reportedly played professional football for the Canton Bulldogs and Fort Wayne Friars.[2] During the 1916–17 basketball season he played professional basketball with the Pine Village, Indiana team.[25]

Des Jardien served in the United States Army during World War I. In the fall of 1917 he played on an Army football team at Fort Sheridan that included a number of former All-Americans including Albert Benbrook, Ernest Allmendinger, James B. Craig and Dolly Gray.[30] In 1918 he was placed in charge of a German prison camp in Paris.[31] After returning from France, Des Jardien played professional football for the Hammond Pros in 1919.[32] In December 1919, P.J. Parduhn, president of the Hammond football team, was arrested on a charge of issuing bogus checks, after a complaint was lodged by Des Jardien and Milt Ghee. They dropped the charges when Parduhn agreed to make good on the payment.[33] After the end of the football season that month, Des Jardien signed to play professional basketball with the Red Crowns team from Whiting, Indiana. The Red Crowns were backed by Standard Oil and were considered the fastest team west of Buffalo. Des Jardien's presence was expected to draw crowds from throughout the Midwest.[34] In 1920 he played for the Chicago Tigers in the inaugural season of the National Football League, then known as the APFA. Des Jardien played in all eight games for the 1920 Tigers, including seven as the starting center.[35] The Tigers compiled a record of 2–5–1 in 1920 and Des Jardien was selected as a second-team All-APFA player.[35]

In October 1922 Des Jardien signed to play semi-professional football for the Ironwood Legion team from Ironwood in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.[36][37][38] In an October 1922 game against Bessemer, Des Jardien kicked punts of 50, 55 and 65 yards.[39] He also appeared in one game for the Minneapolis Marines in the 1922 NFL season.[35]

Later yearsEdit

After retiring from athletics, Des Jardien worked as a manufacturing executive in Los Angeles.[2] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in July 1955.[40] He died at his home in Monrovia, California in 1956 from a cerebral thrombosis and was buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery.[2][41] Des Jardien was posthumously inducted into the University of Chicago Hall of Fame in 2006.[42]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Oberlin Yeomen (Independent) (1916)
1916 Oberlin 0–7
Oberlin: 0–7
Total: 0–7
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. A Review Of The Football Season. 6. The University of Chicago Magazine. 1913. p. 51.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Paul Des Jardien, Grid Great Dies". Los Angeles Times. 1956-03-09.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Paul "Shorty" Des Jardien". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  4. "A Review of the College Football Season". The University of Chicago Magazine. 1913.
  5. "No Hit Game By Des Jardien: Error Allows Only Hawkeye to Reach First in Ninth; Also Strikes Out 14 Men". Chicago Daily Tribune. 1914-05-02.
  6. "Stagg's Team Defeated; Minnesota Takes Second Place in Western Conference Football" (PDF). The New York Times. 1914-11-22.
  7. "Des Jardien, Chicago". The Daily Times. 1913-10-28.,1869246.
  8. "Modern Football Players Stars". Meriden Record. 1912-11-28.,5957708&dq=des-jardien&hl=en.
  9. "All Western Champs: Patterson in Collier's Places Trickey On Team". Cedar Rapids Republican. 1912-12-06.
  10. "Camp Picks All-American Eleven: 2 Western Men on All-America Football Team". The Indianapolis Star. 1913-12-14.
  11. "Butler of Wisconsin on All-American". Racine Journal-News. 1913-12-24.
  12. "Spiegel Gets Place on Star Grid Eleven". The Pittsburg Press: Sporting Section, p. 4. 1914-11-22.,5987764&dq=football+all-american+1914+maulbetsch&hl=en.
  13. Monty (1914-11-28). "Another All-American Team: Richenlaub is Placed on Second Eleven; "Monty" Selects Mythical Eleven for Daily News Readers—Gives His Reasons". The Fort Wayne Daily News.
  14. "Name Des Jardien Maroon Caprain: Members of Football Squad Unanimously Elect Him Leader of Eleven". Chicago Daily Tribune. 1913-11-26.
  15. "Des Jardien Praised by Camp". Sequoyah County Democrat. 1914-10-23.
  16. "Jardien to Pitch for Cubs". The New York Times. 1915-01-13.
  17. "Baseball". The University of Chicago Magazine. November 1915. pp. 37–38.
  18. The University of Chicago magazine, Nov. 1915, p. 118
  19. "Des Jardien a Coach: Former All-American Center Added to Chicago Staff". Cornell Daily Sun. 1915-12-10.
  20. "Cleveland Gets College Player" (PDF). The New York Times. 1916-05-07.
  21. "Fohl Is Coaching Paul Des Jardien". The Pittsburg Press: p. 25. 1916-05-18.,768984&dq=des-jardien&hl=en.
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Shorty Des Jardien Statistics and History". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  23. "Mohawks Get Des Jardien as Chicago League Hurler". Chicago Tribune. 1917-03-27.
  24. "Des Jardien and Mohawks Stop Garden Citys, 3 to 0". Chicago Tribune. 1917-06-11.
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Sand Lot Ball For Des Jardien". Evening Independent. 1917-04-10.
  26. "The Athletic Outlook". Oberlin Alumni Magazine. October 1916.
  27. "Oberlin Has Held State Championship Nine Times". Chronicle-Telegram. 1919-12-01.
  28. "The Super Bulldogs 1916". Professional Football Researchers Association. Archived from the original on 2015-09-06. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  29. Bob Braunwart & Bob Carroll (1981). "The Ohio League". The Coffin Corner: Vol. 3, No. 7. Archived from the original on 2014-08-22. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  30. "Ohio State Vs, Camp Sherman Considered Choicest Morsel of To-day's Football Menu". Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. 1917-11-29.
  31. "Hear From Maroon Players: Shorty Des Jardien and John Breathed, Football Stars, in Charge of Prison Camp". Grand Rapids Tribune. 1918-11-28.
  32. "untitled". Racine Journal-News: p. 11. 1919-11-26.
  33. "Sports Sparks". Iowa City Citizen. 1919-12-19.
  34. "Cards Close With Red Crowns, Jan. 1; Big Sports Event". Janesville Daily Gazette. 1919-12-22.
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 "Paul Des Jardien NFL Football Statistics". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  36. "Paul Desjardin is Signed to Play Remainder of Season With Locals". Ironwood Daily Globe. 1922-10-10.
  37. "Stambaugh All Stars Vanquished By Ironwood Legion Gridders, 10-0: Des Jardien Scores From-Placement and Novak Rams for Touchdown After Ryan and Somppi Combination Help Weaken All Stars". Ironwood Daily Globe. 1922-10-23.
  38. "Des Jardien, Pro Grid Ace, Dead". Ironwood Daily Globe. 1956-03-13.
  39. "Array of Stars Battle, Bessemer-Ironwood Playing a Scoreless Tie: Local Squad Outplayed, But Punting Saves Day". Ironwood Daily Globe. 1922-10-09.
  40. "Smith and Grayson in Hall of Fame". Los Angeles Times. 1955-07-26.
  41. "Funeral Today for Paul Des Jardien". Los Angeles Times. 1956-03-10.
  42. Chris Boots (2006-10-13). "Athletic department to induct eight into hall of fame". Chicago Maroon. Retrieved 2014-05-03.

External linksEdit

Template:Oberlin Yeomen football coach navbox Template:1913 Chicago Maroons football navbox

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