Ted Petoskey
File:Ted Petoskey.png
Petoskey from 1933 Michiganensian
Personal information
Date of birth (1911-01-05)January 5, 1911
Place of birth St. Charles, Michigan
Date of death November 30, 1996(1996-11-30) (aged 85)
Place of death Elgin, South Carolina
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 180 pounds (82 kg)
Career information
Position(s) E
College Michigan
Career highlights
Honors All-American (1932, 1933)
Records MHSAA Single-game touchdown receptions (1926-)
MHSAA Single-game kickoff return touchdowns
Team(s) as a player
1931-1933 Michigan Wolverines
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
South Carolina (Basketball)
South Carolina (Baseball)
Wofford College (Football)
Birmingham Barons (Baseball)
South Carolina (Baseball)

Frederick Lee "Ted" Petoskey (January 5, 1911 – November 30, 1996) was a three-sport athlete at the University of Michigan, a Major League Baseball player, a collegiate coach in three sports and an athletic director.

At the University of Michigan, Petoskey received eight varsity letters in three sports. In American football, he was a two-time All-American end for the undefeated Michigan Wolverines football teams that won back-to-back college football National Championships in 1932 and 1933. He was also a guard and captain of Michigan's basketball team in the 1933–34 season. As a baseball player in 1934, Petoskey led the Big Ten Conference with a .452 batting average.

Petoskey played parts of the 1934 and 1935 Major League Baseball seasons as an outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds and played minor league baseball until 1944. Petoskey also served in a variety of collegiate coaching positions, including head coach of the University of South Carolina's basketball team (1935–1940), athletic director and football coach at Wofford College, and head baseball coach at the University of South Carolina (1940–42, 1948–56).

High school athleteEdit

Petoskey was raised in St. Charles, Michigan and attended nearby Saginaw Eastern High School.[1] On October 22, 1926, Petoskey became the first receiver in Michigan High School Athletic Association history to garner five receiving touchdowns in a high school football game.[2] As of August 2002, the record had not been surpassed.[2] While playing for Saginaw, Petoskey was an all-state end two years and an all-state fullback another.[3][4] He once played in a game with University of Michigan head coach Fielding H. Yost in the stands. Petoskey ran back the opening kickoff for 87 yards and a touchdown and after hearing that Yost was in the stands ran back another kickoff in the second half for 92 yards and a touchdown.[4][5]

University of Michigan athleteEdit

Petoskey was a three-sport player for the Michigan Wolverines. While enrolled at Michigan, he earned eight varsity letters -- three in football, three in baseball and two in basketball.[1][6][7]

1931 and 1932 football seasonsEdit

In Petoskey's three years as a varsity football player, the Wolverines had a combined record of 23–1–2 and won two national championships. As a sophomore in 1931, Petoskey was touted as "a second Bennie Oosterbaan,"[8] and earned a spot on the United Press All-Big Ten Conference second team.[9]

In his junior year, Petoskey was one of the favorite pass receivers for quarterback Harry Newman, who won the Douglas Fairbanks trophy as the Most Valuable Player in college football. Coach Harry Kipke shifted Petoskey to fullback mid-way through the 1932 season, and he scored two touchdowns in a 32–0 win over Illinois. The United Press noted: "A running attack which featured Ted Petoskey, converted from an end to a fullback in the last week by Coach Harry Kipke dovetailed nicely with the Wolverine aerial play to produce the touchdowns. With Petoskey plunging the line and sweeping inside the ends for many sizeable gains, the Michigan eleven showed power through the line for the first time this season."[10] An Associated Press writer warned opponents to watch out for Petoskey: "It is about time for grid foeman to wake up when Ted Petoskey, end and fullback on the University of Michigan football team, gets to dreaming. Petoskey's dreams have a habit of coming true, and happily for Petoskey, most of his dreams are good ones."[4]

Petoskey was selected as a first-team All-American in 1932 by the All-American Football Board,[11] a second-team All-American by the New York Sun,[12] and a third-team All-American by the United Press.[13] After the 1932 team compiled a perfect 8–0 record (outscoring opponents 123–13) and won the national championship,[14] the press credited the squad's "esprit de corps" as a key to their success. As an example of Wolverine teamwork, a United Press story pointed to a fumble in the Minnesota game. "Michigan recovered, with both Ted Petoskey, end, and Charles Bernard, center, at the bottom of the heap. Bernard credited Petoskey. Petoskey said Bernard recovered."[15]

1933 football seasonEdit

During his senior year, Petoskey started all eight games at left end for the 1933 Michigan Wolverines football team, as Michigan won its second consecutive national championship, and Petoskey was again named an All-American.[16] Although Petoskey was principally an end, Coach Kipke played Petoskey at fullback in some games in 1933. An October 1933 newspaper story reported on his versatility: "Ted Petoskey, Michigan's brilliant right end was moved into the backfield for last night's practice ... This is the second time Petoskey has figured in such a shift. Last fall he was converted into a fullback before the Illinois game and proved a capable ground gainer. Monday he was given a trial as a forward passer, and made an impressive showing."[17] In his final game for the Michigan football team, Petoskey also kicked a 35-yard field goal against Northwestern, representing the final points scored for Michigan in its 1933 championship season.[18]

After the 1933 season, Petoskey was chosen as a first-team All-American in the Central Press Association poll of team captains,[19] and for the second-team by Grantland Rice.[20] Petoskey also finished third in the voting for the Associated Press 1933 Big Ten Athlete of the Year award.[21] In choosing Petoskey for his All-American team, football writer Lawrence Perry said: "Ted Petoskey of Michigan is one of the finest ends who ever played the game. A former halfback, he is superb as an end-around runner. He receives forward passes with great accuracy and when he catches the ball he is difficult to bring down."[22]

Coach Kipke credited the play of halfback, Herman Everhardus, and his ends for the undefeated season: "Our ends, Ward and Petoskey, were near perfection."[23] The 1934 University of Michigan yearbook, called the Michiganensian, described Petoskey's contributions as follows: "After three years of Varsity football, Petoskey is recognized as one of Michigan's greatest all-time ends. At the end of his junior year, he was chosen All American, and recognized as one of the greatest defense players in the country. He was alert, followed every play, and opponents found it almost impossible to gain around his end."[24] In 1955, Kipke rated Petoskey as one of the six best players he ever coached: "If I had to name the best player I ever coached, it would have to be among Harry Newman, Francis Wistert, Otto Pommerening, Ted Petoskey and Maynard Morrison."[25]

When the Associated Press picked Petoskey as only a second-team All-American in 1933,[26] ten-year-old Mary Lee Grossman from Saginaw, Michigan protested in a letter to AP sports editor, Alan Gould, that he had "chosen wrong" in leaving Petoskey and Whitey Wistert off the first-team. To avoid any appearance of bias, the Saginaw native noted: "You may think I am a friend of these boys but I do not know either of them. I hope you change your mind." Gould responded to Miss Grossman in his column: "You may be right, Mary Lee, but it's too late now to change our mind."[27]

Other sportsEdit

Ted Petoskey
Personal information
Date of birth:
Career information
Debuted in 1934 for the [[Cincinnati Reds]]
Last played in 1935 for the [[Cincinnati Reds]]
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • Big Ten batting average champion (1934)

Petoskey was also the captain of the 1933-34 Wolverines basketball team.[28][29][30] For the versatile Petoskey, baseball was his best sport. In May 1933, the Wolverines baseball team swept the Ohio State Buckeyes, as All-American football players Whitey Wistert pitched a complete game, and Petoskey hit an inside-the-park home run.[31][32] Petoskey led the Big Ten Conference in batting in 1934, with 19 hits in 42 at bats for a .452 batting average.[33]

Professional baseballEdit

Immediately after graduating, Petoskey and Michigan teammate Whitey Wistert both signed with the Cincinnati Reds, reporting to the team in early June 1934.[34][35] Petoskey made his major league debut on September 9, 1934,[36] and Wistert made his debut two days later.[37] Petoskey played in six games in 1934, where he went hitless and struck out five times in seven at bats.[36] On the last day of the 1934 regular season, Petoskey was a strikeout victim of Dizzy Dean in the ninth inning of Dean's 30th win of the year.[38] When the baseball season ended, Petoskey and Wistert both returned to Ann Arbor, Michigan in early October, where they were given coaching assignments helping Ray Fisher teach fundamentals and offering personal tutoring to the freshman football team.[39][40]

Petoskey returned to the Reds in 1935, but after spring training he was assigned to the minor leagues.[41] He played for the Wilmington Pirates in the Piedmont League for most of the 1935 season, where he was hitting .426 to lead the league in early June.[42] The Reds called up Petoskey in June, and one newspaper noted that when he was called up, Petoskey was "batting above the .400 mark, leading the (Piedmont) league in home runs, runs driven in and practically everything else."[43] He was two-for-five with a stolen base and a .400 batting average in four games for the 1935 Reds, but he played his last game for the Reds on June 20, 1935.[36]

Petoskey played for the Durham Bulls in the Piedmont League in 1936, where he was hitting .428 in late May.[44] He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1937,[45] where he was leading the International League in base hits in mid-June.[46] He continued to play with the Leafs in 1938 and 1939,[47][48][49][50] before being sold to the Toledo Mud Hens in July 1939.[51] He was released by Toledo in March 1940.[52]

Coaching careerEdit

Basketball coach at South CarolinaEdit

During the off-season from his summer job as a minor league baseball player, Petoskey coached the University of South Carolina basketball team from 1935 to 1940. In five seasons as the Gamecocks' head coach, the team had a record of 36–67.[53]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
South Carolina Gamecocks (1935–1940)
1935–36 South Carolina 11–8 1–6
1936–37 South Carolina 13–7 8–4
1937–38 South Carolina 3–21 1–13
1938–39 South Carolina 5–18 3–8
1939–40 South Carolina 5–18 3–8
Total: 37–67

      National champion         Conference regular season champion         Conference tournament champion
      Conference regular season and conference tournament champion       Conference division champion

South Carolina and Wofford (1940–47)Edit

Until 1940, Petoskey had been coaching in the offseason, while still playing baseball in the summers. In August 1940, he announced his retirement as a player to take a full-time position as the head baseball coach at South Carolina, a position he held from 1940 to 1942.[54]

In August 1942, Petoskey was hired by Wofford College as its head football coach and director of physical education.[55] At the time, Petoskey had been playing for the Columbia Reds in the Sally League.[55][56][57] Petoskey remained at Wofford through 1947, taking time off at times to revive his baseball career. In 1944, Petoskey was a player and manager for the Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association in 1944.[58][59] In 1945, he left Wofford for the summer to play for the Buffalo Bisons in the International League.[60] He returned to Wofford after World War II. Wofford had suspended its football and basketball programs in 1943 and 1944, but Petoskey announced that the school would bring both programs back in the 1945–1946 school year.[61] He also served as coach of the Wofford football team.[62][63]

Baseball coach at South Carolina (1948–56)Edit

In 1948, Petoskey returned to the University of South Carolina where he was the head coach of the baseball team until 1956. He also served as an ends coach for the South Carolina football team.[64][65][66] In twelve seasons as South Carolina's head baseball coach, Petoskey compiled a record of 113–120. Petoskey's baseball players remembered his love of playing poker and his bringing the team home hungry after a tough loss to Duke. In what team members remembered as the "hunger game," an angry Coach Petoskey told the players to "get on the bus," and the team rode from Durham, North Carolina to Columbia, South Carolina (236 miles) without having eaten.[67] Another time against Furman University, the Gamecocks blew an 11–2 lead in the 8th inning to lose 12–11. On the bus, Petoskey had "that look," and the driver figured the team would receive a tongue-lashing. "He said, 'I don't want to hear a word out of you guys, and that goes for you, too, Bussie.'"[67]

Baseball Coaching Record at South Carolina[68]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
South Carolina Gamecocks (1940–1956)
1940 South Carolina 8–9
1941 South Carolina 10–8
1942 South Carolina 6–11
1948 South Carolina 6–14
1949 South Carolina 15–6
1950 South Carolina 16–9–1
1951 South Carolina 6–15
1952 South Carolina 9–8
1953 South Carolina 8–11
1954 South Carolina 10–10
1955 South Carolina 10–10
1956 South Carolina 9–9

Total: 113–120–1

      National champion         Conference regular season champion         Conference tournament champion
      Conference regular season and conference tournament champion       Conference division champion

Later yearsEdit

In December 1956, Petoskey announced he was leaving the University of South Carolina to work for the New York Yankees, as a baseball scout for the Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and eastern Tennessee territory.[69] As a Yankees' scout, he signed Duke catcher Steve Crihfield to a contract.[70] And in 1959, when the Yankees moved spring training for their farm system to Columbia, South Carolina, Petoskey was responsible for the logistics and preparing Capital City Park.[71] He served in the mid-1960s as the director of recreation for the South Carolina Department of Corrections.[72] Petoskey died in Elgin, South Carolina[disambiguation needed] at age 85 in 1996.[36]

His son Ted Petoskey, Jr., followed his father playing end in American football. Ted, Jr., was chosen to play end for the South Carolina high school team in the 1959 Shrine Bowl against the North Carolina team,[73] and was named South Carolina high school AAA Lineman of the Year.[74] He went on to play end for the Clemson Tigers football team from 1962 to 1964.[75]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Bentley Historical Library -- -- U of M Football Rosters". The Regents of the University of Michigan. 2005-08-30. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "MICHIGAN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS RECORDS" (PDF). Michigan High School Athletic Association. 2002-08-01. Archived from the original on February 24, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
  3. "Report Bernard, Buss Will Enter U.of M. In Fall: Paper Says All-Staters Will Attend; Ted Petoskey Will Join Tiger Stars At Ann Arbor In September, Report". The News-Palladium. 1930-07-14.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Just a Dreamer, But Wolverines Fullback Makes Them Come True". The Gettysburg Times. 1932-11-26.
  5. AP wire service report (1932-11-15). "Dreams of Grid Star Come True: Petoskey's Brilliant High School Performance Before Yost Won Him Job". The Evening Huronite (S.D.).
  6. "University of Michigan Football All-American: Ted Petoskey". The Regents of the University of Michigan. 2007-02-10. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
  7. "Bernard Gets 'M' Blanket". The News-Palladium. 1934-06-02.
  8. "16 Veterans On Michigan Gridiron Squad: Hewitt and Petoskey Lead Race for End". The Evening Tribune (Albert Lea, Minn.). 1931-09-11.
  9. Kirksey, George (1931-11-24). "Kabat Named on United Press All-Conference Second team". Wisconsin State Journal.
  10. UP wire service report (1932-10-23). "Illinois Is An Easy Prey For Michigan: Led by Petoskey Wolverines Romb to 32–0 Victory". Syracuse Herald.
  11. "All-American Team in Reel: Players Selected By Football Board Featured In Film". TheDaily Mail (Hagerstown, Md.). 1932-12-12.
  12. "New York Sun All-American". Times Evening Herald (Olean, N.Y.). 1932-11-26.
  13. McClure, Henry (1932-11-28). "Speed, Strength and Savvy Feature United Press' All-American 11". The Amarillo Globe.
  14. "1932 Football Team". The Regents of the University of Michigan. 2007-03-31. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
  15. "Teamwork of 1932 Wolverine Eleven Deserves Mention". The Piqua Daily Call. 1933-01-03.
  16. "1933 Football Team". The Regents of the University of Michigan. 2007-03-31. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
  17. "Ted Petoskey in Backfield for Michigan". The Evening Tribune (Albert Lea, Minn.). 1933-10-10.
  18. "Michigan Trounces Northwestern 13–0 For Big Ten Crown: Wolverines Undefeated and Have But Minnesota Tie Against Them". San Antonio Express. 1933-11-26.
  19. "Football Captains Name Star Eleven of Gridiorn Season: Michigan Only Squad to Land Two Men on Team; South, East, Midwest Each Have 3". The Morning Herald (Uniontown, Pa.). 1933-12-08.
  20. Rice, Grantland (1933-12-22). "Rice Names Larson on First, Lund on Second All-American". The Brainerd Daily Dispatch (Minn.).
  21. Mickelson, Paul (1933-12-31). "Purvis Draws Big 10 Award: Named Outstanding Athlete Beating Ward By Two Votes". The Ogden Standard-Examiner.
  22. Perry, Lawrence (1933-12-03). "Five Coast Stars On Perry's All-America". Oakland Tribune.
  23. Oliver, Merle (1933-11-27). "Coach Kipke Honors Team, Starts Tour: Wolverines Given Huge Welcome On Return To Ann Arbor Sunday". The News-Palladium.
  24. 1934 Michiganensian, p. 105.
  25. Sainsbury, Ed (UP) (1955-02-02). "Harry Kipke Calls Harmon Greatest". The Holland, Michigan Evening Sentinel.
  26. "All Star 1933 Grid Team Selected by Associated Press; Michigan Has Four". The Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, N.Y.. 1933-11-29.
  27. Gould, Alan (1933-12-31). "Sport Slants". The Big Spring, Texas Daily Herald.
  28. "Wolves Name Ted Petoskey". The News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Mich.). 1933-03-08.
  29. "Petoskey to Captain Michigan Quintet". Syracuse Herald. 1933-03-28.
  30. Michigan Basketball 2007-08 (media guide).
  31. 1934 Michiganensian, p. 125.
  32. "Home Runs Defeat Ohio At Michigan". The Lima News. 1933-05-14.
  33. "Badger Nine Paced Big Ten Teams In Hitting". The Wisconsin State Journal. 1934-06-14.
  34. "Big Leagues Hunt for Hurlers From College Diamonds". The Galveston Daily News. 1934-06-11.
  35. "Reds Give Four Collegians 'Tryouts'". The Piqua Daily Call. 1934-07-16.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 "Ted Petoskey". Sports Reference, Inc.. 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
  37. " > Players > Whitey Wistert". Sports Reference, Inc.. 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
  38. "Cards Win Pennant Dizzy Blanks Reds: Dean Turns in Seventh Shutout In 30th Win". 1934-10-01.
  39. Oliver, Merle (1934-10-03). "Coach Kipke Faced By Serious Dearth Of Backfield Subs". The News-Palladium.
  40. Oliver, Merle (1934-10-18). "Freshman Football Given More Emphasis At Michigan". The News-Palladium.
  41. "Reds To Farm Petoskey?". The News-Palladium. 1935-03-29.
  42. "Piedmont League Standings Remain Same in Weekend". The Burlington (N.C.) Daily Times-News. 1935-06-03.
  43. Connelly, Dick (1935-06-06). "Spying On Sports". Hamiton Daily News Journal.
  44. "Bulls Play At Night Monday: Return to Home Lot at Durham to Engage League-Leading Norfolk Tars in Piedmont Tiff". The Burlington (N.C.) Daily Times-News. 1936-05-20.
  45. "Sewell Hurls Shutout Ball: Leafs In Tie With Syracuse After Beating the Red Wings". The Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, N.Y.. 1937-06-02.
  46. "Jeffies Hits Top Slugging: Takes International Honors for Week; Plays With Montreal". The Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, N.Y.. 1937-06-19.
  47. "Petoskey Brings Football Skill Into Baseball Outfield With Effect". Syracuse Herald. 1937-03-27.
  48. "Toronto Leafs Chalk Three Straight Wins With Hope for New Gains". The Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, N.Y.. 1938-05-21.
  49. Bulmage, Elmer (1939-04-10). "Toronto's Baseball Club Needs Punch at Bat, and None Is in Sight Yet". Syracuse Herald.
  50. "Skidding the Sport Field with Skid". Syracuse Herald. 1939-06-13.
  51. "Toronto Club Sells Petoskey to Toledo". The Wisconsin State Journal. 1939-07-09.
  52. "Dodd Popular Fella At Two Coach-less Dixie Schools". The Daily Times-News (Burlington, N.C.). 1940-03-16.
  53. "2006-07 Men's Basketball Media Guide" (PDF).
  54. "untitled article on page 5". The Portsmouth, N.H. Herald. 1940-08-05.
  55. 55.0 55.1 "Petoskey Joins Wofford Staff". The Burlington (N.C.) Daily Times-News. 1942-08-21.
  56. "Mihalic Walks 5 Times; Barons Defeat Pels 6-4". The Delta Democrat-Times. 1944-08-28.
  57. "Back to Baseball". Northwest Arkansas Times. 1942-08-14.
  58. "Team Overview". Retrieved 2007-12-07.
  59. "Reds Buy Catcher". The Stars and Stripes. 1944-08-18.
  60. "Plays Pro Baseball". The Burlington (N.C.) Daily Times-News. 1945-06-11.
  61. "Wofford College To Resume Football". San Antonio Light. 1945-01-07.
  62. "Little Four In S.C. Rebounds From War Low". Florence, S.C. Morning News. 1946-02-13.
  63. "Wofford". Florence, S.C. Morning News. 1946-10-15.
  64. "SC-Clemson Game for 'Big Thursday'". The Florence (S.C.) Morning News. 1952-10-15.
  65. Alyta, Ken (1953-11-25). "Terps, Duke, USC Sweep All-Loop". The Gastonia (N.C.) Gazette.
  66. "Marvin Bass Joins USC Grid Staff". The Daily Independent (Kennopolis, N.C.). 1956-01-20.
  67. 67.0 67.1 Spear, Bob (2007-02-22). "Names on Page Stir Treasured Memories; Former Bus Driver for USC Teams Reminisces About Players, Coaches". Charlotte Observer.
  68. "2007 Baseball Media Guide" (PDF).
  69. AP wire service report (1956-12-29). "Yankees Sign Petoskey to Pact". The Florence (S.C.) Morning News.
  70. "Duke Catcher Crihfield Signs Yankee Contract". The Florence (S.C.) Morning News. 1958-06-03.
  71. "Columbia To See Baseball Players In Spring Training". Aiken Standard and Review. 1959-02-03.
  72. "S.C. Recreation Society To Stage Convention Here". Florence Morning News. 1966=11-08.
  73. "Shrine Bowl Lineups Announced". Aiken Standard and Review. 1959-12-04.
  74. "Elite Sports Attendance for Jamboree". Aiken Standard and Review. 1960-01-27.
  75. "Gamecocks Can't Halt Streaks This Season". Burlington (N.C.) Daily Times-News. 1963-09-11.

External linksEdit

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