11/2/1881 michigan 1st known game program versus yale
While the University of Michigan had fielded "football" teams in 1879 and 1880, those teams played a game that was more in line with traditional “rugby”, and many consider the 1881 team to be the first at Michigan to play “American” football. The team finished with a record of 0–3 after playing the top teams in the country: Harvard (6-1-1), Yale (5-0-1) and Princeton (7-0-2). With the last two teams mentioned being considered co-national champions.
Prior to 1881, Michigan had played only three games, two against the University of Toronto and one against Racine College in Chicago.
The Michigan-Harvard game, which was played on Halloween 1881, was the first time any of the elite Eastern teams had played a team from the West.
Michigan played all three games in the East over a five-day period between October 31, 1881, and November 4, 1881. While Michigan lost all three games, the games were close (4-0 in total), and the Michigan team earned the respect of the Eastern press.
The 11/2 game versus Yale was their worst loss 2-0. It is estimated that only 600 fans were in attendance for this game.
Although technically this was Michigan’s 5th game ever played, it was their second as American style football. There is no known game program for Michigan prior to this game. In fact this is only the 5th known game program. At least two of the other programs were adhered to an album, had paper loss, and/or had writing on them. This maybe the best conditioned program to have survived.
Offering this historic program for $17,500. Serious inquiries only! Feel free to call Mike 203-532-9214 9am-11pm EST.