I want to talk about…I've known all the famous people at Georgia starting with the star catcher on Georgia's first athletic team, baseball in 1886. I didn't see him play, but I'm talking about John Morris. That was a famous family of Morrises. They came down from Virginia after the War Between the States and joined the faculty. Charles Ed Morris was one of three brothers. He was the star pitcher on the 1886 team, and his younger brother, John Morris was the catcher. The oldest boy was Sylvanus Morris. He was quite a character and later dean of many years for the law school and the former law school dormitory is named Morris Hall for him. Of course, I never saw John Morris or those fellows play baseball in those days, but John Morris taught me German when I was in college, and he must have had a great arm when he was a catcher, because when boys didn't pay attention in his class, he would throw the blackboard eraser and hit them right in the head. One day he hit me in the head, but it wasn't because I was not paying attention. I was paying attention. I was too scared not to pay attention. I didn't want to get hit with that blackboard eraser. But the boy in front of me was the one he was aiming at, and he ducked and the eraser hit me in the head. But John Morris was…He later was faculty chairman of athletics. Getting back to David Crenshaw Barrow, he lived on the campus and was president many years. Barrow County was named for him and Barrow Elementary School. I went to Barrow Elementary School the first through the fifth grade. I met him when I was a boy. His son, David Crenshaw Barrow, Jr. , lived on Cherokee Avenue, just right across the street from me, and old Professor Barrow, they called him Uncle Dave, the students did in those days. But I met him when I was over there playing with David Barrow, III. I got to meet old Uncle Dave then. That was the only time I met him, but the best story on him, I think…or one of the best stories. He lived on the campus and his cook lived in the basement. Her son, a young black named Clegg Starks. His name was Pleas, but he was tongue tied. When he was 8 years old, he didn't have to go but 100 yards over to Herty Field to watch the baseball team play, watch the football team play, and Alex Cunningham was the coach when Clegg went over there as a boy, and he asked him his name, and he says, he tried to say Pleas Stark, but he was tongue-tied, and Coach Cunningham thought he said Clegg, and he became known as Clegg Starks. But when he died, I wrote about him and his daughter said his name really was Pleas, Pleas Starks. And it wasn't Stark, it was Starks too, so I had been misspelling it for a long time till after he died. But anyway, Clegg, later learned to throw a football 100 yards. It was due to his hanging around the fields as a boy. Then he later became the…he could throw a baseball faster than anybody I've ever seen. He won an All-Star Negro baseball game in Charleston, South Carolina, defeated the most famous baseball pitcher of his day, Satchel Paige, Clegg Starks from Athens, Georgia, beat him in that All-Star baseball game,…the halftime show at Georgia's football games in the ‘20s. Coach Stegeman was my mentor, Herman Stegeman. I'd be down there as batboy and we'd both walk home up Lumpkin Street after practice. I'd just tag along with Coach Steg. He lived out there at the end of Lumpkin and I'd walk with him up there. But he…Clegg could throw the football 100 yards, and at half time of the Georgia football games, this was before they got into the new stadium, it would be Clegg throwing the football from one end of the stadium to the other. They used to have a lot of fun together when we played the eastern teams up in New York City or Yale in New Haven. The sportswriters would ask Coach Stegeman…he wasn't coaching. He was the athletic director then. They'd say, "Do you have any new boys this year that we ought to keep our eye on." He'd say, "Yeah, we got a boy who can throw the football 100 yards." They said, "Oh, you can't do that. We'll bet big money you don't have anybody that can throw the football 100 yards." So then he'd call Clegg over. They'd make their bets. He would throw the football kind of side arm 100 yards. Clegg's arms touched the ground. He had long arms. 100 yards and Coach Stegeman would collect the money. It was known as the Steg and Clegg act.
You mention Coach Stegeman. How many athletic directors have you known, and…
Well, they used to have faculty chairmen of athletics. And Dr. (Steadman) Sanford was the first famous faculty chairman of athletics. The original Sanford Field was named for him. Then Sanford Stadium appropriately named for him. He originally…originally he had played baseball at Mercer University, but he came up to Georgia and he was an English professor. I first met Coach Stegeman on train trips. I stowed away on the train as a boy, going up to New York. The conductor knew I was there, but he didn't care because I stayed in the lounge with Clegg. That's where Clegg and I stayed, in the lounge. Dr. Sanford, after all the players and coaches had gone to bed, he would like to go into the lounge and have a libation of some kind. He and Clegg would have a libation. He never offered me a drink or anything, but he spent a little time, and that's when I first knew Coach Stegg, and all the trips, if he wanted anything, I would be his flunkie. So I was a flunkie for Dr. Sanford and he was the first real athletic director…faculty chairman of athletics they called it. Coach Steg was really…he was the greatest man I've ever known in athletics at the University of Georgia. Herman Stegeman. He was a Dutchman. He was born in New Holland, Michigan, and he wore wooden shoes as a boy. He came to Athens around 1919. He had been in the YMCA program and they were the physical instructors for army outfits, YMCA men. He was at some army base when the war ended, and he had gone to the University of Chicago, was a great all-around athlete under Amos Alonzo Stagg, the famous coach at Chicago. He'd been one of his greatest athletes, his greatest all-around athlete according to Stagg. He got him a job at Georgia as assistant football coach, and head baseball coach, Stag did. He came to Georgia in 1919 and was the baseball coach. Then he later coached football three years, became athletic director, but he loved track and basketball and he coached them a long time. He coached track up through 1937, when we won the conference and Spec Towns was the big star of that team. But he was…I learned so much from him about athletics, eavesdropping. I'd listen to him talk to the different coaches because I was a flunkie hanging around the field. I'd listen to him talk to the alumni when they'd come. I'd just eavesdrop. I learned a great deal from him and I'm so glad they named Stegeman Coliseum, our basketball home, for him, because he started basketball in the south. They had teams, but they never had a tournament. In 1920, he started the first southern, it was Southern Conference then, basketball tournament. They played in Atlanta at the old City Auditorium. Georgia was an original power in basketball due to Herman Stegeman, a Dutch boy. He had a wonderful family too. He had twins, John Stegeman and Joanna. They were twins. Then his youngest daughter was Marion Stegeman. She married Ned Hodgson. She's being put into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame April 30, at Robbins Field in Macon (Warner Robbins). She was a WASP, women's air pilot, during World War II, Marion Stegeman.
Yeah. She and I were in the first grade together. She skipped the second grade and passed me. (laughter) I'm talking too much.
Talk to us a little bit more about…we're talking about athletic directors now. So, early on it was Coach Stegeman…
Coach Steg was the athletic director a long time and he as much as Dr. Sanford, got the Yale team to come down and dedicate the stadium. Yale was the power up east and when we dedicated the stadium, we wanted to get Yale here. There were several things that got Yale to leave the east for the first time, to dedicate our stadium. It was a big honor to get them down here. One of them was the fact that our first (UGA) presidents came from Yale. They were Yale graduates. Another one was that Coach Stegeman was on the national football rules committee with some famous athletic directors, including the Yale athletic director. They had been long-time friends. So he really had as much to do with getting Yale to come down, friendship with the Yale athletic director, as Dr. Sanford did in pushing it. And I'll tell you another fellow who was one of Georgia's greatest people, was Charley Martin. He was business manager of athletics. He came to Athens in 1908 from middle Georgia, a little country town, and he was Bob McWhorter's Boswell. Bob McWhorter was the big football star in 1910, 11, 12, and 13. Our first All-American in 1913. Charley Martin was what they called a sporting writer in those days. He wrote sports for the old Athens Banner. He was known as Bob McWhorter's Boswell. A lot of people don't know it, but Bob McWhorter Sr. was in school with Bob Jr. A lot of people I used to travel with the state Bulldog club, they would say "Did you know Bob McWhorter?" "Did I know Bob McWhorter,” I'd say. “We played in the same backfield together," Bob McWhorter, Jr. and I'd play touch football at the University of Georgia. I never saw Bob McWhorter, Sr. play football, but I did see him play softball. He was in his late 40s. Faculty all stars were playing the university all stars in softball and we played on old Herty Field. I was playing center field and Bob McWhorter was in his late 40s and he hit the longest ball, softball home run I've ever seen. Home plate was right about where the Chapel bell is not far from here. It went over my head over the old Beanery where the landscape architecture building was later.
Um hum. Denmark Hall.
Denmark. But anyway, it went out of sight into Lumpkin Street. So he was some kind of an athlete, Bob McWhorter. Have I skipped something there?
You're doing great.
I get off the…
Charley Martin, yeah. Charley Martin was really a great man in the history of Georgia athletics. His counterpart at Alabama, the big goal for people after World War II was to get in the Rose Bowl, get an invitation to the Rose Bowl. And all schools wanted to get there. It was the biggest honor. They didn't have but one bowl, the Rose Bowl, and whoever went there was national champion if they won. And Alabama went before we did. They were the first southern team to go in the mid 1920s. Charley Martin was business manager at Georgia, and he also really was the first sports information director too, but he didn't have that title, just had title of business manager of athletics. But his counterpart at Alabama was a friend of his, and he let Charley go with the Alabama team to the Rose Bowl. He was so impressed by the roses, the rose hedge around the Rose Bowl, that he said, "We'll do that at Sanford Stadium." They were making plans then to build the stadium. But it was (not until) 1929, several years later, before they built it. That's when he got the idea. No, they built the stadium and Charley Martin said, "We ought to have roses around it," but the horticulturists said, "Roses won't do here, they might work out there, but they won't work here". So they got the English privet hedge, privet Ligustrum hedge. Charley Martin is responsible for the "between the hedges". But you know, Dr. Michael Dirr, our horticulture partner now, has a prettier hedge than the privet hedge now. He has Lorapetelam, which has a red blossom, and he…the hedge is right around the field, the famous privet hedge, the English privet Ligustrum, small leaf. They have a big leaf, but this is a small leaf. Then on the other side of the sidewalk right next to the stadium, now, Coach Dooley got it put in. He was interested in gardening, and Dr. Michael Dirr in Georgia's horticulture department, he popularized a rise of the shrub, Lorapetelam, and that hedge is just magnificent. And people don't know about it, but they know about the privet between the hedges, but that Lorapetulam is magnificent when in full bloom too.
Let's talk a little bit about when you came back and after you got the Bulldog clubs going. How did we get UGA?