Lot # 1: Chic Harley Signed 1948 Michigan Program - Chic's Homecoming!

Category: All-Americans

Starting Bid: $4,685.00

Bids: 15 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "National Champs Auction",
which ran from 8/15/2022 11:00 AM to
8/27/2022 8:00 PM

Perhaps no individual is more responsible for lifting Ohio State football to national prominence than the school's first three-time All-American, Charles “Chic” Harley. Chic helped the Buckeyes to undefeated seasons and Western Conference Championships in both 1916 and 1917 before leaving for flight training in San Antonio, Texas, to prepare for World War I. After missing the 1918 season, he led Ohio State to a near perfect 1919 season including the school's first win over archrival Michigan.

Because of several head injuries throughout his life, Harley's mental health declined rapidly in the 1920's, ending his professional career after one season with the Decatur Staleys.  He was diagnosed with early dementia.  In 1938, he was admitted to the Veterans Hospital in Danville, Illinois, where he'd live the rest of his life.

In 1948, after a series of insulin injections, Chic regained enough mental stability to travel outside the facility and live somewhat a normal life. That included attending Ohio State games throughout his final years.  When word spread that he would be attending the Ohio State-Michigan game in 1948, more than 75,000 people lined up at the train station to welcome home Harley in the form of a ticker-tape parade. The Marching Band also gave a touching tribute, opening up the right side of the o's in their famous "Script Ohio" to spell out "Chic", the only time the formation has ever been altered.

Imagine being an Ohio State fan back in 1948 and crossing paths with the Buckeyes' superstar in his return trip to Columbus. Now imagine being close enough to him to ask him for his autograph. Chic modestly obliged for this particular fan and signed this program beautifully in blue ballpoint ink, adding the leading inscription, "Best Wishes from 'Chic' Harley." 

Harley's autograph is one of the most coveted by all college football collectors and is widely considered the Holy Grail for Ohio State collectors. His contributions to OSU’s football program are second-to-none. Ohio State’s rise that coincided with his time at the university led to the construction of Ohio Stadium, which has since been nicknamed appropriately, "The House That Harley Built."

In 1950, Chic was picked as a First Team All-American for the first half of the 20th century by the Associated Press and was also voted one of 44 charter members inducted into the inaugural 1951 College Football Hall of Fame class.



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