Charles Follis Research Paper

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Charles W. Follis The First Black Pro Football Player Charles W. Follis was born February 3, 1879, in Cloverdale, Virginia. Charles was one of six children. His family moved to Wooster, Ohio, where he attended Wooster High School and participated in organizing and establishing the first varsity football team. In 1899, he played right half back and served as a captain. In 1901, Follis entered the College of Wooster. Rather than playing football for the college, he played football for the town’s amateur football team-the Wooster Athletic association, where he earned the nickname of the ‘’Black Cyclone from Wooster”. The six foot, 200-pound Follis played for Shelby in 1902 and 1903. In 1904, Follis signed a contract with the Shelby…show more content…
Follis later moved to Cleveland and turned to baseball which he played better than football he played for Wooster College’s A.A. team, the Ohio Trolley league, and the Cuban Giants, a black baseball team, as a starting catcher. Follis had garnered the respect of both football and baseball but on April 5, 1910, at the age of 31 Follis contracted pneumonia, fell into a coma, and died in Cleveland, after playing in a Cuban Giants game. He was buried in Wooster Cemetery in Wooster, Ohio. Today, as a number of young, black pro players put on their pads and run out onto pro fields to lots of cheering fans, they probably don’t know who Charles W. Follis was—He was just a man who loved to play the game and, in his mind, he just happened to be black. In May, 1975, when Wooster celebrated its naming as an All- American City with a gala civic parade, seated proudly on one of the attractive floats were relatives of the original Follis family ... smiling and remembering America's first but forgotten black professional football and baseball superstar, Charles W.
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