Cal Jones

Calvin Jack Jones (February 7, 1933 – December 9, 1956) was a college football player for the University of Iowa. Jones is one of only two Iowa football players (along with Nile Kinnick) to have his jersey number retired by the school. Jones became the first Hawkeye, and the first African-American, to win the Outland Trophy in 1955. He played one year with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Western Interprovincial Football Union. He died in a plane crash after playing in the East–West All-Star Game.

Cal Jones is a member of The Pigskin Club Of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll.

Cal Jones
Cal Jones
Jones from 1956 Hawkeyes
Born:February 7, 1933
Steubenville, Ohio
Died:December 9, 1956 (aged 23)
Mount Slesse, British Columbia, Canada
Career information
CFL statusInternational
Position(s)Offensive guard
CollegeIowa
NFL draft1956 / Round: 9 / Pick: 98
Drafted byDetroit Lions
Career history
As player
1956Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star1956
AwardsOutland Trophy (1955)
Retired #s62 (Iowa Hawkeyes)

Youth and recruitment

Cal Jones was born on the south side of Steubenville, Ohio, the youngest of seven children. His father died when Jones was about one year old. His mother, Talitha Jones, raised Jones and his six older siblings during the Great Depression and World War II.

Jones began playing organized football in the fifth grade. By the time they neared the end of their time at Steubenville High School, Jones and his two friends, Eddie Vincent and Frank Gilliam, were being courted by college football programs. Ohio State and their legendary coach, Woody Hayes, offered a scholarship only to Cal Jones. Jones committed to play at Ohio State, while Vincent and Gilliam accepted scholarships to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Before the fall of 1952, Vincent and Gilliam drove to Jones's house to say goodbye before leaving for Iowa. Jones shocked his friends when he said, "Wait a minute...I'm coming with you." Jones ran upstairs, packed a bag, and rode to Iowa City with Vincent and Gilliam.[1]

Jones' sudden switch from Ohio State to conference rival Iowa caused Big Ten commissioner Tug Wilson to conduct a personal investigation. Iowa was cleared of any wrongdoing. When questioned, Cal Jones reportedly told Wilson, "I'll tell you why I came out here. They treated me like a white man, and I like it here. I'm going to stay." [2]

Playing career

The "Steubenville Trio" (as Jones, Vincent, and Gilliam were called) arrived with Iowa football in bad shape. Iowa had had only one winning season in the previous ten years.

Cal Jones was a dominant figure on the field from 1953 to 1955. In 1953, Iowa finished the year ranked 9th in the final AP Poll, Iowa's best finish since the Ironmen in 1939. Jones was named as a first team All-American.

In 1954, Iowa again had a winning season. Jones was named as a consensus first team All-American, despite playing the entire year with a broken wrist. Jones broke it in practice before Iowa's first game but kept the injury concealed from the fans and media all year. That season, Jones also became the first college football player and first African American to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine in its September 27, 1954 issue, which shows a tightly cropped slightly blurry image of Jones face wearing a football helmet. This was the 7th issue of Sports Illustrated.

In 1955, Cal Jones was named as Iowa's team captain. Though Iowa struggled to a 3–5–1 record, Jones was named as a consensus first team All-American for the second consecutive year. Cal Jones also won the 1955 Outland Trophy, which goes to the United States' top lineman. He was the first African-American player to win the prestigious award. Jones also finished tenth in the balloting for the Heisman Trophy, an impressive finish for a lineman.

Death

Cal Jones graduated with a 3.0 grade point average at Iowa. He was selected in the ninth round of the 1956 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, but refused to sign with the team as the NFL paid black players less than whites. Instead, he went to Canada and signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Western Interprovincial Football Union (WIFU).[3] As a rookie with Winnipeg in 1956, Jones was named to the WIFU All-Star Team. The East–West All-Star Game in Vancouver would be Jones's final football game.

Iowa qualified for the Rose Bowl after the 1956 season. Frank Gilliam had sat out the 1955 season with a broken leg, so Gilliam was playing his final year for the Hawkeyes. Jones was to fly home to Winnipeg, gather a few possessions, and then fly to Pasadena to watch Gilliam in the Rose Bowl after the All-Star game.

On December 9, 1956, Jones overslept his scheduled morning flight from Vancouver, so he scheduled an afternoon flight to stop at Calgary then travel to Winnipeg. Cal Jones' flight on Trans-Canada Air Lines Flight 810, from Vancouver to Calgary crashed at Slesse Mountain (aka Mount Slesse), killing all 62 people aboard, including one football official and four players from the Saskatchewan Roughriders.[4][5][6]

Gilliam and the rest of the Iowa Hawkeye team heard of Jones's death as they prepared for the 1957 Rose Bowl against Oregon State. The team dedicated Iowa's first Rose Bowl appearance to Cal's memory and won the game, 35–19. The team sent the game ball to Talitha Jones, Cal's mother in Steubenville.

Honors

Cal Jones is currently the only three-time first team All-American in Iowa history and was the first college football player on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1954. He is one of only two Iowa players to be named a consensus first team All-American twice (Larry Station is the other). Jones was inducted into the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame in 1971 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

In 1989, Iowa fans selected an all-time University of Iowa football team during the 100th anniversary celebration of Iowa football, and Cal Jones was selected to the team as a lineman. And the University of Iowa retired Cal Jones' #62. Jones is one of only two players so honored – Nile Kinnick's #24 is similarly. The street where Steubenville High School's Harding Stadium is located, is named in Calvin Jones' honor.

Personal

Jones's grandson, Edwin Harrison, was a National Football League guard on the practice squad of the Kansas City Chiefs. He currently plays for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.[7] His search to learn more about the life and death of his grandfather and his family history is at the centre of the 2012 documentary The Crash of Flight 810, part of TSN's Engraved on a Nation series of eight documentaries celebrating the 100th Grey Cup.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ Calvin Jones: Glitter in Iowa's Golden Era, Maury White, Des Moines Register, April 4, 1971 Jones' Register Hall of Fame Bio
  2. ^ Gridiron Glory: 100+ Years of Iowa Football Gridiron Glory: 1952
  3. ^ Fisher, Scott (2012-11-02). "Calgary Stampeders Edwin Harrison's grandfather Calvin Jones was a solid player". Calgary Sun. p. S5. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  4. ^ a b McNeil, Shane (November 2, 2012). "Engraved On a Nation: A Family United Through Tragedy". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  5. ^ Beamish, Mike (November 1, 2012). "Fatal 1956 CFL air crash-Engraved On a Nation: Recalling a flight taken, and not taken". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  6. ^ "62 ABOARD TCA PLANE MISSING IN MOUNTAINS VANISHES IN B.C. STORM. PILOT TURNED BACK AFTER MOTOR FAILED.", Winnipeg Free Press (Canadian Press item), December 10, 1956, 3 pp, Official passenger list on p.2
  7. ^ Fisher, Scott (2012-11-02). "Calgary Stampeders' Edwin Harrison pays tribute to grandfather and former CFLer Calvin Jones who was killed in air disaster". Calgary Sun. p. S4. Retrieved 2012-11-02.

External links

1953 All-Big Ten Conference football team

The 1953 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Big Ten Conference teams selected by the Associated Press (AP), United Press (UP) and the International News Service (INS) for the 1953 Big Ten Conference football season.

1954 All-Big Ten Conference football team

The 1954 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Big Ten Conference teams for the 1954 Big Ten Conference football season.

1954 Big Ten Conference football season

The 1954 Big Ten Conference football season was the 59th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1954 college football season.

The 1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Woody Hayes, won the conference football championship, compiled a 10–0, was ranked No. 1 in the final AP Poll, and defeated USC in the 1955 Rose Bowl. Halfback Howard Cassady was selected as the team's most valuable player and was a consensus first-team All-American.

The 1954 Wisconsin Badgers football team, under head coach Ivy Williamson, compiled a 7–2 record and was ranked No. 9 in the final AP Poll. Fullback Alan Ameche won the 1954 Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football and the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference. Ameche broke Ollie Matson's career rushing record, finishing his tenure at Wisconsin with 3,212 rushing yards.Purdue quarterback Len Dawson led the conference with 1,464 passing yards.

1954 College Football All-America Team

The 1954 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1954. The eight selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1954 season are (1) the All-America Board (AAB), (2) the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), (3) the Associated Press (AP), (4) the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), (5) the International News Service (INS), (6) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), (7) the Sporting News (SN), and (8) the United Press (UP).

Wisconsin's fullback Alan Ameche won the Heisman Trophy in 1954 as the best player in college football and was a unanimous first-team selection by all eight official selectors. Three other players were unanimous choices among the official selectors: Notre Dame's quarterback Ralph Guglielmi; Ohio State's halfback Howard "Hopalong" Cassidy; and Arkansas' guard Bud Brooks.

1955 All-Big Ten Conference football team

The 1955 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Big Ten Conference teams selected by the Associated Press (AP), United Press (UP) and the International News Service (INS) for the 1955 Big Ten Conference football season.

1955 Big Ten Conference football season

The 1955 Big Ten Conference football season was the 60th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1955 college football season.

The 1955 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Woody Hayes, won the Big Ten football championship with a record of 7–2 and was ranked No. 5 in the final AP Poll. Halfback Howard Cassady was a consensus first-team All-American and won both the 1955 Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football and the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the most valuable player in the Big Ten.

The 1955 Michigan State Spartans football team, under head coach Duffy Daugherty, compiled a 9–1 record, defeated UCLA in the 1956 Rose Bowl, and was ranked No. 2 behind Oklahoma in the final AP Poll. Quarterback Earl Morrall was a consensus first-team All-American and was the first Big Ten player selected in the 1956 NFL Draft with the second overall pick. Tackle Norm Masters was also a first-team All-American.

The 1955 Michigan Wolverines football team, under head coach Bennie Oosterbaan, compiled a 7–2 record and was ranked No. 12 in the final AP Poll. In the second week of the season, the Wolverines defeated Michigan State, the Spartans' only loss of the season. The Wolverines rose to No. 1 in the AP Poll after defeating Army (ranked No. 6), but after starting the season 6-0, Michigan lost to Illinois on November 5, 1955. End Ron Kramer was a consensus first-team All-American.

Iowa guard Cal Jones won the Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman in college football. He was the first Big Ten player to receive the award.

1955 College Football All-America Team

The 1955 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1955. The eight selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1955 season are (1) the All-America Board (AAB), (2) the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), (3) the Associated Press, (4) the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), (5) the International News Service (INS), (6) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), (7) the Sporting News (SN), and (8) the United Press (UP).

1970 All-Pacific-8 Conference football team

The 1970 All-Pacific-8 Conference football team consists of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Pacific-8 Conference teams for the 1970 college football season.

Calvin Jones

Calvin Jones may refer to:

Calvin Jones (running back) (born 1970), American football running back

Calvin Jones (cornerback) (born 1951), American football cornerback

Calvin Jones (physician) (1775–1846), North Carolina physician and co-founder of the North Carolina Medical Society

Calvin Jones (musician) (1929–2004), American trombonist, bassist, pianist, bandleader, composer and educator

Calvin "Fuzz" Jones (1926–2010), American blues bassist

Cal Jones (1933–1956), American football offensive guard

Calvin Jones (baseball) (born 1963), retired Major League Baseball pitcher

Calvin Jones (composer) (born 1966), American composer

Calvin B. Jones (1934–2010), afrocentric visual artist

Edwin Harrison

Edwin Charles Harrison (born November 18, 1984) is a gridiron football guard who is currently a free agent. He recently played for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. He was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He played college football at Colorado.

Frank Gilliam

Frank Gilliam (January 7, 1934, in Steubenville, Ohio) was an All-American football player and coach for the University of Iowa. He later played several seasons in the Canadian Football League. Gilliam is a member of the University of Iowa’s all-time football team.

Iowa Hawkeyes football

The Iowa Hawkeyes football team represents the University of Iowa in college football. The Hawkeyes compete in the West division of the Big Ten Conference. They have been a member of the Big Ten since 1900, and are currently a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) member of the NCAA. The Hawkeyes play their home games in Iowa City, Iowa at Kinnick Stadium, with a capacity of 69,250. The Hawkeyes are currently coached by Kirk Ferentz, who is in his 20th season as the head coach and is the longest current tenured head coach in NCAA Division I FBS.

Iowa Sports Hall of Fame

The Iowa Sports Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Des Moines Register, honors outstanding athletes and sports contributors. To be eligible, members must have either been born in Iowa or gained prominence while competing for a college or university in Iowa.

Leighton Housh, former executive sports editor of the Register, established the Hall of Fame in 1951. Twenty-four athletes were chosen in the inaugural class. The Hall of Fame now includes more than 170 athletes from 20 sports. Inductees are chosen by veteran members of the Register's sports department.

Leo Lewis (running back)

Leo Everett Lewis Jr. (February 4, 1933 – August 30, 2013) was an American college football player (running back) for Lincoln University of Missouri in the 1950s (1951–54), who continued his success with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (1955–1966).

Lexington Legends

The Lexington Legends are a Minor League Baseball team in the South Atlantic League (SAL), and the Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The team is located in Lexington, Kentucky, and plays their home games at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, located in a commercial area on the northeast side of the city just inside New Circle Road. The team's mascot is "Big L", a mustachioed baseball player and his best friend is Pee Wee.

List of Iowa Hawkeyes football honorees

The Iowa Hawkeyes football team was founded in 1889 to represent the University of Iowa in intercollegiate competition, and it has participated in the sport every season since. Over the course of the team's history, individual Hawkeye players of exceptional ability have received many accolades.

Iowa has had several players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame, Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and Iowa Sports Hall of Fame. Individual Hawkeyes have won many prestigious national awards, including the Outland Trophy, the Davey O'Brien Award, the Doak Walker Award, the Jim Thorpe Award, and the Heisman Trophy. 92 Hawkeyes have been named a first-team or second-team All-American, and 27 have been named consensus first-team All-Americans.

The Iowa Hawkeyes have had ten players win the Big Ten Most Valuable Player Award, and 219 Hawks have earned All-Big Ten recognition. Iowa has had 244 NFL draft picks, and several former Hawkeye players have gone on to become NFL head coaches or Division I college head coaches.

Outland Trophy

The Outland Trophy is awarded to the best college football interior lineman in the United States as adjudged by the Football Writers Association of America. It is named after John H. Outland. One of only a few players ever to be named an All-American at two positions, Outland garnered consensus All-America honors in 1898 as a tackle and consensus honors as a halfback in 1899. Outland had always contended that football tackles and guards deserved greater recognition and conceived the Outland Trophy as a means of providing this recognition. In 1988, Jim Ridlon was commissioned to design and sculpt the Outland Trophy. A member of the National College Football Awards Association, the award has become one of college football's most prestigious.

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