John Grindrod: Dr Elliott, much more than a director


Last week I focused on Leo Mangum of L and L Bowling Arrays and his passion for baseball in 19 cities in the 1920s and 1930s. This week we will be jumping over North Street to join the Ohio Theater.

And even though the theater has been reused, it’s still there, so on a rainy Saturday in the early 1960s, when my friends and I often went to the theater for Western Matinee, I’ve always had the idea of ​​flashbacks since the childhood. A little fun with Audi Murphy’s “The Ruthless Fist” and the latest Disney movies, maybe Fred McMurray and “Inadvertently Dr.”.

However, I enjoyed talking to theater director Doc Elliott as much as I enjoyed watching a movie in the building, which opened as a vaudeville hall in 1927 to the early 1960s. He said we called him “Mr. Elliott” and he told us at our level, but cleverly it was not below our level. And of course we did. I also like the 50 cent coin that was given to us.

It will take years to know the true story of Doctor Who. He said he played a bit of football when he was young, with his most prominent physical features, thick gnarled fingers on both hands. I explained it only once. We asked for details, but he only mentioned the Canton Bulldog team. Of course, that didn’t make sense to us as it wasn’t the team we saw at RCA Black & White on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. ..

Of course, after “playing a little football” there was a lot of life to live, which meant finding a job. The first information I found on how Lima took over Wallace “Doc” Elliott was in a newspaper in the early 1950s, mentioning Elliott coming to town as director of the Stanley Warner Theater. , Here in lima ran the state, sigma, ohio. Theater. After the state closed in 1955, Elliott began managing Ohio.

To tell the truth, the brief summary of Doc playing a bit of football was actually more than that. Elliott entered the NFL in 1922 and quickly became a major player in the Bulldogs NFL Championships in Canton in 22 and 23. He moved to Cleveland in 1924. A native of Youngstown, he was recognized as one of the best defenders of the league’s starting goal line and one of the fiercest tacklers in the league, just like a real man did in his childhood in professional football. As a linebacker, I played both ways.

Let’s let it sink for a while. Elliott is his team’s most efficient short runner and the most credible tackle who brought in what’s called Sleepeate today, some 64 years before former Lakers coach Pat Riley dropped him. , Started back and forth for the NFL champion. During this three-year run, the Bulldog’s record was 28-1-3.

Elliott went on to play for the Cleveland Panthers and Philadelphia Quakers in the rival NFL American Football League, as well as several semi-professionals over an incredible decade-long career given Scrabblefield and equipment poor protection. I played as a team. When it comes to the number of teams he’s played, in the league’s first decade, players regularly jumped from team to team whenever they got the chance to see a few extra bucks of cash. on a match check. It was not uncommon because it was.

The Pro Football Journal ranks Elliott 7th among pre-WWII running backs. The rugged 5-10, 210-pound player recorded 17 career touchdowns and was named First Team Allpro in 1923 and 1924. Elliott of Cleveland was a frontline diver and a defensive marvel. Elliott was second to none when it came to saving the line. “

As for the late Elliott, unlike Leo Mangum, who died here in Lima in 1974, across the L and L alleys, Elliott spent his last day in a hot climate. Maybe he’s wearing a 10-year-old leather helmet and shaking off the chills and pain of old deep tissue after repeatedly hitting the surface of a frozen iron grid in unmasked football . I think it was. Elliott spent the last moment at Fort. Myers, Florida, collapsed two years after Mangum.

What is the likelihood that two men, instead of one, who worked across the street north of Lima in the 1950s and 1960s, would see the first of two major sports? This is exactly what happened here in Lima, Ohio. But I borrowed the title of the short novel by the great comedian James Server “You Good Look It Up”!

John Grindrod is a freelance writer and editor and regular columnist for The Lima News, the author of two books. Contact him at [email protected]

John Grindrod: Dr Elliott, much more than a director


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