The Book


ISBN 9798398571127


In the flour milling city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a group of first-generation American teenagers team up to play football in the sandlots. They call themselves the Marines, and with no high school or college experience, they learn to dominate their opponents using the same offense as the University of Minnesota Gophers. The Marines later emerge as an independent professional team, and they claim city, state, and regional championship titles, but World War I sends Marines players across the globe. When they return, the Marines face player defections, bad publicity, and low fan support. A former player and team captain and the manager of the Marines decides to bet his own fortune and the team’s future on a new National Football League. The Minneapolis Marines, later named the Minneapolis Red Jackets, play six years in the NFL and leave their mark on the history of pro football in Minnesota.

In this definitive history of an early National Football League franchise, discover how independent football flourished in Minneapolis, and how the University of Minnesota Gophers' winningest coach, Dr. Henry L. Williams, influenced the trajectory of a group of teenagers from south Minneapolis, who found their way to the biggest professional football stages in the nation. Mill City Scrum follows the entire history of the Minneapolis Marines, from their first game in 1905, through their last game in 1930, when they were called the Minneapolis Red Jackets. And just like the U.S. Marine Corps, which has a motto, "Once a Marine, Always a Marine," many Marines players who left the team found their way back or remained within the team's circle of influence. This book follows their careers and the interconnected lives of players from the University of Minnesota and other local colleges, especially the University of St. Thomas, but also the lives of men who never played organized football until they joined the Marines. Long before Minnesota had the Minnesota Vikings, they had the Minneapolis Marines.

Includes 24 illustrations

Order Online

The book is now available for purchase through the following online retailers.

and all other Amazon sites. Simply search for the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) B0C87F8W4C

The book has been made available through extended distribution. Ask your favorite bookseller or library to obtain a copy for you.

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