The first photo that showcases Iowa State’s first black football player Jack Trice actually playing the sport has been released.
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Joshua Kagavi released the photo along with an extremely detailed article surrounding it on his website. Here’s the photo via his Twitter account.
The photo was taken during action between Ames and Simpson in 1923. Trice would be the third guy from the left and it appears that he’s coming out of a tackle that just took place.
Previously, the only pictures that were available of Trice in uniform was during team photos of the 1923 spring football game. Kagavi brings up the harsh history of Trice’s past.
"Part of Jack’s mystique as Iowa State’s first black football player comes from the sheer lack of personal effects left behind. As a poor black man during an overtly racist era, any photo of him is incredibly rare. Teammates pointed out how Jack was one of the very few blacks in Ames and he was used to blending in and “knowing his place.”"
There’s an interesting story here about the jerseys that these players were wearing. If you didn’t notice, no numbers were on the back of them. These were pulled out in time for the game against Simpson because Iowa State didn’t want to conflict with the gold jerseys Simpson were bringing.
"During game week, the Simpson team notified Coach Willaman they would be bringing their gold jerseys to the game, so Willaman had to pull out some cardinal jerseys from the previous season that were never worn in a game. The lack of visible rear numbers on the Cyclone players here has solidified my strong suspicion that these temporary jerseys were never worn in a game in 1922, despite being pictured in the player portraits. If they had, one would think gold numbers would already be stitched on the jerseys."
Numbers were instead placed on their helmet, and Kagavi was using that information to dive further into what took place in this photo.
Definitely read Kagavi’s piece and learn more about the history of Jack Trice.