Freeland Yellow Jackets 1913 football team mascot

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History of Freeland, Pa.

What's on this page:

  • Photos and postcards of Freeland area football teams
  • Team mascots
As always, if you can identify anyone in these photos not already identified below, will you please let me know and I'll post the information. Also, additional photos or information can be shared here. Thank you, and enjoy.


Crescents 1902 team This photo comes to us from Curt Javic. He wrote: "Hi. I purchased a photo this week in Renningers in Ephrata. The photo is of a 1902 football team –fairly young players- late teens - early 20’s. On the ball is written CRESCENTS -1902. The names on the back of the photo are - Jowak, J Coll, Bernard McLaughlin, Frank Hindson, Louis Stolz, Cony Welsh, H. Sims, Cletus Fultz, George Hartman, John Dusheck, J. Motsko, John James Baskin, Harvey Deitrich, Peter O’ Donnell, & Aubrey Powell. Written in pencil & apparently the owner at one time is Lou Stolz 730 Birkbeck St Freeland Pa. I did some research ... Louis Stolz at one time was the Police Chief of Freeland & was born in 1880, therefore in this picture he was 21- 22 years old. I think therefore these people might be slightly older than say Freeland High School. After researching the names on the back, most of the gentlemen are from Freeland or Foster Township. ..." The larger image of the photo (click thumbnail image) has been repaired digitally by Jay Cawley; here is the original photo as I received it.

When I received Curt's email last year, I contacted Tom Landers to ask if he knew anything about this team. His reply provided this additional information:
The 1902 Crescents - a very good team - all Freeland residents.
John Nowak - owned the pool room on Centre St.
Bernard McLaughlin, a mailman.
Louis Stolz - Chief of Police during 1920s, later a coal and iron police office.
George Hartman - Freeland Burgess (mayor).
Connie Welsh - owned Welsh's Drug Store on Centre St.
Aubrey Powell - a small man but very fast runner; a Freeland page writer for the Standard Speaker in the 1930s-1940s, a penny per word.

Tom added: "I do not know if the field was named after the team or the team after the field. Crescents Field was located across from Alvin and Maple streets, and the outfield had a crescent running track around it. My high school baseball team (St. Ann's) played its home games on this field, 1948-1953."

I will add that with Tom's death in June 2013 we lost not only a great man but one who had a wealth of knowledge of Freeland's history and especially its sports history.

                Yellow Jackets 1913 football team Freeland
                Yellow Jackets 1913 football team, verso This photo postcard of a 1906 Freeland area football team comes from Bob Vannauker. His father George Vannauker is the player whose knee is marked with an "X", and at right is the back of the postcard. I'll try to find out which team this was! The enlarged view has been digitally repaired by Jay Cawley - thank you, Jay.

Freeland Yellow Jackets 1913 football team This photo of the 1913 Freeland Yellow Jackets football team comes from Barbara Bartol Rentenbach. She wrote: "My grandfather is in the second row, the one on the left side of this picture: Wante Bartolo/Bartol ... at some point they dropped the last 'O' in his name." The image at top left of this page was cropped from this photo, showing the team mascot holding the football.

St. Mary's
                1929 football team This photo of the 1929 St. Mary's football team comes to us from Jack Polachak. He writes: "My father is in the second row, kneeling , second from the right., sixth from the left." Digital photo repairer Jay Cawley made some repairs to this photo, but the damage was too extensive (especially on several faces) for him to be able to fix everything. Here is his partial photo repair. Still, even though the original photo is quite damaged (it might have been rolled up at some point), you can see that there is still a lot of good visual information there. Don't give up on an old photo just because it's in bad shape!

MMI ca. 1920s
                football team MMI 1924 football teamThese two photos come to us courtesy of MMI. The photo at right is of the 1924 team. The other photos looks to be around the same period. Great photos.

                H.S. 1930s football team Freeland H.S. 1930s
                sports letter These two images come to us from Beth Learn, whose father Glenus "Glennie" Learn attended Freeland High in the 1930s, graduating in 1934. She's not certain but she thinks this team photo is from 1932 or 1933. Also shown is his Freeland High athletic letter. This is the Learn family that's connected with the former teenage hangout, Learn's Lunch and Soda Fountain. A clipping quoted by Beth reads: "Freelanders, remember Harvey "Pop" Learn's Lunch and Soda Fountain at 722 Centre St.? The site is now the Welsh building. "Pop" Learn's was the mecca in the mid and late thirties as the "popular hangout" for Freeland High students and basketball players -- everyone went to "Pop" Learn's." Beth added: "Pop Learn was probably my Dad's Dad or my Grandfather Harvey Simon Learn. I was not aware that he had such a mecca but that would coincide with my Dad in HS etc."

Here are the names and positions written on the photo:  Back row: Coach Rathey, Bart E., Talerovich E., Turrie G., Tulevich F.B., Mays E., Berger T., Korchnak G., Dovick H.G., D. Croce (Della Croce?) H.B., Firley E., Gresko E., Kester Mgr., Nickleson Ast. Mgr.. Front row: Tomsho C., Snyder T.,  Domnick C., Learn G., James T., Pechell Capt. F.B., Sokoloski Q.B., Kobelka Q.B., Corazza G., D. Croce (Della Croce?) H.B., Kupitz H.B..

I'll add that the scenery in the background of the team photo is also interesting. Can anyone who's reading this identify any of those buildings?

MMI 1937 football team Here is the certificate from James Boyle's participation in the FHS varsity football Ttam in 1934, shared by his daughter Eleanor Boyle Duckett. James was also on the FHS basketball team, so see that page for photos of the team he was on in 1934-1935 and also 1936.

MMI 1937
                football team This photo of the 1937 MMI football team comes from Frank Balon. He wrote: "This is MMI's football team from 1937-1938. My dad Stanley is actually the 3rd from the left in the middle row. He is so small, you can't see his number!" The enlarged image (click on thumbnail image at left) was repaired digitally by Jay Cawley; here's what the actual photo looks like. Again, amazing what someone skilled in digital graphics can do. Thanks, Jay!

Marion Gabuzda Boyle Denion wrote: The photo of the MMI Football team 1937 sent in by Frank Balon, the top row 2nd from left is my brother Stephen J. Gabuzda. Stevie and "Statz" Stanley Balon were best friends through high school and many many years later. I last saw Statz at my brother's burial in White Haven in 1992.


Freeland Yellow Jackets 1913 football team mascot Only one of the photos on this page includes a mascot, and that's the 1913 Freeland Yellow Jackets football team, photo courtesy of Barbara Bartol Rentenbach. I don't have his name; he's also shown at the top left of this page. My thought has always been that mascots bring good luck, so I hope this young man did that for the Yellow Jackets.

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