The main purpose of today’s post is to honor the memory of a Wolverine named John A. Bloomingston who went to rest in peace on this day in 1942. Before we look at Bloomingston’s Michigan career, let’s talk about today’s trivia.
Who was the first African-American receiver at Michigan to earn All-American honors?
Lowell Perry was one of the first great receivers in Michigan Football History. He was the first “end” to gain over 100 receiving yards in a game in 1951 against Indiana. In fact, he finished the day with a total of 165-yards against the Hoosiers. He went on to finish the season with 16 receptions for 395-yards and 3 touchdowns. He averaged 24.7 yards per catch and also put up some impressive numbers as a punt and kickoff returner. Yes, Lowell Perry earned All-American honors for his stellar play in 1951.
Perry had a very interesting life after he left Michigan. He was the first African American to be hired as a football color analyst by CBS. In 1975, President Gerald Ford appointed him Commissioner of the US Equal Opportunity Commission. Sadly, Lowell Perry died in Southfield, MI at 69 years of age
Who was the first man to play the linebacker position in college football history?
Today is a good day to remember a Wolverine named John Bloomingston who went to rest in peace on this day in 1942. John Bloomingston was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 28, 1874. He is another one of those “Pigskin Pioneers” that helped establish the winningest program in college football history.
John A. Bloomingston played fullback during the 1894 and 1895 seasons at Michigan. He is pictured with the letter winners on the 1894 team. He is also listed as a letter winner in 1895 on the Michigan athletic department website. Interestingly, he is not pictured with the 1895 team even though it appears that he played in every game.
The Wolverines were becoming a very strong football program in the mid-1890s. They employed full-time coaches and expectations and wins were on the rise. The teams that John Bloomingston played on in 1894 and 1895 were two of Michigan’s best teams in the early years. The 1894 team finished with a record of 9 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie. Team #16 finished with a record of 8 wins and 1 loss in 1895. Michigan’s winning rate during these years was almost eighty-eight percent (.875). It was the best two year-run in the early years of Wolverine football history.
So, fullback John A. Bloomingston was a key player in his two years of Michigan Football. He was the leading scorer on the 1895 team and earned first team All-Western recognition for his outstanding play.
John Bloomingston went back to Chicago to be a successful trial lawyer after he graduated from the Michigan Law School in 1896. Today is a great day to remember a “Michigan Man” who contributed significantly to the early success of Michigan Football. May John A. Bloomingston continue to rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!