Today is a great day to remember a Michigan Man named Dave Allerdice on his birthday anniversary. David Way “Dave” Allerdice was born on this day in 1887 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Dave Allerdice grew up in Indiana, but he chose to become a Michigan Man when he arrived on campus in 1907. The 1907 Michigan Football Roster listed his hometown as Indianapolis, Indiana. Allerdice was listed as a halfback, but he did a lot more than that. He played defensive back, punted and performed placekicking duties for Yost’s Wolverines.
The versatile Allerdice was Michigan’s leading scorer in 1908 and 1909. He was a triple-threat player who could beat you in many different ways. Dave Allerdice was not listed on the 1906 roster, but was listed as the Class of 1910 on the 1907 roster. Dave must have sat out his freshman season for a reason that is unknown to me! He was good enough to play in 1907. In fact, he started three games at right halfback and earned his first letter in 1907.
Fielding Yost took a liking to the versatile Allerdice. He started fourteen of his next fifteen games at Michgian. Allerdice was Michigan’s leading scorer in 1908 and 1909. He was a triple-threat player who could beat you in many different ways.
Dave Allerdice played on the 1907, 1908 and 1909 Michigan football teams. These were the first three seasons that Michigan was not in the Western Conference. So, there was no championship to play for. During the “Allerdice Years,” the Wolverines posted a record of 16 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie.
Allerdice received one of the greatest honors a Michigan football player can receive when he was selected as the captain of the 1909 team. He helped lead the Wolverines to six wins in seven games that season. Dave was good enough to earn some All-American recognition, but not from the “big boys” of college football at the time. Unfortunately, his honors are not recognized by the Michigan Athletic Department.
There is no doubt that Dave Allerdice had a successful football career at Michigan. He played for the legendary Fielding Yost and earned three varsity letters. He was a member of three very good Michigan football teams. Allerdice was an important part of the transition years that saw the Wolverines leave the conference in 1907 and not return for ten years.
As much as I like his story, Dave Allerdice would not be the subject of today’s post if he was not connected to some Michigan Football “firsts.” Here are the best ones I could find for Captain Allerdice:
· Played on the first three Michigan teams to play out of the Western Conference from 1907-1909.
· Played in the first game against Wabash College in 1907.
· Allerdice also played in the first games in Michigan Football history against Kentucky State and Syracuse in 1908.
· Dave Allerdice played in the first game against Marquette University in 1909.
Sadly, Dave Allerdice left his family, friends and Michigan teammates on December 31, 1941 at the age of fifty-four. So, on the one hundred-thirty-first anniversary of his birth, let us remember David Way Allerdice. He played on teams # 28, 29 and 30 and made significant contributions to the great history that is Michigan Wolverine Football. May he always rest in peace. Go Blue!