Football is a Thanksgiving tradition in my family. Along with the turkey and cranberry sauce and squash, there’s the Lions and the Cowboys, every year. But Pittsburgh is a city for football – everybody knows that. The Steelers have a great legacy (not to mention the best fans in the NFL).
But Homestead has it’s own football history. In 1900 and 1901, the best football team in Pennsylvania (and likely the country) was the Homestead Library & Athletic Club team.
Before the 1900 Homestead team, though, there were a few major football moments that Western PA can lay claim to. On this day (December 3), 1898, the Duquesne Country and Athletic club team played against an all-star team from the rest of Western PA. This, the very first all-star team in football history, lost 16-0. Duquesne’s team had stacked the deck a bit though – they’d hired most of the area’s stars before the all-star team started recruiting.
The Duquesne lineup was not to last. Less than 2 years after the all-star game, most of the Duquesne players were wooed away to play for another team – the Homestead Library and Athletic Club. The owner of the Duquesne team (and the Pittsburgh Pirates), William Temple, also moved his funding to Homestead. It was hardly unexpected when the Homestead team emerged as a gridiron powerhouse in the Steel Valley.