Monday, August 6, 2012

Jim Thorpe Accused -- August 6, 2012

This image, from the 28-January-1913 New York World, describes how Jim Thorpe's brief career in semi-pro baseball threatened his Olympic records.

America Will Return Olympic Prizes If Thorpe Is Found to Be a "Pro"

Charges That Indian All-Round Champion Played Professional Baseball Are Being Investigated by the A A. U.

After rising to the highest pinnacle in sports ever held by any one in this country, James Tliorpe, world's greatest athlete, now at the height of his fame, must stand trial to answer charges that he blotted his amateur standing by playng professlonal baseball in the Eastern North Carolina League before entering Carlisle.  This country will he a heavy loser if the professionalism charges are proven, for not only must the trophies Thorpe won at the Olympic games at Siweden, emblematic of the highest individual score be returned but some of the best records ever made in this country must be wiped off the record book.

James E. Sullivan. secretary of the Amateur Athletic Union, said to-day that the National Registration Committee would take up the charges of professionalism against James Thorpe, the Carlisle Indian, to-morrow afternoon.

Should Thorpe ultimately be found guilty of professionalism and of having received money to play baseball in the Eastern North Carolina League, in which it is charged he pitched and covered flrst base, America will have to return to Sweden the trophies the Indian won at the Olympic games. While the deduction of his points would affect America's total to some extent, it would not change the result.


No one either in this country or abroad has won more notoriety in the sporting world the last two years than James Thorpe, a student In the Government's school at Carlisle.  There wasn't a sport that the Indian was not adept in, and his rise to th title of the world's greatest athlete at the recent Olympic games at Sweden was the result of a meteoric career. 

Thorpe first became heard of as a football player. The aggressive game appealed to the Indian's nature, and he waa a terror for all opposing teams.  For the last two years he has been ranked as an All-American halfback  One instance of his wonderful work on the gridiron was the game with the Army last year The entire Cadet team "played" for the great Carllale half-back, but so elusive was his line running that he crossed the Army's goal line for three touchdowns. Thorpe specialized in drop kicking, and in this branch of the game was second only to Brickley of Harvard in booting the ball over the bars.

The Indian tinned his attention to lacrosse after the football season closed and was a wizard in chasing up and down the field with the netted sticks.


Thorpe's baseball ability became so pronounced that several big league scouts wanted to land the Carlisle stu
dent for their teams. A bitter discussion ensued last season when both Pittsburgh and Washington claimed they had corralled him, but Tliorpe ended the controversy when he announced his intention of remaining an

These sports didn't require so much time that Thorpe couldn't take up athletics. it was tie same old story when the Indian decided to become a runner and weight man -- nobody could beat him. He quickly specialized in the weight-throwing contests and at the tryouts in Cambridge last spring for the American Olympic team soon demonstrated his right to represent Uncle Sam.

At the World's Games in Sweden's capital Thorpe was a revelation to the  thousands gathered from many countries. The Indian was in his element in the Pentathlon and Decathalon. Against the strongest array ever brought together for any event the American fought his way to the front in both contests. In the Pentathlon he romped away with 7 points and in the Decathalon Thorpe amassed a total of 8,412.55 points.

"You are the greatest athlete in the world," declared the King of Sweden in presenting to Thorpe at the finish of the games two handsome trophies in recognition of his record-breaking achievements.


Raleigh, N. C, Jan. 27. Fans here are not surpised that it has just been charged that the Jim Thorp who played in the Eastern North Carolina league and the man who was tha hero of the Olympic games at Stockholm last summer are one and the same. The only thing that they ars surprised at is that it should be considered wrong for an athlete to compete as an amateur, even if he did play professional ball. Umpire Sherwood Upchuroh says that he didn't think there was any secret about the identity of Thorpe, the Olympic hero, as ha always regarded him as the man on whom be called balls and strikes many times in the league games in this vicinity. When Thorpe won at Stockholm North Carolina papers printed his pictures. There
are five men here who played with the Indian while he was a member of the Rocky Mount and later of of the Faytteville team, managed by Clancy, the man who instigated the charges against Thorpe.

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