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Babe Rinehart

Sport: Football

Born: December 31, 1875

Died: October 30, 1933

Town: Uniontown

Charles “Babe” Rinehart was born December 31, 1875 in Uniontown—known today as Union Township. Standing 6–2 and weighing over 200 pounds as a teenager, the nickname Babe had the quality of an inside joke. But there was nothing funny about the way he played guard, often blocking two or more opponents on the same play. Babe starred for Phillipsburg High School in the early 1890s and then moved across the river to continue his education and football career at Lafayette College.

At the time, the Ivy League schools had a death-grip on All-America selections. Babe changed all that when he led the Maroon & White to an undefeated season inn 1896 and made Walter Camp’s postseason all-star squad. During that season Lafayette beat Navy, Penn and Virginia, and shocked mighty Princeton by holding the Tigers to a scoreless tie. That game helped Lafayette earn a share of the national championship.

In 1897, Babe was an All-American again. In those early years of football, his name was mentioned in the same breath as Truxton Hare and Pudge Heffelfinger when the game’s all-time great blockers were being compared. Unlike these brutes, Babe also had the skills to play quarterback.

Babe was much sought after by the “pro” teams in the area. He played for pay as a member of the Greensburg Athletic Association, a powerhouse club operating in the western part of the state. One of the players he blocked for was a fullback out of Bucknell named Christy Mathewson. Babe also participated in the first pro football All-Star Game, in 1898.

Like most college men, Babe eventually quit football and went into business. He took his Civil Engineering degree into the nascent automotive industry and for many years ran Ozerman Tire Company, which i still in business. Babe died in 1933, at the age of 57.


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