1881 Michigan vs. Yale Football Program...oldest known Michigan program!

In 1881 the University of Michigan football team played its first three games in school history against the three best teams form the East, Princeton, Harvard and Yale. The three games were played in a short span beginning on October 31st and ending on November 4th. The first opponent was Harvard on October 31st. The game was played in a "drenching rain" in front of approximately 100 spectators. No relics from this game are known; and if they were produced the paucity of spectators coupled with the weather conditions created long odds that any collectibles were preserved. The second game, against Yale, was played in front of approximately 500 spectators in New Haven, Connecticut. With that few spectators and the chances for a piece of paper to survive 135 years being low it is a miracle that the offered program has survived. In addition to this example one other is known to the hobby. The approximately 4 3/8' x 5 1/2' single page program has been preserved well, flattened between the pages of a keepsake book for over 130 years. It is crease free and has some mild toning/discoloration spots on the reverse. Michigan finished their Eastern tour two days losing to Princeton. The program is truly a significant piece of Michigan and sport memorabilia. Likely the oldest Michigan program in existence.

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