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"Aren't you aware of the fact that you have been playing baseball with my sons for some ten hours already today and now it is night?"
THE RECORD BREAKER
Mr. Wilkinson still kids me about that. I guess the good old "50th-Street Tigers" never did know when to quit.
A number of the boys became big high school football stars and Bud went off to Shattuck Military Academy where he set scholastic and athletic records that have stood for 20 years. Then he went to the University of Minnesota, majoring in English, playing goalie on the hockey team, captaining the golf team and lettering three years in football. He would run by the long, lonely hour in those days, building his endurance in dashes and wind sprints to improve himself in everything. For instance, he learned to push himself hardest when he was fatigued?for the sheer sake of determination?a major thing he has trained his football teams to do in recent years.
Not many people ever knew the most important story of Bud Wilkinson at Minnesota. He was 20 when he was graduated, but he already had unceremoniously given up more reward than most of us can achieve in any similar period of time.
He was a cinch to be an All-America guard in 1936, his last year of football. Both he and Ed Widseth, the big tough tackle, had been most outstanding on Bernie Bierman's all-time greatest line for two years. But Coach Bier-man had a backfield problem in 1936 and was in desperate need of a fast, strong, clever combination man, a signal-calling blocking back. So Bud didn't even consider his personal glory for a minute. He volunteered to come out of the forward wall, giving up his only chance of becoming All-America, to take over a new position for the sake of the team. He called the plays that year, and Minnesota drove with power sweeps and short-side reverses to a National Football Championship. Still, his backfield work was so polished he went on to quarterback the College All-Stars to their upset victory over Green Bay in 1937.