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tBBC Making The List: Harry Steel

Discussion in 'News' started by jcollingsworth, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Making The List: Harry Steel
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here

    (Image courtesy

    This week for Making the List I feel a need to lean towards a Letterman in two sports. In football the conversation is of the mass exodus that transpired from last season and who will be the newest stars on our wondrous Buckeyes’ team. Also wrestling is done. There, too, was excitement to be proud of as a Buckeye….

    This week’s choice lettered in both sports.

    Harry Steel played for the Buckeyes on their football team in both 1922 and 1923 on both sides of the ball (This of course was the era of such feats). He, though, turned out to be a fantastic gem. He would find himself on the wrestling team as well.

    Today we will speak of his wrestling accomplishments.

    He led the Buckeyes in the 1923 and 1924 season to an undefeated year. The Buckeyes swept everyone they played that year which included Illinois and Toledo – both “powerhouses” in wrestling in the Midwest back in this specific era.

    As a wrestler Harry Steel placed third at the AAU tournament in 1924 literally coming out of nowhere … as opposition would recite in the Columbus Dispatch “…where did this man come from?” – E.C. Gallagher of TTUN.

    Later on, with special help from the United States’ top wrestler, Robin Reed, Steel was able to learn new skills. Using this newly acquired knowledge, Steel won the gold medal in the men’s heavyweight at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. This same year his successes as a wrestler continued at the Ohio State University as he would go on to capture the Big Ten Crown defeating a TTUN wrestler and reminding E.C. Gallagher just who he was.

    What made Harry Steel special was his raw talent. He was not raised to be a dynamic football player. He certainly not brought up to be an Olympic Gold Medalist in wrestling either. I understand of the era to which I am speaking of. Things are different. But understand my point – today a child with a hint of talent in any specific sport is guided towards factories masqueraded as schools. This was not the case in the Twenties. I also am not naïve enough to bypass the unfairness of segregation which shortened the field of talented competition which sadly existed in this time frame. Harry Steel though stood up to the talent directed his way and won. That we cannot take away from him.

    He also won a Gold Medal in the 1924 Olympics in Paris with almost “zero” experience.

    And, allow me to be the one to “remind” you – he was the first Buckeye ever to win Gold in the Olympics.

    Harry Steel deserves to be included in our list of Great Buckeyes that not only should we know and remember, but his accomplishments identify him as a clear source that produces the definition of precisely what a Great Buckeye is. I would be short-changing our readers here at tBBC if I did not include Harry Steel at some point in this list. I never want to do that. Harry Steel was a great Buckeye, as he passed back in October of 1971, and his memory of his greatness is well-overdue. I would love to think that I had some part in resurfacing his name and his greatness. But that would be naïve. Harry and his accomplishments are his – and history wondrously has a way of resurfacing what deserves to reclaim notice.

    The post Making The List: Harry Steel appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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