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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Stockton in San Joaquin County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Eddie Macon #41

1949-51

 
 
Eddie Macon #41 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 3, 2022
1. Eddie Macon #41 Marker
Inscription.  Eddie Macon was a pioneer throughout his football career as the first African American player at Pacific, and the first to play in the Sun Bowl. He helped the Tigers to an undefeated season and no. 10 national ranking in 1949 and led Pacific in total points for three straight seasons. Macon returned a punt 100 yards for a touchdown against Boston University in 1950 and averaged 18.9 yards per punt return in college, among the best marks in NCAA history.

While playing for the Tigers, Macon endured the racism that was prevalent in the country during that time with dignity and grace. When Pacific traveled to play LSU in 1950, Macon was originally told her could play in the game but upon arrival in Louisiana he learned otherwise. Pacificís coaches whisked Macon out of the team hotel and took him to a black church where he ended up spending the night at the home of a black funeral director. The next day, Pacificís traveling party went sightseeing in New Orleans but three restaurants refused to seat the group, given Maconís presence. Finally, one establishment allowed the visitors to eat in a banquet room, as long as Macon used the back
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entrance and took the freight elevator.

Macon was selected in the second round of the 1952 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. After two seasons, he left the Bears to play for his old college coach Larry Siemering and alongside Eddie LeBaron with the Calgary Stampeders in 1954. The move so angered George Halas that he sued Macon and blackballed him from the league. As a result, the Bears did nothing for decades to honor Macon has their first African American player. After being out of football for two years, which he spent as a longshoreman, he joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1957 for 3 seasons. As a member of the Oakland Raiders of the American Football League during their inaugural season in 1960, Macon was converted to defensive back and earned All-AFL honors as he tied for second in the league with nine interceptions. Number 41 was officially retired by Pacific in April of 2008.
 
Erected by University of the Pacific.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansSports. A significant historical year for this entry is 1949.
 
Location. 37° 58.641′ N, 121° 18.963′ W. Marker is in Stockton, California, in San Joaquin County. Marker is on Larry Heller Drive, on the right when traveling west. The resin marker is mounted to a metal stand in the Stagg Memorial
Eddie Macon #41 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 3, 2022
2. Eddie Macon #41 Marker
Football Plaza on the University of the Pacific campus. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1163 Larry Heller Drive, Stockton CA 95211, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Eddie LeBaron #40 (here, next to this marker); Dick Bass 22 (a few steps from this marker); Willard Harrell 39 (a few steps from this marker); Excellence (within shouting distance of this marker); Amos Alonzo Stagg 1862-1965 (within shouting distance of this marker); Community (within shouting distance of this marker); Stagg Stadium (within shouting distance of this marker); Leadership (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stockton.
 
Also see . . .
1. Eddie Macon, first African-American to play for the Bears, dies at 90.
"Born in 1927, Macon joined the Army as soon as he turned 18, just as World War II was ending, and was stationed in Japan for seven months. When he returned home he enrolled at the University of the Pacific, where he would recall years later that he was mostly treated well as the schoolís first black football player."
(Submitted on July 4, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California.) 

2. Stagg Memorial Football Plaza.
"The initiative's goal was to memorialize the Tiger Football program and tell the rich history of football at Pacific for generations
Stagg Memorial Football Plaza image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 3, 2022
3. Stagg Memorial Football Plaza
to come."
(Submitted on July 4, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California.) 
 
Stagg Memorial Football Plaza image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 3, 2022
4. Stagg Memorial Football Plaza
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 4, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California. This page has been viewed 161 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 4, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 16, 2024