1913-1919: The Dayton Triangles roots go into St. Mary’s College now known as University of Dayton, when a group of basketball players formed a team that played for early professional basketball championships. After four years the St. Mary’s Cadets decided to branch out into football. The football Cadets had success right away, winning three straight city titles. In 1916 the team was reorganized among local factory workers, most notably from DELCO (Dayton Electric and Light Company). Playing in Triangle Park the team would become the Dayton Triangles. The park was named such as it was located at the confluence of the Great Miami and Stillwater Rivers in north Dayton. Carl Storck who later served as President of the NFL would help sponsor the Triangles who won the Ohio League title in 1917 and 1918.
1920: Led by Carl Storck the Dayton Triangles would be one of the charter members of the American Professional Football Association which would become the NFL. The Triangles would play the league’s first game, hosting the Columbus Panhandles and earning a 14-0 win on October 3rd with Lou Partlow and Frank Bacon scoring touchdowns. Following a scoreless tie against the Cleveland Tigers, the Triangles erupted for 44 points to whitewash the Hammond Pros 44-0. Week 4 would see the Triangles face the Canton Bulldogs in perhaps the best game of the first season, with the game finishing deadlocked 20-20 after going back and forth for 60 minutes. The Triangles would win their next two games against the Cincinnati Celts 23-7 and the Rock Island Independents 21-0 to enter a key showdown with the Akron Pros holding a record of 4-0-2. The Pros would shutdown the Triangles all game, winning 13-0, two weeks later in a rematch the Pros would blank the Triangles again 14-0 to win the first ever AFPA Championship. In between the Triangle did manage a 28-0 win over the Detroit Heralds to finish the year with a record of 5-2-2.
1921: The Triangles opened the season strong, scoring a 42-13 win over the Columbus Panhandles. However, they would go winless in their next three games, with a 14-14 tie with the Canton Bulldogs sandwiched by losses to the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Staleys. The Triangles would get back in the win column with a 3-2 win over the Cleveland Indians. Following a 14-0 loss to Canton, the Triangles somewhat salvaged their season by blanking the Detroit Tigers and Akron Pros. However, by losing their final game of the season to the Buffalo All-Americans 7-0, the Triangles managed just a record of 4-4-1.
1922: With Carl Storck now serving as the coach of the Triangles, the seeds of their final doom are sewn, as the team continues to concentrate on local talent, while the rest of the league now officially called the National Football League begins recruiting for the top talent throughout the nation. Still the Triangles remained competitive as they did not allow any points in their first four games, earning wins over the Oorang Indians, Minneapolis Marines and Hammond Pros while playing to a tie against the Canton Bulldogs. However, Dayton would fail to score in their next three games as they were outscored 59-0 in losses to the Buffalo All-Americans, Chicago Bears and Rock Island Independents. The Triangles would end the season with a 7-3 win over the Chicago Cardinals to finish the season with a record of 4-3-1.
1923: Compared to other fields, Triangle Park was small even by early NFL standards, seating just 5,000 at Triangle Park. Charging $1 for a General Admission seat it was hard for the Dayton Triangles to compete financially with the other NFL teams. The Triangles would agree to play nearly all their games on the road, as they were guaranteed to make $25,000 for every game on the road. The Triangles lone home game would come against the Columbus Tigers a game they would win 7-6. The Triangles would play their next seven games on the road, losing six and earning one tie as they finished with a record of 1-6-1.
1924: Once again the Dayton Triangles were a traveling team, playing all but two games on the road, once of those home games came in the season opener, in which they defeated the Frankford Yellow Jackets 19-7. A week later the Triangles earned a shutout win on the road, blanking the Buffalo Bisons 7-0. However, they would lose their final six games and finished with a record of 2-6, including a 17-6 loss to the Columbus Tigers at Triangle Park.
1925: The Triangles would become an exclusive traveling team, playing all their games on the road. To help make his team more comfortable, Carl Storck rented a Pullman Railcar. The 16 man roster of the Dayton Triangles would sleep, eat and use it as a locker room. The car would be hitched to a train and would park at the local rail yards with players walking or taking a taxi to their games. Players would not be allowed on the rest of the train as rail companies did not want brutish football players mingling with their first class passengers. The Triangles failed to win a game in their first season playing all their games, on the road, posting a record of 0-7-2. Both ties were scoreless ties one against the Rock Island Independents to open the season and a non-league game against Steubenville-Toronto.
1926: Playing all their games on the road again, the Triangles would start the season with a 3-0 win against the Buffalo Rangers ending their 14 game winless streak. However, it would be the only win of the season as they finished with a 1-4-1 record.
1927: After opening the season with a 14-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Dayton Triangles earned a rare 6-3 win against the Frankford Yellow Jackets. They would then play their first home game in three years, but had nothing to offer their home fans in a 6-3 loss to the New York Yankees. The Triangles would lose their final four games following a scoreless tie with the Yellow Jackets, posting record of 1-6-1.
1928: Under Coach Faye Abbott, the Triangles would again play all seven games on the road, and lost all seven games. They would fail to score in six of seven games; the lone exception was a 13-9 loss to the Frankford Yellow Jackets.
1929: In what would be their final season, the traveling Dayton Triangles again failed to win a game, losing six straight and scoring just one touchdown in a 14-7 loss to the Frankford Yellow Jackets in Week 2. That lone score was credited to Left Guard Al Graham on a fumble recovery. The Triangle would go winless over their last 17 games over three seasons, while being outscored 301-22. The Dayton Triangles would fold at season’s end. Longtime Dayton Triangles Manager Carl Storck would remain the NFL serving as league treasurer, before becoming President of the NFL in 1939, serving two years before stepping down due to illness as the position was renamed Commissioner of the NFL. Meanwhile the ruminants of the Triangles franchise were sold to a Brooklyn syndicate who operated a team out of Ebbets Field that was also called the Brooklyn Dodgers. While the NFL official records view the Dodgers as a separate franchise a franchise that would change hands and move several times and has a loose relationship with the current Indianapolis Colts.
©MMXV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Dayton Triangles or the NFL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on January 11, 2015. Last updated on January 11, 2015 at 9:55 pm ET.