For the second day in a row, we will celebrate the birthday anniversary of an unsung Wolverine football player named Walter R. Kreinheder. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Mr. Kreinheder was born on this date in Buffalo, New York. The Michigan team rosters for 1920 and 1920 state that he came to Ann Arbor from Cleveland, Ohio. He was listed as a “reserve” and probably didn’t see any playing time for Coach Fielding Yost. Apparently, he had the problem that a lot of Wolverines have had in the past – he was playing behind a very, very good player. In this case, All-American Ernie Vick started all seven games in 1920 and 1921 and was named All-American at the end of both seasons. Kreinheder, a center, was probably third or fourth on the depth chart at center for his freshman and sophomore seasons.
As in the past, Yost did not play a lot of men on a regular basis. The 1921 Team Roster listed eighty-eight men, but only twenty letter winners appeared in the photo.
Walter Kreinheder’s name did not appear on the 1922 or 1923 Michigan football roster. He must have known that a guy name Jack Blott was better than him. As it turned out, Jack Blott started most of the games in 1922 and he was pretty good. In fact, he was good enough to earn All-American honors at Center in 1923. As the old saying goes, “timing is everything.” In Kreinheder’s case, playing center on the Michigan football team in 1920 and 1921 was not the right time for him. Interestingly enough, he was good enough to play professional football from 1922 to 1925. Check out the link below.
There isn’t much written about Mr. Kreinheder, but the Wikipedia article linked below provides some more insight into his short and relatively uneventful career at Michigan. Once again, I think it is important to acknowledge the efforts of men like Glen Failing and Walt Kreinheder because they played a part in the history of Michigan football. Not a big part, that’s for sure, but the “walk-ons” and the guys that never play a down still contribute with effort in practice and support of their teammates during the games. It all counts, in my view, towards the rich history of the winningest program in college football. Go Blue!
So, on the one hundred and fifteenth anniversary of his birth, let’s remember Walt Kreinheder. May he rest in peace!