Today is a great day to remember a Michigan Wolverine named Dan Ninde on the 147th anniversary of his birth. Daniel Benjamin Ninde was born at Wayne, Indiana on this day in 1870. Yes, he is another “Pigskin Pioneer!” According to the Wikipedia article linked below, young Dan Ninde grew up in his hometown and came to Ann Arbor around 1894.
The first, and only, time that Dan Ninde’s name appeared on a Michigan Football Roster was in 1894. He was on the first team that William McCauley coached at Michigan. McCauley did an excellent job in his first season in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines set a program record with 9 wins. They also lost one game and tied another.
Daniel Ninde played guard for Coach McCauley. He started two games and earned his first, and only, varsity letter. His name never appeared on another Wolverine Football Roster and there is very little information available about Ninde’s life after 1894. It appears that he was a “one and done” player. Maybe he got injured, but was still able to get his degree. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what actually happened. So, I will leave it at that.
Dan Ninde played some good football for Michigan, even if it was only for one season. Interestingly, he is also part of some interesting Michigan football “firsts.”
- Dan Ninde played on the first Michigan Football Team that William McCauley coached in 1894.
- Ninde played on the first Michigan team to win 9 football games in 1894.
- Dan Ninde played on the first team to play games against Case and the Michigan Military Academy in 1894.
- Ninde played on the first Michigan team to defeat an Eastern power (Cornell) in 1894. Michigan lost a game to Cornell (0-22) in early November, but came back to defeat them three weeks later by a score of 12-4 in Detroit. Go Blue!
Please take a moment to remember Daniel Ninde. I don’t know when he died, but it was probably a long time ago! Ninde was part of a record-setting season and definitely qualifies as a Wolverine “Pigskin Pioneer.” May Dan Ninde continue to rest in eternal peace! Go Blue!