Ohio League Champions 1903-1919

Ohio League Champions 1903-1919

1903Massillon Tigers810
1904Massillon Tigers700
1905Massillon Tigers1000
1906Massillon Tigers1010
1908Akron Indians801
1909Akron Indians900
1910Shelby Blues?0
1911Shelby Blues?0
1912Elyria Athletics800
1913Akron Indians812
1914Akron Indians821
1915No Clear Winner
1916Canton Bulldogs901
1917Canton Bulldogs910
1918Dayton Triangles800
1919Canton Bulldogs901

Reference: [1]

Note: * The Shelby Blues team of 1910-1911 was undefeated.

Bob Nash, E-T, Who was born in Collinstown, Co. Meath, played End & Tackle for the Massillon Tigers from 1917-1919. [Reference: 2]


The Ohio League, while not a formal league, was the top Professional American Football League from 1903 to 1919, and the first to openly pay its players. Teams scheduled matches against both other Ohio teams and teams from other States. Bob Nash, who was born in Collinstown, Co. Meath, Ireland, played End and Tackle for the Massillon Tigers from 1917 to 1919. Masillon were one of the top teams in the League and vied for the Championship most seasons with Shelby Blues and Canton Bulldogs.

In 1920, with rising wage costs due to players continually jumping from one team to another across state lines, the top four teams in Ohio, along with the top teams in Upstate New York, New York City , New York / New Jersey and Pennsylvania Leagues joined forces to form the American Professional Football Association, which in 1922 changed its name to the National Football League. The importance of the Ohio League is noted by the National Football League in its’ placing of the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.



[1] Braunwart, Bob & Carroll, Bob (1981) The Coffin Corner (1981) Professional Football Researchers Association.3 (7) https://web.archive.org/web/20140822043543/http://www.profootballresearchers.org/Coffin_Corner/03-07-068.pdf [Accessed 20 July 2018]

[2] Pro Football Archives (2019) Bob Nash [Internet] Available from: https://www.profootballarchives.com/playern/nash00200.html [Accessed 11 October 2019]


Thanks to Richard Declan Mulcahy, Nora Mulcahy, Brigid Kingston, Michael Tully & Mary Tully

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 3 January 2021

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2018-2020

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