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Sun Devil History: Tempe College Normals VS. Phoenix Indian School Braves?
Brad Hall
By Brad Hall, DieHardDevil.com
July 19, 2015 11:15 AM

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If you’re a fan of ASU sports, some facts may come as a surprise to you about our history. In the early 20th century, what is now known as the Arizona State University Sun Devils was actually called the Tempe College Normals, which was an old-fashioned term for teaching *norms*. Some of the Normals teams would square up with a local high school, the Phoenix Indian School Braves. Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 10.47.08 AM

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April 10, 1914

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The cost of a first-class stamp was two cents

I can hear you now, “Don’t go comparing us with some high school!” But stop and think about what things must have been like in 1914. The cost of a first-class stamp was two cents, the Boston Braves defeated the Philadelphia A’s (4-0) in the World Series, and Ford Motor Company made a historic jump in wages from $2.40 for a 9-hour day to $5.00 for an 8-hour day.

In Arizona, the Phoenix Indian School Braves were an important part of the city’s beginnings from as far back as 1891. Tempe Normal was a teaching college. Perhaps the competitiveness of the Tempe College Normals outside of the classroom wasn’t as strong as inside? Or maybe, and I find this much more likely, gathering up enough legitimate opponents may have been a challenge in 1914.

 

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Over at Phoenix Indian School, the Braves were very competitive and served as a worthy adversary for the Normals. It’s interesting to note that the two schools are only twelve miles apart, which is a 20-minute drive today. In 1914, however, things didn’t seem so close. It was likely a bit of work to organize match-ups like these.

One hundred years ago, the Phoenix Indian School Braves took advantage of every opportunity they got to compete. Believe it or not they won often, even at the hands of the Tempe College Normals.

 Images above: from the Library of Congress.

 

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Steele Indian School Park – Phoenix, AZ

 

Today, the Phoenix Indian School buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2001, the city opened Steele Indian School Park which houses the restored buildings at that same location at the northeast corner of Indian School Road and Central Avenue in Phoenix.
 
A former instructor at the Art Institute of Phoenix and Senior Graphic Designer at Bank One Arizona, Brad Hall has been doing Cartoon Illustration, Vector Art, and Graphic Design in Phoenix for over twenty years. You can contact Brad directly through his website BradHallArt.com.
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