Countdown: 40 Days Until Ohio State Football

Remy's picture
July 21, 2014 at 12:02a
No. 40


Lordy, lordy we are down to 40 days until the Buckeyes travel east to start the 2014 season at Navy. There have only been eight players to wear the No. 40 for Ohio State. Today's featured players are Robert Shaw and Howard "Hopalong" Cassady. An interesting fact is that Shaw and Cassady spent time scouting for the New York Yankees.



Players who Wore No. 40 for Ohio State
Player Worn All-American All-B1G Captain Academic AA Ac All-B1G Letter
Jerome Fisher 1933            
John Nagy 1934            
Sol Maggied 1935-37           1935-37
Andy Rosen 1939-40           1939-40
Robert Shaw 1941-42 1942 1942       1941-42
Matthew Brown 1943-45           1943-45
James Hoffman 1951            
Howard "Hopalong" Cassady# 1952-55 1954, 1955 1954, 1955       1952-55

#The No. 40 was retired in honor of Hopalong Cassady.
*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 40
I do not have the list of 2013 varsity letter winners
 Buckeyextra and The Ohio State Team Guide

Bob Shaw
Shaw was the first person to play the position of tight end in the history of football.

Bob Shaw, End (1941-42)
Born: 1921 (Richwood, Ohio)
High School: Fremont Ross
Died: 2011 (Westerville)

Ohio State:
The Buckeyes were 15-2-1 with Shaw on the team.
1942 National Champion.
1942 Big Ten Title.
Lettered in basketball and track at Ohio State.
Went 1-0-1 against That Team.

1942 All-American.
1942 All-Big Ten.

Bob Shaw's athletic career per his obituary in The Columbus Dispatch:

Robert "Bob" Shaw was a natural athlete, excelling at all levels of football as a player and coach and making a mark in other sports, as well. 

Mr. Shaw's athletic skill was evident as early as high school, when he lettered three times each in football, basketball and track at Fremont Ross High School. He was first team All-Ohio in both football and basketball and won the shot put and discus in the state track and field meet. The Little Giants inducted him into the Ross Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

Shaw was a member of the 1942 National Championship Team.
Shaw was a member of the 1942 National Championship Team.

At The Ohio State University, Mr. Shaw lettered twice in football under the legendary Paul Brown. Playing right end - on both offense and defense - Mr. Shaw was a member of the Buckeyes' first NCAA National Championship team in 1942 and was named a first-team All American for that season.

He also lettered in basketball and track, helping the Buckeyes to their first Western Conference track crown in 1942. But it was his exploits on the gridiron that earned Mr. Shaw a place in The Ohio State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.


Cleveland Rams

Mr. Shaw's National Football League career began in 1945, as he returned from the war and joined the Cleveland Rams. The Rams notched a World Championship in Mr. Shaw's rookie year. In the off-season, he played for the Toledo Jeeps of the old National Basketball League.

Among his NFL accomplishments, Mr. Shaw: "Was football's first tight end, a position created by Head Coach Clark Shaughnessey of the Rams in 1949." Set the record for most touchdown passes (5) caught in one game on October 2, 1950, playing for the Chicago Cardinals against the Baltimore Colts. His record was tied 31 and 40 years later, but has never been bested.

Greates Game Ever Played?

"Led the league in touchdowns scored (12) during the 1950 season. Also in 1950, he was named an All-Pro and played in the first NFL Pro Bowl." Was receivers coach for the Colts in 1958 when they won the World Championship in what has been called "The Greatest Game Ever Played."

After Chicago, Mr. Shaw headed north to play for the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. In Calgary, he added place kicking to his repertoire and set a CFL scoring record. 

Bob Shaw's coaching career per his obituary in The Columbus Dispatch:

When it came time to hang up his cleats, Mr. Shaw returned to his roots in Ohio, where he coached high school programs in Washington Court House and Cuyahoga Falls. It wasn't long before the pros sought him out, however, and he headed for Baltimore with Mary and their 5-year-old son, Webb. In Baltimore, daughter Amy joined the family and the lineup was set.

Tiger Cats

Professional coaching families tend to lead nomadic lives, and the Shaws were no exception. Bob Shaw's pro coaching career included stints as receivers coach with the Colts, the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, the first New Orleans Saints coaching staff and the Buffalo Bills, and as head coach with the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders, Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where Mr. Shaw was named CFL Coach of the Year in 1976.



NY Yankees Scout

Mr. Shaw was also head coach and athletic director at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell in the early 1960s and, after leaving pro football, returned to Otterbein as head coach from 1985 to 1987.

Continuing his multi-sport focus, Mr. Shaw also served a turn as the Ohio talent scout for the New York Yankees after leaving pro football. 

Bob Shaw's life outside of football per his obituary in The Columbus Dispatch:

Mr. Shaw earned numerous titles in his sports career, yet the ones he treasured most were "husband," "father" and "grandfather." 

Bronze Star

Mr. Shaw served with the 104th Infantry Division, earning a Bronze Star as the Timberwolf Division fought its way across Europe. He later completed his bachelor's degree in education at Otterbein College (now Otterbein University) in Westerville, OH.

Before shipping out, he married Mary Katherine Hawkins on January 22, 1944. Mr. Shaw liked to tell the story of how the pair had fallen in love at first sight when she showed him to his seat at the Columbus movie theater where Mary worked as an usher. 


Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and The Columbus Dispatch

Howard "Hopalong" Cassady
Howard "Hopalong" Cassady

Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, HB (1952-55)
Born: 1934 (Columbus)
High School: Central

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 29-8 with Cassady on the team.
1954 National Champion.
1954 Big Ten Title.
1955 Big Ten Title.
1955 Defeated USC 20-7 to win the Rose Bowl.
Went 3-1 against That Team.







Cassady won the Heisman by the largest margin in history.
Cassady won the Heisman by the largest margin in history.

1955 Heisman Trophy.
1955 Maxwell Award.
1955 AP Athlete of the Year.
1955 Big Ten MVP.
1955 Team MVP.
1955 All-American.
1955 All-Big Ten
1954 Team MVP.
1954 All-American.
1954 All-Big Ten.
1979 College Football Hall of Fame.
1997 Varsity O Hall of Fame.
2005 Columbus Baseball Hall of Fame.


How Cassady received the nickname Hopalong per Wikipedia:

Cassady and Cassidy

Cassady earned the nickname "Hopalong" during his first game as a freshman for Ohio State. Columbus sportswriters who saw him play said he "hopped all over the field like the performing cowboy," a reference to the fictional characterHopalong Cassidy. In that game Cassady came off the bench to score three touchdowns in a win over Indiana University.


Howard Cassady's Ohio State career per The Ohio State Team Guide:


Can't stop Cassady

It didn’t take Ohio State fans long to realize why Howard “Hopalong” Cassady was something special. In his first collegiate game, the season opener against Indiana in 1952, the 150-pound freshman came off the bench to score three touchdowns and lead the Buckeyes to a 33-13 victory. From then on, “Hop” was a regular in the OSU lineup, playing in 36 of a possible 37 games and leading the Buckeyes to a combined record of 29-8 during the next four years.

In 1954, Cassady won unanimous All-America honors and helped the Buckeyes to a perfect 10-0 record and the first of five national championships for Coach Woody Hayes. The 1954 season concluded with a convincing 20-7 win over Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl.



Cassady with his Heisman

Cassady again won All-America acclaim in 1955, when he rushed for 958 yards and 15 touchdowns. At the end of the year, Cassady’s list of accolades included the Heisman Trophy and recognition by the Associated Press as the 1955 Athlete of the Year.

Cassady, who also was an outstanding defensive back, finished his collegiate career with 2,466 rushing yards. That total still ranks 11th on the all-time OSU rushing list. 


Cassady on the baseball team.

Cassady, who prepped at Columbus Central and as a boy would sneak into Ohio Stadium to see the Buckeyes play, also played baseball at OSU, starting at shortstop for three years. He is a member of the Ohio State University Athletics (1997), College Football (1979) and

Columbus Baseball (2005) halls of fame.





Cassady's NFL and Clippers career per The Ohio State Team Guide:

Hop on the Lions

After graduation, Cassady was a first round pick of the Detroit Lions. He played defensive back with Detroit, Cleveland and Philadelphia before retiring. “Hop” lives in Tampa, but spent many summers in Columbus as a coach for the Columbus Clippers, the Yankees’ AAA farm club. His jersey number “40” was retired Nov. 18, 2000.







Ohio State records held when he finished his career per Wikipedia:

Cassady on the run

Cassady held some Ohio State career records for many years following his graduation. He held the career rushing record (2,466 yards) until he was surpassed by Jim Otis in 1969, the career all-purpose yards record (4,403 yards) until he was surpassed by Archie Griffin in 1974, and the scoring record (222 points) until he was surpassed by Pete Johnson in 1975.


Cassay's life after football per Wikipedia:

Cassady on the Clippers.

After retiring from football, Cassady became an entrepreneur; he formed a company manufacturing concrete pipe. More recently, he has served as a scout for the New York Yankees baseball team, and as the first base coach for their former AAA affiliate, the Columbus Clippers.

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and Wikipedia


No. 40 in the NFL Draft
Name Year Pick Round Position Team
Bob Shaw 1944 10 97 TE Rams
Howard "Hopalong" Cassady 1956 1 3 HB Lions

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and Jason Priestas

The Game

130 days until The Game.


Knarcisi's picture

Thanks to Remy. Let him know if any errors. 

+4 HS
Remy's picture

Let me know If there are any errors. Darn you Knarcisi.

My childhood best friend's dad knew Mr. Cassady. Cassady would either park his car at my friend's dad's parking lot, or he used to walk by the lot. Either way the two knew each other and shared many conversations among the shadows of the buildings in downtown Columbus.

One time when I was at the parking lot I saw my friend's dad talking to somebody on the sidewalk. When my friend's dad came to talk to me he told me I just missed my chance to meet Hopalong Cassady. I was disappointed, but thought that was pretty cool. The way my friend's dad talked about Cassady I knew he was a great guy.


"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later." ~ Mitch Hedberg

+5 HS
Knarcisi's picture
+1 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

Great job with the countdown, as always Remy.

Do you happen to know if there is a relation between Bob Shaw and former Reds reliever Jeff Shaw?  Jeff was from Washington Court House, and a very talented closer at one time.

I've looked it up but haven't been able to find much on it, if there is.

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+1 HS
Remy's picture


From Bob Shaw's obituary:

Mr. Shaw is survived by his son, Webb Shaw of Fremont, WI (Catherine); daughter, Amy Shaw of Columbus, OH (Steven Hayes); grandchildren, Erica (Shaw) Sheets, Lindsay (Shaw) Davis and Dakota Hayes; and two great-grandchildren.

That rules out Jeff being his son or grandson. My guess is that if they are related they are uncle/nephew or cousins. This is just a guess, because like you I have found nothing definitive. Hope that helps.

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later." ~ Mitch Hedberg

+1 HS
RBuck's picture

When I was a kid, my Dad took me to Redbird Stadium to see Hopalong Cassady the cowboy. He was suppose to ride his horse around and give pictures of himself to the kids before the game.

The centerfield gate opened and Hoppy came out on his white steed and promptly fell off. He tried to get back on a few times but kept ending up on the ground.

I asked my Dad if he was OK and all Dad said was "He's alright, God takes care of drunks."

Long live the southend.

+1 HS
Remy's picture

RBuck, Your dad's response was perfect. A shame Cassidy couldn't keep it together for the kids that were there to see him.

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later." ~ Mitch Hedberg

+1 HS