Circa 1935: Joe Bach had a mediocre record as head coach of Art Rooney Sr.’s football team in the mid 1930s, but his impact resonates to this day. In its early days, the team was known as the Pirates, but after the 1939 season, Rooney figured a change was needed. Bach headed a panel that chose a new name from a list of suggestions sent in by fans. The panel wisely chose “Steelers.” Otherwise, we could be singing, “Here we go Triangles,” or dancing to ”The Puddler Polka.” Bach coached twice — from 1935 to 1936, and again in 1952 and 1953. His best records were 6-6, in both ‘36 and ‘53.
We found no date on this print — only the name “Joe Bach” scribbled in pencil on the back. Someone in the newspaper’s art department painted a white frame around the coach and took the liberty of signing Bach’s name. The print is a fascinating example of how much photography and its use in newspapers has changed over the decades.