John Mohardt

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John Henry Mohardt

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Biographical Information[edit]

John Mohardt graduated from the University of Notre Dame, cum laude, in 1922, with a science curriculum suitable for pre med. He decided to attend Northwestern University Medical School, but lacked sufficient funds to pay his way. He accepted various professional sports offers to pay the bills.

From 1921 through 1926, Mohardt played football for the Dayton Triangles, Chicago Cardinals, Racine Legion, Chicago Bears and the Chicago Bulls, representing all three pro leagues at that time. With the 1925 Bears he played in the same backfield with Red Grange, "the Galloping Ghost."

Mohardt signed with baseball's Detroit Tigers on February 6, 1922. John's major league career consisted of five games, from April 15 through April 22 with the Tigers. He appeared as an outfield defensive substitute in all three fields.

He accomplished two noteworthy feats however. In his only at-bat appearance, he achieved a base-hit, giving him a lifetime major league average of 1.000. Also in his final game, he was sent in to pinch-run for Ty Cobb, who has been acclaimed as the greatest base runner in the first 100 years of baseball.

Even though Mohardt batted 1.000, he couldn't find a permanent place in a Detroit Tigers outfield that consisted of Ty Cobb, Bobby Veach, and Harry Heilmann. The Tigers sent John to the Syracuse Stars of the AA International League where he appeared in 21 games and hit .185 and finished up the 1922 season with the Denver Bears of the class A Western League, appearing in 10 games and hitting .188. He made one more shot at baseball with the 1923 Greenville Spinners of the class B South Atlantic League, played 15 games in the outfield, hitting .280 and left the game for greener pastures.

One reference says that Mohardt was a "possible All-American football player" at Notre Dame, and that he also played in the famous game between Taylorville and Carlinville, IL, that involved many ringers brought in from the University of Illinois and the University of Notre Dame in 1921. Although Mohardt was later cleared of this charge, he was disqualified from other Notre Dame sports when it was discovered that he had played for Racine against Curly Lambeau's Green Bay Packers.

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Mohardt enlisted in the Army at the opening of World War II. He served overseas in North Africa and Italy with the 12th General Hospital Unit. He was discharged as a Lieutenant Colonel. He later returned to government service as Chief Surgeon of a V.A. Hospital and later as Assistant Director of the V.A. Sugical Service.

He played in the NFL in 1925. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has honored Dr. John Mohardt as a NFL player who served in World War II.

After his Military and V.A. service he was a self-employed medical doctor for several years. He died from a self-inflicted laceration of his groin, bleeding to death, on November 24, 1961 at his home in La Jolla, CA.

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