Glenn Davis makes debut with the Rams, August 26, 1948

1948_august_26_sportsBy Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

Glenn Davis was such a star, his debut with the Rams was headline news. Even if the game wasn’t a real game.

Davis, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1946 as part of powerhouse Army teams, was the main attraction at the Rams’ intrasquad game at Gilmore Stadium. More than 11,000 fans attended the exhibition, which The Times’ Braven Dyer said was Davis’ first local appearance since he played at Bonita High in La Verne "way back before the war."

And Davis didn’t disappoint, scoring three touchdowns. The only bad news was he wouldn’t be available during the season for the Rams. Dyer wrote that after the next week’s exhibition, Davis "goes overseas with Uncle Sam’s army. Dan Reeves, principal stockholder of the Rams, sat in the stands last night and wished that Joe Stalin would drop dead or jump out of the third floor of the Kremlin."

Davis had a short career with the Rams after completing his military service. The Rams reached the league title game in 1950 and he led the team in rushing. But before his pro career started, he had injured his knee making a movie called "The Spirit of West Point" with his Army teammate, fellow Heisman Trophy winner Doc Blanchard. 

At Army, the speedy Davis was known as Mr. Outside and Blanchard was Mr. Inside. Army won national titles in 1944 and ’45 and finished second in ’46.

After football, Davis spent more than 30 years at The Times, retiring as the director of special events.

Davis died in 2005 at the age of 80. The Times’ Mike Kupper used a quote from a former Army teammate in Davis’ obituary: "There are words to describe how good an athlete Doc Blanchard was. But there aren’t words to describe how good Davis was."

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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3 Responses to Glenn Davis makes debut with the Rams, August 26, 1948

  1. Ralph Davis says:

    I saw your entry in the Mirror blog this morning and wanted to thank you. I’ve been reading Larry’s blog religiously for a while now and I’m thrilled to see the piece on my father’s first game for the Rams. Thanks for remembering Glenn and his contribution to California / Los Angeles / USA sports. We Davises are real proud of him.
    Ralph Davis


  2. Brian says:

    And for all of us who live in La Verne, California and drive by Glenn Davis stadium every day and watched him play for Army + the Rams, it twere the wonder years.


  3. Steve Wimer says:

    Glenn Davis and my father grew up together in La Verne, played ball together, and dad wrote about him as a sportswriter. I remember his photograph on a Wheaties box, and in a lot of dad’s conversations in the 50’s. It’s cool “Mr. Outside” still gets stories written about him, as he was one of the first celebrity athletes. I heard he was quite the lady’s man as well. Back then, every girl wanted to date a football hero. I wonder if he ever partied at Woody Hall at La Verne? I sure did!


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