COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The state of Ohio has approved legislation creating a day to honor the first documented, black professional football player, known by the nickname “The Black Cyclone.”
Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY”-sik) signed the legislation designating Feb. 3 as Charles Follis Day. The Akron Beacon Journal reports Follis was born on Feb. 3, 1879, and grew up in Wooster helping to organize the first varsity football team at his high school in 1899.
After graduation, Follis played with an amateur Wooster team and in 1904 he signed a contract with the Shelby (Ohio) Blues of the American Professional Football Association.
He sustained a career-ending injury a few years later and began playing baseball before he died from pneumonia in 1910 at age 31.
Information from: Akron Beacon Journal, http://www.ohio.com