Journey Indiana – The Milan Miracle – The Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum


♪>>TYPICAL SMALL TOWN.>>A LOT LIKE IT IS RIGHT NOW, EXCEPT IT IS SLIGHTLY LARGER. HIGH SCHOOL 12 GRADES WERE IN ONE BUILDING. OUR CLASS, FOR EXAMPLE, WAS 30 PEOPLE. IN 1953, WE HAD A NEW COACH, AND SEVERAL PLAYERS WERE BACK FROM THE YEAR BEFORE, BUT WE WERE KIND OF A TYPICAL DANGEROUS MILAN TEAM, WHICH MEANS WE PROBABLY WON THE COUNTY TOURNAMENT AND THAT WAS THE BIG THING TO DO IN THOSE DAYS.>>A THREE-POINT LEAD HERE FOR MUNCIE WITH 7 MINUTES LEFT IN THE BALL GAME. HE GOES DOWN AND TO WHITE. WHITE HOLDS, AND HE FEEDS OFF CRABBE.>>WE HAD A HUDDLE WITH 13 OR 15 SECONDS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, AND MR. WOOD SAYS, WE’LL ALL MOVE OVER AND LET — GET THE BALL TO BOB AND LET HIM TAKE HIM ONE-ON-ONE. I SAID, WHY DON’T WE JUST GO OVER AND STAND THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE FLOOR. AND THAT’S WHAT WE DID. AND HE HIT THE SHOT. AND THAT WAS THE GAME.>>SCORES! [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] MILAN WINS 32-30.>>AT THE END OF THE 20th CENTURY, BASKETBALL GAME WAS CONSIDERED THE NUMBER ONE ATHLETIC STORY FOR THE CENTURY. SO IT STRUCK HOME WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE IN INDIANA WOULD PLAYED BASKETBALL. IT WAS PRETTY MUCH THE SPORT. AT ONE TIME IT WAS THE SPORT.>>THE BIGGEST GUYS TO GO IN ’53 TO THE STATE FINALS WAS JUST MIRACULOUS, BUT THEN TO GO BACK IN ’54, WE CERTAINLY WERE VERY, VERY PROUD, BUT TO SAY LET’S COLLECT MEMORABILIA AND LET’S BRING OUTSIDE PEOPLE INTO THE COMMUNITY, THAT JUST NEVER — AS FAR AS I KNOW, NO ONE EVER STEPPED FORWARD TO SAY, LET’S — LET’S DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS. ♪>>WE HAD A LADY MOVE IN TO MILAN. SHE MARRIED A MILAN FELLOW. SHE MOVED HERE FROM IOWA. AND SHE ALWAYS ASKED, DOES THE TOWN DO ANYTHING ABOUT THAT GAME FROM ’54? AND THE ANSWER WAS, NO. IT WAS JUST — YOU KNOW, THE BASKETBALL. WE WON THE STATE, BUT IT WAS A BASKETBALL GAME. SHE SAID, WELL, I THINK WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING. SO SHE STARTED COLLECTING ITEMS AND ASKED EACH OF THE PLAYERS IF THEY WOULDN’T DONATE SOME OF THE PERSONAL ITEMS FROM THE ’54 ERA.>>WE RECEIVED JACKETS AFTER OUR JUNIOR YEAR. THAT WAS NEVER DONE. AND I KNOW WHY IT WAS DONE. AFTER GOING TO THE STATE FINALS, I’M SURE THE POWERS THAT BE FIGURED WE’D NEVER HAVE THAT HAPPEN AGAIN. SO WE’LL GIVE THOSE GUYS JACKETS. WE GOT JACKETS THE NEXT YEAR ALSO.>>WE GOT A GRANT TO BUY THE OLD BANK IN TOWN, WHICH IS WHERE WE ARE PRESENTLY. THERE’S JUST SO MANY MILAN THINGS, THE PICTURES OF TEAMS IN THE PAST.>>WE PASSED CARS PARKED SIX OR SEVEN MILES OUT OF TOWN, PARKED AND PEOPLE WALKING INTO TOWN.>>TICKETS. OH, GOLLY! AND PAMPHLETS, AND PICTURES.>>THE CROWD WAS HERE. AND WE DIDN’T KNOW THAT THAT’S THE WAY THEY DID EVERY STATE CHAMPION.>>WE HAVE AN ARRAY OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AT THAT TIME THAT YOU COULD SPEND ALL DAY JUST READING THOSE.>>ALL RIGHT, LISTEN UP! LISTEN UP!>>RICHARD HOSPITAL IN INDIANAPOLIS SAID WE ARE CLEANING OUT OUR UPSTAIRS. WE HAVE SEVERAL THINGS FROM THE MOVIE. DO YOU GUYS WANT THAT STUFF? AND WE SAID, WE CERTAINLY DO. WE HAVE THE HOSPITAL BED WHERE SHOOTER IS JUMPING ON AND ALL THE APPARATUS THAT GOES ALONG WITH THAT PARTICULAR SCENE. THEY BROUGHT THAT TO US. WE HAVE A SCRIPT FROM THE MOVIE. ♪>>ONE THING THAT I ALWAYS THOUGHT THE TEAM GAVE BACK TO THE TOWN WAS THE FACT THAT THEY ALL GOT SCHOLARSHIPS.>>AND THEN WHEN WE WON, THERE WERE OPPORTUNITIES TO GO TO COLLEGES AND AT A LOWER PRICE, AND SO ALMOST ALL OF US WENT TO COLLEGE.>>BUT THAT THOUGHT OF GOING TO COLLEGE TRICKLED DOWN THROUGH THE COMMUNITY, AND THAT WAS SUDDENLY ANOTHER OPTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. IT’S JUST GREAT WHEN PEOPLE COME HERE AND THEY — THEY ARE USUALLY AMAZED THAT WE HAVE SO MANY THINGS AND I HAVE TO SAY, IT’S — IT’S A GOOD THING FOR OUR COMMUNITY, AND IT BRINGS PEOPLE INTO THE COMMUNITY, AND THEY ARE VERY PLEASED WHEN THEY LEAVE. ♪

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