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May 11, 2009

Mother Foley

I was watching the Diamond Dogs at Foley Field on Mother's Day and it prompted me to remember a short story I included in my first book. Judge Frank Foley (portrait from UGA's School of Law), for whom UGA's Foley Field was named after, was not only a reputable judge but one of the most faithful Bulldog backers of all time. Nevertheless, it was "Mother Foley," the judge's mother, who, during Georgia's "Dream and Wonder" season of 1927, was regarded as the Bulldogs' "staunchest supporter [they] ever had."
On this Mother's Day, I was reminded that many of the Bulldogs' biggest fans are moms. My wife's (the mother of two come September) support of UGA athletics was one of the reasons that attracted me to her approximately eight years ago. Mother Foley's support of the Bulldogs, however, is tough to beat:

"Like 'Mother Foley,' Like Son" from "Then Vince Said to Herschel...":
After Georgia’s momentous victory over Yale in ’27, Furman was defeated the following week 32-0. On October 22, 1927, the undefeated Bulldogs faced Auburn in neutral Columbus, Georgia. Auburn kicked a field goal in the first quarter but Georgia responded with 27 second-quarter points.
The most elated person at the game was reportedly A.L. Foley, or “Mother Foley," a 69-year old woman who had two sons attend the University of Georgia. She was considered “the staunchest supporter the Bulldogs have ever had.” During halftime, she turned to writer W.C. Munday and said that Georgia’s performance in its 24-point lead was the finest sight in the world that there ever was.
After the Bulldogs’ 33-3 victory, Mother Foley was surprised by a visit from assistant coach Harry Mehre who gave her the game ball. Tearfully, Foley said to Mehre, "Really, Harry, you’ve made me happier than I’ve ever been and I do not know how to express my appreciation.” Wiping her tears and undaunted, Foley continued, “By the way, how about putting your name on this ball.” Mehre obliged and subsequently head coach George Woodruff and assistant Jimmy Crowley also added their autographs.
Mother Foley must have passed her loyalty to her son, Frank. Frank Foley was a standout baseball player on Georgia’s 1908 championship team and later was instrumental in bringing the Georgia-Auburn game to Columbus every year. The University’s baseball stadium, Foley Field, is named after him.


Anonymous said...

Always wondered how Foley Field got its name... Thanks Patrick for all your hard work!

Amanda said...

What an informative articles.. keep this blog updated always.. Amanda Vanderpool