— He is the only Highland
County athlete to play a full season of professional football. He
was named the outstanding player of the
1960 Blue-Gray Classic college all-star game,
played four years
of college football
at Northwestern under
coach Ara Parseghian and
played four years for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the
Canadian Football League.
native Raymond "Dutch" Purdin is pictured
during his collegiate football days at Northwestern
Yet few people under the age of 50 have
ever heard of Raymond "Dutch" Purdin, a 1955 graduate of McClain High
School in Greenfield.
"In our era, from the 1950s to the present, he was by far the best athlete
to come out of McClain High School," said George Foltz, a
teammate of Purdin on McClain's 1954 foot-ball squad.
"Before that, you had great basket-ball players like Bill Uhl, who became an All-American
at Dayton, Jimmy Hull, a two-time
AII-American at Ohio State and Don Grate, another All-American
at Ohio State. But over the last 50 years, Purdin was the
to Foltz, Purdin was an All-Ohio selection in football, basketball and track at
but according to information from a variety of
sources, some of Purdin's high school
In football, as a junior, Purdin was a member
of the McClain team that went a perfect 9-0.
The coach Of that team was Everett Marcum, who had played on McClain's last unbeaten and untied team in 1938.
Purdin played half-back and defensive back at McClain.
Purdin was an All-South Central Ohio
League football selection as an offensive back in both the 1953 and 1954
seasons. Records were not available for the 1952 season.
In basketball, Purdin was a member of the 1953-54Tiger squad that posted a 21-2 record. He
was a second team All-SCOL selection in 1953-54. Records for
1952-53 and 1954-55 were not available.
• Purdin was also a track and field standout, specializing in
the dashes, long jump and pole vault. According to MHS records, Purdin pole vaulted 12'1" at the 1955 Southeast District Class A meet held at Ohio University. The same year, he long
jumped 20'10 1/2" at the
Arlington Relays. Both those efforts would still be outstanding
performances nearly 50 years later. Purdin was also
outstanding in the 100-yard and 220-yard dashes and, according
to Foltz, once ran a 9.9 second 100-yard dash at McClain.
high school Purdin enrolled in the Manlius School, a college
military preparatory school
for boys in Manlius,
N.Y. Manlius athletic opponents consisted of small colleges and
universities or freshmen from larger schools and Purdin again
was a three-sport star.
the 1955 season, Manlius posted a 6-1 football record with its
only loss coming to the West Point Plebes, 21-7. Purdin led the
team with 11 touchdowns.
the 1955-56 basketball season, Manlius posted its best record in
26 years at 18-3. Purdin was the second leading scorer.
is a photo of a football card from Greenfield native
Raymond "Dutch" Purdin's final season as a
member of the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan
track, Purdin again was a team
leader, participating in the
1(X), 220, pole vault, long jump, high jump and 880-meter
relay. Purdin was a co-recipient of the Balfour Track Trophy;
given each year to the most valuable member of the tack
chose to return to Manlius the next year and reported early to
take an officer candidate school course. He was commissioned
as a 2nd lieutenant at Manlius and served as battalion mess
officer, supervising operation of the school's dining hall.
records from that year are not complete.
football, Manlius was 5-0 through its first five games and had not
given up a point, including a
victory over the Syracuse freshmen.
Purdin was a star halfback and co-captain on the team.
basketball, records are sparse, but Manlius was 12-3 in its
first 15 games. Purdin scored 36 points against the Colgate
freshmen, 35 against the
Cornell freshmen and 36 against the Union College
track records were available for that year.
in Greenfield for the summer after his second year at Manlius,
Purdin met up with Parseghian, who had married a Greenfield
girl by the name of Katie
Davis. Parseghian's most glorious days would come later at Notre
Dame, but at the time he was the head coach at Northwestern
University in Evanston, Ill. Knowing of Purdin's
accomplishments, Parseghian asked him to come and play at Northwestern and Purdin ended up playing four
years at the Big Ten Conference school.
from Purdin's Northwestern
career are also sparse. But in his junior season, when
the Wildcats went 6-3, he
averaged 5.2 yards a carry and caught 12 passes for
278 yards. During his senior season he was featured on the cover
of the Sept. 18, 1960 issue of the Chicago
Sunday Tribune Magazine.
saved his best collegiate performance for his final game, when
he was selected to play in the 23rd annual Blue-Gray
Classic all-star game in
Montgomery, Ala. In a driving rainstorm that was so bad the
field clock refused to run, Purdin scored
the first three touchdowns of the game as he led the
North squad to a 35-7 Victory
over quarterback Fran Tarkenton's South squad.
returned a punt 58 yards for
a touchdown, caught touchdown passes
of 39 and eight yards, rushed five times for 22 yards and
success-fully kicked the game's final PAT. He also had another
punt return of 33 yards.
how a United Press International (UPI) writer described Purdin's
Purdin, Northwestern University halfback, shook off season-long
injuries and blinding rain today to score three touch-downs and
give the Yankees a 35to 7 victory over the South in the 23rd
annual Blue-Gary football classic.
electrified a rain-drowned crowd of 10,000 and a national
television audience with his brilliant broken-field running.
5-11, 193-pounder from Greenfield, Ohio snatched a punt from a
puddle midway in the second period and raced 58 yards through
the entire Rebel defense for the Yanks' third score.
the first period he grabbed a short pass over center from Purdue
quarterback Bernie Allen of East Liverpool, Ohio and threaded
his way 39 yards for a touchdown. He sneaked eight yards into
the end zone earlier in the same period to grab another Allen
aerial for his third score."
college, Purdin was drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders of
the CFL and he played four seasons for them before an injured
shoulder pushed him out of the game. In his final season he was
listed as a 6-1, 205-pound halfback.
stats could not be located on his professional career, but in
his four seasons the Roughriders went 5-10-1, 8-7-1, 7-2-2 and
to Foltz, Purdin went into sports broadcasting for local
Saskatchewan radio and television shows after his playing
days. He came back to Ohio and worked in Springfield as a sports
coordinator and then moved to Kalamazoo, Mich. to work as an
activities director with a senior citizen center. He is now
retired and lives in Kalamazoo.