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Duluth Kelleys
Duluth Eskimos
Duluth Kelleys Duluth Eskimos logo

Founded 1923
Folded 1927
Based in Duluth, Minnesota, United States
League National Football League
Team History Duluths Kelleys (1923-1925)
Duluth Eskimos (1926-1927)
Orange Tornadoes (1929)
Newark Tornadoes (1930)
Team Colors Red, White (Duluth Kelleys)
Midnight Blue, White (Duluth Eskimos)
Head coaches Joey Sternaman (1923)
Dewey Scanlon (1924-1926)
Ernie Nevers (1927)
Owner(s) Ole Haugsrud
Named for Kelley-Duluth Hardware Store
Ernie Nevers

Duluth, Minnesota, hosted a professional football team called the Kelleys (officially the Kelley Duluths after the Kelley-Duluth Hardware Store) from 1923 to 1925 and the Eskimos (officially Ernie Nevers' Eskimos after their star player) from 1926 to 1927 in the National Football League. After being a traveling team in 1927, they withdrew from the league

Due to various transactions, it can be argued that the Kelleys/Eskimos still exist today, at least indirectly. A promoter in Orange, New Jersey bought the defunct franchise for the 1929 season and moved it to Orange, New Jersey as the Orange Tornadoes. The Tornadoes moved to Newark for the 1930 season before folding. In 1932, a Boston group received an expansion franchise and was awarded the remains of the Tornadoes organization. This group used it to start the Boston Braves. In 1934, the team was renamed the Redskins, and in 1937 it moved to Washington, D.C. where it still plays today as the Washington Redskins. However, the Redskins and the NFL recognize the Boston/Washington franchise as a separate organization dating to 1932, and not as a continuation of the Kelleys/Eskimos line.

When Ole Haugsrud sold the team back to the league, part of the deal gave him first rights for any future NFL team in Minnesota. So when the NFL voted to expand in 1960 to the Twin Cities, Haugsrud was able to buy 10% of the Minnesota Vikings. A book, Leatherheads of the North: The True Story of Ernie Nevers & the Duluth Eskimos written by Chuck Frederick, is available through X-Communications. This book profiles the Duluth Eskimos and their star player, Ernie Nevers.

The film Leatherheads is partially based on the story of the Duluth Eskimos.[1]


Pro Football Hall of Famers


Year W L T Finish Coach
Kelleys 1923 4 3 0 7th Joey Sternaman
1924 5 1 0 4th Dewey Scanlon
1925 0 3 0 16th Dewey Scanlon
Eskimos 1926 6 5 3 8th Dewey Scanlon
1927 1 8 0 11th Ernie Nevers


  1. ^ Kelleher, Bob (2008-03-24). "Hundred of fans welcome Clooney, Zellweger to Duluth". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2008-03-24.  

External links



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