Drumming up support

The Baltimore Sun

Danny O'Toole was a member of the Baltimore Colts' Marching Band for 37 years (1949-1985). He was 23 at the time of the Colts-Giants game.

On Dec. 28, 1958, the Colt Band boarded a train with many fans to attend the Giants-Colts game in New York. It seemed like any other game.

The band was in the far end zone and could hardly see some of the game. We played and performed the halftime show. ... Going into the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the score was 17-14 in favor of the Giants. Then a field goal tied the game. The Colts fans went wild.

The football that tied the game was obtained by George Schafer, a member of the color guard. He was getting attacked by fans who wanted the football. He tossed the ball over to where the band was sitting. I got the football and put it in my drum case. I was worried that the ball was not safe enough, so I took my drum head off and put the ball inside the drum. The ball stayed inside my drum until we reached Penn Station in Baltimore. I then gave the football back to George.

The ride back to Baltimore was unbelievable. ... Five of the members of the band went from car to car playing the Colts song 50 times. ... Even to this day, when I hear that song, it gives me chills and brings back so many good memories.

Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad