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Minnesota Gophers: 3 Sport Gopher Great Malvin Nydahl #TBT

Malvin Nydahl better known as Mally is one the few 3 sport stars at the University of Minnesota. After Mally starred for the Gophers in the late 1920s he played professional football and would become a Doctor.

3 sports, and a broken ankle couldnt keep Mally from graduating
3 sports, and a broken ankle couldnt keep Mally from graduating
U of M

A kid from Minneapolis who attended South High School. Nydahl went to the U from 1926 until his graduation in 1928 and played 107 college games across 3 sports, football, baseball and basketball. Captaining the baseball and basketball teams in 1928, his greatest personal achievement was receiving the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor that year as the conferences top student-athlete. The three sport star had his fair share of critics too, both fans at games and critics in the media. Mally had little time for these people calling his haters "Downtown Quarterbacks".

Number 20 and playing halfback along side Bronko Nagurski on the football team, Mally played on the 1927 Big Ten Championship team. His greatest success on the gridiron came his senior year against Wisconsin. The Badgers were leading late in the game 10-9, when Nydahl fielded a punt and housed it 60 yards for the game winning score.

Playing forward on the basketball team, he lead the team through some of the worst basketball in program history. Only winning  one Big Ten game in the 1926-1927. The next season as captain of the team he managed to improve the team to two conference wins. On the plus side Nydahl's team was the fist squad to get to play in The Barn.

Baseball was Mally's favorite sport, and for three years he anchored the outfield in Dinkytown. A good hitter who blasted a lot of home runs for the time. Unfortunately Nydahl's success at the plate wasn't enough to propel any of the Gopher teams he played on to a better than .500 record. Despite playing 3 sports during his collegiate career the only injury he ever received came in his last baseball game sliding into second base. Mally broke his ankle and was on crutches at his graduation the next week.

Broken ankle and diploma in hand, Mally in 1928. Courtesy of U of M Library.

After his days in Dinkytown were through Malvin went on to play professional football and baseball. Playing football for Minneapolis and Frankford from 1929 through 1931. In the summers Mally barnstormed across the country playing for minor league teams in Mississippi, New York, Colorado, and Oklahoma. After his pro sports career he went back to the U of M to finish his medical degree and from then on he practiced medicine in the state of Minnesota.