December 1947 from the 20-yd line, QB Christman dropped back to pass on the first play from scrimmage.  Babe circled right as he glanced over his left shoulder.  But Bears defensive back Mike Holovak was closing fast.  Babe’s sprint downfield was recognized by Christman who lobbed a perfect 20-yd pass into his arms.  He then raced with the pigskin for an 80-yard TD crossing the goal-line with only 16 seconds off the clock after tripping over the pitcher’s mound at Wrigley Field.  The final score, 30-21, sent the Chicago Cardinals to the Championship game where they defeated the Eagles at Comiskey Park, 28-21, on December 28.  The franchise’s last championship to date.   

Babe Dimancheff, Class of 1940 Purdue All-American 1944 Chicago Cardinals World Champs 1947 Babe Dimancheff, Class of 1940
Purdue All-American 1944
Chicago Cardinals World Champs 1947  In 1948 the “Million Dollar Backfield” led the Cardinals to a franchise record setting 11-1 mark and into a second consecutive championship vs. the Eagles.  But at Shibe Park in Philadelphia the Eagles won in a snowstorm, 7-0.       Boris Dimmancheff was born September 6, 1922 in Haughville in Indianapolis. His mother and father, Fota and Stephan, were immigrants from Tsrevo, Macedonia.

     Boris had an older sister, Vesa, and a younger brother, Michael.  In the late 1920’s Vesa would have a son, Steve Stephanoff.  He also played football.  And another of Babe’s nephews, George, would star on the 1958 Continental eleven.

      Boris was a late-bloomer and was considered by many high school teammates to be a better basketball player than he was a football man.  But football was his fate.  Coach Bogue claimed that Boris was too small and looked like a babe.  He wasn’t given a uniform, until he was a junior.  But he had watched two Washington High superstars, Bob Kersey and Red Carter, lead the Continentals to two City Championships in both football and basketball during his first two years in high school.  By his senior year, in the fall of 1939, Babe scored 15 touchdowns and was named to the All-City team.

       Butler’s Tony Hinkle offered Babe a football scholarship.  He accepted and immediately was named freshmen captain before his sophomore designation as All-Conference halfback.  He scored more TDs than any Indiana college player in 1941.  By the end of his second academic year in the spring of 1942, World War II was raging and Butler University was named a Naval training ground.  Babe transferred to Purdue and was a starting halfback on Purdue’s only, to date, undefeated-untied team in 1943.

      Drafted by the Boston Yankees in the NFL he would play two years on the east coast and marry Washington High classmate, Hilda Hine.  She was the younger sister of 1935 grad and future basketball and golf coach Dave.  Babe and Hilda separated in the 1960’s.

     Babe finished his playing career in 1953 with the Green Bay Packers.  He was one of only three 31-year-old running backs in the NFL, the three oldest.  Over nine seasons he rushed for 802 yards and five touchdowns.  He added 1,086 yards and ten TDs receiving. Babe had played for legendary coaches Buddy Parker, Curly Lambeau and George Halas as well as Jimmy Conzelman.  Then he headed toward a coaching career.

      Coach Dimancheff became Head man at Hamtramck High School.  In 1955 and 1956 they were State Champions in the state of Michigan.  Then he took an assistant job with the Pittsburgh Steelers for three years.  In 1960 Tom Landry became the inaugural Dallas Cowboys Head Coach.  He named Babe as his first Offensive Coach.Pix-26 Babe TD pass

     In 1962 Babe was Head Coach of the Indianapolis Caps semi-pro team.  On his part-time coaching staff was brother-in-law Dave Hine, ex-Manual-ICC-Baltimore Colts player and Carmel coach Dick Nyers, and new Continental coach and ex-Cathedral-Purdue player Bob Springer.

      Washington High had the two Carter brothers who were great players at Purdue, Harry Cherry who started three years at IU, plus Larry Highbaugh, George McGinnis, Kevin Wetherby and Ricky Smith who were high school All-Americans.  But only Highbaugh’s football credentials compare to Babe’s profession pedigree.  And the Babe was one of only four college All-American backs during the 1944 season.  Two of his All-American backfield mates were sophomores Doc Blanchard and Glen Davis of West Point, the Heisman Trophy winners in 1945 and 1946.

     The Macedonian-Haughville boy from the Dimancheff family was a man of much football distinction who is considered by many observers as our greatest all-time Continental football player.