Finding Aid to the Ray Monteroso Polytechnic High School Football Collection1928-2012 SFH 376

Finding aid prepared by Tami J. Suzuki
San Francisco History Center
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA, 94102
(415) 557-4567
March 18, 2015

Title: Ray Monteroso Polytechnic High School Football Collection
Date (inclusive): 1928-2012,
Date (bulk): (bulk 1930-1967)
Collection Identifier: SFH 376
Creator: Monteroso, Ray, (Raymond), 1937-2014
Physical Description: 4 boxes, 3 oversized folders, 1 framed art piece (6.0 cubic feet)
Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA, 94102
(415) 557-4400
Abstract: Contains souvenir programs, photographs, and VHS videotapes of football games; plus sports uniforms, photographs of Hall of Fame honorees, and some school commencement programs.
Physical Location: The collection is stored on site.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.


The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ray Monteroro Polytechnic High School Collection (SFH 376), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.


Materials were collected by Ray Monteroso and donated to the library by his widow, Rose Monteroso, in 2014.

Related Materials

See also SFH 377, Poly Alumni Association Records.

Biographical/Historical Note

Polytechnic High School, known as Poly, was a San Francisco football powerhouse, winning championships almost every year in the 1940s and early '50s, and going undefeated from 1949 to 1954. The Poly-Lowell “Turkey Bowl,” played on Thanksgiving Day, was a city tradition—SF’s “Big Game” between high schools. Kezar Stadium's seating capacity was 50,000; the 1928 game was over capacity. The Turkey Bowl gave way to the city championship (in 1943). The school was closed in 1972 due to earthquake hazard.
Ray Monteroso was a Poly student-athlete, playing football and basketball. He quarterbacked the Parrots to an upset win over the Balboa Bucaneers in 1955. He called it "the greatest thrill of my life" in a 2009 San Francisco Chronicle article on the Turkey Bowl. And in a 2012 Chronicle article, he told reporter Carl Nolte, “I’m a Poly Parrot.” Monteroso started the Poly Athletic Association in 1984, and was among the first Poly High School Hall of Fame inductees that same year. He wrote for the Perennial Parrot (alumni newsletter) which is still in production; see He organized alumni lunches and events. Monteroso died in 2014, survived by his wife, Rosalie.

Scope and Contents

Contains souvenir programs, photographs, and VHS videotapes of Polytechnic High School football games, sports uniforms, Hall of Fame photos, some school commencement programs, and a painting depicting Ray Monteroso and Coach Milt Ax.


Organized into five series: 1. Programs; 2. Photographs; 3. Football Game Footage; 4. Sports Uniforms; and 5. Artwork. Most series arranged chronologically.

Materials Transferred

Yearbooks were added to the online catalog. Photographs have been transferred to the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

There are 2 CDs (compact discs) of photographs, and 31 VHS videocassettes.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Monteroso, Ray, (Raymond), 1937-2014 -- Archives
Polytechnic High School (San Francisco, Calif.). -- Archives
High schools--California--San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.)--History--20th century

Processed by

Tami J. Suzuki, with film and video assistance from staff member Jennifer Weiser.


Series 1 Programs, 1928-2012, (bulk 1928-1937)


Organized chronologically.

Scope and Contents

Souvenir football programs of annual Polytechnic vs. Lowell "Classic" match-ups, Poly vs. Mission games, pre-season, playoff and championship games, and the Shrine-Hi football classics. A few of these programs are issues of Hi-Sports, "A Weekly Magazine of San Francisco High School Life." Includes a copy of a San Francisco Elks Bulletin (November 1932) featuring the Poly-Lowell Classic. There are a few newspaper clippings (1941-1999) including a 1999 column highlighting that year's Hall of Fame luncheon. Also includes some 1930s commencement programs.
Box 1, Folders 1-3

Football, 1928-1959

Box 1, Folder 4

Pre-season Football, 1952-1956

Box 1, Folder 5

Shrine-Hi Football Game and Pageant, 1952, 1956

Box 1, Folder 6

Fall Football Championships, 2012

Box 1, Folder 7

Newspaper Clippings, 1941-1999

Box 1, Folder 8

Commencement, 1933-1938


Series 2 Photographs,

Scope and Contents

Black-and-white and color prints of football games including Turkey Bowl, and school Hall of Fame honorees including Roy Monteroso; mostly original images. Includes a few original B&W images of undated basketball games and a rally.


Organized chronologically.
Box 1, Folders 9-11

Football, 1943-1964

OV-flat-box See Photo Room.

Football and Hall of Fame, 1984-2011

Box 1, Folders 12-13

Hall of Fame and Turkey Bowl Honorees, 2012

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note

Includes two CD-ROMs.
Box 1, Folder 14

Basketball and Rally, [19--]


Series 3 Football Game Footage, 1930-1967

Scope and Contents

VHS videotape dubs from film, mainly of the Polytechnic-Lowell Football Classic but including San Francisco Football Prep Classic and San Francisco high school football playoffs and championship games. Includes Coach Axt's notes; removed from film canisters.


Organized chronologically.

Existence of Originals

The collection includes 16 mm films of football games which are not presently accessible.
Box 1, Folder 15

Coach's Notes,

Scope and Contents

Game notes, removed from film canisters.
Box 2, Cassette 1

Lowell (1930), Commerce (1932)

Box 2, Cassette 2

Mission, Galileo 1932

Box 2, Cassette 3

Galileo, Mission 1934

Box 2, Cassette 4

Lowell 1945

Box 2, Cassette 5

Lowell (1946), Mission (1948)

Box 2, Cassette 6

Balboa, Championship 1948

Box 2, Cassette 7

Mission, Semi-final Playoff 1948

Box 2, Cassette 8

Mission 1948

Box 2, Cassette 9

Balboa, Championship 1949

Box 2, Cassette 10

Lincoln, Championship 1952

Box 2, Cassette 11

Balboa, Championship 1953

Box 2, Cassette 12

Lowell 1954

Box 2, Cassette 13

Lincoln 1952

Box 2, Cassette 14

Balboa 1955

Box 2, Cassette 15

Mission 1955

Box 2, Cassette 16

Balboa, Championship 1955

Box 2, Cassette 17

Lowell 1955

Box 2, Cassette 18

Lowell 1957

Box 2, Cassette 19

Balboa 1957

Box 2, Cassette 20

St. Ignatius 1958

Box 2, Cassette 21

Mission 1958

Box 2, Cassette 22

Lowell, Championship 1959

Box 2, Cassette 23

Lowell 1960

Box 2, Cassette 24

Galileo 1965

Box 2, Cassette 25

Galileo 1966

Box 2, Cassette 26

Lincoln 1967

Box 2, Cassette 27

Balboa (1952), Lowell (1960), Balboa (1948), St. Ignatius (1958)

Box 2, Cassette 28

Balboa (1955), Balboa (1956), Lowell (1959), Lincoln (1952), Lowell (1954)

Box 2, Cassette 29

Unidentified (1953, 1960, 1948, 1958)

Box 2, Cassette 30

Balboa (1949), Unidentified (1957), Lowell (1948)

Box 2, Cassette 31

Unidentified (1934, 1930, 1932)


Series 4 Sports Uniforms, [20th Century]

Scope and Contents

Athletes' clothing.
OV-flat-box 3

Football Jackets (two) labeled "CHAMPS '47," [1947]

OV-flat-box 3

Letterman's Sweater, [20th Century]

OV-flat-box 4

Football Jerseys (two), [20th Century]

OV-flat-box 4

Baseball Jersey, [20th Century]

OV-flat-box 4

Track Shirt, [19--]


Series 5 Artwork, 1985, 2000

Scope and Contents

Painting of Ray Monteroso and two lithographs.
Range M43 Framed Art, Item SFA-0668

Roy Monteroso Painting 2000

Scope and Contents

Painting of Ray Monteroso; also features Coach Milt Axt; 24" by 30", acrylic on canvas, by Nick Leaskou, 2000.

Biographical Note: Milt Axt

Milt Axt played football for Poly in 1925 and went on to coach, becoming the most famous football prep coach of his time. Axt's Parrots won 45 straight games as he compiled a 130-17-3 record. He also scouted for the San Francisco 49ers. Besides Monteroso, eventual 49ers coach George Seifert and 49er player Bob St. Clair were among Axt's Poly athletes.
OV-flat-box Mixed, Folder 2

Olympic Club Lake Course Lithograph 1985

Scope and Contents

By Nick Leaskou, #219/900, signed by artist.
OV-flat-box Mixed, Folder 3

Joe Montana Lithograph 2000