Christian "Mose" Kelsch (January 31, 1897 – July 13, 1935) was an American football placekicker and running back in the National Football League (NFL). He was a charter member of the Pittsburgh Pirates (which would later be renamed the Steelers).

Mose Kelsch
Mose Kelsch.jpg
No. 37
Position:Placekicker / Fullback / Halfback
Personal information
Born:(1897-01-31)January 31, 1897
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died:July 13, 1935(1935-07-13) (aged 38)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school:Bellefonte Academy (Bellefonte, Pennsylvania)
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played:16
FG made:4
PAT made:4
Player stats at · PFR

Kelsch grew up as an orphan in Pittsburgh's Troy Hill neighborhood. He earned the nickname "Mose" while playing sandlot baseball, though no one was able to recall the circumstances that brought the name about.[1] He played semi-professional football for several teams in the area, including the Hope-Harveys, James P. Rooneys and Majestic Radio teams managed by Art Rooney which would form the basis of the NFL's Pirates.[1]

At the time he joined the newly formed Pirates in 1933 Kelsch, at 36 years old, was the oldest player in the NFL. Even the Pirates' owner, Rooney, was four years his junior.[2] He was used almost exclusively for his kicking ability, coming into the game to convert field goals and extra points.[3] He may have been the first such "specialist" in the still-nascent NFL.[4] He was also one of the few players in the league at the time who never played college football and listed the "School of Hard Knocks" as his alma mater whenever asked.[1]

Kelsch never married. He died in an automobile accident on July 13, 1935. Art Rooney served as a pall-bearer at his funeral.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Sell, Jack (July 15, 1935). "Funeral Rites Wednesday for Mose Kelsch". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  2. ^ Fulks, Matt (2008). The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Pittsburgh Steelers heart-pounding, jaw-dropping and gut-wrenching moments from Pittsburgh Steelers history. Triumph Books. pp. 137–139. ISBN 978-1-57243-922-1.
  3. ^ Smith, Chester L. (July 14, 1935). "North Side Pals, Racketeers and the Rest, Ready to Pay Final Honors to Mose Kelsch". Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  4. ^ Braunwart, Bob; Bob Carroll (1980). "Now Kicking, Kelsch!" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 2 (8): 1–3. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 18, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2011.