Deceased Football Autographs

Buried With Their Cleats On

Bob Adkins (1917-1997)

Quarterback—(Marshall) Green Bay Packers 1940-41,1945


Adkins played on the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team from the fall of 1936 through the fall of 1939 and graduated in 1940. In Green Bay, at 6-foot-1 and 210 to 225 pounds, Adkins was one of the heavier players on the Green Bay squad.  He played for 2½ years before the war, enlisting just before Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, and for another 2½ years after the war. Still in the Army when he returned, he was given a weekend pass from his post in New Castle, Pennsylvania, to play with the team.  A broken leg suffered in a game in 1946 caused Adkins to quit the game.

Frankie Albert  (1920-2002)

Quarterback—(Stanford) St. Mary’s Pre-flight Air Devils 1942; Los Angeles Bulldogs 1945 (PCFL); San Francisco 49ers 1946-52; Coach—San Francisco 49ers 1956-58  [All-American 1940-41, College Football Hall of Fame 1956, AAFC Player of the Year 1948, #1 Punting 1949]

Frankie Albert taught me a lot, however.  He was a master magician as a quarterback in terms of ball handling and leading the football team on the field.  He was always very sure of himself.  When you start talking about quarterbacks, you have to remember how different it was then from today.  Today the plays are sent in from the sideline.  We had to do a lot of faking, a lot of trickery, and we had to get in the huddle and run the offense; we had to be thinking about what we were going to be doing the down after this as well as this down and make the decisions ourselves.  And Albert was probably the best quarterback I saw play in terms of this.  I don’t mean to say he could play quarterback in the NFL today—he probably couldn’t because he didn’t throw the ball that well.  But in that period he was a true leader.  He had what a lot of others didn’t have—he could fake and bootleg and punt, and he was a great team leader.  I’m disappointed he’s not in the Hall of Fame.
    Y. A. Tittle



Frank Albert autographed this 1941 Tom Paprocki cartoon.  Albert and John Kimbrough signed this 1940 U.P. All-American news report. Of Albert, the sports writer said, "Left-handed passer, left-footed kicker and the key man in Stanford's razzle-dazzle.  He handled the ball on every play in the fashion of the old-style quarterbacks unless a teammate was punting. He seldom carried the ball except on a quarterback sneak, but his passing was chiefly responsible for Stanford's victories over Washington State, Southern California, Washington, Oregon State and U.C.L.A.  He had uncanny ability to lift his team with inspiring leadership and played best when the going was toughest."

See a video clip of Frankie Albert (#13) of Stanford connect on a couple of nices passes in this November 27, 1939, loss to rival Cal.

Clarence "Butch" Avinger  (1928-2008)

Quarterback—(Alabama) Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL) 1952, New York Giants 1953

Butch Avinger is buried in Southern Heritage Cemetery, Pelham, Alabama

Lou "Fats" Barle  (1916-1996)

Quarterback—(Duluth State Teachers) Detroit Lions 1938, Cleveland Rams 1939, Cincinnati Bengals (AFL) 1939  [also played in the NBL, 1939-42]

I was only a sub.
    Lou Barle


Lou Barle is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Coleraine, Minnesota.

Angelo "The Arm" Bertelli  (1921-1999)

Quarterback—(Notre Dame) Los Angeles Dons 1946, Chicago Rockets 1947-48  [All-American 1943, Walter Camp Award 1943, Heisman Trophy 1943, College Football Hall of Fame 1972, #1 NFL Draft Choice 1944]

I was a fourth-string tailback on the freshman [Notre Dame] team and a terrible runner and there were three varsity tailbacks coming back the next year. Then Leahy became our coach. He remembered what he had had at Boston College, a passing quarterback in Charlie O'Rourke, and I went from seventh string to first string overnight.
    Angelo Bertelli



Angelo Bertelli autographed this 1946 Tom Paprocki cartoon. It is one of two different Bertelli-signed Pap cartoons in my collection; the other is from 1941.  I also have signed cartoons drawn by Sam Davis (1943) and Alan Maver (1941 and 1942).

He is buried in Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

John Biancone  (1911-1996)

Quarterback—(Oregon State) Brooklyn Dodgers 1936, Paterson Panthers (American Association) 1936,1938

Broke my leg before season started in 1936,  was released during season and finished with Paterson, N.J.
    John Biancone


John Biancone is buried in Willamette National Cemetery, Happy Valley, Oregon.

John Borton (1932-2002)

Quarterback—(Ohio State) Cleveland Browns 1957

Pat Brady  (1926-2009)

Quarterback/Kicker—(Bradley/Nevada) Hamilton Tiger Cats (CFL) 1952, Pittsburgh Steelers 1952-54   [#1 Punting 1953-54]

I was born and raised in Seattle, attended the University of Nevada in Reno for three years, transferred to Bradley University of Peoria when the Wolfpack quit the sport, was with the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Canadian pro league for four games but was released so here I am a Steeler.

    Pat Brady


Pat Brady is buried in Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery, Reno, Nevada. 

Ed Brown  (1928-2007)

Quarterback—(San Francisco) Chicago Bears 1954-61, Pittsburgh Steelers 1962-65, Baltimore Colts 1965   [#1 Passing 1956]

There was a key game against the Giants [in 1963] that just killed us.  Ed Brown couldn't throw a strike.  He couldn't do anything.  He had great protection, everything was going right but he . . . he couldn't hit the side of a barn with the ball.  I'm still furious with him.
    Ernie Stautner


See video clip of Ed Brown making some nice passes in an October 30, 1955, Bears victory over the Los Angeles Rams, 31-20.

Phil "Tibby" Bunnell (1903-1991)

(Yale) 1924-26 [captain of football and swimming team]

This 1926 Jack Sords cartoon is one of the earliest signed cartoons in my collection.

Adrian "Abe" Burk  (1927-2003)

Quarterback—(Baylor) Baltimore Colts 1950, Philadelphia Eagles 1951-56 [#1 Passing NCAA 1949]

Frank Carideo  (1908-1992)

Quarterback—(Notre Dame) Coach—Missouri 1932-34   [All-American 1929-30, College Football Hall of Fame 1954]

Every time before they gave me the ball, Frank would hiss into my ear, “Joe, you're going to get the ball on the next play and if you don't make a gain, so help me you big lummox, big and tough as you are, I'm going to cut your Italian heart out!"  Well, I had to make a gain—couldn't take any chance with little Frankie Carideo—he's a pretty hotheaded guy—there's no telling what a crazy little Italian would do when he's mad—I know, I'm Italian too!
    Jumping Joe Savoldi


Ray Carnelly  (1916-2002)

Quarterback—(Carnegie Tech) Brooklyn Dodgers 1939


Ernie Case  (1919-1995)

Quarterback/Halfback—(UCLA) Baltimore Colts 1947



Ernie Case autographed this 1946 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

Dee Chipman (1920-2007)

Quarterback—(Brigham Young) 1939-41; Salt Lake Seagulls (PCFL) 1946-47 [16th round pick Washington Redskins 1942]

I quarterbacked for Eddie Kimball at Brigham Young, got a Washington Redskin contract in 1942 but signed instead with Uncle Sam . . . .affiliation with the Seagulls . . . was an adventure.
    Dee Chipman


Dee Chipman initialed a letter he sent to me in July 1990 regarding his experience playing with the Salt Lake Seagulls.

He is buried in Kaysville City Cemetery, Kaysville, Utah.

John Coatta (1929-2000)

Quarterback—(Wisconsin) Coach—Wisconsin 1967-69 [All-Conference 1950-51]

I was drafted by Green Bay in 1952.
    John Coatta



John Coatta autographed this 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

Charlie Conerly  (1921-1996)

Quarterback—(Mississippi) New York Giants 1948-61 [#1 Passing NCAA 1947, All-American 1947, College Football Hall of Fame 1966, Jim Thorpe Trophy 1959, #1 Passing 1959]

Conerly was never a great pure passer, but he was a precise, control-type quarterback, methodical and with a great feel for the game.  He was a quiet guy, too . . . and he was definitely a leader on that team.  But he led out on the field, not with his mouth, and he was the toughest old bird you'll ever see.  Actually, he was kind of a grump; he could go six weeks at a time without even saying as much as hello, like he was in another world.  People misunderstood that, thinking he wasn't friendly, but Charlie just was not an outgoing person.  Out on the field, though, he was in complete control.
    Sam Huff



Charlie Conerly autographed this 1949 Tom Paprocki cartoon and the colored pencil sketch I drew in 1990.  He is buried in Oakridge Cemetery, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

See video clip of Charlie Conerly (#42) in November 27, 1955 game.  New York Giants tie Cleveland Browns in 35-35 thriller.  Other players prominant in video include Otto Graham, Bob Schnelker, Eddie Price, Pete Brewster, Ray Renfro, and Frank Gifford.  See another video clip of Conerly in a muddy game in which the Giants beat the Cardinals 10-0 on October 17, 1955.

Bill "Bud" Cooper  (1913-1998)

Quarterback/Linebacker/Kicker—(Penn State) Cleveland Rams 1936-37, Cincinnati Bengals (AFL) 1937


Al "Dictator" Couppee  (1920-1998)

Quarterback/Linebacker—(Iowa) Iowa Pre-flight Seahawks 1942, Georgia Pre-flight 1944, Bainbridge Naval Training Center Commodores 1945; Washington Redskins 1945-47

He was tough, and cocky.  He kind of had a chip on his shoulder if someone didn't agree with his line of thought.
    Erwin Prasse


Eagle Day (1932-2008)

Quarterback/Punter—(Mississippi) Winnepeg (CFL) 1956-58, Washington Redskins 1959-60, Calgary Stampeders (CFL) 1961-67, Toronto (CFL) 1968  [CFL All League 1961-62]

Al Dorow  (1929-2009)

Quarterback—(Michigan State) Washington Redskins 1954-56, Philadelphia Eagles 1957, New York Titans 1960-61, Buffalo Bills 1962

He was a good passer, runner, and all-around player.
    Biggie Munn


Jess Elwood “Woody” Dow  (1914-2003)

Quarterback—(West Texas State) Philadelphia Eagles 1938-40, St. Mary's Pre-flight Air Devils 1942; Coach—Southern Connecticut State University 1948-75

I played as Lwood Dow at Littlefield, Texas Hi School, 1930-33 . . . in the Navy it was first name and middle initial [Jess L.] . . . .Southern Conn. dedicated their new synthetic playing field and stadium in my honor in 1988 as Jess Dow Field.
    Jess L. Dow

Murray Evans  (1919-2004)

Quarterback/Linebacker—(Hardin-Simmons) Bainbridge Naval Training Center Commodores 1945; Detroit Lions 1942-43

We had some good football players, but we just didn't have enough of them. We weren't a very good passing team. Well, we couldn't pass, really. By the end of the season we just didn't want to get better, we wanted a win. It got to the point where sometimes people just didn't play as hard as they could. I'm as guilty as anyone.

     Murray Evans, on the Lions' 1942 0-11 season 


Murray Evans is buried in Elmwood Memorial Park, Abilene, Texas

Ray Evans  (1922-1999)

Quarterback—(Kansas) Second Air Force Superbombers 1944; Pittsburgh Steelers 1948 [#1 Passing NCAA 1942,  All-American 1947, College Football Hall of Fame 1964; Basketball—All-American 1942-43]

He is the greatest back I've ever seen, including college and pro.
    George Sauer

Tom Farris  (1920- 2002)

Quarterback—(Wisconsin) Manhattan Beach Coast Guard Depth Bombers 1942; Chicago Bears 1946-47, Chicago Rockets 1948


Frank Filchock  (1916-1994)

Quarterback—(Indiana) Georgia Pre-Flight Skycrackers 1942, Pittsburgh Pirates 1938, Washington Redskins 1938-41,1944-45, New York Giants 1946, Montreal Alouettes (CFL) 1947-50, Baltimore Colts 1950; Coach—Denver Broncos 1960-61   [#1 Passing 1944]

Frank Filchock played for the Giants in 1946.  The Giants got him in a trade for Howie Livingston, who was a defensive halfback.  Frank led the Giants to the championship game against the Bears.  Final score: Chicago 24, New York 14.  After the game the commissioner suspended him for five years for being involved in a gambling scheme to shave points in the point spread.  They could not prove he actually did it, but he knew it was going on and did not report it.  The others were suspended for life.  I lost my respect for him.
    George H. Franck



Frank Filchock autographed this 1944 Tom Paprocki cartoon and colored pencil sketch I drew in 1990.

He is buried in Willamette National Cemetery, Happy Valley, Oregon.

Barney Finn  (1907-1993)

Quarterback—(Holy Cross) Newark Tornadoes 1930, Staten Island Stapletons 1930,1932, Chicago Cardinals 1932


Bob “Nipper” Gambold (1929-2008)

Quarterback—(Washington State) Philadelphia Eagles 1953

Bob Gambold could have made it with the Cards [in 1950] if he hadn’t gotten homesick.
    Don Paul


Bob Gambold was cremated.

Bill Garnaas (1921-2002)

Quarterback—(Minnesota) Pittsburgh Steelers 1946-47

Freshmen were not eligible and no one knew much about me in 1940. We were in Seattle to play Washington to open the season in 1941. On Friday, Bernie [Bierman] would gather the team and call out the names of the starters for the next day's game. When he said Garnaas would start at quarterback, all the newspaper reporters were so surprised that they ran to the phone, to call in a bulletin.
    Bill Garnaas


Joe Gasparella  (1927-2000)

Quarterback/Defensive Safety—(Notre Dame) Pittsburgh Steelers 1948-50, Chicago Cardinals 1951   [All-Service Team 1946-47]

I remember him as a very even-tempered type guy. He was not a very excitable person at all, but a great teacher on the field, very well loved and respected by a lot of players.

    Rich Lackner


Joe Gasparella autographed this 1944 Al Pierotti cartoon.

He is buried in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, South Hills, Pennsylvania.

Parker "Bullett" Hall  (1916-2005)

Quarterback/Running Back—(Mississippi) East Chicago Indians (AFL) 1940, Kenosha Cardinals (AFL) 1941, Cleveland Rams 1939-42, Del Monte Pre-Flight Navyators 1943, St. Mary's Pre-Flight Air Devils 1944, San Francisco 49ers 1946 [#1 All-Purpose Running NCAA 1938, #1 Scoring NCAA 1938, All-American 1938, College Football Hall of Fame 1991, #1 Passing 1939]

He is extremely fast.  Often when he's trapped or can't spot a receiver, he'll put the ball under his arm and run it wide for a big gain.  No other great passer has been as successful at this . . . .Passers just don't seem to be able to run.  Hall is an exception.
    Dutch Clark






Parker Hall autographed this 1939 Jack Sords cartoon.  He also autographed this 1939 Art Krenz cartoon also signed by Andy Farkas.  In November 2010, one of his granddaughters found my website and expressed interest, so I scanned all my Parker Hall autographs on the site for her to see.  The two news clippings are the report of his selection as a 1938 All American.  They are also signed by several of the other '38 All Americans.  He was a generous soul, responding to my requests three different times (see the cut return addresses).

Les Hart  (1908-1993)

Quarterback—(Colgate) Staten Island Stapletons 1931

In Hart's estimation, Bronko Nagurski was one of the greatest football players.

Don Heinrich  (1932-1992)

Quarterback—(Washington) New York Giants 1954-59, Dallas Cowboys 1960, Oakland Raiders 1962 [#1 Passing NCAA 1950,1952, All-American 1950-51, College Football Hall of Fame 1987]

Heinrich wasn't the greatest passer in the world, but he had a great football mind, almost an instinct for the game, that let him find out everything a defense was doing.  And he wouldn't hurt you being in there a quarter.
    Kyle Rote

Vernon Huffman  (1915-1995)

Quarterback—(Indiana) Detroit Lions 1937-38


Huffman was an All-American basketball player for Indiana in 1936.

Gary Kerkorian  (1930-2000)

Quarterback—(Stanford) Pittsburgh Steelers 1952, Baltimore Colts 1954-56

I guess Kerkorian was a pretty good guy, but I wasn’t sorry to see him go.  In nineteen fifty-four, when Gary did some of the kicking, too, he missed five field goals inside the twenty-yard line, and we lost to the Forty-niners, ten-seven.  I never forgave the son-of-a-bitch for that.
    Art Donovan



Gary Kerkorian autographed this 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon.  On the 3x5 card he named Ed Sprinkle, Hog Hanner, Big Daddy Lipscomb, Don Paul, and Marchetti as the roughest, hardest-hitting players in the game.

Don "Duke" Klosterman  (1930-2000)

Quarterback—(Loyola Marymount) Los Angeles Rams 1952, Calgary Stampeders (CFL) 1955-56  [#1 Passing NCAA 1951]

I played for the Calgary Stampeders for two seasons. Canadian football is played on a 110-yard field, and I completed a 100 yard touchdown pass against Winnipeg.

       Don Klosterman

In the 1960's Klosterman helped build the American Football League into a rival of the National Football League during the bidding wars that led to their merger. In the 1970's he was a successful general manager for the Baltimore Colts and the Los Angeles Rams of the N.F.L. And in the 1980's he stunned the football world by signing the all-American quarterback Steve Young to a huge contract in the United States Football League.

John Ksionzyk  (1919-2006)

Quarterback—(St. Bonaventure) Camp Lee Travelers 1945; Scranton Miners (AFL) 1946, Los Angeles Rams 1947

 . . . played QB for the Scranton Miners, No. 1 passing QB of the League.  Sold to L.A. Rams after the season . . . . I joined the Rams in the summer of 1947 as a back-up QB to Bob Waterfield. . . . CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS LETTER SENT TO ME BY JOHN KSIONZYK IN 1994

John Ksionzyk is buried in St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany, New York.

Clyde LeForce  (1923-2006)

Quarterback—(Tulsa) Detroit Lions 1947-49

He had an unusual technique in passing when he dropped back. When he dropped back, he had a certain way of faking the ball one way and throwing the other.
    Ed Shedlosky

Ray "Slingin' Syrian" Mallouf  (1918-2008)

Quarterback—(Southern Methodist) St. Mary’s Pre-flight Air Devils 1945, Chicago Cardinals 1941,1946-48, New York Giants 1949

There was a captain out in California who wanted to have a football team, and they shipped me and some other players out to Oakland so they could have a team at a station out there.  About a dozen players who had pro experience had to play out there before being discharged.  After the season, they let us all go home.  I had several letters from teams in the AAFC, but I didn’t get any offers because I had already signed with the Cardinals.  I told them I wasn’t interested.  Since I knew most of the boys on the Cardinals, I wanted to go back with them.  The Cardinals offered me about $10,000.  So my salary was almost tripled after the war.
    Ray Mallouf

Ray Mallouf is buried in Calvary Hill Cemetery, Dallas, Texas.

Lamar McHan  (1932-1998)

Quarterback—(Arkansas) St. Louis Cardinals 1954-58, Green Bay Packers 1959-60, Baltimore Colts 1961-62, San Francisco 49ers 1963

Playing quarterback in the NFL required you to think. Playing tailback in college, all you had to do was fake to one side, run to the other, and prepare for shock. I was better at absorbing shock than thinking.

     Lamar McHan


Lamar McHan is buried in Garden of Memories, Metairie, Louisiana.

See video clip of Lamar McHan (#8) making a quick handoff in a very wet Cards 10-0 loss to the Giants on October 17, 1955.  The play comes in the first third of the clip and happens very quickly, so watch carefully.

Avery "Lefty" Monfort  (1918-2005)

Quarterback/Halfback—(San Bernardino Valley Union JC/New Mexico) Corpus Christi Naval Air Station Comets 1942, Bogue Field 1944; Chicago Cardinals 1941


Cliff “Monty” Montgomery  (1910-2005)

Quarterback—(Columbia) Brooklyn Dodgers 1934; Mt. Vernon Cardinals (AFL) 1936 [College Football Hall of Fame 1963]


He is buried in Cemetery of the Holy Rood, Westbury, New York.

Watch a video clip of Cliff Montgomery in a 1933 Columbia vs. Navy football game.  

Emery Nix  (1919-2005)

Quarterback—(Texas Christian) New York Giants 1943, 1946

His nickname was Ice Water.  He was a cool guy under pressure.
     Bruce Alford Sr.



Emery Nix autographed this 1942 Peter Cantu cartoon.  I also have a Nix-signed 1943 cartoon that looks like it was drawn by Alan Maver, but is unattibuted.

He is buried in Blanco Cemetery, Blanco, Texas.

Don Panciera (1927-2012)

Quarterback/Defensive Back—(San Francisco) New York Yankees 1949, Detroit Lions 1950, Chicago Cardinals 1952


He was buried in R

Jackie "Ol' Spaghetti Legs" Parker  (1932-2006)

Quarterback—(Jones JC/Mississippi State) Edmonton Eskimos (CFL) 1954-62, Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 1963-65, British Columbia Lions (CFL) 1966-68; Coach — British Columbia Lions (CFL) 1969-71, Edmonton Eskimos (CFL) 1983-87  [#1 Scoring NCAA 1952, All-American 1953, College Football Hall of Fame 1976, Canadian Football League Player of the Year 1957-58,1960, Canadian Football League Hall of Fame 1973, Canada Sports Hall of Fame 1987]

The thing about Jackie is he'd smoke a pack of cigarettes and then go out and run away from everybody else when we did wind sprints.  Then, he'd get on me for eating ice cream. He'd say, “That stuff's bad for you.”
    Bobby Collins


Watch a video clip of Jackie Parker picking up a fumbled football and running for a touchdown that wins the 1954 Grey Cup for the Edmonton Eskimos. Click on the image to view the footage on the site.  

John "Honey" Patrick  (1918-2000)

Quarterback—(Penn State) Fort Benning 1942, 1942 Army All Stars; Pittsburgh Steelers 1941,1945-46, Johnstown Clippers (Pennsylvania League) 1947


George Pfann  (1902-1996)

Quarterback—(Cornell) Coach—Swarthmore 1931-35 [All-American 1923, College Football Hall of Fame 1957]

He was a brilliant, hard-fighting back who went all-out on every play.
    Grantland Rice



George R. Pfann initialed this photocopied news report announcing Walter Camp's 1923 All-America picks. It is one of the oldest signed news articles in my collection.  Pfann also sent me an initialed photocopied photo of him.  Does anyone possess an actual fully-signed autograph?

Charles "Cotton" Price  (1918-2008)

Quarterback—(Texas A&M) Detroit Lions 1940-41,1945, Miami Seahawks 1946


Cotton Price is buried in Sunset Memorial Gardens, Odessa, Texas

George “The Kid” Ratterman  (1926-2007)

Quarterback—(Notre Dame) Buffalo Bills 1947-49, New York Yanks 1950-51, Cleveland Browns 1952-56; Montreal Alouettes (CFL) 1951  [#3 All-Time AAFC Passing]

Ratterman had come to Cleveland in 1952 as a backup quarterback to Otto Graham.  With Graham retired, at least temporarily, it was Ratterman's turn to shine.  He had the skills.  And he had the highest IQ in the league.  But the guy was a wild man.  One example:  Despite the Amish influences, there was a nudist colony hiding somewhere in the woods near Hiram [Ohio].  As far as I could find out, the nudist colony had issued just one guest card.  Turned out that Ratterman had it . . . .The mad genius, we called him.  He'd been to law school, was vice president of a consulting firm in Cincinnati and was on the board of directors of a packaging company in Medina, Ohio.  He took tap dancing lessons on Friday nights, was a part-time practicing nudist, and still managed to be the best bullpen quarterback in the NFL . . . .he was a winner, a contributor and, not unlike the great Paul Brown, an innovator—years ahead of his time.
    Don Paul

George Ratterman is buried in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Littleton, Colorado

See video clip of George Ratterman in the 1955 College All-Star Game. The Cleveland Browns lost to the All-Stars by a score of 30-27.

John Rauch  (1927-2008)

Quarterback—(Georgia) New York Bulldogs 1949, New York Yanks 1950-51, Philadelphia Eagles 1951; Coach—Oakland Raiders 1966-68, Buffalo Bills 1969-70; Toronto Argonauts 1973-74  [AFL Coach of the Year 1969, College Football Hall of Fame 2004]

John was a really fine coach, maybe the best that Al [Davis] ever hired, but he was not a head coach, 'cause he got paranoid.  It was hard for him to make decisions in the first place, so he should have welcomed Al's advice.
    Ollie Spencer



John Rauch autographed this 1948 Alan Maver cartoon.

See video clip of John Rauch taking the ball for a touchdown in the 1947 Sugar Bowl in which Georgia beat North Carolina 20-10.

Steve Romanik  (1924-2009)

Quarterback—(Villanova) Chicago Bears 1950-53, Chicago Cardinals 1953-54

"They [Chicago Bears] had Sid Luckman, Johnny Lujack, and George Blanda. I wondered what they wanted me around for."

      Steve Romanik 


Jim Root  (1931-2003)

Quarterback—(Miami, Ohio) Chicago Cardinals 1953,1956

Jim Root wrote, "The Philadelphia Eagles team was among the most physical in those days.  Bucko Kilroy, Tom Scott & [Norm] Wil[l]ey all left imprints on my chest from their games." 

Tobin Rote  (1928-2000)

Quarterback—(Rice) Green Bay Packers 1950-56, Detroit Lions 1957-59, Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 1960-62, San Diego Chargers 1963-64, Denver Broncos 1966 [#1 Rushing Average 1951]

He was one of the toughest guys who ever played, an unbelievable competitor.  He helped me as much as anyone ever did.  We'd talk half the night on the road.  I developed a great respect for what Tobin went through.  The Packers were not strong or well staffed, there wasn't anywhere near the team balance I would enjoy under Lombardi.  In one game Rote was knocked goofy and they had to help him to the sidelines.  Frankly, I was a little thrilled.  I got into the huddle and I thought, "Well, it looks like I'm going to get to play for a while."  And on the next play Tobin was right back in there.  I took one snap.
    Bart Starr


Watch a video clip naming Tobin Rote as the No. 4 QB in Packer history; advance to about two minutes into film to see footage of him.

Tobin Rote's remains were cremated by Sunset Valley Crematory, Bay City, Michigan.

Nick Sacrinty  (1924-2008)

Quarterback—(Wake Forest) Chicago Bears 1947


Nick Sacrinty named Bulldog Turner the hardest hitter he encountered.

He is buried in Danview Cemetery, Eden, North Carolina. 

Herman "Biff" Schneidman  (1912-2008)

Quarterback—(Iowa) Green Bay Packers 1935-40, Chicago Cardinals 1940; Great Lakes Naval Training Station Bluejackets 1942

He [Curly Lambeau] mailed me a contract in 1935 for $80 a game, which was about the bare minimum. I wasn't a star like [Johnny] Blood or Hutson. When I played for the Chicago Cardinals, I got $135 a game, win or lose, and whether I played or not.

    Herm Schneidman


Herman Schneidman is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Quincy, Illinois. 

Jake Schuehle  (1917-2001)

Quarterback—(Rice) Philadelphia Eagles 1939; Coach—Blackland Army Air Base 1943

Jake Schuehle is buried in St. Johns Cemetery, Hondo, Texas. 

Nick Sebek  (1927-2007)

Quarterback—(Indiana) Washington Redskins 1950

At Washington I sat behind Sammy Baugh and Harry Gilmer, so I didn't see much playing time.
    Nick Sebek


I also have a 1-page undated handwritten letter sent to me by Nick Sebek. 

Jack "Soapy" Shapiro  (1907-2001)

Blocking Back—(New York) Staten Island Stapletons 1929

I probably was the smallest person to ever play in the NFL as my discharge papers have me listed at 5 ft. ½ inch tall.  I always like to say I was 5 ft. 1 inch.  Although I only played in 2 games and in another game which was an exhibition game where I played for 58 minutes because our quarterback was injured and I scored a touchdown on a 35 yd. run.

    Jack E. Shapiro


I wrote an article in the Coffin Corner (vol. 21, no. 94, 1999) about Jack Shapiro, the smallest player to ever play in the NFL.  I have five handwritten letters sent to me by Jack and a transcript of a telephone interview.

George Shaw  (1933-1998)

Quarterback—(Oregon) Baltimore Colts 1955-58, New York Giants 1959-60, Minnesota Vikings 1961, Denver Broncos 1962 [#1 Total Offense NCAA 1954, All American 1954, No. 1 Draft Choice 1955]

George wasn't a big guy, but he was talented, a lot like Francis Tarkenton.  We were playing the Bears out in Chicago, and Shaw took a mighty rap as he dropped back to pass.  Ed Sprinkle, a grizzly old defensive end . . . broke through and hit Shaw low.  Sprinkle kind of had him around the knees and was holding him up.  No in-the-grasp rules in those days, although old George sure could have used a rule like that right about then.  Because as Sprinkle was keeping him upright, linebacker George Connor got about a fifteen-yard head of steam up and bulled through and hit George high, right in the mouth.  I mean put a shoulder right in his face and leveled him.  Connor broke Shaw's face mask, broke his nose, and knocked his teeth out.  George was a mess.  They dragged him off the field, and his nose was spurting blood, and he didn't know where he was when he got to the bench.  I said to Gino Marchetti, who was standing next to me, "Well, there goes one pussy.  We won't be seeing him anymore today."  When George finally regained his senses, he said to Szymanski, "Hey Syzzie, how do my teeth look?"  And Syzzie said, "I don't know, George, they aren't there."  And you know what?  George Shaw went back into that game.  There was at least one fat defensive tackle on the Baltimore sidelines that gained a lot of respect for him that day.  In fact, the Bears nailed Shaw the following year also, ripping up his knee.
    Art Donovan



On my request letter dated July 28, 1989, George Shaw wrote who he considered were the hardest-hitting, roughest, most bruising players in his pro football experience.  He named his teammates Gino Marchetti and Don Joyce.  He is buried at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Portland, Oregon. 

Roland Sleater (1912-2003)

Quarterback—(Utah) 1931-33; St. Louis-Kansas City Blues (American League) 1934

I was on the St. Louis-Kansas City Blues team in 1934.  I suffered a dislocated shoulder in the 3rd or 4th game, but remained with them for the full season on injured reserve.
    Roly Sleater


This is the signature on an interesting 1-page typescript letter sent to me by Roly Sleater dated November 6, 1990,  He recalls some memories playing with the Blues in 1934 and players on the team like Hugh Rhea, Win Croft, and Walt McDonald. 

Richard "Red" Smith  (1904-1978)

Blocking Back/Guard/Tailback/Fullback—(Lawrence/Notre Dame) Green Bay Packers 1927, 1929, New York Giants 1928,1931, New York Yankees 1928, Newark Tornadoes 1930 [New York Giants baseball: 1927, 1 game, 0 at bats]


This autograph of Red Smith is on a November 19, 1944, game program of the Giants vs. Packers given to me by Giants' tackle Rusty Kane.  The cover has almost twenty autographs of Giants players.

Riley "General" Smith  (1911-1999)

Quarterback—(Alabama) Boston Redskins 1936, Washington Redskins 1937-38; Jacksonville Naval Air Station Fliers 1942 [All-American 1935, College Football Hall of Fame 1985]

We blew an important first down when I didn't get a good block on my man, and when I went back into the next huddle, Riley Smith said, “Get out of here, Barber, and tell [Coach Ray] Flaherty to send me another
    Jim Barber


Riley Smith named Erny Pinckert as the roughest player he faced.

He is buried in Pine Crest Cemetery, Mobile, Alabama

Ken Stofer  (1919-2006)

Quarterback/Defensive Back—(Cornell) Buffalo Bisons 1946

In 1947 I joined the Elmira Gliders [in the upstate New York semipro league; other teams were Rochester, Syracuse, and Corning All Stars] as one of two guys getting paid.  No practice, just show up on Saturday (nite usually) and play . . . .Getting the money after was sickening.  Bums fighting over the cash box—with guns!  I would get my money and clear out.
    Ken Stofer


I also have a 4-page typescript letter sent to me by Ken Stofer in about August 1992. 

Joe Sulaitis  (1921-1980)

Blocking Back/Defensive End/Linebacker/Guard— New York Giants 1943-45, 1947-53, Boston Yanks 1946; Jersey City Giants (AFL) 1946


This autograph of Joe Sulaitis is on a November 19, 1944, game program of the Giants vs. Packers given to me by Giants' tackle Rusty Kane.  The cover has almost twenty autographs of Giants players.

Jim Tarrant  (1921-2010)

Quarterback—(Howard/Tennessee) Fort Benning Infantry Doughboys 1945; Miami Seahawks 1946

He is buried in Jefferson Memorial Gardens, Birmingham, Alabama.

George "Duke" Terlep  (1923-2010)

Quarterback/Defensive Back—(Notre Dame) Great Lakes Naval Training Station Bluejackets 1945; Buffalo Bisons 1946, Buffalo Bills 1947-48, Cleveland Browns 1948; Coach —Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL) 1958-59

I played my freshman and part of my sophomore year and was called into the service right in the middle of the football season.  I remember we were playing a Navy team in Philadelphia and I had to go right from Philadelphia to report.  In the Navy at that time, I was in the V12 program.  As life went on, I was in the Navy and I was later transferred to Great Lakes Naval Training Station.  This was in 1945.  I was with the company at that time and we were going to be shipping out for San Diego.  The word was we were going to Japan.  The afternoon when we were called in the ranks, the company commander told me to report to a gentleman by the name of Lt. JG Paul Brown on the double.  I mean on the double!  which I did.  I got there and the officer said to me, “Are you the Terlep that played quarterback at Notre Dame?”  I said, “Yes, sir.”  He said, “Well, you’re not going with your unit.  Report for football practice tomorrow at 13:00.”  I was shocked.  I didn’t hardly know what to say.  I asked the question again.  He repeated it.  I turned an about face and I got on a telephone to call my fiancé.  I was engaged to her at that time.  I had just called her and said goodbye because we were leaving the next morning.  And I stayed and played for him.  That was Paul Brown who was the head coach at Ohio State and the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.  That’s who he was.  I didn’t know it at the time.  We had a great football team. . . .  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THIS INTERVIEW I DID WITH GEORGE TERLEP IN 2007

He is buried in Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida.

Al "Tubby" Thacker  (1919-2001)

Blocking Back/Lineback—(Morris-Harvey) Philadelphia Eagles 1942


Travis "Travelin' Trav" Tidwell  (1925-2004)

Quarterback—(Auburn) New York Giants 1950-51, Hamilton Tigercats (CFL) 1954 [#1 Passing NCAA 1946]



Travis Tidwell autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama. 

Leroy Zimmerman  (1918-1997)

Quarterback—(San Jose State) Washington Redskins 1940-42, San Diego Bombers (PCFL) 1943, Phil-Pitt Steagles 1943, Philadelphia Eagles 1944-46, Detroit Lions 1947, Boston Yanks 1948  [All Pro 1944, #1 Interceptions 1945]




Roy Zimmerman autographed this 8x10 photo, but it is very difficult to see; it is in the grass to the left of his knee and shin.  I also have a 1-page handwritten note dated September 2, 1990, that he sent me.  Zimmerman, Ward Cuff, and Jim Benton autographed this copy of a news article announcing their selection as 1944 All-Pros.

Recent Blog Entries

by morevintagefootballautographs | 5 comments
by morevintagefootballautographs | 8 comments

Listen to the Voices of:

  • Sam Baugh (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Max McGee (Receivers)

See a Video Clip of:

  • Frankie Albert  (Quarterbacks)
  • Sam Baugh  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Jay Berwanger  (Running Backs)
  • Vic Bottari  (Running Backs)
  • Ed Brown  (Quarterbacks)
  • John "Red" Cochran  (Running Backs)
  • Charlie Conerly  (Quarterbacks)
  • Bill Corbus  (Guards)
  • Ward Cuff  (Running Backs)
  • Glenn Davis  (Running Backs)
  • Andy Farkas  (Running Backs)
  • Clint Frank  (Running Backs)
  • Bill Gay  (Running Backs)
  • Sid Gillman  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Bill Hartman  (Running Backs)
  • Arnie Herber  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Gene Hickerson (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Billy Hillenbrand  (Running Backs)
  • Lamar Hunt  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Don Hutson  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Charlie Justice  (Running Backs)
  • Ken Keller  (Running Backs)
  • Ken Keuper  (Running Backs)
  • John Kimbrough  (Fullbacks)
  • Al Krueger  (Receivers)
  • Tom Landry  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Dick Lane  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Dante Lavelli  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Tuffy Leemans  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Max McGee  (Receivers)
  • Lamar McHan  (Quarterbacks)
  • Wellington Mara  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Dale Meinert  (Guards)
  • Tony "Skip" Minisi  (Running Backs)
  • Cliff Montgomery  (Quarterbacks)
  • Ray Nitschke  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Jackie Parker (Quarterbacks)
  • Don Paul  (Defensive Backs/Ends)
  • Walter Payton  (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Bosh Pritchard  (Running Backs)
  • George Ratterman  (Quarterbacks)
  • John Rauch  (Quarterbacks)
  • Ray Renfro  (Receivers)
  • Tobin Rote  (Quarterbacks)
  • Pete Rozelle  (Pro Hall of Fame)