End—(Arkansas) Second Air Force Superbombers 1945; New York Giants 1942-44
Just playing in a league with pro competition was an honor to me.
O'Neal Adams autographed the cover of a 19 November 1944 New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers game program. The program was autographed by more than a dozen Giants players and was given to me in 1995 by Rusty Kane, a tackle on the Giants.
End/Tackle/Guard—(Charleston) New York Giants 1943-45
Sparky Adams autographed the cover of a 19 November 1944 New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers game program. The program was autographed by more than a dozen Giants players and was given to me in 1995 by Rusty Kane, a tackle on the Giants.
Offensive End/Defensive End—(UCLA) Camp Davis Blue Brigade 1943; Los Angeles Dons 1947-49 [All-American 1946]
Its most touted player, serious, studious Burr Baldwin, perhaps the best end in the country, is so good that he has an ex-All-American (Phil Tinsley, formerly of Georgia Tech) as an understudy.
Time Magazine, 25 Nov. 1946
One of my bad memories of playing against USC involved Bob Robertson. In 1941, I was covering a punt that Bob had received. I had him pinned on the sidelines, no way to miss, he gave me a couple of moves and I got nothing but air. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THIS 1994 LETTER AND ONE OTHER LETTER THAT BURR BALDWIN WROTE TO ME
Burr Baldwin was one of six 1946 A.P. All-Americans who signed this news article. The others included Alex Agase, George Connor, Charley Trippi, Doc Blanchard, and Glenn Davis. Of Baldwin, the sports writer said, "Outstanding at end was Baldwin, described by coach Bert La Brucherie of U.C.L.A. as 'the best end I have ever seen.'" He is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery, Bakersfield, California.
End—(Drake) Chicago Cardinals 1951-56
He was one of those guys you thought would never run out of gas. He could play both ways — in that day you had to. But he was also a very outgoing guy who was a friend of everybody on the field. He came to practice in a suit and hat and would go to work after practice. In those days, there was no such thing as a cellular phone, and we only had one phone in the clubhouse. So he had to wait in line to make all his business calls. But he certainly appeared to have prepared himself well for a life outside of football.
End—(Mississippi State/Duke) Miami Seahawks 1946, Buffalo Bills 1947, Baltimore Colts 1947
My only service football was with Duke Univ. in 1943 while serving in the Marine V-12 program.
Lamar Blount is buried in Decatur Cemetery, Decatur, Mississippi.
End—(West Texas State) Detroit Lions 1949-50,1952-54 [All-Pro 1952]
I got into football because I needed a job . . . .I was just about the first real wide receiver . . . .The game was just opening up, but there still wasn't all that much to it. I'd run the same pattern just about every time. I wasn't that skilled a player, but I was fast.
On the other side of this 3x5 card, Box autographed a note dated 2 Nov. 1989 stating that "Bucko Kilroy was the toughest player around during my playing days." Cloyce Box is buried in Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas, Texas.
End—(Loyola) Los Angeles Rams 1950-51,1953-57 [All-Pro 1954]
He was a lightning-fast man who could score at any time from anywhere.
Tight End—(Oklahoma) Chicago Cardinals 1955-58, Hamilton TigerCats (CFL) 1959, Dallas Texans 1960-61, Oakland Raiders 1962 [All-American 1954]
Max Boydston is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, Muskogee, Oklahoma.
End—(Arkansas) Detroit Lions 1941 [first soldier in U.S. history to be awarded the nation's three highest military honors in a single war—Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, and Silver Star]
We were in a farmhouse, and it was hit directly by artillery fire. It killed a couple of guys, injured seven or eight others and blew my arm off. [I decided to go to law school] because I didn’t think the Lions needed any one-armed ends.
Maurice Britt is buried in Little Rock National Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas.
End—(Hardin-Simmons) Randolph Field Ramblers 1944, Army Air Force Training Command Skymasters 1945; New York Yankees 1946-47, Brooklyn Dodgers 1948 [Little All-American 1941]
End—(Arkansas) Cleveland Browns 1956-59, Pittsburgh Steelers 1960-63, Washington Redskins 1964-66, Minnesota Vikings 1966, Miami Dolphins 1967
End—(Georgia) Cleveland Browns 1954, Washington Redskins 1954-59, Houston Oilers 1960 [#1 Receiving NCAA 1953, All-American 1952]
He was a good player.
End/Cornerback—(Clemson/Washington & Lee) Jacksonville Naval Air Station Fliers 1942; Boston Yanks 1947-48, New York Bulldogs 1949; Coach—Washington & Lee 1955-57
George [McAfee] and I connected on a pass play against Duke covering 97 yards that was the longest touchdown pass of '42, college or service teams.
End—(Tennessee) Washington Redskins 1941-42,1946, Chicago Bears 1947-48; Del Monte Pre-flight Navyators 1943
Cifers is . . . big and aggressive.
Wide Receiver/Tight End—(Southern California) Los Angeles Rams 1956-59, Cleveland Browns 1960-62, Minnesota Vikings 1963
No conformist was he. He ate raw steaks, collected machine guns, and usually had some kind of weird pet in tow, such as a monkey. (I am sure, however, that none of his unusual habits had anything to do with the fact that a thirty-eight-foot flagpole once fell off a building and landed on his head while he was sitting in his convertible sportscar.)
End—(Southern California) New York Yankees 1948, Chicago Hornets 1949 [All-American 1947, College Football Hall of Fame 1989]
I've never been spectacular. Basically, if you give me a job, I'll do it the best I can, give you 110%. If you knock me down, I'll get up. And if you knock me down again, I'll get up again and learn from it. I probably got more recognition in less time than anyone who has ever played the game. That's the story of my life. I've been very fortunate in everything I've done. Like during the war, I had friends who never lasted a day in combat. It depended on if you were in the right place at the right time-or the wrong place at the wrong time. I almost went to Stanford. I would have never made All-American there because they didn't have a very good team that year. I would never have been a great pro player because I wasn't fast enough to be a wide receiver when they started specializing, and I wasn't big enough to play defensive end. But I was good when you had to do both.
Paul Cleary was one of four 1947 A.P. All-Americans who signed this news article. The others were Ray Evans, Johnny Lujack, and Skip Minisi.
End—(Maryland) Baltimore Colts 1954-56
He is buried in Fort Lincoln Cemetery, Brentwood, Maryland.
End—(Tulane) Buffalo Bills 1946-48
Martin Comer is buried in Lake Lawn Park Cemetery in New Orleans.
End—(Georgia) Maxwell Field Marauders 1944; New York Yankees 1946, Brooklyn Dodgers 1947
End—(Dartmouth) Boston Yankees 1944-45
Joe Crowley is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Scituate, Massachusetts.
End—(Southern Methodist) Corpus Christi Naval Air Station Comets 1942, Chicago Cardinals 1940-41,1945-49
[I was] captain of [the] 1947 NFL Championship team.
End—(Southern Methodist) Chicago Bears 1959-60, Houston Oilers 1961-64
[I was the] only player with receptions over 90 yards in both leagues: 91 yards Bears, 1959 NFL and 98 yards Oilers, 1962 AFL.
Willard Dewveall is buried in Klein Memorial Park, Decker Prairie, Texas.
End—(Michigan State) Cincinnati Bengals (AFL) 1939, Detroit Lions 1939-40,1944-45
End/Back—(Miami) Chicago Bears 1952-54,1956-57,1959-62; Coach--Chicago Bears 1968-71
When the 1970 season began, Dooley was still there, paraphrasing Norman Vincent Peale’s perennial bestseller The Power of Positive Thinking so often that we were all sick of hearing it. Dooley was a nice man, but he never understood that cheerleading was not leadership. Why he wasn’t fired after that disastrous 1969 season I will never know.
Jim Dooley is buried in Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.
End—(Iowa State) Detroit Lions 1951-59, Dallas Cowboys 1960-61
It was during defensive drills that I made a couple of big plays against Bob Hoernschemeyer, one of Detroit's veteran running backs. The veterans were smart. They'd wait until they had to run against a rookie instead of another veteran. Well, that's what Hoernschemeyer did and I flattened him. He wasn't expecting that. So the next time it came my turn to be the tackler, he tapped one of the rookie backs on the shoulder and stepped in so he could run against me. The guys were kidding him about I'd done, and everybody on the field figured he was going to show me what pro football was all about. But that time I hit him just right -- knocking him and the quarterback both down.
My son, William, was probably about twelve years old in the early 1990s when he drew this sketch of Jim Doran and sent it to him to be autographed.
End—(Notre Dame) El Toro Marines 1944-45; Chicago Rockets 1946-47, Chicago Cardinals 1948-53, Detroit Lions 1953-54 [All-American 1941-42, Knute Rockne Award 1942, College Football Hall of Fame 2000]
We [El Toro Marines] played both college teams and service teams like the Fleet City Bluejackets and Iowa Preflight on Saturdays. Then on Sunday, Wee Willie Wilkin, the Redskins tackle, Crazy Legs Hirsch, who starred for Los Angeles after the war, a kid named Pat Leahy and I would ride to San Diego, and under assumed names we would play for the Bombers. Now, of course, in the Marine Corps the navy was our boss, and they didn’t want us playing outside ball. They didn’t care if we got killed or got our leg broken playing football in the Marine Corps, but they didn’t want us doing it on Sunday. So we played under assumed names. I was Bruce Thyberg. . . . Dick Hanley, the old Northwestern coach who coached the El Toro Marines, called me in before the end of the war and said, “The war is going to end soon, and I’m the new coach of the Chicago Rockets of the All-America Football Conference.” “Well,” I said, “I belong to the Washington Redskins.” They had drafted me in a bout the third round. Before I was discharged in the spring of 1946, George Preston Marshall visited me at Santa Ana. He asked me when I was getting out, and he offered me $1,800 for the 1946 season. Anyway, Dick Hanley pointed to a big map of the South Pacific behind him. “Now see here,” he said. “Do you know what this island is? Tarawa. Here’s Iwo Jima. See this island? It’s got a number on it—Number Seven. See these islands up here? They don’t have a name or a number, Bob. If you don’t sign this contract with me, your ass is going to be on those islands and they may never find you again.” So I signed with the Chicago Rockets after a little back-and-forth with the Redskins. The Rockets gave me $5,250 for the first year, a three-year no-release contract with automatic raises of $500 each year, and guaranteed me a job on the side in Chicago.
Bob Dove is buried in Dean Hill Cemetery, Canfield, Ohio.
End—(Colgate) Western Army All Stars 1942, Air Transport Center Rockets 1945; Washington Redskins 1947
End—(Notre Dame) Chicago Cardinals 1942-43, Buffalo Bisons 1946, Chicago Rockets 1947-48
End—(Georgia) Brooklyn Dodgers 1948, Chicago Hornets 1949, New York Yanks 1950-51, Dallas Texans 1952, Baltimore Colts 1953-54; British Columbia Lions (CFL) 1955-58 [All Pro 1950, #15 All-Time AAFC Pass Receiving]
That franchise [Brooklyn Dodgers] was a total wreck! . . . . We weren’t getting very big crowds, but they did pay our salaries. By the end of the year, it got to be a joke. All the players could recognize the trouble we were in. We were lucky to get paid. . . . We [Chicago Hornets] played in Soldier Field and it looked like just a few buzzards up in the stands. The Hornets folded after that season. It looked like everything I got a hold of would collapse.
End—(Hamline) Brooklyn Dodgers 1942, Fort Warren Broncos 1945, Boston Yanks 1946
Don Eliason is buried in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
End—(Mississippi State) [All-American 1940]
Buddy Elrod was one of five 1940 A.P. All-Americans who signed this news article. The others include Bob Reinhard, Paul Severin, Nick Drahos, and George Franck. Of Elrod, the sports writer said, "End play this year was not up to the standard of other seasons, but Elrod, a main cog in the tough left side of Mississippi State's powerful line, would have been a standout in any company. He rates as one of the greatest defensive wingmen the south ever has seen and that section has seen some great ones." Buddy Elrod is buried in Leavenworth National Cemetery, Leavenworth, Kansas.
End—(Wisconsin) Chicago Cardinals 1947
I retired due to injury.
Clarence J. Esser
End—(Iowa) Green Bay Packers 1940,1943, Chicago Cardinals 1941-42; El Toro Marines 1944
End—(Wisconsin) Green Bay Packers 1952, Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 1953 [All-American INS 1951]
End—Churchill Pros (Independent) 1941, Wilmington Clippers (AA) 1939-42, Philadelphia Eagles 1941,1944-50 [All-League American Association 1939]
Jack Ferrante is buried in Saints Peter and Saint Paul Cemetery, Springfield, Pennsylvania.
End—(Southern California) Detroit Lions 1940-43, Los Angeles Bulldogs (PCFL) 1943, Hollywood Rangers (AFL) 1944, Hollywood Bears (PCFL) 1945, San Francisco 49ers 1946-47, Los Angeles Dons 1948 [AFL All-League 1944, PCFL All-League 1945]
It was a beautiful setup. Nice park, nice practice field, out in the country. I'm a fisherman, so after practice or early in the morning before practice, Bob Winslow and I would go out there and fish a little bit in the pond. The fishing was great. We'd catch trout and give 'em away.
Bill Fisk, on the
Lion’s training camp at
Cranbrook School in suburban Detroit
End—(Loyola of IL) Chicago Cardinals 1920
Paul Florence is buried in Orange Hill Cemetery, Williston, Florida.
Offensive End—(Purdue) Baltimore Colts 1956, Ottawa Roughriders (CFL) 1953 [All-American 1952]
Bernie Flowers filled out a questionnaire for me in November 1994.
End—(Michigan) Green Bay Packers 1941, 1945, Detroit Lions 1946, Corpus Christi Naval Air Station Comets 1942
He's got the grace and the speed. And the tips of his fingers appear coated with glue.
These newspaper articles from 1945 report on Frutig being picked up and signed by the Lions.
End—(St. Mary's) Cleveland Rams 1938; Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base Skymasters 1944
End—(Tulsa) Green Bay Packers 1945-48, Washington Redskins 1949-50
I considered myself an "above average" pro player.
End—(Boston College) North Carolina Pre-flight Cloudbusters 1942; Coach—Jacksonville Naval Air Station 1944 [All-American 1940, College Football Hall of Fame 1982]
End/Defensive Back/Blocking Back—(Michigan) Detroit Lions 1944-50
I obtained this autograph in a trade in 2010.
End—(Mississippi State) Philadelphia Eagles 1941, Detroit Lions 1942
End/Fullback—(Notre Dame) Detroit Lions 1950-57 [All-American 1947-49, Maxwell Award 1949, Knute Rockne Award 1949, Heisman Trophy 1949, No. 1 Draft Choice 1950, College Football Hall of Fame 1973, All Pro 1951]
There's only one way to tackle quarterbacks, which is to come in high on them so you have the chance either of, one, destroying their passing sight, or two, you might break an arm. . . .I never came off the field. Jim Martin and I were co-captains in '49, and we just stayed on the field until the score allowed us to leave. I remembered Leahy saying, “Leon, don't get hurt because you gotta play anyhow.”
He was a big freshman; he weighed about 260 pounds. We tried to fool him on a couple of plays and he wasn't very foolable. We knew he was going to be a great player. He was second- team to Jack Zilly, our regular right end, and he played an awful lot as a freshman. That didn't happen a lot at Notre Dame.
He was a great act. I remember watching him in high school. He was a great athlete and had a great pro career.
He was sort of a purist, he liked the old rock 'em and sock 'em. And he did rock 'em and sock 'em.
He's a great ballplayer.
Coach Henry Frnka
Leon was probably a little more intelligent than the average football player. He had a degree in engineering and he had an IQ that was a lot higher than the rest of us. Sometimes he'd flaunt it.
Leon Hart autographed this 1949 Tom Paprocki cartoon. I also have a signed 1949 Alan Maver cartoon. It's a wonder Hart even signed the poor pencil sketch I did of him in 1990. He was kind and didn't even make a critical comment. He is buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame, Indiana.
End—(Southern California) Chicago Rockets 1946, Detroit Lions 1947, Boston Yanks 1948, New York Bulldogs 1949 [All-American 1943]
We made up pass routes in the huddle and used hideout plays and anything we could think of. In a game at Detroit, a receiver named Ralph Heywood hid out in front of one of the benches. I think it might have been the Detroit bench, right near Bo McMillin, the Detroit coach. Anyway, nobody saw him. Then he ran down the sideline and I hit him for a touchdown. The Detroit fans threw snowballs at Bo McMillin.
Ralph Heywood was one of several All-Americans who autographed this 1943 news article. The others included Bill Daley, John Yonakor, and Creighton Miller. He is buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas.
End—(Arkansas) Pittsburgh Steelers 1941, Cleveland Rams 1941,1945, Los Angeles Rams 1946-48; Great Lakes Naval Training Station Bluejackets 1942; Coach—San Francisco 49ers 1959-63
I'm an old country boy, and I used to go hunting with a shotgun. [I said,] "How about we call it the shotgun?"
Red Hickey, on naming the shotgun formation
Red Hickey's body was cremated.
End/Blocking Back—(Nebraska) Boston Redskins 1933-35
I was signed to a professional football contract for $115.00 a game. This was a one week contract and if the Redskin front office didn't give you notice you were fired the day after a game, you could then play in the next game.
This photo of Steve Hokuf is from a publication sent to me by Hokuf entitled Who's Who in Major League Football, 1935 ed., compiled by Harold "Speed" Johnson and Wilfrid Smith. He also sent me a nine-page handwritten reminiscence entitled "The Forgotten Redskins" and several letters in 1993.
End—(Wittenberg) Dayton Triangles 1926-28
Mack Hummon named Gus Sonnenberg the hardest-hitting player that he played against in this note to me in 1989. He said Sonnenberg was "a perfect gentleman off the field, but a 'monster' on the field."
End—(Fordham) Green Bay Packers 1939-44
We [Packers] were good. Although we only made about $100 a game, the Packers took care of us. We had a team doctor and a trainer. Money was tight. We had to buy our own shoes. I always felt it was just a job.
End—(Union/Alabama) Great Lakes Navy Bluejackets 1945; Detroit Lions 1946, Baltimore Colts 1947, Charlotte Clippers 1948-49
End—(Michigan) Third Air Force Gremlins 1944; Akron Bears (AFL) 1946, Paterson Panthers (AFL) 1947; Chicago Bears 1945-46, Chicago Cardinals 1947
Offensive End/Defensive End—(Iowa/Northwestern) Chicago Bears 1946-51, Green Bay Packers 1952 [#1 Pass Receiving 1947]
Jim Keane autographed this 1946 report of his contract signing with the Bears.
End—(Yale) [All-American 1936, Heisman Trophy 1936, College Football Hall of Fame 1969]
He was the greatest football opportunist of a generation, a superb inspirational leader who makes his teammates rise to great heights.
Larry Kelley autographed this 1964 Lenny Hollreiser "Looking Back in Sports" cartoon. With his health failing, he took his life with a self-inflicted gun shot.
End—(Michigan State) Camp Pendleton 1943, El Toro Marines 1944-46; Detroit Lions 1942, Boston Yanks 1947
End/Halfback—(Georgetown) Paterson Panthers (American Association) 1940, Wilmington Clippers (American Association) 1941-42; Green Bay Packers 1944
End—(West Virginia) Pittsburgh Steelers 1945
My career ended [with a] broken back.
End—(Emporia State) Jersey City Giants (AFL) 1938, New York Giants 1939-43
Jiggs had been rapped in the head, and I took him out . . . . He kept after me to go back in play until I made it clear he was through for the day. To show me what he thought of me he went to the bench and sat down facing the stands, with his back to me. He "fixed me" by staying that way through the game.
End—(Washington State) Cincinnati Bengals (AFL) 1939, Chicago Cardinals 1939-40, Pittsburgh Steelers 1941; Mather Field Flyers 1942
End—(Alabama/Dayton) Melville Torpedo Boat Training Center Night Raiders 1945; Detroit Lions 1942,1945
I played end on P.T. Raiders . . . . I left at the middle of the season and joined Detroit.
End—(Oregon State) Wilmington Clippers (AFL) 1939; Philadelphia Eagles 1939-40, Pittsburgh Steelers 1941; Melville Torpedo Boat Training Center Raiders 1945, Fleet City Bluejackets 1945
Elmer Kolberg was cremated and his ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
End—(Michigan) Green Bay Packers 1957,1959-64, Detroit Lions 1965-67 [All-American 1955-56, College Football Hall of Fame 1978]
The hardest I was ever blocked was by Ron Kramer. Ron, not Jerry . . . . Kramer would always lead those murderous Green Bay running sweeps. The first time he hit me, I wasn't looking for it. He's 250 pounds and he slammed me right into Lamar Lundy's lap and we both went down. I hurt all over . . . . there wasn't any time Kramer didn't hit me that he didn't hit me hard. If I couldn't avoid him completely, I'd try to give him only a little piece of me, but he liked to knock that piece off. Helluva man. And always, or almost always, hit me clean. He was trying to hit me clean always. You can tell.
I sent Ron Kramer an 8x10 B&W photo to autograph that I obtained from the Chicago Bears. He not only signed it, but signed another different 8x10 and sent it to me also. Very generous.
End/Halfback—(Southern California) Washington Redskins 1941-42, Hollywood Bears (PCFL) 1945, Los Angeles Bulldogs (PCFL) 1945, Los Angeles Dons 1946
See video clip of Al Krueger (#62) in 1938 USC vs. Cal football game; Krueger makes many exciting catches and runs. The Trojans beat the Bears 13-0.
End—(Pennsylvania) Bainbridge Naval Training Station Commodores 1944, Pacific All Stars 1945; Detroit Lions 1943, Philadelphia Eagles 1946; Bethlehem Bulldogs (AFL) 1946-47, Wilmington Clippers (AFL) 1947 [All-American (Look Magazine) 1942, Blue-Gray Bowl Game MVP 1942; he also played major league baseball with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1943]
Bert Kuczynski is buried in Schoenersville Cemetery, Schoenersville, Pennsylvania.
End—(Texas) Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks 1942, Bunker Hill Naval Air Station Cloudbusters 1943; Chicago Cardinals 1946-50 [All-American (AP) 1941, College Football Hall of Fame 1974, #1 Receiving Average 1947, All Pro 1947-48]
. . . in our last game  — with the Bears . . . . With time for one play we had the ball on their 5-yard line with the score tied 28 to 28. I tried to get [Paul] Christman's attention by kicking my foot. I wanted a field goal. Mal Kutner had told Christman he could beat the Bears' halfback so Paul called for a pass. I almost keeled over, but Kutner caught the ball and we won the game 35 to 28.
Mal Kutner's cremated remains were given to family.
End—(John Carroll) El Toro Marines 1944-45; Hollywood Rangers (PCFL) 1944, Los Angeles Bulldogs (PCFL) 1945; Chicago Rockets 1945-47
End—(DePaul/St. Ambrose) 2nd Air Force Superbombers 1945; Washington Redskins 1943-44,1946
Ted Lapka autographed this 3x5 card for me on Nov. 30, 1993.
He was buried in Resurrection Cemetery, Justice, Illinois.
End/Defensive Back—(Norwich) New York Giants 1942-47, Chicago Cardinals 1948
Frank Liebel is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Millcreek Township, Pennsylvania.
End/Linebacker—(Wayne State) New York Giants 1945
[With the Giants, I only played] 6 games, had a shoulder problem.
End—(Indiana) Philadelphia Eagles 1954, Calgary Stampeders (CFL) 1955, Hamilton TigerCats (CFL) 1956
I remember one incident in San Antonio where we were to play against the Los Angeles Rams. Naturally, the teams stayed in different hotels. This particular day as we were waiting in our bus to go to the game, the Rams team members walked by us to get to their bus. I did a double take at a big hulk passing by and said to my teammate sitting beside me, "He is going to knock your head off!" He answered, "Kid, let me tell you something, before the quarter is over, they are going to carry him off the field!" The game started and my teammate hammered him once and bounced off the guy like a rubber ball! But then, my teammate really got after him . . . . CLICK HERE TO READ HOW THE REST OF THIS STORY TURNED OUT IN THE LETTER SENT TO ME IN 1998 BY DON LUFT
End—(Kilgore JC/Tulsa) Green Bay Packers 1945-49
[He was] a fine end.
Luhn's ashes are interred at Robbins Cemetery, Coffeyville, Kansas.
End—(Washington & Lee) Buffalo Bills 1949
Lukens is a towering pass snatcher and can catch anything thrown within 10 yards of him.
End—(Purdue) Los Angeles Rams 1957-69
He was an extraordinarily consistent player—more so than any other lineman with whom I had played, and that included me. A good strong intellectual man, he was a great ballplayer.
Some of the comments made about the Fearsome Foursome:
The Fearsome Foursome was wicked. Deacon Jones. Secretary of the Defense. Flamboyant. Crazy. Ridiculously quick for a man his size. The guy who made them coin the word Sack. Rosey Grier. Immense. Impossible to defeat with brute force. Sweet and gentle out of shoulder pads. Loved to sing, pick a guitar. Lovely human being. Lamar Lundy. Defined the term Unsung. Steadfast. A mass of muscle. Would have starred on any other team. Merlin Olson. Loved the old-fashioned, man-to-man battles in the Pit. With both hands at once, he would hit guys across the earholes in their helmet for stereo ringing. Put him in the lineup for ten years, worry about something else.
After I'd hunched down behind our center I couldn't see over them into the defensive secondary. Even when they lowered into their stances their eyes were at my level, looking at me out over their helmet bars, and they were growling and snorting like the cattle they are. Frankly, it scared the hell out of me.
We took great pride in the fact that every year the Foursome was together we improved against the run. Everyone knew his role on that unit. A guy like Deacon, well, you just turned him loose. To ask him to play a reading defense would have been insane. Rosey, who played next to me, was perhaps the quickest off the ball, but if he saw that I was hung up, he'd just cover for me. Lamar, on the other side, was 6'7"; he could worry a quarterback, but he could also play traffic cop. It was very pretty, the way we worked together.
I think we set the pace in the game, ain't no question in my mind about that. I don't think there's a defensive line to this day — or will be in the near future — that'll have that much balance.
All members of the legendary "Fearsome Foursome" defensive front line of the Los Angeles Rams during the 1960s signed this great photo for me. I think I paid Deacon Jones to sign it about $5, but all the others signed without charge. Lamar Lundy is buried in Earlham Cemetery, Richmond, Indiana.
Offensive End—(Michigan) Detroit Lions 1948-49, Green Bay Packers 1950-54 [#1 Receiving Yards 1949]
Bob was a quiet man with a dry sense of humor. He could always find humor in almost any situation. He was very perceptive and had an even temper. That served him well in football.
I traded a Bob Kennedy 3x5 to obtain this Bob Mann autograph in 2009. Mann and back Melvin Groomes became the first black players to play on the Lions.
End—(Western Michigan) Chicago Cardinals 1939, Boston Bears (AFL) 1940, Kenosha Cardinals 1941, Long Island Indians (American Assoc.) 1941, Milwaukee Chiefs (AFL) 1941, New York Americans (AFL) 1941, San Diego Bombers (PCFL) 1941, Green Bay Packers 1942-45
End—(Notre Dame) New York Yanks 1937
One year when I was playing with the New York Yankees, we booked a game with the Los Angeles Bulldogs for Randalls Island Stadium in the middle of New York City's East River. That place seldom even drew flies and this particular day was no exception. Our team came out to warm up and when we looked around the empty stands we didn't feel very happy. We went back to the dressing room just before game time and then we got the pep talk. "Don't worry about the crowd," said Jack McBride the promoter, "you'll get paid." "Yeah, don't worry about the crowd," echoed Jim Mooney, the coach. "If they start anything, we've got 'em outnumbered."
In 1994 McCarthy sent me several autographs, a letter, and copies of clippings from his football scrapbook. Autograph requests were a rarity for him and he was pleased to hear from me and generously responded.
End—(Tulane) Green Bay Packers 1954,1957-67
Listen to Max McGee's voice in this . See video clip of McGee's Packer teammates paying tribute to him in this eulogy.
End—(Oregon State) Portsmouth Spartans 1931-32, Detroit Lions 1934,1936
1931—Portsmouth Spartans, started all 13 games at left end—1st team All-Pro . . . .1933—coached with "Dutch" Clark, Colorado School of Mines . . . .1934—Detroit Lions, started all 13 games at left end . . . .1936—Detroit Lions, played left and right end and right halfback and assisted in coaching under Potsy Clark . . . .
End—(Syracuse/Rochester) Camp Lejeune Marines 1944, Fleet Marine Force Pacific 1945; Washington Redskins 1947-48
End—(Pittsburgh) Pittsburgh Steelers 1949-57; Coach—Washington Redskins 1961-65
Bill was a fine guy but he wasn't Lombardi. No one was.
End—(Stanford) Del Monte Pre-flight Navyators 1943; Philadelphia Eagles 1942,1945
Wide Receiver—(Auburn) Detroit Lions 1955-60, Minnesota Vikings 1961
Offensive End/Defensive End—(Stanford) Detroit Lions 1938-39 [All-American 1934-35, College Football Hall of Fame 1985]
In November 2009 I traded a 3x5 Max John Starcevich autograph to a Virginia collector for this 3x5 album page autograph signed by James Moscrip in 1935.
Watch a video clip of Moscrip garnering All-American honors in 1934.
End—(Northwestern) Chicago Rockets 1946-47, Brooklyn Dodgers 1948 [All-American 1945, #20 All Time AAFC Pass Receiving]
He was in all probability the finest end in the Middle West [in 1945] and the man most responsible for Northwestern's showing this fall.
Offensive End/Defensive End—(Purdue) Pittsburgh Pirates 1933, St. Louis Gunners 1934 [All-American 1932]
I traded a Billy Vessels autograph to a Virginia collector in February 2010 for album page autographs of Marty Brill, Warren Heller, and this Paul Moss autograph.
End—(Cincinnati) Pittsburgh Steelers 1947-57
Elbie was a great player, a better player than people really know. In those days, there wasn't a position called tight end, but he really was a tight end. He could block, and he caught the tough passes over the middle.
End/Defensive Back/Halfback—(Miami, Florida) Pittsburgh Steelers 1940-41, Detroit Lions 1941
End/Defensive Back—(Vanderbilt) Baltimore Colts 1948-50; Coach—New Orleans Saints 1973-75
He was buried in Pinecrest Memorial Gardens, Columbia, Tennessee.
End—(Wake Forest) Jacksonville Naval Air Station Fliers 1944-45; Chicago Bears 1950-51, Philadelphia Eagles 1951; Montreal Alouettes (CFL) 1952-58 [#1 Receiving NCAA 1948, Canadian Football Hall of Fame 1981]
End—(Oklahoma) Baltimore Colts 1950 [College Football Hall of Fame 1982]
He was a tall, rangy end with good speed and good hands. He was an excellent blocker and very strong on defense.
George Lynn (Oklahoma assistant coach)
End—(Vanderbilt) Western Army All-Stars 1942; Washington Redskins 1946-49,1951
Offensive End—(Washington State) Chicago Cardinals 1950-52, Washington Redskins 1953
Fran was the kind of guy everybody loved, an honest, team player who would punt against the wind when I wouldn't. He was a no bullshit guy, full of fun, a hell of a competitor and a good student to boot. He was Pullman's version of Jack Armstrong, the All-American boy every coach and athletic director dreams of having. Never a problem, on or off the field.
I obtained this 1974 Fran Polsfoot autograph and two other 3x5s from dealer Bill Butts who bought the collection of Rich Laade, my former collecting mentor, after Rich passed away. I sold several autographs from my collection in 2010 to a collector interested in Auburn players to fund the purchase of this card.
End—(Stanford) Chicago Bears 1940-43, Fort Pierce Naval Amphibious Base 1944, Miami Seahawks 1946; Coach—Chicago Rockets 1947, Los Angeles Rams 1952-54 [Coach of the Year 1952]
Pool was the guy who worked his butt off and handled the offense and defense. Hamp was a gung-ho winner whom you could learn to detest as you won the world championship. He is the greatest guy in the world on a social occasion, witty, gentle, vivid conversationalist. But when the football season is on he doesn’t want too be bothered by anybody or anything until he’s won the title.
End—(Mississippi/North Carolina/Army) New York Yankees 1949, New York Yanks 1950-51, Dallas Texans 1952, Baltimore Colts 1953, New York Giants 1954 [#1 Receiving NCAA 1947, All-American 1948, College Football Hall of Fame 1974]
He was a tough guy, but by 1953 he was pretty much over the hill. And he was doing anything he could to hang on. In one game he tore up his hand. He caught his fingers in someone's face mask and it nearly yanked a couple of the digits out. That hand was a mess. This happened sometime early in the second quarter, and Barney was led off the field and into the locker room and soon thereafter an ambulance carried him off to Union Memorial. He got his fingers stitched up. I swear to God, he got out on Thirty-third Street and hitchhiked right back up to Memorial Stadium. Damned if he didn't return in time to play the fourth quarter. And he did play, too, with a big wrapping on those twisted and mangled fingers. He was one tough player, and the Colts rewarded him the following season by cutting his ass.
End—(Mississippi/North Carolina) Camp Lejeune Marines 1944; New York Yankees 1947, Baltimore Colts 1948, Detroit Lions 1949
He is buried in Roseland Cemetery, Gloster, Mississippi.
End/Place Kicker—(Mississippi/North Carolina) Fleet Marine Force Pacific 1945; New York Giants 1947-52; Montreal Alouettes (CFL) 1953-54 [All Canadian League 1953-54]
Ray Poole was a year ahead of me with the Giants, but he’d played down at Ole Miss with me—an end and a fine one, one of the best—and we roomed together . . . when I first got to New York. We were just a couple of country boys. We would catch a subway to go to practice at the Polo Grounds, which was where we were playing in those days. We always kept saying, “Hey, this is a little different from where we come from!”
End—(Hardin Simmons) Fort Knox Armor Raiders 1943; Paterson Panthers (AFL) 1946; Green Bay Packers 1946, Philadelphia Eagles 1947-49
End—(Alabama) Western Army All-Stars 1942 [All-American 1941]
He was the best end I have ever coached.
Holt Rast is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama.
Flanker/Halfback—(North Texas State) Cleveland Browns 1952-63
Ray Renfro was the fastest white guy in the league and if there was one more likable, I never met him.
See video clip of Ray Renfro (#26) in the 1955 College All-Star Game. The Cleveland Browns lost to the All-Stars by a score of 30-27. See another video clip of Renfro in a November 27, 1955 35-35 tie game between the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns in the Polo Grounds.
End—(Auburn) Philadelphia Eagles 1937
Herbert Roton is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Montgomery, Alabama.
End—(Nebraska) Green Bay Packers 1936-38, Pittsburgh Steelers 1939
Hutson was the Jerry Rice of my era. He'd just jump up against two guys and get the ball; and when he hit the ground he wasn't tethered down, he was gone. He was just so tricky. He wasn't big, but he was fast and agile and he ran with a peculiar lope. I used to consider myself a pretty good pass catcher, but when people ask me about it, I say, “Hell, I was just a decoy for Hutson.”
End—(California) Brooklyn Dodgers 1938-42, New York Yankees 1946; Great Lakes Naval Training Station 1943 [All-American 1937, All Pro 1940-41]
Perry Schwartz is buried in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, California.
End—(North Carolina) [All-American 1939-40]
Paul Vincent Severin autographed this 1940 Tom Paprocki cartoon. Severin is among several who signed a 1940 news announcement of the A.P. All-American team.
He is buried in Woodland Cemetery, Ashland, Virginia.
End—(Purdue) Pittsburgh Pirates 1935-36, Brooklyn Dodgers 1937, Cleveland Rams 1937
There wasn’t any money in football. We’d play—what?—nine or ten games, and we had to pay our own expenses when we were at home, so a lot of money went for hotel rooms and your food. Of course, when you were travelling, the club would pay all your expenses. On the teams I played for, the only thing they furnished was a jersey and maybe a helmet.
This autograph is from a 1-page hand printed letter dated January 27, 1990, sent to me by Ed Skoronski.
End—(Pittsburgh) Pittsburgh Steelers 1939
Frank Souchak autographed this 1938 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in San Carlos Cemetery, Monterey, California.
End—(Colgate) Brooklyn Dodgers 1930-32,1934, Staten Island Stapletons 1932; Coach—Newark Tornadoes (American Association) 1937-38
My first NFL game was in 1930 and was against the Chicago Bears. It was also the first NFL game for Bronco Nagurski . . . .I caught a pass and started on my way to score a touchdown when something hit me from behind. It was Bronco.
End—(Mississippi) New York Giants 1951-53, Philadelphia Eagles 1955-57, Toronto Argonauts 1960
I caught only touchdown pass Tom Landry threw in the pros vs. Pittsburgh 1952.
Bill Stribling is buried at Benton County Memorial Park, Rogers, Arkansas.
End—(UCLA) March Field Fliers 1943-43, Fourth Air Force Fliers 1944; Hollywood Bears (PCFL) 1945; Los Angeles Rams 1946; Calgary Stampeders (CFL) 1948-49
I traded a Mac Speedie 3x5 card to get this Woody Strode autograph.
Strode is buried at Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California.
End—(Lombard) Milwaukee Badgers 1924, Rock Island Independents 1925, Chicago Cardinals 1925-27 [major league baseball player 1929-30, 1932-34]
End—(Notre Dame) [All-American 1937]
Cecil Isbell from Purdue and I were offered the highest price in the country, one dollar less than Sammy Baugh of Texas Christian. He got $8000.00. We were offered $7999.00. Isbell took it. I did not. I was to be the other end from Don Hutson.
Chuck Sweeney autographed this 1938 Jack Sords cartoon. I also have a 2-page handwritten undated note sent to me by Sweeney.
He is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame, Indiana.
End—(Penn State) New York Bulldogs 1949
Sam Tamburo was cremated and his ashes placed in Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
End—(Minnesota) Frankford Yellowjackets 1930
Robert Tanner sent me this hand-printed 1-page note dated January 18, 1990. He writes about playing with and against Bronko Nagurski. CLICK HERE TO READ A TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS LETTER
End—(Louisiana State) Chicago Cardinals 1937-38,1940 [All-American 1935-36, College Football Hall of Fame 1956, #1 Receiver 1938, All Pro 1937-38]
I tell you what, he was the best football player I ever saw. And I saw a lot of them.
Gaynell Tinsley autographed the copy of this 1936 All-America news article announcing his selection. The 1955 All-American football card is from my collection. I have the complete set that I bought in packs as a 9-year-old kid from Wolfe's Market. I have had many of the players in that set autograph copies that I made of those cards for them to sign, e.g., Tom Harmon, Frank Sinkwich, Dan Hill, Frank Merritt, etc.
End—(San Jose State) Washington Redskins 1940-42, San Francisco 49ers 1946, Los Angeles Dons 1947; Lakehurst Naval Air Station Blimps 1943
I played for the Washington Redskins. But I wanted to play close to home, so I joined the 49ers.
Bob Titchenal autographed this 1953 Hal Holmes cartoon.
End—(Boston College) Boston Redskins 1934-36
I had [pro] offers from five different teams: the Redskins, the New York Giants, the Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Cardinals and Green Bay Packers . . . .Why did I choose the Redskins? Well, the money was the same and it was local. Being very young, I didn't want to go far from home.
End—(Oklahoma) Boston Yanks 1948
He was buried in Floral Haven Cemetery in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
End—(South Carolina) Green Bay Packers 1941, 1944-45
This autograph was obtained by a trade.
End—(Marquette) New York Giants 1941
He was nicknamed "Huck" or "Huckleberry" for his frequent trips to the sloughs and Mississippi River.
End/Defensive Back— New York Giants 1944-47; Jersey City Giants (AFL) 1946-50
This autograph of John Weiss 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.
End—(San Jose State) San Francisco 49ers 1951-60 [#1 Pass Receiving 1954,1956-57, All Pro 1955,1957]
He had to work hard for his success. Comparatively slow, the 49ers' crack receiver had to overcome this handicap with magnificent hands, split-second timing, and an uncanny manner of running his pass patterns.
Norm Van Brocklin