Deceased Football Autographs

Buried With Their Cleats On

Morris "Red" Badgro  (1904-1998)

End—(Southern California) New York Yankees 1927, New York Giants 1930-35, Brooklyn Dodgers 1936, Rochester Tigers 1937  [All-Pro 1933, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1981]

Tim Mara signed me to my first contract with the Giants.  He was a good owner.  I never had any trouble with him—or any owner, for that matter.  I signed up to play for just so much and that was it.  At that time, we didn’t consider what the other fellow got.  If he made $500 a game or $1,000 or only $2, we didn’t care.  But the money sure wasn’t very good in those days.  I got $150 a game when I first signed with the Giants.  I didn’t exactly get rich on that salary.
    Red Badgro

 

Red Badgro wrote me in February 1989 that Bronko Nagurski was the "toughest and the strongest of any player I played against. He was just the greatest, but he was not mean." 

He is buried in Hillcrest Burial Park, Kent, Washington.

Sammy Baugh  (1914-2008)

Quarterback—(Texas Christian) Washington Redskins 1937-52; Coach—New York Jets 1960-61, Houston Oilers 1964  [All-American 1935-36, College Football Hall of Fame 1951, #1 Passing 1937,1940,1943,1947,1949, #1 Punting 1940-43, All-Pro 1937,1940,1942-43,1945,1947-48, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1963]

In '37, there wasn't really any protection whatsoever for a man throwing a pass.  The other team could go after you until the whistle blew.  In other words, you'd complete a pass to a fellow out in the flat and he'd take off running, back and forth across the field maybe, and the rushers would be going after the passer all the while.  In those days, they'd want to put the quarterback on the ground regardless, even though he's got nothing to do with the play by that time.  Mr. [George Preston] Marshall got the rule changed so that they had to lay off the quarterback after he threw the ball . . . . before that, hell, they'd chase you all over the field, maybe 30 yards, until they got their hands on you.
    Sammy Baugh

 

This is the actual Sammy Baugh card that I got in a pack of cards (probably bought from Wolfe's Market) in 1955.  I have the full set and it is in pristine condition.  I don't think I really cared for it at that much when I was nine years old, but now I really like it.  I have 51 autographs from players in this 100-card set.

 

 

 

He is buried in Belvieu Cemetery, Rotan, Texas.

This 1948 Alan Maver cartoon is one of six cartoons signed by Sam Baugh in my collection.  The others include a 1942 Maver, 1943 and 1944 Jack Sords, 1947 Al Pierotti, and 1935 Tom Paprocki.  My son, William, was about 12 years old when he drew this sketch that Baugh autographed.

Listen to Sammy Baugh.  See documentary video clip of Sammy Baugh.

Roosevelt "Rosie" Brown  (1932-2004)

Offensive Tackle—(Morgan State) New York Giants 1953-65   [All-Pro 1956-60,1962-63, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1975]

I was very surprised when I learned I was drafted by the Giants.  In fact, I didn’t even know anything about the Giants then.  I got a letter from the Giants and then Em Tunnell came down and told me about being drafted, what it meant and everything. . . . They sent me a contract for—I think it was—$2,700 a year.  I showed it to my coach at Morgan, Eddie Hurt, and he said, “Sign it.  That’s more than I got when I started teaching and coaching.”  Then I just signed it and sent it back.  I went back to Charlottesville then, and in the summer the Giants sent me a train ticket.  It was from Charlottesville to St. Peter, Minnesota, where they held their training camp.  When I got there the only other black persons I saw were Em Tunnell and a fellow named Leo Miles from Virginia State.  Like Em, Leo was a defensive back, but, unlike Em, he only lasted one year.  I was treated very well when I got there.  Some of the players went out of their way to be helpful—veterans like Arnie Weinmeister and Al DeRogatis and Jack Stroud—he was a rookie like me.  It was the first time that I had ever played football with any white boys. . . . I was still only nineteen when I joined the Giants—I wouldn’t be twenty until late in October—and all the others there were a good deal older.  I hung around mostly with Em Tunnell, and he was thirty-one years old that year.  He really kind of guided me around in the beginning.  I was just a kid pretty far away from my home and with very little money in my pocket.  He became a very good friend. . . . We had it great, though, Em and I.  When we traveled around, we couldn’t stay with the white boys.  So the Giants would make arrangements for us to stay with a black family.  Wellington Mara took care of all that.  He would check out the people who we were going to stay with, and they were always fine people and had very nice homes.  And we loved it!  Hell, we didn’t have any curfew like the others had.  We could do just about anything we wanted to do and didn’t have any coaches to check on us.  We could drink beer in our rooms, have people in, party it up.  We had the best deal.  It made me kind of angry when segregation ended and we had to stay with the white boys.  It made our lives more difficult.
    Rosey Brown

 

This is the actual Roosevelt Brown card that I got in a pack of cards (probably bought from Wolfe's Market) in 1956.  How fortunate I am to still have all my old trading cards.

 

Buck Buchanan  (1940-1992)

Defensive Tackle—(Grambling) Kansas City Chiefs 1963-75   [NAIA All-American 1962, College Football Hall of Fame 1996; #1 AFL Draft Choice 1963, All-Pro 1966-69, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1990]

What I like to do is come down around the quarterback's head with the club—this [his forearm]—the club.  You try to ring his bell.  You just sort of shake it down around his head all the time.  I very seldom tackle a quarterback around the body anywhere.  I try to strip 'em through here—the head.  You really crush him to the ground, and the next time he'll be looking for you.
    Buck Buchanan

 

I employed this cartoon which appeared in an issue of PFRA's Coffin Corner to request an autograph from Buck Buchanan.

He is buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri.

Tony "The Grey Ghost of Gonzaga" Canadeo  (1919-2003)

Halfback—(Gonzaga) Green Bay Packers 1941-44,1946-52   [Little All American 1939, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1974]

When I was first drafted by the Packers, I had to go in the Army and when I came back they had drafted a couple of defensive ends from different schools.  I met Tony on the corner of Pine and Washington streets, and I got to talking with him. He said, “Jim, every year there's a draft and they'll be bringing someone in your position. All you have to do is be a better man and a better football player than they are.”  I never forgot that. That was a very important bit of sage advice to give to a young Packer.  He was one tough guy for his size. He wasn't a big man, but he was well-respected. I knew a lot of the fellows he played with, and he was very well-respected as a professional as far as football was concerned and also definitely for his personality and integrity and honesty.
    Jim Temp

 

Tony Canadeo is buried in Allouez Catholic Cemetery, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Tom Fears  (1923-2000)

End—(Santa Clara/UCLA) Second Air Force Superbombers 1944-45; Los Angeles Rams 1948-56; Coach—New Orleans Saints 1967-70  [College Football Hall of Fame 1976, #1 Receiving 1948-50, All-Pro 1949-50, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1970]

In '56 we were playing the Rams in Baltimore, and [Don] Shula had a little thing going with Los Angeles' great end Tom Fears.  He must have been holding Fears every time he ran downfield, because all day as we were walking back to the defensive huddle after the play we'd hear Fears screaming, "Shoes, goddamnit, keep your mitts off me.  Don't hold me anymore."  Finally Fears had had enough, and toward the end of the game he coldcocked Shula with an elbow that put his lights out.  Smashed Shula's jaw.
    Art Donovan

 

This is the actual Tom Fears card that I got in a pack of cards (probably bought from Wolfe's Market) in 1956.  How cool is that!  How fortunate I am to still have all my old trading cards.

 

Tom Fears autographed this 1945 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

He is buried in Ascension Cemetery, Lake Forest, California.

Ray Flaherty  (1904-1994)

End—(Gonzaga) Los Angeles Wildcats 1926, New York Yankees 1927-28, New York Giants 1928-29,1931-35; Coach—Boston Redskins 1936, Washington Redskins 1937-42, New York Yankees 1946-48, Chicago Hornets 1949   [#1 Receiving 1932, All-Pro 1928-29,1932, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1976]

[George Preston] Marshall hired Ray Flaherty, who had been a great player with the New York Giants and was familiar with Marshall's egocentricities.  He had it put in his contract that Marshall would stay off the field.  So Marshall had to go upstairs, but he had extensive telephone lines all over the place.  He would phone the band and the bench and everything else.  Flaherty had a man on the bench who would take Marshall's phone calls, but Flaherty would ignore everything Marshall said.  We had our first winning season [1936]—won seven, lost five.
    Cliff Battles

 

I found several photos that I used for requesting autographs in books.  My wife simply photographed the photo in the book and we developed it into an 8x10.  They turned out pretty well, including this one signed by Ray Flaherty.

Sid Gillman  (1911-2003)

End—(Ohio State) Cleveland Rams (AFL) 1936; Coach—Miami (Ohio) 1944-47, University of Cincinnati 1949-54, Los Angeles Rams 1955-59, Los Angeles Chargers 1960, San Diego Chargers 1961-69,1971, Houston Oilers 1973-74   [College Football Hall of Fame 1989, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1983]

Football was a game of chess to Gillman. He started with linemen as the pawns. Guards, for instance, could do any one of 25 different things. Taking in all the positions, he taught us 15,960 plays in two weeks of practice with the Rams.
    Bill Wade

Gillman named Ron Mix the best football player during his years coaching.

Watch a video clip of Sid Gillman.

He is buried in Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, California.

Arnie Herber  (1910-1969)

Tailback/Defensive Back/Quarterback/Blocking Back—(Wisconsin/Regis) Green Bay Packers 1930-40, New York Giants 1944-45 [#1 Passing 1932,1934,1936, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1966]

Once in a game in St. Louis, Herber threw me a pass for a touchdown that I thought would never come down.  It just stayed up there.  The next day the paper said that it had traveled 77 yards in the air.
    Don Hutson

Arnie Herber 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.

He is buried in Fort Howard Memorial Park, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

See video clip of Arnie Herber (#38) in the 1938 NFL championship game between the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants played on December 11, 1938, in the Polo Grounds.  The Giants won 23-17.  Watch him throw a 40-yard touchdown pass on the first play on the clip.  See video clip of Herber (#38) in the 1939 NFL championship game between New York Giants and Green Bay Packers at Milwaukee's State Fair Park.  The Packers won 27-0.   Look for Herber throwing a nice pass about one-third of the way into the clip.  See video clip of the famed passing/catching combination of Arnie Herber and Don Hutson.  See documentary video program on Don Hutson.

Gene Hickerson  (1936-2008)

Guard—(Mississippi) Cleveland Browns 1958-73 [All Pro 1967-69, Pro Football Hall of Fame 2007]

I always liked Gene.  I don't know how many guys he called nigger back in his hometown, and I didn't give a damn.  By the time he got with us he transcended any Mississippi bullshit.

Jim Brown

 

He was an unparalleled pass blocker.  His man would never get to the quarterback.  He’d make the rest of us look bad.  And he was one of the greatest downfield blockers I’ve ever seen.  When he went out on a sweep, his man went down and stayed on the ground.  By the end of his career, he was 265 pounds and he could still run like a high school fullback.

Monte Clark

 

He was the consummate guard.

Howard Mudd

 

He was an all-around great player.  He was so fast getting out leading those sweeps, people didn’t realize he was also strong and a great technician in pass blocking.  Whoever he was blocking just did not get to the quarterback.

Dick Modzelewski

 

Watch a video clip of Hickerson's induction into the Hall of Fame.

Listen to news report paying tribute to Gene Hickerson upon his death.

He is buried in Elmhurst Park Cemetery, Avon, Ohio

Lamar Hunt  (1932-2006)

League Founder/Owner—(Southern Methodist) Kansas City Chiefs (Dallas Texans) 1960-     [Pro Football Hall of Fame 1972, National Soccer Hall of Fame 1982, International Tennis Hall of Fame 1993]

If Lamar had had less money, people would have called him cheap, but because he was so wealthy, he was considered "good with money."  He had a very limited wardrobe, just a few suits, and when I asked him why, he explained, "I can only wear one suit at a time."  Once, I remember, Lamar and I were boarding a commercial flight together.  I turned to go to first class and, to my surprise, he turned right to go back to the coach section.  "Why are you sitting back there?" I asked.  As always, his answer made perfect sense.  "Both ends get there at the same time," he said.
    Gene Klein

Lamar Hunt is buried in Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas, Texas.

See photo tribute to Lamar Hunt.

Don “Alabama Antelope” Hutson  (1913-1997)

End—(Alabama) Green Bay Packers 1935-45, East Chicago Indians (AFL) 1940   [All-American 1934, College Football Hall of Fame 1951, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1963]

Don Hutson of the Packers gave me what gray hairs I have today.  You know he was so fast and shifty you couldn’t cover him with a tent.  The guy had three speeds, and Don could easily fake you out of your athletic supporter, as they say.  And he had hands—if the ball came anywhere near him, he’d catch it.

Hugh Gallarneau

 

He had to play defense even though his specialty was that of being a great pass receiver, probably as great as any receiver we have in the game today who only has to concentrate on catching footballs.  Hutson wasn't able to hang up the statistics the receivers have today because he had to make tackles on defense as well.

Wellington Mara

                                                                                                                                               

Don Hutson weighed about 178 pounds and was about 6 feet 2 inches when he came to us in 1935.  He didn't have the size for a pro football player.  But then we saw his speed and the way he just glided—when he ran he didn't put his knees up to his chin, just kind of flowed.  The best way I can describe Hutson is if you could picture a gazelle, running through a defensive secondary in the National Football League.  He had a deceptive stride, and he did the hundred in something like 9:7.  And what great moves he had.  One day I saw him fake Beattie Feathers of the Bears out of his shoes, literally fake him out of his shoes.  They had to call time out so he could put them back on.  Hutson was the greatest offensive end who ever lived, even by today's standards.  He played defense, too, and he used to block these enormous tackles we used to play against.  He could do a pretty good job blocking, even though he was awfully small for that aspect of the game.  He did it well partly because he could get to whoever he was blocking so quickly.  I remember running through many holes that he helped to open.  [Curly] Lambeau played Don as a halfback on defense, and it worked out perfectly.  He was a great pass defender by his very nature.  He could use his hands and jumping ability as well on defense as on offense.  But most of all, he made life easy for our passers.  He would run the basic patterns and all Arnie Herber and Cecil Isbell had to do was throw to a spot.  Hutson might be ten yards away from the spot, but he would get there and catch the ball.

Clarke Hinkle

 

Don Hutson of Green Bay was fantastic.  Even today [late 1960s], with all the specialists, I don't see a Don Hutson.  If you didn't knock Hutson down [when he was coming off the line on a pass pattern], he'd score four or five touchdowns a game.

Alex Wojciechowicz

 

Hutson could outrun the wind.

Clarke Hinkle

 

Hutson is so extraordinary that I concede him two touchdowns a game and just hope we can score more . . . .Hutson is the only man I ever saw who can run in three different directions at the same time.

George Halas

 

He made it look easy.

Bob Wilson

 

[He was] a fabulous receiver.

Johnny Blood

 

He was so difficult to defend against because half the time he didn't know himself where he was going.  He'd signal the passer how he was going to break.

Luke Johnsos

 

Don Hutson is the sweetest football player I have ever seen.  He pulls everything out of the air within ten feet of him.

Glen "Lefty" Sorenson

 

I remember the first time I saw Hutson.  He had a little-bitty ole pair of shoulder pads he bought in Woolworth's or maybe his wife made them.

Bruiser Kinard

 

[He was] the greatest receiver who ever lived.

Steve Owen

 

 

This is the actual Don Hutson card that I got in a pack of cards (probably bought from Wolfe's Market) in 1955.  I have the full set and it is in pristine condition.  I don't think I really cared for it at that much when I was nine years old, but now I really like it.  I have 51 autographs from players in this 100-card set.

 

 

 

Don Hutson seems to have appreciated my son William's sketch that he did of him as he personalized this 8x10 photo to him.  William was about 12 years old when he did this sketch.  Along with Slade Cutter, Hutson autographed this news article reporting the 1934 A.P. All-Americans.  The 1942 Ciri cartoon is one of three cartoons signed by Hutson in my collection.  The others are Jack Sords cartoons from 1942 and 1943.

See video clip of Don Hutson among several being named an All-American in 1934.  See video clip of Hutson (#14) scoring a TD on a pass in a January 17, 1940, game against a chosen team of pros making up the Eastern All-Stars. See video clip of the famed passing/catching combination of Arnie Herber and Don Hutson.  See documentary video program focusing on Hutson's unbreakable passing records.  See documentary video program on the career of Hutson.

Tom Landry  (1924-2000)

Defensive Back/Kicker—(Texas) New York Yankees 1949, New York Giants 1950-55; Coach—Dallas Cowboys 1960-89   [Pro Football Hall of Fame 1990]

He was a very methodical guy, and that's always been his great strength.  He would also treat his players like professionals.  His theory was don't expect me to pat you on the back and tell you what a great job you did.  You're a pro, we expect you to do a good job, that's what we pay you for.  Even today, if you watch him on the sidelines, when a guy scores a touchdown, or kicks a field goal, or makes a big play on defense, he never even looks at him coming off the field.  Because of that, a lot of people think Tom Landry is unemotional, that he doesn't care about people.  His own players have said that; Duane Thomas and that "plastic man" crap.  That's because they don't know him.  If they really did, they'd know he cares very deeply about his players—always has, always will.
    Sam Huff

 

Tom Landry is buried in Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas, Texas.

See video clip of Tom Landry, whose demeanor doesn't convey humor, in some silly concocted segments about keeping order on the team.  See video clip of Tom Landry in a sideline interview paying tribute to recently deceased coach George Allen in 1990; Earl Campbell is also interviewed at the beginning of the clip.

Dick "Night Train" Lane  (1928-2002)

Defensive Back—(Scottsbluff Junior College) Los Angeles Rams 1952-53, Chicago Cardinals 1954-59, Detroit Lions 1960-65   [Little All-American 1947, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1974]

A receiver likes a certain pattern and after I watch for a while I'm able to decipher him, and I'm able to tell what he like to do.  All of them, even the best men, have moves they prefer, an' while you wouldn't call it a habit, still you got a little percentage working for you.  Now I go a little further.  I think to myself, how would I play the play if I was the receiver.  Now I'm working on him.  I'm setting him up.  He think he setting me up, but no, I'm setting him up.  Now heah is how it work.  I set the fellow up by baiting him just a li'l bit, giving him just a bit too much to the outside on the red coverage maybe, until this fellow goes back to his quarterback and he tells him in the huddle, "Lawd Almighty.  I can beat Night Train to the outside, beat him like a drum," and he plead with the quarterback to throw him the ball out there, he practically get down on his knees asking for the ball.  The quarterback may have been around a time, and maybe he smell a rat, especially when the talk is about Night Train's zone, but then he figure maybe there's no harm in trying a pass out there.  So he says O.K.  He calls the play.  I watch my man as he lines up.  He's trying to look the same as he always does, but he don't—there's something about him, something I can read, trotting out and standing there at the flanker, maybe by the way he curl his fingers, maybe a bit too casual, maybe something you can't even see, but just feel.  Joe Schmidt calls the blue coverage, which is what I hope he does, and where before I don' move, I'm there, and that boy, who runs out there to make touchdown easy, why he's like to be in bad trouble.  Maybe a Night Train interception.  Let's say it is.  So when he goes back to the bench, he's in worse trouble.  That quarterback looks at him kinda hard, and he says to everybody, kind of scornful, "Well, thank you, gentl'm'n, but from heah on we stick to the game plan."
    Dick Night Train Lane

 

This is the actual Dick Lane card that I got in a pack of cards (probably bought from Wolfe's Market) in 1956.  How cool is that!  How fortunate I am to still have all my old trading cards.

 

Watch a video clip documenting the career of Night Train Lane.

Dante "Gluefingers" Lavelli  (1923-2009)

End—(Ohio State) Cleveland Browns 1946-56 [Pro Football Hall of Fame 1975]

Dante Lavelli thought he was wide open if he was an inch in front of his man . . . .A lot of today's receivers actually change their patterns and run something different than the play called in the huddle.  A quarterback will throw the ball and miss a receiver by twenty yards . . . .We didn't have too much of that when I was playing, but Lavelli, who was one of my great receivers, would occasionally change one on me.  Maybe he was supposed to go down to the corner, but it looked open at the post.  He'd go there instead, and more than once we'd get a touchdown . . . .We had a lot of great receivers on the Browns but, when it came to great hands, there was nobody like "Old Spumoni."  As a competitor, he had few peers.
    Otto Graham

Dante Lavelli is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Hudson, Ohio.

See video clip of Dante Lavelli (#86) in a December 26, 1955 game between the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams. The Browns won with a score of 38-14.  See another video clip of Lavelli in the 1955 College All-Star Game. The Cleveland Browns lost to the All-Stars by a score of 30-27.

Alphonse “Tuffy” Leemans  (1912-1979)

Fullback/Defensive Back/Quarterback—(Oregon/George Washington) New York Giants 1936-43 [#1 Rushing 1936, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1978]

 

Tuffy Leemans 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.

He is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Silver Spring, Maryland.

See video clip of Tuffy Leemans (#4) in the 1938 NFL championship game between the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants played on December 11, 1938, in the Polo Grounds.  The Giants won 23-17.  Watch him make a run on the second play shown on the clip; it's a nice close-up view.

Wellington T. Mara  (1916-2005)

Owner/President—New York Giants 1965-2005   [Pro Football Hall of Fame 1997]

I'd go into the office to see Wellington Mara and before he even mentioned a [contract salary] figure he'd start telling me, "Geez, it's been a tough year.  I just built a new house and I had a lot of unexpected expenses . . . ."  By the time I left Mara's office I'd be feeling sorry for him.  I'd sign for whatever figure he put in front of me.  One year I decided to hold out.  He called me up and asked me what I thought I was doing.  He was very angry.  I told him I thought I was entitled to more money and that I wasn't going to report until I got it.  "Don't be silly," he told me, "just get the hell in here now."  "Oh okay," I said, "if you put it that way."  That was the way we negotiated in those days.
    Harland Svare

Watch a video clip of Mara's kindness in responding to letters from fans.  I was one of his recipients in that regard.  Watch a video clip of Mara telling his pro-life beliefs and a short documentary of his life.

Wellington Mara is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, New York

Ray Nitschke  (1936-1998)

Linebacker—(Illinois) Green Bay Packers 1958-72   [All-Pro 1964,1966, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1978]

He was utterly ferocious . . . .The hardest I've ever been tackled (not hit, tackled) was by Ray Nitschke.  I was with Pittsburgh at the time, and I didn't see him coming until the last instant.  That brief flicker of an instant may have saved my life, allowing a precious microsecond to adjust to the impact . . . .it felt like he was tearing my head off.  He hit me on the right side of my face and flattened me.  It was the kind of hit that can break a man's back.  I saw Nitschke as I was going down, and he had a wild look in his eyes.  His mouth, incredibly, seemed to be foaming.
    Preston Pearson

Ray Nitschke was cremated, but location of cremains is unknown.

See documentary video clip of Ray Nitschke with great action footage.

Leo “The Lion” Nomellini  (1924-2000)

Defensive Tackle—(Minnesota) Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station 1943; San Francisco 49ers 1950-63 [All-American 1948-49, College Football Hall of Fame 1977, All-Pro 1952-54,1957,1959, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1969]

His hero was Bronko Nagurski, one of the game's all-time great fullbacks.  Leo was an all-pro tackle but in his heart he always wished he had been another Nagurski.
    Y. A. Tittle

 

This is the actual Leo Nomellini card that I got in a pack of cards (probably bought from Wolfe's Market) in 1956.  How cool is that!  How fortunate I am to still have all my old trading cards.  Some people might devalue the card for being off center, but to me, this card is beyond price because I've had it for over fifty years.

 

Jim "Big Jim" Parker  (1934-2005)

Tackle/Guard—(Ohio State) Baltimore Colts 1957-67 [All-American 1956, Outland Award 1956, College Football Hall of Fame 1974; All-Pro 1958-62,1964-65, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1973 ]

I was a helluva player.  I not only beat most rushers I blocked, I annihilated them.  I just beat the hell out of them.  And I'm proud of it.
    Jim Parker

 

This is the actual Jim Parker card that I got in a pack of cards (probably bought from Wolfe's Market) in 1959.  How cool is that!  How fortunate I am to still have all my old trading cards.

 

Jim Parker is buried in King Memorial Park, Windsor Mill Manor, Maryland.

Walter "Sweetness" Payton  (1954-1999)

Halfback—(Jackson State) Chicago Bears 1975-87 [College Football Hall of Fame 1996; No. 1 Kickoff Returns 1975, No. 1 Rushing 1977, All Pro 1976-78,1980,1984-85, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1993]

When we were divisional rivals, I got to see Walter twice a year.  I should say I got to watch Walter twice a year.  For most of that period in the late 1970s, Payton was the Bears' only weapon, and he was still unstoppable.  He was that rare player whose greatness was so obvious and so overwhelming that even if you were in a different uniform on the sidelines, you couldn't help cheering for him down deep inside.  One time, Payton ran for 275 yards against us.  He ran over every single guy in our defense at least once.  Once in a while we gang-tackled him or drove him out of bounds, but that was about it.  Before we watched the films the next day, I announced a "bounty."  I said I hadn't seen the films yet, but I was going to pay a reward to anybody on the field who could actually claim that he had tackled Walter.  I got these sullen looks from our defensive guys, but nobody could stand up and collect.  Another extraordinary aspect of Walter was the way he got his yards.  A lot of the great rushers, the guys with the big career numbers, were the fluid runners who just slipped by defenders like water running through their fingers . . . .But Payton was different.  Usually he broke seven or eight tackles and got ten yards.  He specialized in dirty yards.  He was more of a Pete Rose than a Hank Aaron.  In his career, Walter gained almost sixteen thousand "dirty" yards for a team that had more losing years than winning ones.  It's a phenomenal statistic.
    Ahmad Rashad

 

Walter Payton's cremated remains were given to family.

See video documentary five-part series entitled "Beyond the Glory" of Walter Payton: number 1, number 2, number 3, number 4, and number 5.  Each segment lasts from eight to ten minutes.

Jim Ringo  (1931-2007)

Center—(Syracuse) Green Bay Packers 1953-63, Philadelphia Eagles 1964-67; Coach—Buffalo Bills 1976-77 [Pro Football Hall of Fame 1981]

The day Vince asked Ringo to come in and discuss his contract, Ringo showed up in Lombardi's office with another man.  "Coach," Ringo said, "I'm not very good at negotiating for myself.  This is my agent.  He'll discuss my contract with you."  Lombardi asked to be excused for a moment.  He left his office, walked down the hall and came back in a few minutes.  "I'm afraid you're negotiating with the wrong man," he told Ringo's agent.  "Jim Ringo has been traded to the Philadelphia Eagles."
    Jerry Kramer

 

This is the actual Jim Ringo card that I got in a pack of cards (probably bought from Wolfe's Market) in 1958.  How cool is that!  How fortunate I am to still have all my old trading cards.

Jim Ringo is buried in Fairmount Cemetery, Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

Pete Rozelle  (1926-1996)

Commissioner—(San Francisco) National Football League 1960-89  [Pro Football Hall of Fame 1985]

Pete Rozelle and I were forwards on the same basketball team in Compton and he wrote for the newspaper, the Tartar Shield.  My wife was with him the day he went ice skating and fell and lost his two front teeth.
    Duke Snider

 

He is interred in El Camino Memorial Park, San Diego, California.

See a video clip of Pete Roselle in 1967 discussing Cincinnati gaining a pro football franchise.

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Listen to the Voices of:

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

See a Video Clip of:

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  • 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)