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.
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.
Quarterback—(Alabama) Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL) 1952, New York Giants 1953
Butch Avinger is buried in Southern Heritage Cemetery, Pelham, Alabama.
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 is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Coleraine, Minnesota.
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 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).
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 is buried in Willamette National Cemetery, Happy Valley, Oregon.
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.
See video clip of Ed Brown making some nice passes in an October 30, 1955, Bears victory over the Los Angeles Rams, 31-20.
(Yale) 1924-26 [captain of football and swimming team]
This 1926 Jack Sords cartoon is one of the earliest signed cartoons in my collection.
Quarterback—(Baylor) Baltimore Colts 1950, Philadelphia Eagles 1951-56 [#1 Passing NCAA 1949]
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
Quarterback/Halfback—(UCLA) Baltimore Colts 1947
Ernie Case autographed this 1946 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
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 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.
Quarterback—(Wisconsin) Coach—Wisconsin 1967-69 [All-Conference 1950-51]
I was drafted by Green Bay in 1952.
John Coatta autographed this 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
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.
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.
Quarterback/Linebacker/Kicker—(Penn State) Cleveland Rams 1936-37, Cincinnati Bengals (AFL) 1937
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.
Quarterback/Punter—(Mississippi) Winnepeg (CFL) 1956-58, Washington Redskins 1959-60, Calgary Stampeders (CFL) 1961-67, Toronto (CFL) 1968 [CFL All League 1961-62]
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
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.
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.
Quarterback—(Wisconsin) Manhattan Beach Coast Guard Depth Bombers 1942; Chicago Bears 1946-47, Chicago Rockets 1948
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.
Quarterback—(Holy Cross) Newark Tornadoes 1930, Staten Island Stapletons 1930,1932, Chicago Cardinals 1932
Quarterback—(Washington State) Philadelphia Eagles 1953
Bob Gambold could have made it with the Cards [in 1950] if he hadn’t gotten homesick.
Bob Gambold was cremated.
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.
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.
Joe Gasparella autographed this 1944 Al Pierotti cartoon.
He is buried in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, South Hills, Pennsylvania.
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.
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).
Quarterback—(Colgate) Staten Island Stapletons 1931
In Hart's estimation, Bronko Nagurski was one of the greatest football players.
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.
Quarterback—(Indiana) Detroit Lions 1937-38
Huffman was an All-American basketball player for Indiana in 1936.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 is buried in Calvary Hill Cemetery, Dallas, Texas.
Quarterback/Halfback—(San Bernardino Valley Union JC/New Mexico) Corpus Christi Naval Air Station Comets 1942, Bogue Field 1944; Chicago Cardinals 1941
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.
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.”
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.
Quarterback—(Penn State) Fort Benning 1942, 1942 Army All Stars; Pittsburgh Steelers 1941,1945-46, Johnstown Clippers (Pennsylvania League) 1947
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.
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?
Quarterback—(Texas A&M) Detroit Lions 1940-41,1945, Miami Seahawks 1946
Cotton Price is buried in Sunset Memorial Gardens, Odessa, Texas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.