HUCK ADELT (1921-2008)

Quarterback—(Utah) 1941,1945-46; St. Mary's Pre-flight 1942, Salt Lake Seagulls (PCFL) 1947

 

I had been the first "T" formation quarterback at the U. of U. when we changed from the single wing in 1941.  I also played for St. Mary's Pre-flight where we played both formations.  I was one of only 5 cadets who made the team.  The rest were navy officers (ex pro football players).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Huck Adelt

This is the signature from a 5-page handwritten letter that Adelt wrote to me on Aug. 28, 1990. His letter was useful in helping me write an article about the Salt Lake Seagulls, a pro team in the Pacific Coast Football League. That article was first printed in 1993 in the Utah Historical Quarterly, and subsequently reprinted in the Coffin Corner and a 2003 book entitled Red Stockings and Out-of-Towners.

TOM ALBERGHINI  (1920-2013)

Guard-(Holy Cross) Pittsburgh Steelers 1945

This 1944 article which Alberghini signed for me mentioned that he had played in the 1943 East-West Shrine game. Since that game he was wounded in action serving with the Marines. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

BILL ALBRIGHT (1929-2013)
Offensive Guard/Offensive Tackle/Defensive Tackle
(Wisconsin) New York Giants 1951-54, Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 1955-57, Montreal Alouettes (CFL) 1958

I traded a Bruce Womack 3x5 to obtain this Albright 3x5 in February 2011.

BILL AUSTIN  (1928-2013)

Offensive Guard—(Oregon State) New York Giants 1949-50,1953-57; Coach—Pittsburgh Steelers 1966-68, Washington Redskins 1970    [All-Pro 1954]

                                                                                                                                                           

There's only one way to block.  Put the head in the other guy's belly.

Bill Austin

Austin signed this 3x5 card and answered some questions about his football career for me in January 1993.

JACK BUTLER  (1927-2013)

Defensive Back—(St. Bonaventure) Pittsburgh Steelers 1951-59 [Pro Football Hall of Fame 2012, All-Pro 1957-59, #1 Interceptions 1957]

 

He was one of the best defensive backs in the league.

Don Paul                                                                         


[He has] the face of a choirboy and the heart of an arsonist.

Pat Livingtson


Butler was once a top Steeler defensive back who never even played high school ball.  He started out n the seminary, then went to college at St. Bonaventure.  My Dad’s brother Dan was the athletic director there, so he put a fix in for Butler to get a football uniform.  Jack became a fine player, and eventually signed as a free agent with the Steelers in 1950.  Then he hurt his knee real bad and became a Steelers coach.  He was a good coach, but he kept getting run over all the time in practice by the players. . . . Jack’s problem was a gimpy knee, . . . .  Coach Parker finally told Dad to get Butler off the field before he got kill.  Lucky for me, Butler then became a Steeler scout and really helped me.  We traveled a lot together, talking about what made good prospects and good organizations.

Art Rooney, Jr.

Butler signed these autographs for me in October 1989.

JIM CANADY  (1917-2013)

Halfback—(Arkansas A&M/Texas) Chicago Bears 1948-49, New York Bulldogs 1949, Washington Redskins 1951

Canady autographed this 3x5 card for me on Dec. 4, 1993.  He also sent me copies of pages from several game programs from the 1940s.

CHARLES L. CAREY  (1918-1996)

Halfback—(Michigan State) Great Lakes Naval Training Station Bluejackets 1942

RICK CASARES  (1931-2013)

Fullback—(Florida) Chicago Bears 1955-64, Washington Redskins 1965, Miami Dolphins 1966   [#1 Rushing 1956, All Pro 1956]


[He was a] hard-nosed, punishing ball carrier.

Sam Huff


There was a lot of characters on the Bears during the years I played.  Rick Casares, for example, was one of the funniest men who ever lived.  He always had a weight problem—gained a little too much in the off-season.  Coach Halas always wanted to keep him smaller than Rick wanted to be.  It was tough for him, meeting Halas’s weight rules.  Finally he developed a formula.  It was definitely his style.  We had weigh-ins on Thursday mornings, so after practice on Wednesday Rick would get all dressed up and go out and cabaret on Rush Street all night long.  He felt he would be so dehydrated the next morning he would make the weigh-in.  Some of the time he did, but he could barely make it through the practice that day.  But he did it for years.  He took a lot of punishment over the years.  But Rick always came back.  His legs were so banged up, his ankles a mess, but on Sunday he’d be there.  Maybe he couldn’t practice during the week, maybe he couldn’t even run, but when the game started on Sunday you could not find a better competitor who ever lived.  And Rick Casares left a lot of people on opposite teams very well aware of the fact that they had played against him.  He hit defenders with such intensity.

Mike Pyle


People don't know how chiseled this guy was. He was a great athlete. He even boxed.

Bill Wade


Casares was fun-loving, but a great competitor. He was a hard-nosed guy and played with pain.

J. C. Caroline

 

Casares was great, powerful, quick, and a guy everybody respected.  He was always getting into trouble with Halas, though—late from team

meetings, breaking curfew.  He was a single guy and a ladies’ man.  And Halas was onto him.  I’ll never forget the time we got on an airplane to go to one of the games.  Casares walked onto the plane with three suits slung over his shoulder.  Halas took one look at him and fined him $500.  “What the hell are you fining me for?” Casares said.  “Because this is a one-day trip,” Halas said, “And anybody who takes three suits on a one-day trip is up to no good.”

Johnny Morris

 

After the All-Star game I reported to training camp in Rensselaer, Indiana. . . . The college there, St. Joseph’s, didn’t have a summer program, so you didn’t see many people other than the priests and nuns. . . . We were isolated.  It was sort of like a state penitentiary somewhere. . . . The old building we were in wasn’t air-conditioned.  And Halas had a security guy, a policeman type we called Dick Tracy, who would go around and check on us, and if you weren’t there he’d get a bonus when he turned you in.  They actually chained the doors at night after curfew.  Rick Casares had his dog down there, a little Yorkshire terrier.  I think he trained the dog to take a crap in front of Halas’s door every morning, because often there was a little pile there in the morning.

Stan Jones

 

Halas worried about us getting in trouble, especially single guys like Rick Casares and Ed Brown. He'd tell Rick, “Why don't you date a nice girl like Susie Smith over there?” He had Burns Security guys follow us around, and they told Halas once that Casares had been seen coming out of a house. George started in on Rick until Rick finally said, “Coach, I'd like you to meet Susie Smith.” That ended that.

Doug Atkins

 

He was one guy who played 150 percent.  I remember the time he cracked two ribs, had them taped at halftime and gained 85 yards rushing in the second half.  When you go to war he's one fella you want on your side.

Bill Bishop

Casares autographed this 3x5 card for me in May 1994.
This is the 1956 Topps card #35 I got from a pack of cards when I was a kid. It is still in excellent condition.

JIM CASON  (1927-2013)

Halfback—(Louisiana State) San Francisco 49ers 1948-52,1954, Los Angeles Rams 1955-56 [#1 Interceptions 1949, #1 Punt Returns 1949]

 [He was] a defensive back and one of the better ones in the league.   Cason was a real hard-nose; he didn't know how to take a backward step.  He always had that chip up there waiting for somebody to try and knock it off. . . . Cason was our captain and the best defensive back we had for six or seven years with the 49ers.  He would stick to a receiver.  He could cover anybody.  He was like a net on a donkey.  He wasn't very big, but could he hit. He hit just like Ronnie Lott.  He was the toughest player, pound-for-pound, I think I’ve ever seen.  He was cocky, too. I don’t mean that in a negative way.  He was just so confident, he was cocky, but in a nice way.  At LSU he played both ways . . . . we all did. He was a great defensive back and he split time on offense with a lot of backs and some of them were bigger than he was. Jim Cason really came into his own in the NFL.

                        Y. A. Tittle

This is my old 1957 Topps #143 football card that I bought in a pack of cards when I was eleven years old. When I first began writing players for their autographs, I used clues on the back of my old cards to then search through telephone books to see if they might still be living in the home towns mentioned on the backs of these cards.  At that time, there weren't any address lists to make it easy to locate these players.  I was one of the first, if not the first, to compile an address list for old football players.

On this 3x5 card, Cason wrote me that Hardy Brown was "the most destructive football player I ever saw without question."

CY CASPER  (1912-1968)
Tailback/Defensive Back/Blocking Back/Wingback—(Texas Christian) Green Bay Packers 1934, St. Louis Gunners 1934, Pittsburgh Pirates 1935
In June 2013 I traded an Everett Scott (MLB shortstop, 1914-26) autograph (see my Vintage Baseball Autographs website) for four deceased former Green Bay Packers, including this autograph of Cy Casper.  The autographs were cut from an autograph album, affixed to a 3x5 card, and authenticated by JSA.

WALT “HATCHET” CLAY  (1924-2013)

Halfback—(Colorado) El Toro Marines Flying Marines 1944; Chicago Rockets 1946-47, Los Angeles Dons 1947-49

 

            Walt Clay was one of the toughest.

Burr Baldwin


Walt Clay dives in for a score for the L. A. Dons against the Browns. Tony Adamle tries to tackle the goal post.

RAY "NEEDLE" COATES (1924-2013)

Halfback/Defensive Back—(Louisiana State) New York Giants 1948-49
Coates autographed this 3x5 card for me in May 1998.

Ed “Hank” Cook (1932-2007)

Guard/Tackle—(Notre Dame) Chicago Cardinals 1958-59, St. Louis Cardinals 1960-65, Atlanta Falcons 1966-67

Cook autographed this 3x5 card for me in August 1992 (although he was mistaken about calling me Ike).

BILL "CANADIAN COMET" CROSS  (1929-2013)

Running Back/Halfback—(West Texas State) Chicago Cardinals 1951-53, Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 1954

 

Pat Summerall was my roommate with Cards.  He mentioned once on T.V. that I was the smallest player [5'6", 155 lbs.].

Bill Cross

 

Another rookie, Billy Cross, who was a halfback from West Texas State College, survived the final cut and proved little people can still play in the NFL.  At 5-foot-6 and 148 pounds, he was the smallest player in the league, one of the toughest, and the best ball carrier we had.  Unfortunately for the Cards, the NFL and every fan who’s never heard of him, this exciting little guy didn’t stay around long.  Because of an ulcer and the beating his body would get, Billy would survive only a couple of seasons.

Don Paul

Cross autographed two of these 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoons for me. I'd consider trading one of them.
Cross signed this 3x5 card and other items for me in September 1994.  It was his question regarding Pat Summerall's claim that he was the smallest player ever in the NFL that got me researching that claim and resulted in the article ("The Smallest Player Ever in the NFL") that I published in the Coffin Corner, vol. 20, no. 6 (1998).  I sent Bill a copy of the article in 1999 and he replied that it was a "good article" and that he "enjoyed it"--despite learning that he was not the smallest player to have played in the NFL.  There were more than 20 other NFL players smaller than him, the smallest being a 1929 blocking back, Jack Shapiro, who played with the Staten Island Stapletons.
In November 1994 he sent me a packet of clippings from his scrapbook with this signed typed letter.

ART DECARLO  (1931-2013)

Defensive Back/Offensive End—(Georgia) Pittsburgh Steelers 1953, Washington Redskins 1956, Baltimore Colts 1957-61

DeCarlo autographed this 3x5 card for me in December 1995. He wrote me that Bill Pellington was the hardest-hitting player he faced.

BURT DELAVAN  (1929-2013)

Offensive Tackle—(Pacific) Chicago Cardinals 1955-56
Delavan signed two of these clippings for me in about 2011; one is available for trade.

PAUL DIETZEL  (1924-2013)

Coach—(Duke/Miami, Ohio) LSU 1955-61, Army 1962-65, South Carolina 1966-74; Athletic Director—South Carolina 1966-75, LSU 1978-82  [National Coach of the Year 1958]

I think the way you measure my move is “Was LSU better when I left than when I came in?” It was tough leaving. I never considered going anywhere else because I thought LSU was the best coaching job in America. I loved the LSU fans. They are crazy and passionate about it. I had never considered West Point because they had never had a non-graduate coach. When they came around and asked me if I would be interested, it opened a door I thought would never be opened.

       Paul Dietzel

ART "FATSO" DONOVAN  (1925-2013)                                                                    

Defensive Tackle—(Boston College) Baltimore Colts 1950,1953-61, New York Yanks 1951, Dallas Texans 1952 [Pro Football Hall of Fame 1968]

 

I played at six-two, three hundred pounds.  I was a light eater.  When it got light I started eating . . . .They used to weigh me on a scale downtown at a grain store.

Art Donovan


 

[He was] maybe the best defensive player in the league.

Bobby Layne


 

The toughest players I ever went up against?  Well, as an offensive guard, I’d have to say certainly Art Donovan of the Colts.  He was always the toughest defensive tackle for me to block.  Donovan was not only big; he was quick.  He was like a matador.  He’d move one way and go the other.  Art was the smartest tackle I ever faced.  He was the man who covered the inside, handled the run, which opened up Gino Marchetti to rush the passer.

Stan Jones


 

He couldn't run the forty-yard dash if you gave him from ten in the morning till two in the afternoon.  He was always being kidded about it.  But what a fine player—quick, strong, and great balance.  No one could knock him off his feet.  You very seldom saw him in the ground.

John Sandusky
This is the actual 1956 Topps card that I got when I was a 10-year-old kid. Still have it and it's in very good shape.
Donovan signed this 3x5 card for me in February 1989.  I wrote him shortly after reading his hilarious book, Fatso.
Donovan signed this on my Feb. 1989 request letter.

WALT DUBZINSKI  (1919-2013)

Linebacker/Center/Guard—(Boston College) Holyoke Golden Bears (American Association) 1942, New York Giants 1943, Boston Yanks 1944, Jacksonville Naval Air Station Fliers 1945

DICK DUDEN  (1924-2013)

End—(Navy) New York Giants 1949  [All-American 1945, College Football Hall of Fame 2001]

JEFF DURKOTA  (1923-2013)

Fullback/Linebacker—(Penn State) Los Angeles Dons 1948

Joe Ethridge  (1928-2007)

Offensive Guard—(Southern Methodist) Green Bay Packers 1949

Ethridge autographed this 3x5 card for me in April 1995
BOB FLOWERS  (1915-1962)
Center/Linebacker—(Texas/Texas Tech) Green Bay Packers 1942-49

In June 2013 I traded an Everett Scott (MLB shortstop, 1914-26) autograph (see my Vintage Baseball Autographs website) for four deceased former Green Bay Packers, including this autograph of Bob Flowers.  The autographs were cut from an autograph album, affixed to a 3x5 card, and authenticated by JSA.

"SONNY" GANDEE (1929-2013)

Defensive End/Linebacker—(Ohio State) Dallas Texans 1952, Detroit Lions 1952-56
In Feb. 2011 I traded a Stan Williams 3x5 card for this Gandee 3x5 autograph.

GLYNN GREGORY  (1939-2013)

Offensive End/Defensive Back—(SMU) Dallas Cowboys 1961-62

Gregory autographed these items for me in about 2011.

BOB HECK  (1925-2013)

End—(Purdue) San Francisco 49ers 1949, Chicago Hornets 1949, Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 1950,1952

Heck autographed this 3x5 card for me in September 1993.

HARLON HILL  (1932-2013)

End—(Florence St.—Alabama) Chicago Bears 1954-61, Pittsburgh Steelers 1962, Detroit Lions 1962 [All Pro 1954-56, #1 Receiving Average 1954,1956, Jim Thorpe Trophy 1955]


I caught four touchdown passes, three by George Blanda, and caught the winning TD by Ed Brown to beat the 49ers 31-27 in my rookie season [1954]. And I caught two TD passes in the fourth quarter when we beat the Lions 38-21 for the Western Division title in 1956.   I caught three touchdown passes against the Rams in 1958, but broke open and dropped a perfect pass from Zeke Bratkowski in the final minutes before 100,000 at the Coliseum. We lost 41-35. It still sticks in my mind.

Harlon Hill


He had an uncanny knack for pulling down impossible passes.

  George Halas


In his day he was one of the great wide receivers.

Mike Ditka

 

He had a great pair of hands, caught the ball like an outfielder, and was a smooth runner, with the speed of Kavanaugh . . . .He runs like a jackrabbit, even when he's only faking and somebody else is going to get the pass.

Luke Johnsos


When I first got to Chicago, Halas moved Harlon Hill, the great pass catcher, to defense. I would love to have thrown to Harlon.

Bill Wade


Have you ever heard of a man named Harlon Hill?  His rookie year up there in Chicago he was going great guns, and one night we were coming back home on the train.  I was on the coaching staff then, and this Hill was going great guns as a receiver.  But on the train some of the boys said to me that Harlon Hill was about wanting to quit the squad.  They said, "Harlon don't like [George] Halas, and we'd like you to tell Harlon what you think about Halas."  So I said to him, "Harley, I'll tell you.  I've been with Halas now about sixteen, seventeen years, and of all the time I've been with him, damn near every year I'd get in a little bit of financial trouble, and I'd need money during the off-season.  I'd get in pretty bad trouble.  But I would do two things.  I would pray and I would call George.  And you know?  Every damn time George Halas came through first."  Ol' Harlon Hill said, "By God, that's good enough for me.  I'll just go along with that."

Clyde "Bulldog" Turner












In December 1988, Hill autographed this 3x5 card and 8x10 photo for me.  He also wrote me that Bill Pennington of the Colts was the roughest player who he played against.

Art Hunter  (1933-2009)
Center/Tackle—(Notre Dame) Green Bay Packers 1954, Cleveland Browns 1956-59, Los Angeles Rams 1960-64, Pittsburgh Steelers 1965 [All-American 1953]

DAVID "DEACON" JONES  (1938-2013)

Defensive End—(South Carolina State/Mississippi Vocational) Los Angeles Rams 1961-71, San Diego Chargers 1972-73, Washington Redskins 1974 [Pro Football Hall of Fame 1980]

 

I have seen all the great defensive ends.  I have coached against Gino Marchetti of Baltimore and Willie Davis of Green Bay and I have coached Doug Atkins of Chicago and New Orleans.  Deacon is quicker, faster, and better than any of them.  He is the greatest defensive end I have ever seen.

George Allen


I wonder if there ever has been a better football player.

Vince Lombardi


I would imagine he is as good a player as ever played the game.

Jim Parker


He has revolutionized the game.  He has made defensive play popular, which has added a dimension to the game, and thus helped as much as any other single man make this the most popular of all games.

Bart Starr


David Jones has to be one of the all-time great defensive ends.  He's what I'd call a "nut" on the football field.  I've seen him do things like a madman.  He is so intense he will leap over people, bend backwards, crawl, do acrobatics just to get at the quarterback.  He's tremendously fast and tremendously strong and he has a quickness and a range few players ever have had, but as much as anything, he has a reckless desire to do big things that causes him to be spectacularly effective.

Rosey Grier


I'm the best defensive end around.  I'd hate to have to play against me.

Deacon Jones


Deacon was the best of the Fearsome Foursome, even better than Merlin Olsen, Lamar Lundy, and Roger Brown.

Bob Hayes

[He was] a terror as a boxing pass-rusher.

Weeb Eubank


He got a lot of licks in.

Bob Waterfield

One of the few autographs that I paid in my autograph collecting interest was this autograph from Jones on this photo of the "Fearsome Foursome."  If I recall, I may have paid $5 sometime back in the 1990s.

BOB KAHLER  (1917-2013)

Back/Punter—(Nebraska) Second Air Force Superbombers 1945; Green Bay Packers 1941-44; Long Island Indians (AFL) 1941

 

It was 17 degrees and half the field was frozen.  Don Hutson served more or less as a decoy in that game and Ted Fritsch scored the two touchdowns. They ganged up on Hutson. The tackle would play over him, the fullback would pick him up and then there would be a defensive back. I mean holding, knock him down. Joe Laws did the most damage with his running: traps up the middle.

Bob Kahler, on the 1944 NFL championship game

in which the Packers defeated the Giants 14-7 at the Polo Grounds

Kahler sent me this signed 3x5 card, answered some questions about his athletic career, and sent me some old newspaper clippings in May 1993.

Johnny “The Argo Express” Karras  (1928-2008)

Halfback—(Illinois) Chicago Cardinals 1952

I traded a Sonny Grandelius 3x5 signed card for this Johnny Karras 3x5 card to a fellow collector in February 2011.

DICK KAZMAIER  (1930-2013)

Halfback—(Princeton) [#1 Total Offense NCAA 1951, All-American 1950-51, Walter Camp Award 1951, Heisman Trophy 1951, Maxwell Award 1951, College Football Hall of Fame 1966]
Kazmaier autographed this 3x5 card for me in Feb. 1989.
Kazmaier autographed this 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon for me.  He also autographed a nice 1951 Alan Maver cartoon for me.
Dick Kazmaier's autograph is at the top of this wonderful item in my collection that was signed by him and eight other 1950 All-Americans.  The others include Sonny Grandelius, Huck Holdash, Al Carapella, Kyle Rote, Jim Weatherall, Ted Daffer, Bob Ward, and Ed Salem.
JACK "RABBIT" KIRBY  (1923-2007)
Halfback/Defensive Back—(USC) Green Bay Packers 1949
In June 2013 I traded an Everett Scott (MLB shortstop, 1914-26) autograph (see my Vintage Baseball Autographs website) for four deceased former Green Bay Packers, including this autograph of Jack Kirby.  The autographs were cut from an autograph album, affixed to a 3x5 card, and authenticated by JSA (except this signature).

JOHN "KOVY" KOVATCH  (1912-2013)

End—(Northwestern) Cleveland Rams 1938

Kovatch autographed this 3x5 card and answered my football questionnaire in July 1992.

CHET LAGOD  (1928-2013)

Guard—(Tennessee-Chattanooga) New York Giants 1953

Lagod autographed this 3x5 card for me on Jan. 1, 2007

DAVE LEGGETT (1933-2013)

Quarterback—(Ohio State) Chicago Cardinals 1955, Saskatchewan Rough Riders (CFL)

Jimmy Lesane  (1930-2013)

Halfback—(The Citadel/Virginia) Chicago Bears 1952, 1954

DARRIS McCORD (1933-2013)

Tackle/Defensive End—(Tennessee) Detroit Lions 1955-67

He never was a rah-rah guy, "Let’s go out and kill ‘em." But he was there for support, and he’d hold up his side. He was an outstanding teammate and a good player.                                                                                     Roger Brown

MIKE McCORMACK  (1930-2013)

Tackle—(Kansas) New York Yanks 1951, Cleveland Browns 1954-62; Coach—Philadelphia Eagles 1973-75, Baltimore Colts 1980-81, Seattle Seahawks 1982   [Pro Football Hall of Fame 1984]


[He was] smart, tough, quiet and probably the best offensive tackle in the business.

             Don Paul


[He was] good blocker, company man, whose lips probably never touched a drink in his life.

             Jim Brown

I've seen him have games where if you were grading him he'd score 100.  Not one mistake, and his guy would never make a tackle.

              Bucko Kilroy


I've never had, or known of, a finer captain or leader.  He was a football player who never gave less than his best.

             Paul Brown

I still have the 1956 Topps trading card #105 that I bought when I was about ten years old in a pack of cards. I can still smell and taste that cardboard-like slab of bubble gum.
McCormack sent me this autographed 8x10 photo when he was president and GM of the Seattle Seahawks
In July 1989, McCormack wrote this brief note on my request letter stating that "Gino Marchetti in my mind was the best of the defensive linemen I faced."

Forrest Masterson (1922-2007)

Center/Guard—(Iowa) Chicago Bears 1945, Akron Bears (AFL) 1946

This is the first page of a 3-page letter that Masterson wrote me on March 14, 2001.  He wrote:


I apologize for the delay in my response to your letter.  My "brief" career in the NFL was high-lighted by my contact with some of the greats in the game.  I feel that most of us played in those days for the pure love of the game and certainly not for the money involoved.  Halas, Hunk Anderson, Paddy Driscoll, Ronzani, Johnsos were not only fine coaches but kept reminding us to use football not only as a game but as a tool or means to get "somewhere."  I was drafted in the 3rd round out of Univ. of Iowa after a year in the service.  In 1943 I was invited to play in the Tribune All Star game but the military at Camp Grant, Ill. denied permission for me to go saying "forget football."  You are "in the army now."  However I did receive a call from some major suggesting I plan on coming out for Camp Grant football in a couple of weeks.  I contacted my platoon 1st Sgt. and arranged to get a 3-day pass, went to Iowa U. and arranged to get enrolled in the A.S.T.P. program and completed my pre-dental requirements and was back in school.  I made the Bears in 1945.  I broke my arm playing in 1946 and went to Akron and helped coach.  Got a steady job opening a new Ford plant in Canton and retired after 34 years as a supervisor in production and product engineering.  I am 79 yrs. old, widower for 11 yrs, lost my wife and son to cancer in 1950.  I have 10 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, and 2 daughters remaining in my family.  I've been lucky in many ways and cherish my family.

LEW “MICKEY” MAYNE  (1920-2013)

Halfback—(Texas) Lincoln Army Air Field Wings 1944, Brooklyn Dodgers 1946, Cleveland Browns 1947, Baltimore Colts 1948

It was pretty rough back then. I remember before a game started about three-fourths of the team would reach in their mouths get their front teeth and put them in their locker. That's one of the reasons why Coach Brown helped design the face mask and the mouthpiece.

Mickey Mayne

Mayne autographed this 1946 newspaper clipping that mentioned him scampering 104 yards out of the end zone for a TD in a game against Buffalo.

FRANK "MONK" MAZNICKI  (1920-2013)

Halfback—(Boston College) Iowa Pre-flight Seahawks 1943; Chicago Bears 1942,1946-47 [#1 Rushing Average 1942]

You’d go to training camp and there would be sixteen or twenty other backs there.  They were only going to keep six halfbacks and three fullbacks, something like that.  There were sixty-five players, and they were going to cut down to thirty-three.  That was the toughest thing.  I was always worried because a lot of good football players were there.  I wasn’t a superstar.  You have to worry all the time.  They could cut you on a Tuesday after a game, and you got no pay after that.  That would be it.  But my years in football were nice.  The only thing that wasn’t fun was the pre-season start, with all those candidates for jobs.  Once they made the cuts and you had made the team, then it was okay.

           Frank Maznicki

Maznicki autographed this 1943 Davis cartoon and 3x5 card for me, as well as a few miscellaneous notes and information.

GENO MAZZANTI  (1929-2013)

Halfback—(Arkansas) Baltimore Colts 1950
Mazzanti signed this 3x5 card for me in Feb. 2001 and wrote the accompanying note about getting even with Ed Sprinkle for rough play.
I was put on the spot and felt like I had to make an adjustment. This was in a game against the Bears in Chicago--1950--I was with the Baltimore Colts.  We were a passing team, and my job was blocking Ed Sprinkle.  He was killing me, it was either two fists coming up in my face or a knee in my ribs.  It wasn't long before I was bloody and hurting, I complianed [sic] to Sprinkle, the offic[i]als and coaches, and got no response.  He was known as the meanest man in Pro Ball, and it seemed I was to be the goat.  I decided to pay the $100 fine and put him out of the game, if I could.  I got into a sprinter's stance, jumped the count a half count, and when he had taken one step, I was there with an elbow to his chin as hard as God would let me.  It worked perfect, he left the ground a foot or so and landed flat on the field.  He didn't move a muscle and they carried him off on a stretcher.  I couldn't get a report on his condition, and became really scared.  About an hour later he came back in--to my relief.  He played decent the rest of the game.  They didn't throw me out of the game or called me offside.  I would dearly love to see that game film.  I did not pursue it then or later because it wasn't very sportman like, but neither was he.

BERT MILLING (1921-2013)

Guard—(Richmond) Philadelphia Eagles 1942

 

I was used as a utility man, snapping for punts, outside linebacker, and occasionally as offensive guard.  It was fun.

Bert Milling

This is the first page of the first of several typescript letters, e-mails, and photos sent to me by Milling in 2001-2002.  Although we developed a good relationship and rapport, he never signed anything for me.  Using these letters, I wrote an article about him: "'This Young Kid from Down South': Bert Milling," Coffin Corner 24, no. 2 (2002): 17-18.

Billy Mixon  (1929-2006)

Halfback/Defensive Back—(Georgia) San Francisco 49ers 1953-54

Mixon autographed this 3x5 card for me in November 1994.

HAM NICHOLS  (1924-2013)

Guard/Linebacker—(Rice) Chicago Cardinals 1947-50, Green Bay Packers 1951 [All-American 1944]

In June 1993 Nichols signed this 3x5 card, a typed letter, and sent me a signed team photo of the 1947 Chicago Cardinals world championship team.

JACK PARDEE  (1936-2013)

Linebacker—(Texas A&M) Los Angeles Rams 1957-64,1966-70, Washington Redskins 1971-72; Coach—Florida Blazers (WFL) 1974, Chicago Bears 1975-77, Washington Redskins 1978-80, Houston Gamblers (USFL) 1984-85, University of Houston 1987-89, Houston Oilers 1990-94 [College Football Hall of Fame 1986, All Pro 1963,1971, NFC Coach of the Year 1976,1979]

 

 

[My greatest day was] when Bob Thomas kicked a 28-yard field goal with nine seconds left in overtime to give the Bears a 12-9 victory over the Giants in a snowstorm.  That win was our sixth in a row and gave us a playoff berth.  Also, when I made three interceptions against the Cardinals in 1972.  [My most embarrassing moment was] when I went to tackle Gale Sayers and wound up with a fistful of air.  He made one lateral move sideways and was gone.

Jack Pardee


[He was] a good man and a good coach.

Sam Huff



He was a two-fisted, tough coach who also knew defense.

Doug Buffone



Jack Pardee was a good players’ coach.  He was a tough guy who had played on some great teams, and he wanted to play very physical football.

Gary Fencik

 

The man is a master motivator.

                  Doug Buffone

CLARENCE "ACE" PARKER  (1912-2013)

Quarterback—(Duke) Brooklyn Dodgers 1937-41, Portsmouth Cubs (Dixie League) 1937-39,1941, Boston Redskins 1945, New York Yankees 1946; Coach—Portsmouth Cubs (Dixie League) 1937  [All-American 1936, College Football Hall of Fame 1955, All-Pro 1938,1940, #1 Interceptions 1940, NFL Player of the Year 1938,1940, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1972; Baseball: Shortstop/Second Base—Philadelphia Athletics 1937-38, Pittsburgh Pirates 1940, Chicago Cubs 1947, .179 career avg.]

[Wallace Wade] is not much of an eloquence waxer, but he did say he had never coached a finer football player [than Ace Parker] . . . .Hotter'n a setting hen on a wool nest with a muffler on.  Lotta savvy.  Lot of stuff.  Kicks.  Runs.  Blocks.  Passes.  Thinks.

         Henry McLemore, UPI sportswriter

Parker is one of the greatest players I've ever coached . . . .He was a great openfield runner, a great passer, a great pass receiver, a great punter, and a great safety man.

         Wallace Wade

[He was] a fantastic pro back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                         Shipwreck Kelly

On several occasions, Parker signed different items for me, the first time beginning in March 1989 with this 3x5 card. He was a willing signer.
Included here are two of three Parker-signed cartoons in my collection.  This is a 1945 Willard Mullin cartoon and the cartoon entitled "From Pigskin to Horsehide" was printed in 1940 newspapers. It was drawn by Alan Maver.
This is the 1955 Topps #84 card that I got in a pack of cards more than fifty years ago when I was a kid. I bought them in packs at Wolfe's Market in Claremont.
This wonderful news clipping reporting the 1936 All-American college football players was signed for me by five of the All-Americans, including Ace Parker.  I obtained autographs from other 1936 All-Americans including Starcevich, Widseth, and Tinsley.  The three other All-Americans had died prior to my striving to get autographs.

GORDON POLOFSKY  (1931-2013)

Offensive Guard/Linebacker—(Tennessee) Chicago Cardinals 1952-54

BEN PUCCI (1925-2013)

Tackle—Buffalo Bisons 1946, Chicago Rockets 1947, Cleveland Browns 1948
In June 1998 Pucci signed this 3x5 card and filled out a questionnaire for me.

JOHN REGER  (1931-2013)

Linebacker—(Pittsburgh) Pittsburgh Steelers 1955-63, Washington Redskins 1964-66
Reger autographed this 3x5 card for me in Oct. 1992.

Tino Sabuco (1926-2013)

Center—(Wayne State/San Francisco) San Francisco 49ers 1949

March 31, 2001

Dear Mel,

     Thank you for the nice letter explaining what you are doing. It sounds real good to me.

     Enclosed you will find the card with my name that you requested.

     Joe Vetrano & Alan Beals have passed away a short time ago. Thought you might want to know.

     The game of football has sure changed. I don't know if it is for the better of football or entertainment.

     Nice hearing from you.

     Sincerely, Tino

GEORGE “SCRAB” SAIMES (1941-2013)

Defensive Back/Safety—(Michigan State) Buffalo Bills 1963-69, Denver Broncos 1970-72 [All-American 1962, All Pro 1964-68]

Saimes autographed this 1962 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

Bill "Bonk" Schroll  (1926-2009)

Fullback/Linebacker—(LSU) Camp Cooke 1945; Buffalo Bills 1949, Detroit Lions 1950, Green Bay Packers 1951

I loved to hit . . . .but shoulder and knee finally closed me down.

Bill Schroll

Schroll autographed this 3x5 card for me in November 1994.
CARL SCHUETTE  (1922-1975)

Linebacker/Center/Defensive Back—(Marquette) Buffalo Bills 1948-49, Green Bay Packers 1950-51

In June 2013 I traded an Everett Scott (MLB shortstop, 1914-26) autograph (see my Vintage Baseball Autographs website) for four deceased former Green Bay Packers, including this autograph of Chuck Schuette.  The autographs were cut from an autograph album, affixed to a 3x5 card, and authenticated by JSA.

Jerry Shipkey  (1925-2009)
Fullback/Linebacker—(Southern California/UCLA) Pittsburgh Steelers 1948-52, Chicago Bears 1953 [All Pro 1951-52]

Shipkey printed his name on a questionnaire that I sent him in October 1994. His writing appears a bit shaky.  He wrote that Steve Van Buren and Chuck Bednarik were the roughest, hardest hitting players that he faced.

Jules Siegle  (1923-2008)

Fullback—(Northwestern) New York Giants 1948

[I was] injured and was waived in 1948 [only played one-half year].

Jules Siegle

Siegle autographed this 3x5 card for me in November 1994.

Bill "Earthquake" Smith  (1926-2009)

Tackle—(North Carolina) Chicago Rockets 1948, Los Angeles Dons 1948

Smith autographed this 3x5 card for me on Mar. 1, 1993.

HARRY "BLACKJACK" SMITH  (1918-2013)

Tackle—(Southern California) Detroit Lions 1940; Coach—Saskatchewan Rough Riders (CFL) 1951 [All-American 1939, College Football Hall of Fame 1955]

 

I really was and still [am] a very mild mannered person.  My early coaches were concerned because I always had a smile on my face, and their belief was that I wasn't mean enough. . . . there was a story for a few years that I played one season with a cast on my right hand and used it to slug people. That wasn’t true. I got the nickname because after one game, an L.A. Times guy wrote that "Harry Smith was out there all afternoon wielding his blackjack." Somebody picked it up and that became my nickname.

Harry "Blackjack" Smith

 

He shows to best advantage on offense when he pulls out of the line to block and he tries to get two men, instead of one, on each play.

Harry Ferguson (1939)

Smith autographed this 3x5 card for me on Nov. 10, 1989. He also wrote me a gracious handwritten note expressing his admiration for Kenny Washington of UCLA.  He said Washington was the "best all around offensive, defensive, & all around nice guy! I honor him!"
Smith autographed this 1939 Jack Sords cartoon for me in the 1990s.

ROY STUART  (1920-2013)

Guard/Linebacker—(Tulsa) Cleveland Rams 1942, Detroit Lions 1943, Norman Navy Zoomers 1944, Buffalo Bisons 1946


In 1942, I went to play for the Cleveland Rams (later to become the Los Angeles Rams and now the St. Louis Rams) ... I played guard on the offensive line and middle linebacker on defense. Believe it or not, I could catch a pass pretty well. The coach made me a tight end on certain plays, but the quarterback we had wouldn’t throw me the ball.

Roy Stuart

Stuart autographed this 3x5 card for me on Apr. 24, 1995.

PAT SUMMERALL  (1930-2013)

End/Kicker—(Arkansas) Detroit Lions 1952, Chicago Cardinals 1953-57, New York Giants 1958-61

 

One of the things I remember about those days is that they gave me a kicking shoe, a square-toed, specially made shoe.  Back then pro teams didn’t furnish you with a pair of shoes.  You brought along the ones you’d used in college.  But I got a kicking shoe. . . . I was told to wear corrective shoes as a kid and be careful when I ran while playing with other kids. . . .We were working out at the University of Chicago [on his first training camp with the Cardinals] before the season started. I noticed that the deserted stands looked strange, because they were covered in tar paper, and I realized: That's where they had begun the research for the development of the atomic bomb. And I thought: This can't be a very good start. . . . I had the chance, of course, to do it [win the game] again in the last game of the season that year [1958] against the Browns, a game we had to win [to clinch a tie for the NFL East crown].  They had it as a 49-yarder.  I don’t really know how long it was because you couldn’t see the yard markings.  Kyle Rote swears it was a 56-yarder because he said he was standing on the sideline at the 50-yard line.  A I remember about it is that when I got into the huddle, Charlie Conerly, my holder, looked at me and said, “What the fuck are you doing here?”  I said, “We’re going to kick a field goal.”  He was in disbelief.  But we did it, and it worked.  I actually didn’t see it go through the uprights—you couldn’t see that far through the swirling snow.  I could see the goalposts, but I couldn’t see the ball.   I knew when I kicked it I had the distance—you can just tell; like when you hit a golf shot square, you know it—but you don’t know whether it might break to the right or the left.  Fortunately it didn’t.  The first person I saw when I came off the field was Lombardi, shaking his head.  We were all jumping up and down and Lombardi came up and said to me, “You know, you son of a bitch, you can’t kick it that far.”  He had actually been against trying it, but Jim Lee Howell made the call.

Pat Summerall

                                                                                                                                

Pat Summerall is as easy to work with as he is to be with.  He's easy to hang out with, to tell stories with, and I think that comes across to the [television] viewer.  He's just a good guy.
John Madden

                        

What a kicker.
Tim Mara

Nineteen fifty-eight was another great year for us.  I was on the sideline when Pat Summerall kicked that incredible field goal in the snowstorm against the Browns.  I forget what they credited him for, and I don’t know how they were able to—you couldn’t see the yard markings for all the snow on the field.  I think I was standing at about the 50-yard line, and he kicked it from farther away than I was.  Nobody though he had a chance, but Pat proved them all wrong.
Kyle Rote

JOE TERESHINSKI  (1923-2013)

End—(Georgia) Washington Redskins 1947-54

BOBBYTHOMASON  (1928-2013)

Quarterback—(VMI) Los Angeles Rams 1949, Richmond Rebels (AFL) 1950, Green Bay Packers 1951, Philadelphia Eagles 1952-57

[He] generally threw sidearm resulting in a softer pass.

                    Don Luft

This is the 1956 Topps #100 Bobby Thomason card I got when I was a kid more than fifty years ago.

FRANK "SLING SHOT" TRIPUCKA  (1927-2013)

Quarterback—(Notre Dame) Philadelphia Eagles 1949, Detroit Lions 1949, Chicago Cardinals 1950-52, Dallas Texans 1952, Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL) 1953-59, Denver Broncos 1960-63

Tripucka autographed this 3x5 card and filled out a football career questionnaire for me in January 1994.

Val Joe "Nubs" Walker  (1930-2013)

Safety—(Southern Methodist) Green Bay Packers 1953-56, San Francisco 49ers 1957 [All-American 1952]


Walker autographed this 3x5 card in December 1994.

ART WEINER  (1924-2013)

End—(North Carolina) New York Yanks 1950 [#1 Receiving NCAA 1949, College Football Hall of Fame 1992]

Weiner was good.  Best end I ever faced.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Willie Manley

WILFORD "WHIZZER" WHITE  (1929-2013)

Halfback—(Arizona State) Chicago Bears 1951-52  [Little All-American 1949, #1 Rushing NCAA 1950, #1 All-Purpose Running NCAA 1950]

On the reverse side of this 3x5 card White wrote that Ed Sprinkle and Hardy Brown were "two of the toughest ball players I played with and against."
White autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon. He also autographed a 1951 Paprocki cartoon for me.

DICK YELVINGTON (1928-2013)

Tackle—(Georgia) New York Giants 1952-57

 

            He was a tough offensive tackle.

Sam Huff