Tuesday, September 30, 2008

1946 Action from City Stadium

Today we have a photo of Packers’ fullback Walt Schlinkman slamming into the Chicago Cardinals defense in game action from November 24, 1946. Green Bay lost that day, 24-6, in front of 16,150 fans at old City Stadium. Schlinkman, who played collegiate ball at Texas Tech, played in 46 games for the Packers from 1946-1949.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Football at Wrigley Field

With the major league baseball playoffs imminent in Chicago, of all places, we present a photo of Packers-Bears action in Wrigley Field from the 1940’s. We are not sure of the year or game, but thought you might enjoy seeing Green Bay players trampling the sod in the cathedral of baseball.

For almost five decades (1921-1970), the Bears called Wrigley Field their home. In order for football to be played at Wrigley Field, the gridiron was laid out over the infield and into left field. Bleachers were placed in right field. By 1970, Wrigley Field became too small for the Chicago Bears as the NFL and the team became very popular. The Bears played their last game at Wrigley Field on December 13, 1970 with a win over the Green Bay Packers.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wartime NFL Champions

War-time gas rationing didn’t keep the crowds away from welcoming the 1944 NFL Champions home at the Washington Street Milwaukee Road depot. The Packers defeated the New York Giants 14-7 at the Polo Grounds in New York on December 17, 1944. With peerless pass-catcher Don Hutson employed primarily as a decoy, fullback Ted Fritsch emerged the offensive hero in the Packers’ sixth world title victory.

Fritsch scored both Green Bay touchdowns, a 1-yard run on fourth-and-goal, and a 28-yard pass-and-run collaboration with Irv Comp in the third. Meanwhile, Ward Cuff scored the Giants’ touchdown with a 1-yard plunge on the initial play of the fourth quarter, a drive which saw New York advance past its own 35-yard line for the first time in the game. Joe Laws, the Packers veteran and 34-year-old all-purpose halfback, set a playoff record with three interceptions, and rushed for 74 yards on 13 carries.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fans Greet NFL Champions in 1936

Today we have another image of the Green Bay crowds meeting the Packers at the train station as they arrive home from an NFL title game. This is the team returning from New York, where they defeated the Boston Redskins at the Polo Grounds on December 13, 1936. Although New York was not represented in the title playoff, the game was played at the Polo Grounds because George Preston Marshall, upset with Boston support, was shifting his Redskins franchise to Washington, D.C. In front of 29,545 football fans, Don Hutson caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from Arnie Herber in the first three minutes, and the Packers never trailed. Green Bay’s two second-half scores were set up, respectively, by a 52 yard pass from Herber to Johnny “Blood” McNalley and when Lon Evans blocked a punt.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Days Before Radio

Fans here are gathered at Legion Park in Green Bay to watch the “Playograph” which relayed Packer plays during away games in 1924, before the advent of radio. Telegraph reports from the game’s press box were used to re-create the game on a mechanical display board.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Crowd Welcomes 1939 Champions

In the years before air travel, the Green Bay Packers would travel to their “away” games by rail, of course. After big games, hundreds or thousands of loyal Packer fans would turn out at the Chicago & North Western railroad depot to welcome the team home.

After the 1939 world championship, we see the crowd above giving the Packers a proper celebration. In the game played at State Fair Park in Milwaukee on December 10th, Green Bay defeated the New York Giants 27-0 — the first shutout in an NFL title game. Despite bitter 35 m.p.h. winds, both Arnie Herber and Cecil Isbell passed for touchdowns in securing the team’s fifth world championship before 32,279 people.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Packerville at the Sunday Night Game

Your “Packerville” editor was at the game on Sunday evening in which Green Bay fell to Dallas, 27-16. It was his 80th Packer game so far, and obviously the outcome could’ve been better, but that’s how it goes. You win some, you lose some. Here are a few photos from the evening before we get back to presenting Packers historical items again:

Sunday was part of “Packer Alumni Weekend,” and many players from several decades came back and were recognized at halftime. Below is an image of some of Lombardi’s Packers: A) Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston, B) Jerry Kramer, C) Zeke Bratkowski, D) Boyd Dowler, E) Forrest Gregg, F) Bart Starr, and G) Willie Davis.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hornung Gets an Award

From the Packer Alumni Association’s publication “50 Years of Pro Football” (1968), we have today’s photo. The original caption reads: “Paul Hornung (1957-1962, 1964-1966), twice named NFL Most Outstanding Player, admires awards with Sportscaster Chris Schenkel and Rookie of the Year Mike Ditka of the Chicago Bears. Hornung, the Packers’ second highest scorer (760) was named Heisman Trophy winner when he climaxed his Notre Dame career in the fall of 1956.”

Friday, September 19, 2008

Packers vs. Bears 1960

In another scan from the Colts-Packers game program, we have a photo of action during the earlier Chicago Bears game of September 25, 1960. As the caption states: “Hornung (5) carrying ball on end run. Jerry Kramer (64) and Fred Thurston (63), offensive guards running interference.” This was the season-opening game of 1960, and the Bears came out on top, 17-14 in front of 32,150 Green Bay fans.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Packers vs. Colts 1960

For today we have a vintage game program cover from the 1960 October Sunday when the Baltimore Colts came to town to play the Packers in the four-year-old “new” City Stadium — which wouldn’t become “Lambeau Field” for another five years. On that day, the Packers defeated the Colts 35-21 with the passing of Lamar McHan (Bart Starr was not yet the starter), who completed six out of 14 for 86 yards and one TD. He also ran for one score. The rushing efforts of Jim Taylor gained only 47 yards but scored three TD’s for Green Bay. In the stands, 32,150 fans enjoyed the Packers victory in 66-degree Fall temperatures.

Championship Dining

Former Packers Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston and the late Max McGee entered into restaurant ownership while still playing pro football, as many players of the time had other business interests in the days before the multi-million dollar contracts. Their restaurant chain “The Left Guard” (named after Fuzzy’s offensive line position) was in three locations, while “The Left End” (named after McGee) was in one location as seen here in this 1966 game program advertisement. McGee would later start the Chi Chi’s Mexican restaurant chain and make millions. Thurston still lives in Green Bay and operates “Fuzzy’s 63” bar and lounge. McGee died in 2007.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bart Starr — 1967

Today we see quarterback Bart Starr letting one fly during a regular season game in MIlwaukee County Stadium during the 1967 season. It appeared in the season preview magazine “Pro Football Illustrated 1968” and accompanied an article about his newly released book, “Quarterbacking.”

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hutson Mugged; Still Makes the Catch

Here’s an image from a 1947 Green Bay Packers game program, showing Hall of Fame end Don Hutson in action two years before. The original caption reads: “Don Hutson, closely guarded by Hugh Gallarneau (obscured) still makes the catch of Irv Comp’s pass for a long gain against Chicago Bears in City Stadium in 1945. Bulldog Turner (No. 66) Bear center, is hoping the secondary closes in on Hutson before he gets too far. It did… 32 yards down the field.”

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Packerville is Back

After many months off since the Brett Favre retirement announcement, “Packerville” is now back with a new look, and a renewed mission of bringing Packers history to the masses. So, to start out this season’s blog postings, we present a beautiful aerial image of Milwaukee County Stadium during the final game there on December 18, 1994. It was at the end of this game that Favre ran and dove into the end zone against Mike Holmgren’s wishes to score the winning touchdown. The Packers beat Atlanta that day 21-17 in front of 54,885 fans — including your “Packerville” editor.

We may return to the Ice Bowl overview (that we were working on when we took a break) at some point within the future.

Photo credit: Aerial Photos of Wisconsin / Appleton, WI