Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Vince Lombardi Scrapbook (1976)

Following the life of Green Bay’s legendary head coach, The Vince Lombardi Scrapbook is one that we’d recommend for students of this era in Packers history. With classic photography by Vernon Biever, and also period photos from throughout his life (as well as newspaper clippings — hence the “scrapbook” concept), there is much to learn here. A fine volume. 

Photos from the early days as basketball coach and science teacher at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey.

Newspaper clipping from Lombardi’s time at West Point (with the Army football team), showing the then-assistant coach and his mentor, Col. Earl Blaik. 

On the sideline in Green Bay, Wisconsin. 

Lombardi and his defensive coach (and eventual successor) Phil Bengston have the same look that we all do after a loss to the Minnesota Vikings. 

Scrapbook page of clippings after the coach’s death on September 3, 1970. 

The back cover.

Find your copy here.

The Vince Lombardi Scrapbook
By George Flynn; Photography by Vernon Biever
Grosset & Dunlap (1976)
221 pages

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vince Lombardi — A Football Legend (1975)

This youth-oriented book (seen above without the dust cover, which is long-gone) is “a brief biography of the football coach who turned Wisconsin's Green Bay Packers into a virtually unbeatable team.” If you’d like to teach your son or daughter about the Packers’ legendary head coach, Vince Lombardi — A Football Legend might be a good place to start. 

The inside front and back covers feature this informational football field artwork. 

Introductory title page. 

An example of the “look” of this kids’ book. 

The illustrations are by Herman Vestal. 

There are also several photographs included, such as this shot from the Oneida Street practice field that is still in use during the football season today, although not for Training Camp. 

Find your copy here.

Vince Lombardi — A Football Legend
By Les Etter; Illustrated by Herman Vestal
Garrard Publishing Company (1975)
96 pages

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Pictorial Drama (1975)

The Green Bay Packers: A Pictorial Drama is a curious concept for a book on a professional football team. From the book flap: “The emphasis is not on creating a definitive historical document, but rather on recreating the moods — in words and photos — of the many dramatic moments that make up Packer lore.” It is written like the script to a play or a film, and frankly, if it weren’t for the photos, we’d probably have passed on obtaining a copy. 

The front and back flaps. 

The photos in the book range from this fine shot of head coach Curly Lambeau roaming the City Stadium sideline in attire that coaches should wear today... 

... to QB Arnie Herber weighing himself in the training room... 

... to current players (at the time of publication) like G Gale Gillingham... 

... and this close-up of RB John Brockington, which a reader correctly identified, showing the effects of battle. 

The back cover. 

Find your copy here.

The Green Bay Packers: A Pictorial Drama
By Richard Rainbolt
Photography by Vernon Biever, Skip Heine, and others
Nodin Press (1975)
160 pages

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I’d Rather Be Wright (1974)

“Steve Wright played ball for Bear Bryant at ’Bama, for Lombardi at Green Bay, with Sonny Jurgensen of the Redskins, et al. He wasn't in a glamour position; as an offensive linesman, he had a fly-on-the-wall look at the pro football world of the late 60s and early 70s. I’d Rather Be Wright reads like a real version of the already realistic Peter Gent novels. If you want your athletes on pedestals, skip this book — but if you want to read about the real blood, sweat, booze, broads, pills, and road life from an earlier era of pro ball written by a guy with a wry self-knowledge and affection for the whole game, in spite of/because of everything — then this is for you.”
—Publisher’s book description 

The front and rear flaps. 

The back cover. 

Find your copy here.

I’d Rather Be Wright: Memoirs of An Itinerant Tackle
By Steve Wright
Prentice-Hall (1974)
204 pages

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Football’s Greatest Coach: Vince Lombardi (1974)

Football’s Greatest Coach: Vince Lombardi was published four years after his death, and interestingly, it shows the coach on the cover in a Washington Redskins cap. While he finished his career with one year in the nation’s capitol (1969), he wouldn’t be remembered by the rest of the nation as being associated with anything else but his five-time world champion Green Bay Packers. As the back cover states: “From high school playing star to all-star coach, here’s his fantastic life story. Young fan or old, you’ll love every exciting word of it.” 

The back cover. 

Find your copy here.

Football’s Greatest Coach: Vince Lombardi
By Gene Schoor
Pocket Books (1974)
221 pages

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mean on Sunday (1973)

“Ray Nitschke was not only the greatest middle linebacker in the history of professional football, he was also one of the most beloved of the extended and far-flung Green Bay Packer family. Mean on Sunday is Nitschke’s own story, as told to Robert Wells, prizewinning writer for the Milwaukee Journal. It follows Nitschke from his underprivileged boyhood in Chicago, through his playing days at East Proviso High School and the University of Illinois, and culminating with his extraordinary 15-year career with the Packers (1958-73).”
— From the back cover of the second edition, 1998

Many fine photos are included in the book, from Nitschke’s childhood through his retirement from the Packers. 

The back cover of the original edition. 

The second edition, published in 1998. 

Second edition back cover.

Find your second edition copy here.

Mean on Sunday: The Autobiography of Ray Nitschke
As told to Robert W. Wells; Photography by Vernon Biever
Doubleday & Company, Inc. (1973)
302 pages

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Green Bay’s Packers — Return to Glory (1973)

Green Bay’s Packers — Return to Glory was published following the team’s 1972 Central Division championship season, which saw them finish 10-4 and advance to the NFC playoffs. The fans thought this could be the revival of the organization to the winning habits of the Lombardi Era, this time under the command of head coach Dan Devine. New Packer heroes came to the forefront — QB Scott Hunter, RBs John Brockington and MacArthur Lane, LB Fred Carr, K Chester Marcol and more. Unfortunately, the championship quest came to an end in Washington with a 16-3 loss. The real “Return to Glory” would have to wait more than 20 years.

In order to not damage the binding of the book, we only have front and back cover scans. 

Find your copy here.

Green Bay’s Packers — Return to Glory
By Bob Rubin; Photography by Vernon and John Biever
Prentice-Hall, Inc. (1973)
144 pages

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vince Lombardi on Football (1973)

One book (or set of books) you should have in your football library is Vince Lombardi on Football. This was released first in a two-volume boxed set, and then later with both combined in one bound volume (cover seen above). The amount of football knowledge contained in this book is staggering, and even if you don’t read anything, the collection of period photos is outstanding. You won’t be disappointed after purchasing this! 

Front and back flaps. 

The Editor’s Forward. 

The back cover of the single-bound volume. 

The covers of both volumes of the boxed set look like this. 

A sample spread from the offensive volume. 

This is just one sample of the fine photography throughout. It took three Vikings to stop FB Jim Taylor in this Vernon Biever shot.

Find your copy here.

Vince Lombardi on Football
By Vince Lombardi; Edited by George L. Flynn 
New York Graphic Society Ltd. and Wallynn, Inc. (1973)
442 pages (221 pages each volume)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bart Starr — Professional QB (1973)

Bart Starr — Professional Quarterback seems to be geared towards America’s youth, like many other Starr biographies. After all, who was a better role model in his era? It was written by Hamilton “Tex” Maule, a writer and editor with Sports Illustrated at the time of publication. Not a well-known volume, but worthy of inclusion in any Packer fan’s library. 

Front and back flaps. 

One of the delightful things about this book are the photos from his younger years that you haven’t seen in other books. 

Find your copy here.

Bart Starr — Professional Quarterback
By Tex Maule 
Franklin Watts, Inc. (1973)
87 pages

Monday, March 04, 2013

A Perspective on Victory (1972)

Coming at the end of his playing career, A Perspective on Victory provides a look at the legendary Packers QB and some of his key games in Green Bay. Filled with great classic photos from the era by Vernon Biever, this is an invaluable addition to any Bart Starr or Packer fan’s collection. 

The front and back flaps — a bit difficult to read with the green type on the dark gold background. 

Bart calls the signals in the intro pages. 

Plenty of great photos throughout. 

Many of his and the Packers’ key games are spotlighted. 

The back cover.

Find your copy here.

Bart Starr — A Perspective on Victory
By Bart Starr and John Wiebusch; Photographs by Vernon Biever 
Follett Publishing Company (1972)
192 pages