Green Bay Packers (7-6) 21, St. Louis Gunners (1-10) 14
Sunday December 2nd 1934 (at St. Louis)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(ST. LOUIS) - Three games in eight days takes the fire out of any club, but the Green Bay Packers, playing with but 17 gridders, weathered the storm here Sunday afternoon at Sportsmans' park and defeated the St. Louis Gunners by the score of 21 to 14 in a National league football game before a paid gate of some 6,300. The Bays had to shoot the works to cop the verdict as Chile Walsh, former Notre Dame end, had a young army of fighting players in uniform and there was a continual procession from the bench to the field and return. Umpire Gammel ran out of paper in trying to check the substitutions and replacements, but the St. Louis coach claimed he didn't use more than the legal 22. However, every member of the Packer squad thought differently. In the fourth quarter, it got so dark that it was hardly possible to tell the participants from the officials. However, an ill wind always blows good for somebody and, after Corzine had scored the Gunners' second touchdown and Gene Alford, former Portsmouth backfielder, added the extra point, the cowhide sailed into the bleacher section and one of the 75 cent ticket holders profited on his investment by tucking the ball under his top coat and proceeded to beat it out of the stands. This held up proceedings for a few minutes until the St. Louis management got another one of its new ovals out of the mothballs.
YELPING FOR VICTORY
It was the first game the Gunners have lost in the Mound City since the post season clash early in December last year when the Packers took them into camp by three touchdowns and a field goal count and the fans were yelping plenty for a victory. The Gunners' followers started booing the officials when interference was called on a Packer pass early in the first quarter. The Bays capitalized on this decision by soon scoring a touchdown with Joe Laws on the receiving end of a forward pass from Arnie Herber. Clark Hinkle then converted clean as a whistle. This seemed to rouse the ire of the St. Louis crowd and they were on the officials for the remainder of the game. Catcalls and sarcastic toots greeted every ruling and Jim Durfee, one of the veteran officials of the league, remarked after the game that if President Carr never sent to him to St. Louis again, it would be soon enough. It wasn't difficult to pick the Packer luminaries. Clarke Hinkle showed worlds of class. He played nearly all the game and was battling furiously every minute. Hinkle seemed to take special delight in dumping Swede Johnston, who played splendid ball for St. Louis. The Packer fullback had a 100 percent "goal after" record, besides adding a touchdown for the Packers in the fourth stanza when it was badly needed. Red Bultman was on the shelf with an infected toe and Nate Barragar had to go the route at center. He did a man-sized job and looked more like the Barragar of several years ago than at any other time this season. Arnold Herber had another good day while "Bigum" Rose, who has been playing a whale of a game at end in the last three or four engagements, was very much in the ball game. He made several stabs of bullet-like forward passes.
PASS DEFENSE WEAK
Aside from Johnston, Casper, another former Packer, did a lot of ground gaining but both these players were easy marks on the defense when the Bays began throwing forward passes and many a Green Bay gain was chalked up in their sectors. Sandberg, a tackle from Iowa Wesleyan, and Moss, former Purdue end, featured for the Gunners on the defense. Moss was a demon knocking down passes and he must have broken up a dozen or so of the Bays' aerial thrusts. Sandberg was a might tough lineman and he was generally at the bottom of the heap in the scrimmage pileups. The first quarter got underway with the Bays receiving on the "home plate" end of the gridiron. After two line thrusts, the Bays quick-kicked to the Gunners' 46. St. Louis couldn't gain and Johnston punted out on the Bays' 17. Here the Gunners intercepted a Packer pass and Lambeau's hirelings were on the spot. The Gunners bumped into a stone wall and lost the ball on downs. The Bays came through with a first down and then passed successfully to midfield. A line plunge and two aerial thrusts netted little and a Bay punt sailed over the Gunners' goal line. After two ineffective rushes, St. Louis booted to the Bays' 48. Here Herber tossed a long pass and interference with the receiver gave the ball to the Packer inside scoring territory, On the second lineup Herber zipped one to Laws and he took two steps to a touchdown. And, of course, Herber converted. The Packers' next kickoff sailed over the goal line and the Gunners scrimmaged on their 20. There was no further scoring in this quarter although the Packers worked up close several times and once Hinkle blew a field goal. When quarter time was called, the Gunners had the ball on their own 23 yard line. The Gunners seemed to find a little steam and they rushed the cowhide to the Bays' 36. Here Laws popped up to snag a Gunners' forward pass and ran the ball back to midfield. Following several exchanges of kicks, the Bays worked the ball fairly well into St. Louis' territory and a couple of first downs put the Bays in the shadow of the goal posts. The Gunners stiffened their backs and held tight for three downs but on the final thrust, Monnett passed to Grove in the end zone for the Bays' second touchdown. Hinkle then added the extra point. The Gunners chose again to receive and they were a bit troublesome for the remainder of the quarter, chalking up several first downs. They had the ball on the Bays' 40 when the gun popped for the half.
LAUNCH STEADY MARCH
The second half got underway with the Packers kicking off to St. Louis and the Gunners launched a steady march down the field until Swede Johnston dashed around the Bays' left wing on a trick lateral to score a touchdown for the Gunners. Gene Alford was sent in to add the extra point and he made good. The Packers received and moved down the field for three first downs only to lose the ball by inches on the fourth play of a series in midfield. The remainder of the quarter was nip and tuck with little advantage for either side although both clubs missed forward passes by inches. When the third quarter started, time was called and the Gunners had possession of the ball on Green Bay's 39. Starting the fourth quarter, a Gunner pass went bad and St. Louis punted out of bounds on the Bays' ten. One Bay toss went in the discard. Hinkle then got through for six but a penalty for roughness put the Bays right back on their goal line. The Packers clicked for a couple of first downs and was going along to midfield when the Gunners snagged an overhead toss and ran the ball back to Green Bay's 35. However, the Bays returned the favor and snatched one of the Gunners' passes. Once again, this changed the complexion of the game. After two rushes, the Bays got off a good punt and the Gunners went into action on their 35. A forward pass followed by a lateral, Andrews to Moss to Senn, advanced the ball to the 40, but on the lateral end the ball was fumbled out of bounds, some Green Bay players piling on. The ball was given to the Packers. Monnett passed to Grove for 20 yards to the Gunners' 20. Herber threw another long one to Dilweg, who ran out of bounds on the 3 yard line. Hinkle bucked for 2 yards, was stopped on second down, then piled over for Green Bay's third
touchdown. He placekicked the extra point to make the score 21 to 7.
CARRIED FROM FIELD
Sandberg fainted after the play, tried to get up and was carried from the field. He was badly stunned. Elser replaced him. The Gunners received and sailed 70 yards for a touchdown. Short passes and plunges to go from their 30 to the Packers' 48. Andrews passed to Senn, who galloped to the 13 yard line. Green Bay was offside, then Corzine cracked over for a touchdown. Alford's kick was good, and the score was 21 to 14. Green Bay received, used straight running plays with Goldenberg, Grove and Hinkle carrying the ball and reached midfield. Reynolds was hurt and Lay replaced him in the Gunners' lineup. Herber passed to Dilweg for 12 yards as the game ended.
GREEN BAY - 7 7 0 7 - 21
ST. LOUIS - 0 0 7 7 - 14
The St. Louis Gunners in a colorized photo
THE ST. LOUIS GUNNERS
On August 8, 1934, before the start of the NFL season, St. Louis purchased the NFL's Cincinnati Reds for $20,000. However the Gunners needed the other league owners to approve the sale. Only then would the Gunners would be official members. On August 17, the other owners decided to reject the Gunners bid to buy the Reds, probably because St. Louis was too far removed from the rest of the clubs, all in the Northeast, and yearly trips there would have increased travel expenses. Meanwhile the Gunners declined membership into the minor league American Football League. As a result, the new league decided to form the St. Louis Blues. Gunners GM Bud Yates was credited with founding the team. The Blues even lured Dick Frahm away from the Gunners and even took over the lease of Public Schools Stadium. As a result, the Gunners moved their home games to Sportsman's Park. Meanwhile Chile Walsh became the team's fourth head coach in four years. The Gunners started their 1934 season, 5–0 against several semi-pro teams. The team was searching desperately for decent teams to compete against. However on November 6, 1934, the NFL finally approved the sale of the Cincinnati Reds to St. Louis for $20,000 – $30,000. The Gunners were now officially members of the NFL and were invited to play the Reds last 3 games of the 1934 NFL season. The Blues then moved to Kansas City two days later in order to avoid fighting the Gunners for control of the St. Louis fanbase. The Gunners defeated their first NFL opponent, the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6–0. However, a week later they were defeated by the Detroit Lions 40–7. The team managed to defeat the Pirates again in a 10–0 rematch, but the game, scheduled while the Gunners were still playing independently, was subsequently ruled an exhibition. The Gunners lost to the Packers a week later, 21–14.
AFTER THE REGULAR SEASON: Their league schedule (or actually Cincinnati's schedule) completed, the Gunners concluded the season with an N.F.L. record of 1-2-0 (1-10-0, when the Red's games were included). But though the N.F.L. season was officially through, the Gunners weren't. The following week the Brooklyn Dodgers came to town for an exhibition game. Arnie Herber of the Packers stayed in St. Louis to strengthen the Gunners for the contest, which turned out to be a good one. Ralph Kercheval's field goal provided the margin of victory in a 17-14 Dodger win before a disappointing crowd of only five thousand. Hastily the St. Louis management arranged one last game, this one a showdown with the Kansas City [nee St. Louis] Blues, who had gone on to win the A.F.L. title. Herber again suited up for the Gunners, but again he wasn't much help -- this time, though, the team didn't need him anyway. Charley McLaughlin's touchdown pass to Benny LaPresta gave the Gunners a 7-0 win, and the championship of Missouri. That was the good news. After the game, the bad news came in the form of an announcement that all receipts for the contest were being held up pending the resolution of several claims against the team for unpaid debts, including one from the government for $1,700 in taxes. Two days later, on December 18, club president Butler revealed that he was $9,000 in debt. N.F.L. president Joe Carr promised that the league would guarantee players' salaries if the team couldn't pay -- which in fact it couldn't. Apparently the whole problem was the purchase price for the cherished N.F.L. franchise -- not that it was too high in itself. It was simply that even with attendance as high as it had been in 1934, the Gunners couldn't pay their own expenses as still have $20,000 left over to meet this additional obligation. If the sale had been approved by the league when it was first agreed upon, in August, St. Louis would have had the benefit of several additional N.F.L. home dates, which would have drawn considerably larger crowds than some of the early-season games they had scheduled instead. That extra revenue might have been enough to cover the franchise payments; but with entrance into the league delayed three months, the benefits of a few large crowds were not enough to outweigh that one big liability. For a while there was talk of selling the club to a new owner who could assume all the debts, but this idea fell through, and at the N.F.L. meeting on June 16, 1935 the Gunners' franchise was revoked by the league. Too far in debt to contemplate another season as independents, team officials disbanded the club for good. The dream of an N.F.L. franchise had turned out to be a nightmare -- one from which the Gunners never awakened. SOURCE: WIkipedia and "The St. Louis Gunners" - Professional Football Researchers Association)
Sportsman's Park was the name of several former Major League Baseball ballpark structures in St. Louis, all but one of which were located on the same piece of land, the northwest corner of Grand Boulevard and Dodier Street on the north side of the city. Baseball was played on the Sportsman's Park site as early as 1867. The tract was acquired in 1866 by August Solari, who began staging games there the following year. It was the home of the St. Louis Brown Stockings in the National Association and the National League from 1875 to 1877. Originally called the Grand Avenue Ball Grounds, in 1876 it was renamed Sportsman's Park. The first grandstand—one of three on the site—was built in 1881. From 1920–1953, Sportsman's Park was the home field of both the St. Louis Browns of the American League, and the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League, after which the Browns departed to become the modern-day Baltimore Orioles. The physical street address was 2911 North Grand Boulevard. This ballpark (by then known as Busch Stadium, but still commonly called Sportsman's Park) was also the home of the St. Louis Cardinals of the National Football League from 1960 until 1965, after the team's relocation from Chicago and before Busch Memorial Stadium opened its doors in 1966. In 1923, the stadium hosted St. Louis's first NFL team, the St. Louis All Stars. (Pictured below - Sportman's Park in 1934) Source: Wikipedia
St. Louis Brown Stockings (NA / NL) (1875–1877)
St. Louis Brown Stockings (AA) (1882–1893)
St. Louis Browns (AL) (1902–1953)
St. Louis Cardinals (NL) (1920–1966)
St. Louis All Stars (NFL) (1923)
St. Louis Gunners (NFL) (1934)
St. Louis Soccer League (1935–1936)
St. Louis Cardinals (NFL) (1960–1965)
1ST - GB - Joe Laws, 20-yard pass from Arnie Herber (Clarke Hinkle kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
2ND - GB - Roger Grove pass from Bob Monnett (Hinkle kick) GREEN BAY 14-0
3RD - STL - Swede Johnston run (Gene Alford kick) GREEN BAY 14-7
4TH - GB - Hinkle, 1-yard run (Hinkle kick) GREEN BAY 21-7
4TH - STL - Red Corzine, 8-yard run (Alford kick) GREEN BAY 21-14