1945 Green Bay Packers
BAY TEAM DISBANDS; SHIFTS SEEN FOR '46
DEC 4 (Green Bay) - Football suits were being tucked away in mothballs, footballs were being deflated to await another season and Packers who live out of the city were packing their grips today to officially wind up the 1945 season, a little disastrous considering that the squad wound up the year in third place in the Western division for the first time since 1934. The squad returned, somewhat chastened, from Detroit late Monday afternoon. It was apparent to all of them that they had put the skids under their chances for what may prove to be the largest slice of second place money in the National league's history. A little retrospect showed also that a few let-ups here and there during crucial games proved their downfall. But the season is past now and Coach Curly Lambeau will probably begin building forthwith for 1946, the Packers' 26th in the professional circuit and their 28th of football. With returning servicemen on the increase and better chances for the annual draft to operate, it seems apparent at the moment that many new faces will appear in the Green Bay lineup next season...HUTSON TO RETIRE: Although some may smile, it is likely that end Don Hutson, the greatest pass receiver in the game's history, has hung up his cleated shoes and No. 14 jersey for the final time. After three years of attempting to retire, the famous end and Packers' assistant coach apparently means it
this time. Now 32, Don will not be lured out of retirement again, and Coach Lambeau knows it. There will be other changes along the line and in the Bays' backfield. Naturally, much depends on what happens between now and next year but indications are that rebuilding is on the way. Several rookies appear to have won their spurs, including the Tulsa ends, Clyde Goodnight and Nolan Luhn; Paul Lipscomb, the Tennessee tackle; Ed Neal, formerly of Tulane; Bernie Crimmins, the ex-Notre Dame guard, and Ken Keuper, Georgia back. Nothing can be changed by it now, but a review of the season shows that only a few plays separated the Packers from victory in two games against Cleveland, the Chicago Bears and Detroit. Naturally, one miscue doesn't ordinarily win or lose a game but those in question this season helped considerably and they are set down only to show what might have been. In the first Cleveland game here, the Packers had a 14-13 lead in the fourth quarter. They had the ball on their own 35 and first down. Halfback Roy McKay took the pass from center, fumbled the ball, which bounced backward. McKay futilely tried to pick up the rampaging pigskin but kicked it in the process. Cleveland recovered on the 15 1/2 and scored six plays later to go ahead, 20-14. The Rams scored another shortly after to win, 27-14. In the second Bear game in Chicago, perhaps the payoff play for the downtrodden Chicagoans was a last season touchdown pass that Sid Luckman threw to Ken Kavanaugh, good for 24 yards. The play came at the end of the first half and put the Bears within three points of the Bays' lead at 24-21 after they had led 17-7. The Bears scored the winning touchdown on a 69-yard drive at the opening of the second half. Thus Green Bay was two down but still had a chance. In Cleveland, the following week the Rams had the ball four times in the first quarter and scored three times, winning 20-7. Fred Gehrke was the demon in that one, prancing 72 and 42 yards for touchdowns on plays that completely fooled the Bay defense. The third score was on a Bob Waterfield to Jim Benton pass good for 84 yards... PACKERS HAVE MOST POINTS: Sometimes the breaks went the other way, but in the main the ones listed above proved large in the final determination of percentages, where the Packers were down the list with .600, a second division finish. Some balm for the season comes in the total scoring. The Bays tallied 258 to lead both divisions, although Philadelphia may go beyond that mark in next Sunday's finale with Boston. The Packers' scoring was divided among 11 players with Hutson leading the way with 97 points, scored on 10 touchdowns, two field goals and 31 points after. This raises his all-time point total in league games to 825. Second best scorer for the Bays was fullback Ted Fritsch with 57 on eight touchdowns and three field goals. Ted now has an all-time mark of 130, sixth on the Green Bay list.
HUTSON, FRITSCH, C. BROCK PUT ON UNITED PRESS ALL-PRO SQUAD
DEC 4 (Chicago) - Cleveland's champion Rams, led by the unanimous selection of rookie Bob Waterfield, placed three men on the United Press' 1945 All-Professional football team today while Green Bay's champions also won three berths, Philadelphia and Detroit two each and Washington one. The selection board, made up of sportswriters who covered National league games all season, awarded Waterfield the only unanimous spot on the annual honor team, marking the first time a freshman player has gained the honor. Topping Green Bay's first-team trio was Don Hutson, voted an end position for the seventh consecutive year. The first-team backfield represented a complete turnover from last year although two linemen, in addition to Hutson, were placed on the honorary team for the second consecutive year, tackle Al Wistert of Philadelphia and guard Riley (Rattlesnake) Matheson of Cleveland...BAUGH GETS 19 VOTES: Washington's Sammy Baugh, winding up his greatest passing season in nine years of pro football, was the second top vote getter, receiving 19 out of a possible 20 first team ballots. Baugh, completing his passes at the phenomenal percentage of .717, was the only Redskin player to land a first-team ballot and his backfield mate, fullback Frank Akins, was the only Washington player to be awarded a second-team spot. Completing the first team backfield were Ted Fritsch, Green Bay's stubby, 210-pound back, and Steve Van Buren, Philadelphia's eel-like halfback who is the top ground gainer on pro gridirons this season...FRITSCH PACKS POWER: Baugh and Waterfield both are passing wizards, while Van Buren is the top running back of the year and Fritsch packs more bruising power in his stride than any man in the National league. Fritsch also is an expert field goal kicker and Waterfield boots points after touchdowns with deadly precision. Baugh's the best "quick kicker"
in football while Waterfield also is a booming punter. Steve Pritko of Cleveland barely nosed out teammate Jim Benton for the other first team end post while war heroes tackle Emil Uremovich and guard Bill Radovich, the heart of Detroit's great defensive line, were awarded first-team spots along with Wistert and Matheson. Charley Brock, Green Bay's veteran star, was named to pivot the line which averages 213 pounds. BAUGH REDSKIN STANDOUT: Washington's modest showing, in placing only Baugh and Akins on the first and second teams, was traced to two factors: (1) Baugh's passing blanketed every other phase of the Redskins' offensive game, and (2) Coach Dudley De Groot's substitution system produced outstanding units rather than individual line stars. The Redskins' Johnny Adams, freshman tackle from Notre Dame, tied Vic Sears for a second-team tackle spot but Sears' long-standing ability, proved over five professional seasons, earned him the nod. Tackle Baby Ray and guard Bill Kuusisto of the Packers received honorable mention in the all-pro selections. None of the Bays was named to the second squad.
TED FRITSCH LATEST ADDITION TO STARS
DEC 5 (Oshkosh) - Ted Fritsch, Packer football star, joined the Oshkosh All-Stars basketball squad Tuesday and will serve as a player and trainer, Manager Lon Darling reported. Fritsch, a Stevens Point Teachers' college ace, held down a guard position for the All Stars last season.
PACKER COACHES TO ATTEND BOWL GAMES TO FIND GRIDIRON TALENT
DEC 5 (Green Bay) - To prepare for the NFL's annual draft in January, Coach Curly Lambeau and three other members of the Packer organization will watch bowl game players January 1 in various parts of the country, the coach announced today. The league meeting will held in New York one week beginning Jan. 10. Coach Lambeau will attend the Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, Cal. Also going to the western part of the country will be Assistant Coach Don Hutson, who will scout players in the East-West contest at San Francisco. Line Coach Walt Kiesling will be at the Orange Bowl in Miami, and Bob Conrad, Packers' advance man, will attend the Sugar Bowl classic in New Orleans. Present indications are that the league's draft probably will work to the advantage of all teams next season more than at any other time since the beginning of the war with the Axis. The teams drafted players from 1942 to 1945 but only a small percentage of the college stars named actually played because of the war...ONLY FIVE REPORTED: For example, of the 30 chosen by Lambeau in the April 1945 draft, only five reported to the team. Of the quintet, only ends Nolan Luhn and Clyde Goodnight remained through the season. The other three were released. None of those selected in 1944 even reported to the team. However, some of them may yet play with the Bays since they remain on the reserve list of the club. They cannot be signed by other teams in the league. Final statistics on individual performances in the league's Western division today showed end Don Hutson the leader in two departments, scoring and pass receiving. He has amassed 97 points, seven better than the ace runner of the Philadelphia Eagles, Steve Van Buren, in second with 90. Van Buren may overtake Huston in the Eagles' game next Sunday with Boston...LEAGUE'S BEST RECEIVER: In pass reception, Huston's title is in little danger since he has finished two receptions ahead of Jim Benton of Cleveland and is 13 better than Steve Bargarus of Washington, now in third. Huston has received 47 passes for 834 yards and nine touchdowns. The only other departmental leader from the Packers is halfback Roy D. McKay. He has punted 44 times for an average distance of 41.2 yards. His 73-yard boot against the Chicago Cardinals here Oct. 26 is still the best of the season, league figures show. In ball carrying, McKay is 16th in the circuit with 231 yards in 71 tries. He trails fullback Ted Fritsch who is 10th on 282 yards in 88 tries. Fritsch, named Tuesday to an all-pro team of United Press, is fifth in scoring with 57 points and third in kickoff returns with a 24.9 average compiled on eight returns for 279 yards. Both McKay and halfback Irv Comp are listed among the top passers. Comp is in seventh with 44 completions in 106 attempts and McKay is 10th with 32 completions in 89 attempts. Comp passed for seven touchdowns and McKay for five, four of them against the Detroit Lions in Milwaukee.
HUTSON BELONGS IN HALL OF FAME, NOT ALL-PRO ELEVEN
DEC 5 (Washington) - Don Hutson, Mel Hein, Sammy Baugh and Sid Luckman should be left out of 1945 All-Star pro football consideration, a member of the Washington Redskins board of strategy thinks - because they are in a class by themselves. "There no longer is any use putting those four oldtime greats on such a team. Everybody knows that they are automatic all-time all-stars. Where they belong is in the game's Hall of Fame. I mean formally. They aren't to be compared with most other players. They stand out by themselves. A new era has dawned in pro football with the end of World War II. Give other players their chance to make the All-Star team now with the game's future opening wide."
KIESLING RETAINED AS LINE MENTOR BY BAYS
DEC 6 (Green Bay) - Line Coach Walt Kiesling has been signed to a two-year contract to handle the Packers' forward wall, according to an announcement today by Coach Curly Lambeau. Kiesling, who will scout player talent in the Orange Bowl game at Miami on January 1, signed the contract shortly before he left for his home in Minneapolis Tuesday. A keen student of football through almost two decades in the NFL as both player and coach, Kiesling joined the
Green Bay staff last August. Quiet and unassuming, Walt faced the problem of of rebuilding the right side of the Green Bay line, where all the 1944 veterans were missing...DEVELOPED NEW PLAYERS: Coach Lambeau described Kiesling's work during the 1945 season as "eminently satisfactory, Walt came here under several handicaps, including the loss of a flock of veteran linemen, and he always put his duties with the team ahead of everything else. He filled the line gaps nicely through taking boys who had little experience and teaching them to hold their own in league competition." The respect of the players had for Kiesling's knowledge of football was recently indicated when several veterans and newcomers volunteered the information to this writer that they had learned a great amount of football from him during the last season. Several coaches of opposition clubs praised the work of the Green Bay line during the last season. Most vociferous of the group was Coach Steve Owen of the New York Giants, who described the Green Bay line against the Giants as "the best I have seen this season." The line gave up fewer points than six other teams in the league and opened the way for 21 touchdowns running, second best mark in the circuit and only one less than Philadelphia's 222...TO ATTEND LEAGUE SESSION: Following the Orange Bowl game he will go to New York to attend, with Lambeau, the annual meeting of the NFL during which the draft of college talent will be held. Kiesling played two years with the Packers, starting with the team in 1935 and retiring from play after the 1936 season to go to Pittsburgh as assistant to Johnny Blood, who also joined the Packer staff this year following his discharge from service. In 1938, Kiesling became head coach of the Steelers when Blood resigned. In 1941, the team combined with Philadelphia and Walt became co-coach with Bert Bell and then assistant to Buff Donelli, who succeeded Bell. During the 1943 and 1944 seasons, he was co-coach with Greasy Neale of Philadelphia and with Phil Handler of the Chicago Cardinals. Kiesling was a guard during his playing days....PLAYED WITH NEVERS: A star athlete at St. Thomas college in St. Paul, Kiesling broke into professional football with Ernie Nevers' Duluth Eskimos, where he played in 1926-27. After a year with Pottsville, he joined the Cardinals and played with them through the 1933 season, when he was signed by the Chicago Bears. In the 1930s he played professional basketball in Montana. He is married but has no children.
BROOKLYN BOLTS NATIONAL GRID LOOP
DEC 6 (New York) - It was war to the hilt Thursday between the NFL and new All-American Professional conference which plans to start operating next fall. Dan Topping brought matters to a head Wednesday when he bolted the National league for the new organization. This gained for the new group the use of the Yankee stadium and its coveted seating capacity of 80,000. Topping, owner of the Brooklyn franchise in the National league which this year was merged with Boston, and part owner of the New York Yankees, declared he had made the break because Tim Mara, owner of the New York football Giants, declined to agree on playing dates. "An agreement has been reached with the All-America conference for a franchise at Yankee stadium," Topping said. "It is, in our opinion, a move that should be beneficial not only to professional football in general but to New York and Brooklyn. Ray Flaherty, our coach, has spent the last three months since his discharge from the Navy lining up additional talent to round out our roster. Many former Brooklyn players have returned from the services and hope to have them all back before the opening of the season." Topping said his team would be known as the New York Football Yankees. It is the ninth club in the conference that already has awarded franchises to Brooklyn, Buffalo, Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco. Jim Crowley, commissioner of the conference, said that a tenth franchise would be awarded soon. Mara declared that he was "surprised, but not shocked" at Topping's move. "We have been doing business here at the Polo Grounds for at least 21 years while teams in the Yankee stadium have come and gone," he said. Elmer Layden, commissioner of the National circuit which last spring had granted Topping permission to switch his Brooklyn franchise to the stadium, subject to Mara's approval, reserved comment until he heard officially from Topping.
TED FRITSCH GOES TO MAYO CLINIC TO HAVE EXAMINATION
DEC 7 (Green Bay) - Fullback Ted Fritsch of the Packers, named this year to at least one all-pro league first team, was on his way to Rochester, Minn., today to receive a check-up at the Mayo clinic, it was announced by Coach Curly Lambeau. Fritsch will probably remain at the clinic for another week. Bothered by an internal condition which forces him to retire in the sidelines to recuperate, especially after he uncorks either a long run or carries the ball on plunges into the line, Fritsch is being sent to the famous clinic to determine the nature of the ailment. The big fullback, who has scored 130 points in five seasons with the Bays, will join the Oshkosh All-Stars as player and trainer after returning from Rochester.
HUTSON - OLD NO. 14 WILL LEAVE BEHIND RECORD ACHIEVEMENT SECOND TO NONE
DEC 7 (Milwaukee Journal) - It's still too early to say just how many records Don Hutson, at last retired, will finally leave behind. The Hutson Historical society has a winter's work ahead, after statistics for the completed season are in, to amass them all. Some of the more important, however, are available now, and they constitute the skeleton of a record edifice that will probably stand as long as the game is played - or for a long, long time anyway. The Hutsons don't come along every football generation. Hutson opened the season, his eleventh in the pro league, with the record for the most passes caught in a career - 442. He caught 43 more this fall, so he leaves behind a mark of 485. He opened the season with the record for the most touchdown passes caught - 92. He caught nine more this year, so his record here now stands at 101. He started out this fall with 7,176 yards gained catching passes. With 489 more, he boosted this to 7,665. He began the last campaign with 728 points behind his name. He scored 94 more and increased the total to 822. He started the season with 95 touchdowns to his credit - touchdowns on passes, intercepted passes, end around plays and so forth - and with 10 more this season, he boosted this to 105. And he opened the fall drive with 143 extra points on the books, and with 31 more, he hoisted this to 174. These are only some of the more important of his marks. It will take a lot of dogging after all returns for this season are in to complete the list. The six here noted are a good start, though, around which will rise a completed edifice of record achievement second to none in football.
BABY RAY'S SON IN CRITICALLY ILL
DEC 8 (Green Bay) - Donald Lee Ray, four-year old son of Buford (Baby) Ray of the Green Bay Packers, is critically ill with spinal meningitis in Nashville, Tenn. Reached by the phone this noon, the father said the boy became ill Wednesday and was rushed to St. Thomas hospital Friday. Sulfa drugs and penicillin were being administered. The youngster was named Donald Lee for two Packer players, Don Hutson and Bill Lee. He was four years old last September. The Rays also have a daughter, 18 months old.
VAN BUREN BREAKS HUTSON'S TOUCHDOWN RECORD WITH 18
DEC 10 (New York) - Silent Steve Van Buren had the answer to his own $64 question today - and as usual didn't have a nickel's worth of comment. Back in 1944 the barefoot boy from the Bayous asked himself in a sort of negative way: "Am I good enough to play professional football?" Well, Steve and the National league have a loud and emphatic affirmative answer today as the one-time L.S.U. star wrote one record and three titles beside his name in the pro books. They were: 1. A record of 18 touchdowns in one season. 2. The 1945 scoring championship with 110 points. 3. The rushing title with 832 yards in 143 tries. With this confirmation of his football ability, Steve still was far from loquacious..."OTHER FELLOWS HELP OUT": "Shucks, there's nothing to say," Steve drawled modestly. "They give me the ball and I run to the goal. The other fellows help out all along the way." Just like that. Almost easier than breaking in his first pair of shoes back in the days when he left Honduras to invade the Bayou country and become the nation's leading major college scorer for L.S.U. Yet, it wasn't as easy as it sounded. Because one year ago, Steve was ready to ditch football for good. He decided to give one more whirl and the performance of the six-foot, two-inch, 209-pounder made the Eagles one of
the early title choices in the NFL. That they did not make it, but finished second to Sammy Baugh and the Washington Redskins, wasn't his fault. Scoring three touchdowns and two extra points in a 35 to 7 win over the Boston Yanks Sunday, Van Buren filed a pretty solid claim to the title of pro football's man of the year...BREAKS HUTSON'S RECORD: Those touchdowns broke Don Hutson's record of 17 touchdowns in a single season. His total of 18 touchdowns plus the two extra points won the scoring championship at 110. And he carried 22 times for 100 yards against Boston for 832 yards gained in 143 yards - virtually clinching that honor with an average of nearly six yards per try. The modest guy with the curly, black hair was an all-league backfield choice. And some added reasons were a 98-yard touchdown run with a kikcoff, only such feat of the season, and a 69-yard scoring sprint from scrimmage. Gus Dorais, Detroit coach who suffered through that last-named dash, called it the greatest run he ever saw in football. With the season ended for his club, and his answered question filed for future reference, Steve now is ready to embark on a business career in Philadelphia. The set sail man has turned beer salesman and the National league readily can say: "Here's how!"
RAY'S BOY BETTER
DEC 10 (Green Bay) - Buford (Baby) Ray, Green Bay Packers gridder, wired from Nashville, Tenn., today the information that his four-year old, Donald Lee, seriously ill with encephalomyelitis, showed slight improvement late Sunday night after he had been placed in an oxygen tent. The youngster was stricken Wednesday.
$100,000 PAID OUT TO GET TOPPING INTO NEW PRO LOOP
DEC 11 (New York) - The All-America conference expects to complete its ten club lineup shortly, says Commissioner Jim Crowley, who disclosed that $100,000 was shelled out to get Dan Topping to bring a New York eleven into the fold. The other eight teams of the circuit not only contributed to a $100,000 fund to encourage Topping to switch allegiance from the National league but allowed the former Marine captain to come into the loop without paying the $10,000 entry fee, Crowley said Monday night in revealing the financial background of the deal. With the much desired New York outlet in the ranks, Crowley said the award of the tenth and last franchise would be made within a week or ten days. Although the commissioner would not say who would get the berth or how many parties were seeking it, it was believed bids had been received from New Orleans, Boston, Denver and Dallas. Crowley was elated over the Topping transaction but another conference official, who declined to be quoted by name, hailed the coup as a life-saver, saying, "the league couldn't possibly have survived without a New York team."
TWO PACKERS WIN CROWNS IN 1945 SEASON OF NATIONAL GRID LEAGUE
DEC 12 (Chicago) - The NFL is strictly a northern proposition geographically, but it takes the south - as personified by such Dixie dandies as Steve Van Buren, Don Hutson and Sammy Baugh - to show the pro circuit how to handle a pigskin. Final league statistics today disclosed the 1945 battle for individual laurels was almost exclusively a southern show, featured by Van Buren, Louisiana State's ball-carrying gift to the Philadelphia Eagles, who grabbed three championships - in ground gaining, scoring and kickoff returns...ONE CROWN TO HUTSON: Hutson, Alabama end who has turned the pro loop upside down for the past decade at Green Bay, yielded his perennial touchdown title to Van Buren, but won the pass receiving championship for the fifth straight season and the eighth time in his career. Baugh, Redskins' throwing terror from Texas, accounted for a title share in forward passing, rallying last Sunday as Washington clinched the Eastern crown to surge into a tie with Columbia's Sid Luckman of the Bears. In fact, Luckman was the only standout specialist who played his college football in the league's own backyard. Other departmental leaders included Roy McKay, Green Bay's halfback from Texas, in punting; end Joe Aguirre, who cam to Washington from St. Mary's, in field goals; Dave Ryan, Hardin-Simmons' graduate to the Detroit Lions, in punt returns; and the Eagles' Roy Zimmerman, from San Jose State, in pass interceptions...TWO NEW RECORDS: Both Baugh and Van Buren established new records. The veteran Redskins quarterback finished with an amazing percentage of .703 in completing his passes, connecting on 128 of 162 tosses. Luckman had a .539 percentage, but outgained Baugh in yardage, 1,725 to 1,669, and pitched 14 touchdown passes to Sammy's 11. Van Buren set a new league mark for touchdowns by rushing with 18 and shaded Hutson's
record of 17 six-pointers. The burly halfback from the Bayou country outscored Hutson, 110 points to 97, marking the first time in six years the Packer star was an also-ran in the scoring column. The Eagle bruiser took the ground gaining crown with 832 yards in 143 attempts, a 5.8 average, topping Washington's Frank Akins by 35 yards. Van Buren also led in kickoff returns with a 28.7-yard average on 13 tries...JIM BENTON SECOND: Hutson's pass snagging title came on a 10-game bag of 47 for 834 yards, while end Jim Benton of Cleveland's Western champions was second with 45 catches for 1,067 yards. McKay led in punting with an average of 41.2 yards on 44 kicks; Aguirre booted seven field goals in 13 attempts; Ryan was tops in punt returns with an average of 14.7 yards on 15 returns; while Zimmerman intercepted seven passes to lead that department.
CONDITION IS BETTER
DEC 13 (Green Bay) - Buford (Baby) Ray, at home in Nashville, Tenn., after completing the season with the Packers wired this morning that his son, Donald Lee, 4, showed marked improvement Tuesday night after having been critically ill since Friday. It was thought that he might be removed from the oxygen tent today.
PACKERS EXCEED HALF-MILLION MARK IN ATTENDANCE THIS YEAR
DEC 14 (Green Bay) - The Packers broke all football attendance records during the 1945 gridiron season with a total gate of 532,444 for 14 games. Coach E.L. Lambeau's team really did pick them in all around the National league circuit after performing before immense throngs in the preseason contests. The colorful Packers have been topnotch drawing cards for many years but the turnouts this past fall made dreams about the half million season gates come true. With the exception of Detroit (Dec. 2), the Packers drew the best crowds at every city in which they played around the postgraduate gridiron wheel while at home two of three contests were sellouts...92,753 IN CHICAGO: The Packers this year played before 182,981 in the first two games of the preseason schedule. The All-Star classic in Chicago attracted 92,753 and the engagement in Philadelphia drew a 90,218 house. Playing against Pittsburgh at Hershey, Pa., the Bays put 14,251 in the park and then went to Washington where a crowd of 27,125 greeted the Bays. The Packers opened the league season at home with a 24,525 throng for the Bears game.
Tickets for the fracas were sold out two weeks in advance. The next Sunday at Milwaukee against Detroit, there was another capacity crowd of 25,500. The following week at Green Bay (Oct. 14), Cleveland jammed City stadium with 24,607 football fans. In another game at Milwaukee, the Packers faced Boston on a wet day, yet some 20,846 fans poured into the park. The Chicago Cardinal encounter at Green Bay drew 19,921. This was the best gate the Windy City Redbirds ever drew in Packertown. The Bays had a turnstile count of 45,527 against the Bears in Chicago and 28,686 for the Rams in Cleveland. The Packers had a 33,748 turnout in Boston, which set an all-time postgraduate gridiron attendance mark in Beantown. Lambeau and company jammed the Polo Grounds in New York with a 52,631 crowd when they rubbed elbows with the Giants Nov. 25. The game with the Lions in Detroit had a paid gate of 23,486 despite chilly wintry blasts.
HUTSON, CHARLEY BROCK NAMED TO ALL-PRO ELEVEN
DEC 14 (New York) - Steve Van Buren, the terrific ball toter of the Philadelphia Eagles, playing his second year in the National league, is the only unanimous choice for the All-Pro team selected today by Associated Press sportswriters around the circuit. Next to the former Louisiana State star came Cleveland's Bob Waterfield, rookie of the year. The passing-punting-scoring pro ace, who did more than any other player to put the Rams in the championship playoffs, was only one vote from away from a perfect count. Big Jim Benton, teammate of Waterfield, not only led the great Don Hutson in yards gained by catching passes during the league season but he also topped the ace end in the eyes of the All-Pro selectors...HUTSON EIGHTH TIME: Of course the honor business is an old story for Hutson. This is the eighth straight year the Green Bay standby has made the top team while creating new records every time he caught a pass or crossed an enemy goal line. Don is one of four repeaters from the 1944 team. The others are Al Wistert, 215-pound Philadelphia tackle; Riley Matheson, 205-pound Cleveland guard; and Van Buren. Besides Waterfield and Benton, the other newcomers are ball carriers Steve Baragarus, Washington Redskin freshman, and Bob Westfall, Detroit sophomore; tackle Frank Cope, eight-year man with the New York Giants; guard Bill Radovich, with Detroit for five years; and Charley Brock, Green Bay center for seven years...THREE FROM CLEVELAND: As far as team representation goes, Cleveland placed three men on the All-Pro team; Detroit, Philadelphia and Green Bay, two each; Washington and New York, one player apiece. Benton and Hutson ran way ahead of all other ends in the voting with Frank Liebel, New York; Joe Aguirre, Washington, and Steve Pritko, Cleveland, following in that order. No other tackles came close to Wistert and Cope but votes were
cast for Chester Bulger , Chicago Cardinals, and Emil Uremovich, Detroit. Matheson led all the guards for the third straight year. Radovich had to beat out Zip Hanna of Washington and Augie Lio of the Boston-Brooklyn Yanks for the other spot. Pete Tinsley of Green Bay also was well liked by selectors...BROCK EGDED OUT: Mel Hein of the Giants and Alex Wojciechowicz gave Brock quite a battle for center honors but the big Green Bay pivot man won out by one vote. There was never any doubt about the backfield. Of course the big surprise was the failure of Sammy Baugh and Sid Luckman to get enough votes for the first team. Baragarus ran way ahead of Baugh. Bulst Warren of Pittsburgh made a good showing as did Ted Fritsch of Green Bay, who lose the first fullback post to Westfall by one vote. All in all, the 1945 All-Pro team is one any coach would like to field. It has plenty of power, speed and weight. The line averages 217 and the backs 189.
JOANNES AT MEETING
DEC 15 (Green Bay) - President L.H. Joannes of the Packer corporation will represent the team at a special meeting of the NFL in Cleveland on Monday. The meeting is being held to consider the recent shift of Brooklyn from the National to the new All-America league. Joannes will attend the championship game between Washington and Cleveland Sunday.
PACKERS' TRAINER JOINS NORTHLAND BATHS STAFF
DEC 15 (Green Bay) - A member of the Packers' training staff for the last 22 years, trainer Bud Jorgensen today announced that he has become affiliated with the Hotel Northland baths on a part-time basis. Jorgensen, who recently completed another season as the football club's head trainer, will give messages and treat athletic injuries.
LAYDEN RULES TOPPING LOSES N.L. FRANCHISE
DEC 15 (New York) - In an anticlimax to the recent switch of Dan Topping's Brooklyn team from the NFL to the All-America conference, commissioner Elmer Layden yesterday ruled that Topping forfeited his franchise in the National pro circuit. Furthermore, Layden asserted the Brooklyn players have been awarded to the Boston Yanks of the National league. Brooklyn last season was merged with the Yanks after being denied use of Ebbets field in Brooklyn. The commissioner listed 13 players on the active list and about 160 on Brooklyn's service roster who would be available to Boston. If any Brooklyn players insist on remaining with Topping's club, which will operate in 1946 as the New York Football Yankees at Yankee stadium in New York, they will be suspended for five yards for the National league, Layden warned. Brooklyn last season owned such performers as Pug Manders, George Cafego, Johnny Grigas and Ace Parker.
DEC 16 (Wisconsin State Journal) - The inducements offered Dan Topping by the All-America Football Conference to operate a professional eleven in New York's Yankee Stadium are said to include there: 1. The other owners in the All-America Conference paid Topping $100,000 in cash. 2. The All-America Conference agreed to provide Topping with an undisclosed number of "name" players. 3. The All-America Conference agreed to guarantee Topping against any operating losses for two years. E.L. "Curly" Lambeau, coach of the Green Bay Packers, claims the All-America Conference isn't sound. "They can't do it," Lambeau declared. "They can't have a playing schedule in a league that stretches from San Francisco to Boston. They can't pay the salaries they're talking about. They can't make good the inducements they are offering. They'll go broke. They are just making it tough for everybody, including themselves. I think there is room for a second league," Lambeau continued. "I'm in favor of it. But this All-America Conference takes in too much territory to be practical. And I don't like the way they do things." When Curly says the All-America Conference is "just making it tough for everybody", he means, of course, the owners. As far as the players are concerned, the professional football war is likely to be a mild bonanza. However, a professional football war may force some of the clubs in both the established NFL as well as in the upstart All-America Conference to fold under the financial pressure. That might open the way for a compromise whereby the financially sound teams in both leagues joined up in one circuit. For the time being, however, it looks like a war to the hilt, and you can see why Lambeau is concerned, Curly being a person who never derived any joy from seeing those beautiful dollars escape his clutches.
PACKERS PLAN ADDITION TO GREEN BAY STADIUM
DEC 19 (Milwaukee Journal) - A plan to increase the seating capacity of City stadium in Green Bay, home of the Packers, from its present 24,000 to at least 30,000 or perhaps 35,000 in time for next season's games, has been under consideration for the last month and probably will be adopted shortly, it was learned Wednesday. The expansion was decided upon because of the sellouts in the season just closed, the promise of an unprecedented sports boom in the postwar era, the strong financial position of the club at this time after one of the best seasons in its history, and the desire of the entire National league to strengthen its position in the face of the challenge of the new All-American conference. The additional seats, first steps in a long range building plan, will all be built on the north and south sides of the stadium, between the goal lines, and will be erected of steel or concrete. Eventually, the club hopes to replace all of its present wooden structure with steel or concrete. Architects are now working on the full plans and will submit them to the board within the next month or six weeks. Acceptance is considered only a formality after the discussions which have already been held. The problem will be to get building materials. If they cannot be had at once, the building will done as soon as possible. Both the Bear and Cleveland games in the season just closed were sellouts. It was the first time the Packers have ever had sellouts in successive home games and indicated what they might expect in the postwar boom. The Bear game has been a sellout year after year. The expansion in Green Bay will not affect the club's policy of playing at least two of its home games each season in Milwaukee.
LITTLE HOPE OF BIGGER STADIUM
DEC 20 (Green Bay) - The report that the City stadium is to be enlarged from its present capacity of about 24,000 to at least 30,000 or 35,000 in time for next season's game, which was published in the Milwaukee Journal last evening, failed to get enthusiastic confirmation from the Packer corporation today. L.H. Joannes, president of the Green Bay Packers, Inc., said, "Of course, we have discussed plans for enlarging the stadium. The executive committee of the Packer corporation is continually discussing matters of this kind. The stadium was built a little at a time following a general plan as everyone in Green Bay knows, and further additions are practically a certainty. We have no definite plan at this time, but are continuing to examine various proposals and we will be ready to whatever is necessary when building materials become available again. In fact, if it were possible to secure building material, it is probable that we would add 5,000 to 6,000 seats before the opening of the next season. The present restrictions on the use of lumber for any purpose other than the building of homes, makes it seem unlikely that anything much can be done. We are at present investigating some construction with steel and it may be that several thousand additional seats of steel could be made available by next fall without disturbing any of the present structure." The further statement in the Milwaukee paper that the new sections are to be built of concrete or steel and that "eventually the club hopes to replace all of its present wooden structure with steel or concrete" was regarded as predicting something to far in the future to require comment. Reporters talking to members of the Packer board of directors were convinced that a concrete stadium for Green Bay is something for the distant future.
103 BAYS HAVE TALLIED POINTS SINCE TEAM ENTERED PRO WHEEL
DEC 21 (Green Bay) - Don Hutson, Packer end, dug in a bit deeper at the top of the Green Bay all-time scoring table by marking up 97 points during the 1945 season. The pass receiver made 10 touchdowns, added 31 conversions and booted a pair of field goals. His all-time total is 825, which places him in a class by himself when it comes to gridiron figures...FRITSCH IS SECOND: Fullback Ted Fritsch followed Hutson on the scoring front for the Bays. He made eight "touches" and clicked on three field goals. This total of 57 boosted his all-time mark to 130 and moved him up into sixth position among the Packer scorers in a quarter of a century. Other members of the top "half-dozen" are Clarke Hinkle, fullback, 1932-41, 390; Verne Lewellen, halfback, 1924-32, 301; Johnny Blood, halfback, 1928-36, 224; Joe Laws, halfback, 1934-45, 132. Halfback Lou Brock boosted his scoring total to 98 this season by making three touchdown excursions and Irv Comp's trio of T.D.s moved him up to the 60 level...THREE ROOKIES SCORE: Three newcomers broke into the Packers point-getting table. Clyde Goodnight chalked up 20 (three touchdowns and a safety); Bernie Crimmins and Nolan Luhn each made a "touch". Larry Craig, veteran end and blocking back finally came up with a score. He has been with the Packers since 1939 but in this year's game against the Bears at Chicago he reached "paydirt" for the first time when he scooped up a Bruin fumble and planted the cowhide back of the uprights.
PACKERS DREW NEW RECORD IN ATTENDANCE
DEC 31 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers, 1944 champions of the NFL, led all teams in total attendance, setting a new record for one club by playing to 521,426 spectators or an average of 37,245 in 14 games. The previous high for one club was 507,067 in 20 games, set by the Chicago Bears in 1941, the only other time in league history when a club played to half a million spectators in one season. A total of 1,918,631 fans saw the pro league games this year, an alltime record. The total was 20 percent above the record of 1,204,817 for 1944.