The Brothers Zoll

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The three stout brothers Zoll who played guard for the Packers were the sons of a local stone cutter. Both Carl and Martin Zoll were members of the original Curly Lambeau-captained town team sponsored by the Indian Packing Company in 1919, and continued with the team in 1920 when its sponsorship was taken over by the Acme Packing Company.

Carl was the oldest brother, born in 1899. He was just 5’9” but weighed in at 215 pounds, a big lineman for the time. Green Bay native Red Smith recalled Carl in an April 7, 1980 column in the New York Times that extolled Zoll’s wrestling skills, particularly going up against strong men in traveling carnivals that would pass through town. Officially, Carl appeared in just one NFL game in 1922. He was the original vice president of the Packer Alumni organization that was formed in 1949. He died in 1973.

Brother Martin was born in 1900, stood 5’8” and weighed 185 pounds. He also wrestled and was good enough that a couple of his bouts were noted in the local Appleton newspaper in 1920. He, too, played in just one official NFL game as a Packer, in 1921. He died in 1968.

Youngest brother Dick was born in 1913, stood 5’11 and weighed 218 pounds. After playing collegiately for Indiana, Dick signed on with the Cleveland Rams in 1937 and played 22 games at guard and tackle for the Rams from 1937-38, including three against Green Bay. At the February 1939 NFL winter meetings, Curly Lambeau acquired Dick for the rights to his 17th round draft pick, end John Yerby of Oregon. Yerby signed with the Rams, but never played in the NFL; Zoll appeared in one game for the 1939 champion Packers.

Years later, Richard Zoll, a tackle from Green Bay lettered for Indiana in 1965 and 1966, while Robert Zoll lettered in 1966. Presumably, they were Dick’s sons, but I have not been able to confirm that. Dick died in 1985.

Altogether, each Zoll brother appeared in just one official NFL game as a Green Bay Packer — three local brothers, three games as Packers, and three different seasons.

Closing note: Appearances in official NFL games is according to most sources. However, Tod Maher’s Pro Football Archives lists Martin as playing in one NFL game in 1921 and 1922 and neither Carl or Dick ever appearing in an official game for the Packers.

(The Martin & Carl colorized mashup is in the 1926 Spaulding Champions style, while the colorized mashup card for Dick is derived from the 1968 Topps style.)

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