Probably the most prominent Christmas baby in Packer history is Lon Evans. He was born in 1911, played at TCU under Francis “Close the Gates of Mercy” Schmidt, and signed with the Packers in 1933. Lon played guard for Green Bay for five seasons and drew All-Pro notice the last three years. He later spent 28 years officiating college and professional games and served 23 years as the Sheriff of Tarrant County in Texas. The correctional facility in Fort Worth is named after him.
In 1990, one of his daughters put together a self-published volume entitled The Purple Lawman: From Horned Frog to High Sheriff that is an odd, but endearing mix of memories, anecdotes, tributes and photographs of Evans’ varied life. One of the photos depicts Lon meeting with John Kennedy on the day the President was assassinated.
In the book, Lon’s wife Marion recalled the championship season:
The Packers had another terrific year in 1936. They became World Champions of the National Football League! The town of Green Bay went wild – banquets and appearances everywhere. After Christmas, the Packer Corporation had signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio to make some Pete Smith sports films. All of the members and their wives drove to Denver. The team played exhibition games in Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. We stayed in Los Angeles a month for filming and then came back to Texas until August and then on to Green Bay.
Lon remembered meeting Vince Lombardi when he was playing guard for Fordham as one of the “Seven Blocks of Granite:”
We’d work out at Fordham when we were in New York to play the Giants, and Lombardi would come to me to ask questions about how to play guard. Years later, he still remembered those days after he was winning Super Bowls and I’d go up for Packers’ reunions.
While only a small portion of the book deals with his Packer years, there are amusing anecdotes of pranks involving Don Hutson, George Sauer, George Svendsen, Cal Hubbard and others. Here’s to the High Sheriff on the anniversary of his birth.
Custom cards are colorized.