May 25 birthday boy Dick Himes, from Canton, Ohio, had the unenviable task of following Hall of Fame tackle Forrest Gregg at right tackle for the Packers, but rose to the challenge and forged a solid career in Green Bay. Drafted in the third round out of Ohio State in 1968, Himes excelled on special teams as a rookie. The 6’4” 245 pounder was slated to start at right tackle in 1969, but right before the season began, Gregg, who was serving as the team’s line coach, unretired and returned to the starting lineup.
Gregg returned for one last season in Green Bay in 1970, but Himes took over as starter during that season and stayed there for eight years. The highlight of his career was 1972, one of only two winning seasons he experienced as a Packer. Playing next to Gale Gillingham on one of the league’s best run blocking outfits, Himes was nominated by the National 1,000 Yard Foundation that year for its 1972 Outstanding Blocker award. Himes’ fellow nominees included future Hall of Famers Bob Brown and Larry Little as well as All-Pro stalwarts George Kunz, Len Hauss and Bruce Van Dyke. Ultimately, Larry Little of the undefeated Dolphins won the award, but it was an honor for the unheralded Himes to be nominated.
Knee problems plagued Himes the next two seasons. He told the Milwaukee Journal, “The last two years, it was like playing with an ice pick in my knee. Anytime I made a sudden move, I had a sharp pain.” In addition, he was not happy with the general deterioration of the team under Dan Devine in those years. After undergoing knee surgery, Himes returned at full strength for new Coach Bart Starr in 1975, but without Gillingham, his long-term All-Pro running mate on the right side. Probably better at run blocking, Himes was good at pass protection, too. He retired in 1978 and was replaced by Greg Koch, continuing that nice run at right tackle from 1956-85.
(Adapted from Green Bay Gold)
1968 and 1969 custom cards are colorized.