Tools of the Trade

August 8 is a birthday shared by two Packer teammates from the 1950s: defensive tackle Jerry Helluin and guard Jim Salsbury. Neither was drafted by Green Bay; both came via trade.

Helluin was drafted out of Tulane by the Browns in the third round in 1951. After finishing his college eligibility, the 290-pounder spent two seasons with Cleveland before being acquired by Liz Blackbourn for a fourth round pick in 1954. With his size, he was a formidable presence in the middle of the Packer defensive line, but had no speed to pursue the action. Nonetheless, he started for four seasons in Green Bay until a should separation in the 1958 preseason sat him down for a year. Vince Lombardi cut him in September 1959 and then acquired Henry Jordan – also from Cleveland and also for a fourth round pick – ten days later. Helluin finished his career starting for the AFL champion Oilers in 1960.

Jim Salsbury was an All-American guard at UCLA and was drafted in the second round in 1955 by Detroit. A year later, the Lions traded All-Pro Dick Stanfel and made Salsbury a starter. However, in 1957, Jim was one of four Lions acquired for Packer quarterback Tobin Rote in a blockbuster trade by Blackbourn. All four former Lions – Salsbury, tackles Norm Masters and Ollie Spencer and halfback Don McIlhenny – moved into the Packer starting lineup. Salsbury was a two-year starter in Green Bay but retired from football before the start of the 1959 season. He went into real estate and raised six children with his wife Glenna who has worked as a public speaker. He died in 2002 from a blood infection.

1954bjhelluin  1957tjhelluin2

1957tjsalsbury2  1958tjsalsbury3

Custom cards are colorized.


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