A Card for Everyone: Charlie Hall

Defensive back Charlie Hall was born on March 31, 1948 in Somers Point, NJ and grew up outside of Philadelphia. He starred at Pitt and played in the 1971 College All-Star game in Chicago after having been drafted in the third round by the Packers.

Charlie spent six years with Green Bay, starting as a cornerback until shifting to safety halfway through his career. In those six seasons, he started eight games and intercepted two passes, both in 1974. He originally wore number 21 for the Packers, but when Dan Devine traded for veteran quarterback John Hadl in an ill-fated trade in 1974, Hadl offered Hall money to switch numbers. Hall refused but offered to discuss it the following year. In ’75, Charlie switched to 44 for a six pack of beer, and Hadl switched from 12 to his familiar 21.

After retiring, Hall worked in the hair care products industry, but died at age 50 on May 14, 1998 of a heart attack while visiting Orangeburg, SC. It was his second heart attack. He was survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.

1971tchall 1972tchall

1973tchall2 1974tchall3

1975tchall4 1976tchall2

All but third custom card are colorized.

A Look Back at 1925


The big news in 1925 was the opening of City Stadium at East High School, and the Packers opened the season there on September 20 by beating the Hammond Pros 14-0 and followed that a week later by beating the Bears 14-10. Green Bay posted an 8-5 record, outscoring opponents 151-110. Against winning teams, the Pack was 3-5 and 5-0 against losers.

Once again, the Packers concluded their season with a four game road trip, and indeed six of the final seven games were away from home. Green Bay ventured to the East Coast, playing Pottsville and Frankford in Pennsylvania (two losses) and Providence in Rhode Island (a win). Overall, the Packers were 6-0 at home and 2-5 on the road.

Again, Lambeau led the team in passing (47-121 for 711 yards, five TDs and seven interceptions). Verne Lewellen chipped in with 69 yards passing (and four interceptions) and Charlie Mathys with 98 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. Myrt Basing led the team in rushing with 430 yards and Mathys with 14 receptions. Back Marty Norton caught four TD passes and Lewellen three. Mathys also led in punt returns with 248 yards.

Green Bay punted 144 times (11 times a game) with Lewellen, known as the best punter of the era, drilling 91 for a 35.4 average and Cub Buck stepping aside with 42 punts for a 33.2 average. Basing led in scoring with 36 points followed by Norton with 30 and Lewellen with 25. Ojay Larson picked off seven passes, Basing six, Jack Harris five and Mathys four. Lewellen and rookie end George Abramson were named second team All-Pros and Buck third team.

1925sclambeau 1925scmathys

1925svlewellen 1925smnorton

1925smbasing 1925sflarson

1925sgabramson 1925scbuck

Custom cards all colorized.

Update: Unofficial and incomplete statistics are drawn from 1991’s The Football Encyclopedia: The Complete History of Professional NFL Football, from 1892 to the Present, compiled from the yeoman research of David Neft, Richard M. Cohen and Rick Korch.

Lindy Infante

Born on March 27, 1940, Miami’s Lindy Infante starred at tailback for Ray Graves at Florida and was team captain in 1962. After graduation, Infante coached high school football until returning to his alma mater in 1966 as an assistant. In Gainesville, Lindy coached under Graves and Doug Dickey through 1971. In 1972, he was named offensive coordinator at Memphis State. Three years later, he joined the coaching staff of Charlotte in the WFL, but the league folded at midseason. Infante then coached at Tulane in 1976 and 1979, spending 1977-1978 as the receivers’ coach of the New York Giants. In 1980, Forrest Gregg made him offensive coordinator for the Bengals, and a year later the team went to the Super Bowl. However, good feelings in Cincinnati ended in 1983 when Paul Brown fired Lindy because Infante had signed a contract to serve as head coach of Jacksonville in the USFL in 1984.

Infante’s first head coaching job did not go well; the USFL’s Bulls finished 15-21 in two seasons under Lindy. When Jacksonville merged with Denver in 1986, Denver coach Mouse Davis was named coach, so Lindy took the job of offensive coordinator in Cleveland, sued the Bulls and won the lawsuit. Infante’s development of young quarterback Bernie Kosar in 1986 and 1987 made him a hot commodity, and he was named head coach of the Packers in 1988. He asserted to the press, “We’ll be a winner or it’s time to find something else to do.” In four years in Green Bay, though, Lindy managed just one winning season, 1989, when he was named Coach of the Year. That was an exciting but very flukey season as it turned out. The team wasn’t very strong, but managed to pull out six close victories with late-game drives led by quarterback Don “Majik Man” Majkowski. The magic and luck wore off in 1990, although Infante did not acknowledge it. He told the Milwaukee Journal- Sentinel in 2009, “Quarterbacks can make or break you. I would have liked to have had another year in Green Bay and had Brett [Favre], a quarterback I’ve admired for a long time.” Instead, Packer GM Ron Wolf fired Infante after a wretched 4-12 1991 season. Wolf wrote in The Packer Way that Lindy was deluding himself, “Because he put in many long hours and gave so much of himself to his job, he thought that meant he was succeeding – that he was owed something because of his conscientiousness.”

Infante, who had studied architecture at Florida, spent the next few years building his retirement beach house in the Sunshine State. In 1995, he returned to football as Ted Marchibroda’s offensive coordinator in Indianapolis. As usual, Lindy struck up a nice rapport with the team’s quarterback, this time Jim Harbaugh, and the Colts shocked everyone by coming within a dropped Hail Mary pass of landing in the Super Bowl. Marchibroda then quit after the Colts made him a lowball offer to return, and Infante got a second chance as an NFL head coach. The Colts snuck back into the playoffs in 1996, but completely collapsed in 1997, giving up over 400 points and winning just three games. That ended Infante’s football career and landed him on the beach. As a coach, the pass-happy Infante was very scheme-driven to the point where players found him distant and isolated. He was very successful as a coordinator, but as a head coach he was a “loser” as Colts’ defensive tackle Tony Siragusa said of him to Sports Illustrated. He passed away in 2015.



Custom cards in Topps styles.

A Look Back at 1924


Curly Lambeau signed Nebraska captain Verne Lewellen for the 1924 season, which marked the team’s growing reach in attracting talented players. Lambeau also signed a couple of itinerant veterans in halfback Dutch Hendrian, who had played for Akron and Canton and would move on a year later to Rock Island and New York, and end Tillie Voss, late of Detroit, Buffalo, Rock Island, Akron and Toledo and destined for New York, Chicago and Dayton as well. Voss would be the first Packer to earn first team All-Pro honors in his one season in Green Bay.

For the season, the Packers finished 7-4, sixth of 18 NFL teams and outscoring opponents 108 to 38. They ended the season with a four-game road trip for the first time, but struggled away from home with a 2-4 record, as opposed to their 5-0 mark in Bellevue Field. The Pack was 2-4 against winning teams and 5-0 against losers.

Lambeau again was the leading passer (75-179 for 1,094 yard eight TDs and 29 interceptions). He also led the team in rushing with 457 yards and punt returns with 180 yards. Once again, tackle Cub Buck was an active passer from punt formation, completing 8 of 20 for 213 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Lambeau was a second-team All-Pro and Buck third team.

Mathys led the team with 30 receptions, but Voss caught five touchdown passes among his 17 receptions and led the team in scoring with 30 points. On defense, Voss picked off eight passes and Lambeau five. Hendrian was second on the team in rushing and scored 21 points. Lewellen had a quiet rookie year, finishing fourth in rushing, but would star for Green Bay for the next eight years.




Custom cards all colorized.

Update: Unofficial and incomplete statistics are drawn from 1991’s The Football Encyclopedia: The Complete History of Professional NFL Football, from 1892 to the Present, compiled from the yeoman research of David Neft, Richard M. Cohen and Rick Korch.

A Look Back at 1923


1923 is the first season for which we have reliable unofficial statistics. Although the NFL did not begin to formally compile basic stats until 1932. Researchers David Neft, Richard Cohen and Rick Korch went through old newspaper play-by-plays to compile retrospectively what they could for The Football Encyclopedia (1991). Fortunately, the Press-Gazette accounts were complete for all 10 Packer games in 1923.

Thus, we can see that Curly Lambeau led the team in passing (43-118, 752 yds, 3 TDs and 17 ints) despite completing just 36% of his passes and also rushing (133-416, 3.1 ave., 1 TD). He also was second in receptions with 13 and led the team in interceptions with four. New fullback Buck Gavin was second in rushing and rookie halfback Myrt Basing third with 331 and 221 yards respectively. Charlie Mathys led the team with 33 receptions for 494 yards, in punt returns with 15 for 150 yards and tied with Lambeau with four interceptions. Tackle Cub Buck led the team with 88 punts and in scoring by converting five of eight PATs and six of 16 field goals. Buck also complete eight of 11 passes, no doubt from punt formation.

Green Bay finished third in the 20-team league, tied with Milwaukee whom they beat twice. Besides the Milwaukee Badgers, the pack also beat another winning team, the Duluth Kelleys, in ’23. Their two losses were to the Bears (3-0) and Racine (24-3). Green Bay scored 85 points and gave up just 34, throwing seven shutouts. The home loss to the Legion was a surprise, but the Packers avenged it with a 16-0 victory two weeks later in Racine. Green Bay’s road victory over the St. Louis All-Stars on November 4 represented the team’s longest ever road trip to that point, nearly 500 miles.

The Press-Gazette began naming an All-Pro team for football. Curly Lambeau was named to the second team and Cub Buck to the third.

1923clambeau  1923cmathys

1923mbasing2  1923bgavin


Custom cards are colorized.

Bob Summerhays

Bob Summerhays, born on this day in 1927, was a schoolboy star in his native Salt Lake City, Utah, who enrolled at his hometown University of Utah in 1944. A year later, he accepted a commission in the Army and transferred to West Point, where he played at fullback behind Doc Blanchard. A year later, he married, mustered out of the army and returned to Utah in October. Bob played fullback and linebacker for the Utes for three seasons before being drafted by the Packers in the fourth round of the 1949 NFL draft.

Both he and his Utah teammate Ralph Olsen were on board for Curly Lambeau’s last season in Green Bay, and Bob played some fullback (29 carries for 101 yards and 1 reception for 34 yards) in addition to linebacker. Under new coach Gene Ronzani in 1950, Summerhays stayed strictly on defense for the next two seasons. The highlight of his three seasons as a Packer came on October 14, 1951, when he picked off an Adrian Burk pass in the fourth quarter and raced 88 yards for a touchdown in a 37-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Summerhays retired after that season and went into the Air Force where he served as a First Lieutenant. He died at age 90 on May 14, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

1949lbsummerhays2  1950bbsummerhays2

1951bbsummerhays2  1951tpbsummerhays

Custom cards all colorized.

Lombardi in the Chicago Tribune, Part 1 of 3


On October 26, 1960, Cooper Rollow, the Bears’ beat man for the Chicago Tribune, began a three-part series on the Packers’ second-year head coach Vince Lombardi. Vince had not won any championships yet, but he was attracting attention for how he had turned the downtrodden Packers into a winning team in 1959, and at this point in 1960 Green Bay was tied with the Bears for the top slot in the West with a 3-1 record. The Packers had also scored the most points in the NFL and allowed the fewest thus far.

Rollow’s piece is a look at the birth of a legend and features a number of interesting quotes:

Lombardi admits to being impatient:

I have always been restless. I have never been able to decide whether this is a weakness or my greatest strength.

Lombardi praises his mentor Red Blaik:

No one can become the image of another person and expect to be successful. But there is no doubt that Blaik’s influence has been tremendous. In my opinion, Red was the finest coach of his or any other time.

On discipline:

We run a strict house. The boys have a lot of freedom, but certain things are out of order and they know it. For instance, three nightspots in Green Bay are off limits. The players are forbidden to frequent them. Not once has this rule been broken.

On fairness:

We expect immediate and unquestioning obedience, but we play no favorites. You cannot pass out special favors to some and deny the same privileges to others.

On nurturing a hesitant rookie:

We made sure somebody sat with him on the team bus, on airplanes and at the dinner table. We never let him be by himself. Soon he felt accepted. The change in his personality–and in his football performance–was amazing.

A Packer on dealing with Lombardi’s rants:

The best thing to do when he is chewing you out is to just be still–mighty still. Pretty soon he’ll cool off and five minutes later he won’t remember what he was mad about.

1960tvlombardi  1960twelcome3

Second custom card is colorized.

The Missing Three

I have created football card team sets for every Packer squad since they joined the NFL in 1921. In many cases, particularly in the early years, the images can be pretty rough with some taken from newspaper clippings. However, there are three Packers for whom I have never been able to find an image: Adolph Kliebhan, Tony Gardella and Jack Gray, all from the early 1920s.

Milwaukee’s Adolph Kliebhan appeared in three of the Packers four preseason games and then started in the backfield for the team’s first ever league game on October 23, 1921 against the Minneapolis Marines, but never played again. He was 24 years old that year and never went to college. He returned to his hometown where he died in a veteran’s hospital on March 13, 1963 at the age of 65. His obituary noted him as a “prominent bowler and football and baseball official.”

Anthony “Knocko” or “Gus” Gardella also never went to college, although some reports list him as having played for Holy Cross. He was a 5’6” 190-pound fullback from Worcester, Massachusetts, who appeared in seven of the Packers’ 10 league games in 1922 and was never heard from again in pro football. He toiled as an iron worker back in Worcester and died on December 26, 1974 at the age of 79.

Finally, there is the strange case of end Jack “Dolly” Gray, whom the Packers acquired from the St. Louis All-Stars on October 26, 1923. Gray was passing himself off as former Princeton star Howdy Gray, but after appearing in the October 28 game with the Racine Legion that Green Bay lost 23-3, it was clear that Gray was an imposter. Curly Lambeau complained to St. Louis owner/coach/player Ollie Kraehe, and Kraehe admitted to the subterfuge (a “joke”) and voided the deal. Gray never played again in the NFL, but we will never know his real identity.

I still have hopes to find images for the first two, but until then these are my action-shot placeholders:




Action shots are all colorized.

Dick Arndt

Dick Arndt was born on March 12, 1944 in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Although Arndt never played for the Packers in a league game, he had a homeboy connection with Jerry Kramer that Kramer chronicled in Instant Replay, starting with an entry from July 18, 1967:


Five days later on July 23, Arndt turns up again:


One month later on August 23, there’s a hopeful note:


Prior to the season, though, Arndt is traded:


Arndt and Kramer cross paths in the season finale in Pittsburgh:


Arndt was originally drafted as a future pick by the Rams, and his rights were included in the trade of running back Tom Moore to LA for backup quarterback Ron Smith and a second round pick in 1967 that became receiver Dave Dunaway. Arndt was dealt to Pittsburgh for a fourth round selection in 1968 that turned out to be fullback Brendan McCarthy. The only one of these players to ever play for Green Bay was Dunaway, and he was a disappointment.

For Pittsburgh, Arndt appeared in 14 games in 1967, three in ’68 and ’69 and 14 again in 1970. Cut in 1971, Dick had a tryout with the Redskins that year and with the Patriots the following year before ending his pro football career.


Custom card in Philadelphia style.

A Look Back at 1922


The Packers ended their 1921 season with an exhibition game in Milwaukee in which three Notre Dame Undergraduates (Hunk Anderson, Fred Larson and Art Garvey) appeared under assumed names. When word got out, Green Bay was expelled from the league in January 1922, with the Clair brothers dropping out as team owners. Six months later, though, the Packers were readmitted with Curly Lambeau as team president, ready to start anew in the NFL.

The 1922 Packers were similar to the previous year’s team–good, but not great. They compiled a 4-3-3 record, good for seventh place in the 18-team league. In their six games against winning teams (cumulative 18-9-2) they finished 1-3-2; in their four games against losing franchises (cumulative 3-15-3) they went 3-0-1. Half their schedule was against two Wisconsin squads, the Racine Legion and Milwaukee Badgers. The rest of their schedule was against two teams from Illinois (Chicago Cardinals and Rock Island), one from Minnesota (Minneapolis) and one from Ohio (Columbus). In the first half of their schedule, they played twice against Rock Island coached by Jimmy Conzelman, but their finale featured the Conzelman-coached Milwaukee Badgers. Jimmy had moved on once the Independents folded at mid-season.

Rushing touchdowns were scored by Curly Lambeau (3), Edie Usher (1) and Claude Taugher (1). Lambeau threw three touchdown passes to Charlie Mathys (2) and Tommy Cronin (1). Cowboy Wheeler scored a touchdown by recovering a punt blocked by Cub Buck in week two. Lambeau, Mathys and Buck each kicked one field goal. Lambeau and Buck each converted three extra points. Lambeau and Buck remained the team’s best players, with Mathys, Jug Earp, Whitey Woodin and Moose Garner the best newcomers.

1922clambeau  1922cbuck

1922btaugher  1922eusher

1922cmathys2  1922cronin glick

1922jearp  1922wwoodin2

1922lwheeler  1922mgardner

Custom cards all colorized.

Update: Forgot to mention that Curly Lambeau was named to the second team of George Halas’ All-Pro team for 1922, and December marked the team’s first stock drive.