Deceased Football Autographs

Buried With Their Cleats On

Winnie Baze  (1914-2006)

Fullback—(Schreiner Institute/Texas Tech) Philadelphia Eagles 1937

I made pro history by playing 60 min. of the first pro game that I started.
    Winford Baze

 

Felix "Doc" Blanchard  (1924-2009)

Fullback—(Army) [#1 Scoring NCAA 1945, All-American 1944-46, Heisman Trophy 1945, Sullivan Memorial Award 1945, Maxwell Award 1945, Walter Camp Trophy 1945, College Football Hall of Fame 1959, "Mr. Inside"]

Most big fullbacks are crashers, divers, or pushers.  Blanchard is different.  Doc explodes off the mark.  I've never seen another big man start so quickly . . . .Imagine a big bruising fullback who runs one hundred yards in ten seconds flat, who kicks off into the end zone, who punts fifty yards, who can also sweep the flank as well as rip the middle, who catches laterals or forward passes with sure-fingered skill, and who makes his own interference.  That's Blanchard!  What makes him a great fullback is the fact that he's really a halfback, that is he's fast enough to play halfback.  He starts like a flash and he never stops driving.  He does everything as well an any fullback I ever saw, and he does some things better.  It's strange.  There's something about the terrific power with which Blanchard runs that makes people think he's much bigger than he really is.
    Red Blaik

 

Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis autographed this 1945 Al Vermeer cartoon.  I also have a 1947 advertisement of the film Spirit of West Point signed by both. He also signed a 1944 Jack Sords cartoon and a couple of All-American news articles from 1945 and 1946.

He  is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas. 

Ernie "The Wizard" Bonelli  (1919-2009)

Fullback/Linebacker/Halfback/Defensive Back—(Pittsburgh) Third Air Force Gremlins 1944; Chicago Cardinals 1945, Pittsburgh Steelers 1946

We didn't make the money they do today. We got $400 a game, which was good money in the 1940s.
    Ernie Bonelli

 

Ernie sent me copies of many World War II service football programs. I have a 3-page handwritten letter he wrote me on August 1, 1992.

Jack “Flying” Cloud (1925-2010)

Fullback—(William and Mary) Green Bay Packers 1950-51, Washington Redskins 1952-53 [All-American 1948-49, College Football Hall of Fame 1990]

We were a tired bunch of barnstormers and we were more interested in preserving our bodies than winning a meaningless game [pre-season exhibition game against the 49ers in Sacramento in 1954].  As a consequence we were behind by a couple of touchdowns at half time, and the tall, skinny laundry magnate who owned us came storming into the locker room.  Jack Cloud, the veteran linebacker, was the object of his immediate rage and Marshall fired him on the spot, right there in front of Lambeau and the rest of the team. . . .  The firing of Cloud didn’t help us a whole lot, and we wound up losing 30-7.
    Don Paul

 

 

Jack Cloud sent me two autographed cards and printed answers on a questionnaire for me in 1998.

Thomas "Bull" Cochran  (1924-2010)

Fullback—(Auburn) Washington Redskins 1949

 

Dick Hoerner (1922-2010)

Fullback/Halfback—(Iowa) Los Angeles Rams 1947-51, Dallas Texans 1952

Hoerner was tough.
    Ed Sprinkle

 

George “Automatic” Karamatic (1917-2008)

Fullback/Defensive Back—(Gonzaga) Washington Redskins 1938; Los Angeles Bulldogs (AFL) 1939, San Diego Bombers (PCFL) 1940, Milwaukee Chiefs (AFL) 1940

 

Bob Kennedy  (1921-2010)

Fullback/Halfback—(Washington State) Third Air Force Gremlins 1944-45; New York Yankees 1946-49, New York Yanks 1950  [All-American 1942]

Some of the records I made in college are as follows:
            1. Broke the total yards gained in a season held by Kenny Washington.
            2. Broke national record for most times carried ball in a season.
            3. Led Pacific Coast Conference in scoring [in] 1942, 2nd in 1941.
            4. Scored 3 touchdowns in 3 minutes against Univ. Of Idaho [in] 1941.
        Also I played in more All Star games [6] than anyone in history.
    Bob Kennedy

 

 

Bob Kennedy autographed two copies of this 1942 Jack Sords cartoon in 1994.  Trades considered.

Jim Langhurst  (1919-2008)

Fullback—(Ohio State) Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks 1942

 

 

 

Jim Langhurst autographed these 1939 Jack Sords and 1940 Tom Paprocki cartoons in 1994.  He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Willard, Ohio.

"Roaring" George Paskvan  (1918-2005)

Fullback—(Wisconsin) Green Bay Packers 1941, Iowa Pre-flight Seahawks 1942 [Big Ten All Conference 1939-40]

 

Dewey “Bull” Proctor (1920-2009)

Fullback—(Furman) Great Lakes Naval Training Station 1943, Bainbridge Naval Training Station Commodores 1944, Pearl Harbor Pacific All-Stars 1945; New York Yankees 1946-47, Chicago Rockets 1948, Brooklyn-New York Yankees 1949

 

He is buried in Lake View Cemetery, Lake View, South Carolina.

Walter "Slink" Schlinkman  (1922-1994)

Fullback—(Texas Tech) Green Bay Packers 1945-49

 

Walter Schlinkman is buried in Masonic Cemetery, Weimar, Texas

Stan "Skoz" Skoczen  (1920-2010)

Fullback—(Western Reserve) Cleveland Rams 1944

 

Stan Skoczen is buried in Mapleshade Cemetery, Independence, Ohio

Pete Stout  (1924-1996)

Fullback/Linebacker—(Texas Christian) Washington Redskins 1949-50

 

 

Pete Stout autographed this 1948 Alan Maver cartoon. 

Charles "Cotton" Timmons  (1917-1996)

Fullback—(Clemson) Georgia Pre-flight Skycrackers 1942, Memphis Naval Air Technical Training Center Blues 1943; Brooklyn Dodgers 1946

 

Charles Timmons declined to autograph a 3x5 card, but he printed his full name on a questionnaire I sent to him in April 1993.

Mario "Motts" Tonelli  (1916-2003)

Fullback/Defensive Back—(Notre Dame) Chicago Cardinals 1940,1945

One year, and I'm out, boys. I’ll be back knocking you in the head before you can kick the mud off your cleats.  Just don't give away my locker.
    Mario Tonelli, to his
    teammates on his decision
    to join the Army on a one-year
    hitch in 1941

 

 

Tonelli caught nine passes for the Chicago Cardinals in 1940 before entering the Army as an artillery sergeant.  After being captured by the Japanese, Tonelli was forced to march 70 miles under inhumane conditions.  The march was responsible for the deaths of about 10,000.  His 42 months as a prisoner of war included 60 days in darkness aboard a “hell ship” to Japan.  There, he contracted diseases while working in rice paddies and factories.  Tonelli went from 212 pounds to 92 at liberation, but he came back to play in one pro game.  “I owe everything to Charlie Bidwell. He came to the hospital after the war and said, ‘Motts, before you left the Cardinals, you still had a three-year contract. We expect you to honor it.’  By renewing it, he provided me with a wonderful opportunity because, under the rules of the NFL, you had to play both before and after the war to get credit for your pension. Both of us knew it was nearly impossible for me to play again, but I was determined to do my best for him. I tried to play as an outpatient. Don Hutson came up, shook my hand and said, “Don't worry, kid. I'll make you look good.”  The above autographed article entitled "Tonelli Makes Grid Comeback" his brief return to the NFL after the war.  He wrote that Wee Willie Wilkin and Byron "Whizzer" White were the toughest players in his estimation. 

He is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery and Crematorium, Skokie, Illinois. 

"Deacon" Dan Towler  (1928-2001)

Fullback—(Washington & Jefferson) Los Angeles Rams 1950-55  [All Pro 1951-53, #1 Rushing 1952]

The Giants were far from perfect in 1954, but the defense began to solidify.  It was never as tough, however, as it felt one day to Deacon Dan Towler of the Rams in what was one of my funniest football memories . . . .When the Rams drove the ball to our 1-yard line, we knew what was coming.  Jack Horner, Tank Younger, and big Deacon Dan Towler raced onto the field.  I figured they would run the play off-tackle to [Dick] Nolan's side since he was a rookie and smaller than I was.  I warned him to be ready.  Sure enough, at the snap of the ball the Los Angeles line surged forward, opening a huge hole in front of Nolan.  The quarterback faked the handoff to Younger, who plowed through the opening looking for someone to crush.  Deacon Dan took the ball, lowered his head, and charged into the gaping hole behind Tank.  If he'd have looked up he could have waltzed into the end zone untouched.  He would also have seen the goalpost, which in those days stood right on the goal line.  But Deacon Dan drove with his head down, straight toward the goal line, at full speed, head first . . . right into that goalpost.  I watched that solid wooden beam give under the momentum of the blow, bending farther and farther until it stopped and sprang back with a force that sent Deacon Dan Towler catapulting right back through the line.  He landed in a semiconscious heap somewhere about the 5-yard line, the ball bounced free, and we recovered the fumble.  Deacon Dan finally staggered to his feet, shaking his head as if to say, "What happened?"  And there stood Dick Nolan, whom he outweighed by a good 75 pounds, scowling at him.  "If you run at me again, Towler," Dick told him, "I'll really hit you."  Then, as a bewildered look of respect filled Deacon Dan's eyes, Nolan turned to jog off the field, and the entire Giants' defensive unit nearly died laughing.
    Tom Landry

 

 

Dan Towler is buried in Sierra Madre Pioneer Cemetery, Sierra Madre, California.

Ivan "Buzz" Trebotich  (1920-1992)

Fullback—(St. Mary's, Calif.) Oakland Giants (PCFL) 1943-46, Detroit Lions 1944-45, San Francisco Clippers (PCFL) 1947, Baltimore Colts 1947

 

Mel Triplett  (1931-2002)

Fullback—(Toledo) New York Giants 1955-60, Minnesota Vikings 1961-62

Mel Triplett is the only man I ever knew who made Vince Lombardi back down.  Vince kept running a play over and over, saying: “You missed that block, Triplett.  You missed that block, Triplett.  You missed that block, Triplett.” After the third time, Mel growled, “Don't run that no more.”  Vince didn't.
    Frank Gifford

 

Darrell Tully  (1917-1997)

Fullback—(East Texas State) Detroit Lions 1939; Georgia Pre-flight Skycrackers 1942   [Little All-American 1938]

In 1940, I returned to Detroit but came back to Texas . . . when Lion's owner did not offer me a $25 per game raise.
    Darrell Tully

 

Howard "Howie" Weiss  (1917-1997)

Fullback—(Wisconsin) Detroit Lions 1939-40

 

Pat West  (1923-1996)

Fullback—(Pitt/Southern California) Los Angeles Bulldogs (PCFL) 1945, Los Angeles Rams 1945-48, Edmonton Eskimos (CFL) 1949

 

Roy "Buck" White  (1901-1993)

Fullback—(Valparaiso/Daniel Baker) Chicago Bears 1924-25,1927-29, Chicago Bulls 1926

He was the best blocking back I ever played with.

     Red Grange

 

Hugh “Red” Wolfe  (1912-2010)

Fullback/Defensive Back—(Texas) New York Giants 1938

I was actually drafted by Pittsburgh, but was traded right away to the New York Giants for "Whizzer" White. Whizzer demanded a $15,000 a year contract, and the most the Giants were paying was $8,000 to Tuffy Leemans. They couldn't pay what Whizzer wanted, so they traded horses for me. My contract with the Giants was for $4,000.

       Hugh Wolfe 

 

He was buried in Erath Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Stephenville, Texas.

Vinnie “Yabbo” Yablonski (1923-2008)

Fullback—(Fordham/Columbia) Third Air Force Gremlins 1945; Chicago Cardinals 1948-51

 

Paul "Tank" Younger  (1928-2001)

Fullback/Linebacker—(Grambling) Los Angeles Rams 1949-57, Pittsburgh Steelers 1958  [College Football Hall of Fame 2000, All Pro 1951]

We were playing in Chicago one day.  I was at linebacker and Johnny Lujack went back to pass.   He got hemmed up back there and started to run.  This was right in front of Mr. Halas’ bench, mind you.  I moved in for the tackle and right then he jukes me.  Now I’m out of position and he’s about to run by.  So I stuck out a hand and necktied him.  He goes down, slams his head to the ground, and gets kayoed.  Mr. Halas comes out onto the field and yells at me: “Tank, you SOB, we’re gonna kill you.”  Then he puts Sid Luckman in at quarterback, and the next three plays they come right at me.  Stan West, the linebacker playing next to me, yelled over, “It’s time to grab grass and growl.”  Somehow, I managed to weather the storm, and after the game, Halas runs out on the field and puts his arm around me.  That’s when he said, “Tank, you’re the greatest, dirtiest, best football player in the league.  I just wish we had you.”  And then he walked off.
    Tank Younger

 

Paul Younger is buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California

See video clip of Paul Younger (#35) making a nice reception and run for yardage in an October 30, 1955, Bears victory over the Los Angeles Rams, 31-20.

Ray Zeh (1914-2003)

Fullback—(Western Reserve) [national college scoring leader 1935]

Zeh wears the crown of high scorer for the 1935 football season.  Zeh ran for 15 touchdowns in ten games and scored 22 points after touchdowns to roll up a total of 122 points.
    A.P. report

 

 

Ray Zeh autographed this 1935 Art Krenz cartoon.  I also have a signed 1-page handwritten note dated January 9, 1990, sent to me by Ray Zeh.

Watch a Video Clip of:

  • Lou Creekmur (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Art Donovan (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • George McAfee (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • John Mackey (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Ollie Matson (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • James "Monk" Moscrip (Receivers)
  • Lee Roy Selmon (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Hank Soar (Defensive Backs/Ends)
  • Ernie Stautner (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Dick Todd (Running Backs)
  • John Unitas (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Gene Upshaw (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Bill Walsh (Pro Hall of Fame)
  • Paul "Tank" Younger (Fullbacks)

Recent Blog Entries

by morevintagefootballautographs2 | 1 comment
by morevintagefootballautographs2 | 2 comments

2010 Deaths

  • Johnny Allen (Centers)
  • Vince Banonis (Centers)
  • Herman "Reds" Bassman (Running Backs)
  • George Blanda (Hall of Fame)
  • Tom Brookshier (Defensive Backs)
  • Al Brosky (Defensive Backs)
  • Lew Carpenter (Receivers)
  • Jack Cloud (Fullbacks)
  • Bull Cochran (Fullbacks)
  • Jim Cooper (Centers)
  • Bobby Davis (Tackles)
  • Don Doll (Defensive Backs)
  • Bill Dudley (Hall of Fame)
  • Brad Ecklund (Centers)
  • Bob Fenimore (Running Backs)
  • Frank Gaziano (Guards)
  • Gene Goodreault (Receivers)
  • John Greene (Receivers)
  • Dick Hoerner (Fullbacks)
  • Stan Jones (Hall of Fame)
  • Bob Kennedy (Fullbacks)
  • Ralph Kercheval (Running Backs)
  • Ron Kramer (Receivers)
  • Cliff Livingston (Defensive Backs)
  • Dick Loepfe (Tackles)
  • Leon Manley (Guards)
  • Don Meredith (Quarterbacks)
  • Bob Momsen (Guards)
  • Dom Moselle (Running Backs)
  • John North (Receivers)
  • Merlin Olsen (Hall of Fame)
  • Elliott Ormsbee (Running Backs)
  • Jim Podoley (Running Backs)
  • Charlie Ream (Tackles)
  • Floyd Rhea (Guards)
  • Les Richter (Defensive Backs)
  • Vic Schleich (Tackles)
  • Saul Sherman (Running Backs)
  • Stan Skoczen (Fullbacks)
  • Gene Spangler (Defensive Backs)
  • Bill Stanton (Defensive Ends)
  • Jim Tarrant (Quarterbacks)
  • George Terlep (Quarterbacks)
  • Nick Toth (Guards)
  • Jim Tyree (Receivers)
  • Hugh Wolfe (Fullbacks)

2011 Deaths

Paul Briggs (Tackles)

George Buksar (Defensive Backs)

Ken Carpenter (Running Backs)

Preston Carpenter (Receivers)

Don Chandler (Running Backs)

Lynn Chandnois (Running Backs)

Lloyd Colteryahn (Receivers)

Clyde Conner (Receivers)

Hal Dean (Guards)

Ralph Felton (Defensive Backs)

Bernie Flowers (Receivers)

Ed Frutig (Receivers)

George "Sonny" Franck (Running Backs)

Gale Gillingham (Guards)

Ralph Goldston (Running Backs)

Bill Gray (Centers)

Garland Gregory (Guards)

George Groves (Guards)

Jimmy Harris (Defensive Ends)

Joe Heap (Running Backs)

Duke Iversen (Defensive Backs)

Bill "Tiger" Johnson (Centers)

John Henry Johnson (Hall of Fame)

Jim Keane (Receivers)

Joe Krupa (Tackles)

Ted Lapka (Receivers)

Jim Lipinski (Tackles)

Nolan Luhn (Receivers)

Lenny Lyles (Defensive Backs)

Vaughn Mancha (Centers)

Norm Masters (Tackles)

Ollie Matson (Hall of Fame)

Hal Miller (Tackles)

Ned Oldham (Receivers)

Lindell Pearson (Running Backs)

Joe Perry (Hall of Fame)

Pete Pihos (Hall of Fame)

Andy Robustelli (Hall of Fame)

Ed Royston (Guards)

Lee Roy Selmon (Hall of Fame)

Harley Sewell (Guards)

Paul Shoults (Running Backs)

Bubba Smith (Defensive Ends)

Herb St. John (Guards)

Art Statuto (Centers)

Bill Stits (Defensive Back)

Norm Willey (Defensive Ends)

Wally Yonamine (Running Backs)

Bob Zimny (Tackles)

2012 Deaths

Tony Aiello (Defensive Backs)

Frank Aschenbrenner  (Running Backs)

John Billman (Guards)

J R Boone (Running Backs)

Royal Cathcart (Running Backs)

John Guzik  (Defensive Backs)

Don Joyce (Defensive Ends)

Don Panciera (Quarterbacks)

John Panelli (Defensive Backs)

Joe Paterno  (Coaches)

Alex Webster (Running Backs)