Deceased Football Autographs

Buried With Their Cleats On

Pat Brady  (1926-2009)

Quarterback/Kicker—(Bradley/Nevada) Hamilton Tiger Cats (CFL) 1952, Pittsburgh Steelers 1952-54   [#1 Punting 1953-54]

I was born and raised in Seattle, attended the University of Nevada in Reno for three years, transferred to Bradley University of Peoria when the Wolfpack quit the sport, was with the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Canadian pro league for four games but was released so here I am a Steeler.

    Pat Brady

 

Pat Brady is buried in Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery, Reno, Nevada. 

Al Dorow  (1929-2009)

Quarterback—(Michigan State) Washington Redskins 1954-56, Philadelphia Eagles 1957, New York Titans 1960-61, Buffalo Bills 1962

He was a good passer, runner, and all-around player.
    Biggie Munn

 

Don Panciera (1927-2012)

Quarterback/Defensive Back—(San Francisco) New York Yankees 1949, Detroit Lions 1950, Chicago Cardinals 1952

 

He was buried in R

Don "Dandy Don" Meredith  (1938-2010)

Quarterback—(Southern Methodist) Dallas Cowboys 1960-68 [College Football Hall of Fame 1982]

I've seen roosters with thicker legs.  They were like number 2 pencils . . . .He had on three or four pairs of socks just to make his calves look thicker.  But he turned out to be a damn good quarterback, and a nice guy to boot.
    Art Donovan

Meredith called this play in the huddle and when he got onto the line he took a gander out over the defense and he saw Huff and another linebacker move into the gaps and hell, man, he knew those cats were coming.  So he decided to call an automatic at the line--a quick trap, which is the best thing you can call against the blitz, and he opened up his mouth and shouted, "Red! Green! Blue! Shit! Time!" and he stepped back and made the signal for a time-out.  Christ, he couldn't remember how to call the automatic, but what he did say came out in the right sequence, like it was a signal: bam, bam, shit, time!
    Bobby Layne

 

Steve Romanik  (1924-2009)

Quarterback—(Villanova) Chicago Bears 1950-53, Chicago Cardinals 1953-54

"They [Chicago Bears] had Sid Luckman, Johnny Lujack, and George Blanda. I wondered what they wanted me around for."

      Steve Romanik 

 

Nick Sacrinty  (1924-2008)

Quarterback—(Wake Forest) Chicago Bears 1947

 

Nick Sacrinty named Bulldog Turner the hardest hitter he encountered.

He is buried in Danview Cemetery, Eden, North Carolina. 

Herman "Biff" Schneidman  (1912-2008)

Quarterback—(Iowa) Green Bay Packers 1935-40, Chicago Cardinals 1940; Great Lakes Naval Training Station Bluejackets 1942

He [Curly Lambeau] mailed me a contract in 1935 for $80 a game, which was about the bare minimum. I wasn't a star like [Johnny] Blood or Hutson. When I played for the Chicago Cardinals, I got $135 a game, win or lose, and whether I played or not.

    Herm Schneidman

 

Herman Schneidman is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Quincy, Illinois. 

Jake Schuehle  (1917-2001)

Quarterback—(Rice) Philadelphia Eagles 1939; Coach—Blackland Army Air Base 1943

Jake Schuehle is buried in St. Johns Cemetery, Hondo, Texas. 

Nick Sebek  (1927-2007)

Quarterback—(Indiana) Washington Redskins 1950

At Washington I sat behind Sammy Baugh and Harry Gilmer, so I didn't see much playing time.
    Nick Sebek

 

I also have a 1-page undated handwritten letter sent to me by Nick Sebek. 

Jack "Soapy" Shapiro  (1907-2001)

Blocking Back—(New York) Staten Island Stapletons 1929

I probably was the smallest person to ever play in the NFL as my discharge papers have me listed at 5 ft. ½ inch tall.  I always like to say I was 5 ft. 1 inch.  Although I only played in 2 games and in another game which was an exhibition game where I played for 58 minutes because our quarterback was injured and I scored a touchdown on a 35 yd. run.

    Jack E. Shapiro

 

I wrote an article in the Coffin Corner (vol. 21, no. 94, 1999) about Jack Shapiro, the smallest player to ever play in the NFL.  I have five handwritten letters sent to me by Jack and a transcript of a telephone interview.

George Shaw  (1933-1998)

Quarterback—(Oregon) Baltimore Colts 1955-58, New York Giants 1959-60, Minnesota Vikings 1961, Denver Broncos 1962 [#1 Total Offense NCAA 1954, All American 1954, No. 1 Draft Choice 1955]

George wasn't a big guy, but he was talented, a lot like Francis Tarkenton.  We were playing the Bears out in Chicago, and Shaw took a mighty rap as he dropped back to pass.  Ed Sprinkle, a grizzly old defensive end . . . broke through and hit Shaw low.  Sprinkle kind of had him around the knees and was holding him up.  No in-the-grasp rules in those days, although old George sure could have used a rule like that right about then.  Because as Sprinkle was keeping him upright, linebacker George Connor got about a fifteen-yard head of steam up and bulled through and hit George high, right in the mouth.  I mean put a shoulder right in his face and leveled him.  Connor broke Shaw's face mask, broke his nose, and knocked his teeth out.  George was a mess.  They dragged him off the field, and his nose was spurting blood, and he didn't know where he was when he got to the bench.  I said to Gino Marchetti, who was standing next to me, "Well, there goes one pussy.  We won't be seeing him anymore today."  When George finally regained his senses, he said to Szymanski, "Hey Syzzie, how do my teeth look?"  And Syzzie said, "I don't know, George, they aren't there."  And you know what?  George Shaw went back into that game.  There was at least one fat defensive tackle on the Baltimore sidelines that gained a lot of respect for him that day.  In fact, the Bears nailed Shaw the following year also, ripping up his knee.
    Art Donovan

 

 

On my request letter dated July 28, 1989, George Shaw wrote who he considered were the hardest-hitting, roughest, most bruising players in his pro football experience.  He named his teammates Gino Marchetti and Don Joyce.  He is buried at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Portland, Oregon. 

Roland Sleater (1912-2003)

Quarterback—(Utah) 1931-33; St. Louis-Kansas City Blues (American League) 1934

I was on the St. Louis-Kansas City Blues team in 1934.  I suffered a dislocated shoulder in the 3rd or 4th game, but remained with them for the full season on injured reserve.
    Roly Sleater

 

This is the signature on an interesting 1-page typescript letter sent to me by Roly Sleater dated November 6, 1990,  He recalls some memories playing with the Blues in 1934 and players on the team like Hugh Rhea, Win Croft, and Walt McDonald. 

Richard "Red" Smith  (1904-1978)

Blocking Back/Guard/Tailback/Fullback—(Lawrence/Notre Dame) Green Bay Packers 1927, 1929, New York Giants 1928,1931, New York Yankees 1928, Newark Tornadoes 1930 [New York Giants baseball: 1927, 1 game, 0 at bats]

 

This autograph of Red Smith is on a November 19, 1944, game program of the Giants vs. Packers given to me by Giants' tackle Rusty Kane.  The cover has almost twenty autographs of Giants players.

Riley "General" Smith  (1911-1999)

Quarterback—(Alabama) Boston Redskins 1936, Washington Redskins 1937-38; Jacksonville Naval Air Station Fliers 1942 [All-American 1935, College Football Hall of Fame 1985]

We blew an important first down when I didn't get a good block on my man, and when I went back into the next huddle, Riley Smith said, “Get out of here, Barber, and tell [Coach Ray] Flaherty to send me another
tackle.”
    Jim Barber

 

Riley Smith named Erny Pinckert as the roughest player he faced.

He is buried in Pine Crest Cemetery, Mobile, Alabama

Ken Stofer  (1919-2006)

Quarterback/Defensive Back—(Cornell) Buffalo Bisons 1946

In 1947 I joined the Elmira Gliders [in the upstate New York semipro league; other teams were Rochester, Syracuse, and Corning All Stars] as one of two guys getting paid.  No practice, just show up on Saturday (nite usually) and play . . . .Getting the money after was sickening.  Bums fighting over the cash box—with guns!  I would get my money and clear out.
    Ken Stofer

 

I also have a 4-page typescript letter sent to me by Ken Stofer in about August 1992. 

Joe Sulaitis  (1921-1980)

Blocking Back/Defensive End/Linebacker/Guard— New York Giants 1943-45, 1947-53, Boston Yanks 1946; Jersey City Giants (AFL) 1946

 

This autograph of Joe Sulaitis is on a November 19, 1944, game program of the Giants vs. Packers given to me by Giants' tackle Rusty Kane.  The cover has almost twenty autographs of Giants players.

Jim Tarrant  (1921-2010)

Quarterback—(Howard/Tennessee) Fort Benning Infantry Doughboys 1945; Miami Seahawks 1946

He is buried in Jefferson Memorial Gardens, Birmingham, Alabama.

George "Duke" Terlep  (1923-2010)

Quarterback/Defensive Back—(Notre Dame) Great Lakes Naval Training Station Bluejackets 1945; Buffalo Bisons 1946, Buffalo Bills 1947-48, Cleveland Browns 1948; Coach —Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL) 1958-59

I played my freshman and part of my sophomore year and was called into the service right in the middle of the football season.  I remember we were playing a Navy team in Philadelphia and I had to go right from Philadelphia to report.  In the Navy at that time, I was in the V12 program.  As life went on, I was in the Navy and I was later transferred to Great Lakes Naval Training Station.  This was in 1945.  I was with the company at that time and we were going to be shipping out for San Diego.  The word was we were going to Japan.  The afternoon when we were called in the ranks, the company commander told me to report to a gentleman by the name of Lt. JG Paul Brown on the double.  I mean on the double!  which I did.  I got there and the officer said to me, “Are you the Terlep that played quarterback at Notre Dame?”  I said, “Yes, sir.”  He said, “Well, you’re not going with your unit.  Report for football practice tomorrow at 13:00.”  I was shocked.  I didn’t hardly know what to say.  I asked the question again.  He repeated it.  I turned an about face and I got on a telephone to call my fiancé.  I was engaged to her at that time.  I had just called her and said goodbye because we were leaving the next morning.  And I stayed and played for him.  That was Paul Brown who was the head coach at Ohio State and the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.  That’s who he was.  I didn’t know it at the time.  We had a great football team. . . .  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THIS INTERVIEW I DID WITH GEORGE TERLEP IN 2007

He is buried in Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida.

Al "Tubby" Thacker  (1919-2001)

Blocking Back/Lineback—(Morris-Harvey) Philadelphia Eagles 1942

 

Travis "Travelin' Trav" Tidwell  (1925-2004)

Quarterback—(Auburn) New York Giants 1950-51, Hamilton Tigercats (CFL) 1954 [#1 Passing NCAA 1946]

 

 

Travis Tidwell autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama. 

Leroy Zimmerman  (1918-1997)

Quarterback—(San Jose State) Washington Redskins 1940-42, San Diego Bombers (PCFL) 1943, Phil-Pitt Steagles 1943, Philadelphia Eagles 1944-46, Detroit Lions 1947, Boston Yanks 1948  [All Pro 1944, #1 Interceptions 1945]

 

 

 

Roy Zimmerman autographed this 8x10 photo, but it is very difficult to see; it is in the grass to the left of his knee and shin.  I also have a 1-page handwritten note dated September 2, 1990, that he sent me.  Zimmerman, Ward Cuff, and Jim Benton autographed this copy of a news article announcing their selection as 1944 All-Pros.

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)