In 1958, the Packers selected fullback Jim Taylor from LSU with the 15th overall pick. In the third round, linebacker Ray Nitschke from Illinois was selected. Both of these players have been elected to wear the gold jackets of the NFL’s Hall of Fame.
The next player the Packers selected was the 39th player overall in the fourth round. A standout from the University of Idaho whose College All-Star team beat the NFL Champion Detroit Lions, Gerald Louis Kramer would go on to a distinguished NFL career.
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The time has come to recognize Jerry Kramer as the Hall-of-Famer he is to fans in Green Bay. Kramer and Houston Oilers Robert Brazile, have been selected as finalists by the seniors committee of the Hall of Fame.
Long known as the best NFL Player not selected by the Hall of Fame, Kramer has met all of the unwritten criteria. He dominated at his position, right guard, for a decade.
Kramer co-authored a bestselling book that gave a new perspective on football: Instant Replay. With co-author Dick Schaap, the book was a bestseller in 1967 that provided an inside look at the 1967 NFL season.
The title refers to the then cutting-edge technology of instant replay, as the NFL took prominence among the televised sports. Kramer would parlay this into a brief television career as a color commentator.
The book includes a breakdown of the most famous play of the most famous game in the history of two of the most famous teams in the NFL: Kramer’s block of the Cowboy’s massive 6’6 defensive tackle Jethro Pugh that sprung Bart Starr for a game-winning touchdown.
Now, more than 50 years after the historic play, Kramer stands at the door of the Hall of Fame. The official decision will be made in February, but surely the Hall will draw the same conclusion the Green Bay Packers did when they elected him to the team’s Hall of Fame.
Jerry Kramer was one of the best players on one of the greatest teams in NFL History. He was named one of the 50 best players in the history of professional football.
The annals of football history will long remember the contributions of Jerry Kramer. An injustice can be corrected when he is selected.
Now the Hall of Fame can begin working on the next major omission: the best safety in recent memory: Leroy Butler, inventor of the Lambeau Leap.