THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Tales from the old-timer
Issue Date: January 2, 2013
A lot of old guys like me slowly turn into pack rats, saving all kinds of items, most of which have no monetary value whatever, only sentimental significances, as if keeping them somehow is hanging on to life and and history and keeping time at bay. I have a copy of a National Football League Uniform player contract signed by E.L. Curly Lambeau, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers from the earliest beginnings. It is dated August 1, 1944, and sent to an E.J. McGroraty of 2800 S. 85th St., West Allis, Wisconsin. It offers McGroraty, a new recruit, apparently, $150 for each regularly scheduled league game, plus transportation to Green Bay, plus $35 per week living expenses until the first game. The contract is for the year 1944, and it was signed August 1 of that year, when I was somewhere in France, a member of Battery B 3-42nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division in the U. S. First Army. There were 13 separate items in the contract, and it allows for renewal any time up to Aug. 1, 1945.
There is also a copy of an accompanying letter to Mr. McGroraty in which Lambeau adds, We will gladly increase the amount of the contract as soon as you are playing the kind of ball deserving more money. He adds, Our first practice is August 20th in Green Bay. Of course, we furnish all football equipment.
Since almost all healthy young men were in military service, I wonder how hard it was for Mr. Lambeau to recruit good players.