Professional Football/identify old # 73 balto colt player
Jim: Have an old picture of a 1950's Balto. Colt player with # 73 on his jersey. Can you name or identify this player from this limited description?
After checking some resources and colts team photos, I can provide a comprehensive list of all the Baltimore Colts players who have worn the #73. The job was made easier by the fact that two of the players were popular mainstays of their teams.
The list will range from 1947 through 1965. I wanted to give you some margin for error in case your information about the photograph is not precise.
Most likely, the player’s name you are seeking is the most popular of these five former Baltimore Colts. This would be Joe Campanella who wore #73 for 5 out of the 6 years that this number was assigned during the 1950's. Campanella was a terrific player who came to Baltimore vis a vie the defunct Dallas Texans. The Texans were the failed franchise which commissioner Bert Bell transferred to Baltimore. Bell had arranged for a friend of his, Carol Rosenbloom to purchase the franchise from the NFL. Campanella was a terrific defensive ballplayer whose play may have been overlooked because of the prowesses of two fellow defensive linemen. Campanella arrived in Baltimore with a pair of former Dallas Texans, Art Donovan and Gino Marchetti whose careers would earn them admission to the NFL Hall of Fame. Campanella was humble enough to accept his place, but he served the team as a quiet leader. His business investments were wildly successful making millions for himself and two teammates.
I came across a website that can give you more information about Joe Campanella and his impact on the Baltimore Colts.
To follow is the complete list of players who wore #73 for the Colts:
1947 - 1949 – Bernard “Bus” Mertes ... A better than average linebacker for the original Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference.
1950 – Hardy Brown ... Hardy only played 4 games as a Colt before being traded to the San Francisco 49ers where he had a formidable career.
1951 & 1952 – Baltimore was without a football franchise.
1953 - 1957 – Joe Campanella
1958 & 1959 – The number 73 was not assigned ... a tribute to Campanella
1960 – Lebron Shields - Played one year for the Colts
1961 - 1965 – Tom Gilburg who was our punter, backup offensive lineman, and fifth string backup QB (which actually was a factor in1965).
I would still like to see your photo if you can upload the file. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trying to identify an NFL player by number, sight unseen from the 1950's is very difficult. Do you have a copy of this picture as a digital file? If you do, then please send it to me, and we have a fighting chance of identifying your player.
The problem lies in the fact that despite the wondrous workings of the modern NFL, it's grandfather was not very good at keeping records. Unlike baseball, football records exist based on the amount of coverage that the local newspapers dedicated to the team. During the first four seasons that the Colts played in Baltimore (1947, 48, 49, 50), only one newspaper, the Sunpapers (morning edition) covered the Colts with a column, statistics and photograph on the day following the game. The News American (all editions) and Evening Sun simply ran a story that fit into the space left on whatever page of the sports section. Once the team appeared on the verge of success (1956), the press coverage expanded. The reason for the limited press coverage is due to the fact that professional football was not held in high regards. It was considered a sport of ruffians and was regarded as an abomination of the brand of football played at the colleges. (On a smaller scale, think of the popularity of professional lacrosse versus college lacrosse)
Some team, such as the Redskins kept better records than the Colts or the Steelers. However, the amount of information kept was inconsistent from team to team. If you asked me to name a Redskins player #73 from the 1950's, I can do this. The Redskins plethora of information is the exception rather than the rule.
Assuming that you don't have the picture as a digital file, and if identifying this player is important to you, then I will need for you to give me as much information as possible about the picture in question. Some of the questions I would like for you to address include;
- How were you able to determine that the picture is from the 1950's?
- Is the picture an original photograph or a printed piece?
- If printed, what is the name of the publication?
- Describe the picture ... is it a game action photo or a public relations department picture? - Where did you get the picture?
- If it is a game action photo, what other players numbers are in the picture?
As stated earlier, if you have a copy of then picture, then the chances are excellent that I can give you a name. if you don't, the task becomes more challenging. The more information you can provide, then our odds of success improve.