With 35 days left until the start of the NFL season, our countdown to the big day continues.
Over the course of the next 35 days we focus on the number that represents the days remaining … and for today we take a look at two numbers, 35.
Today we focus in on numbers 35.
But today we let John Maxymuk, the author of “Packers by the Numbers: Jersey Numbers and the Players Who Wore them,” take us back to 1950 with a focus on Clayton Tonnemaker …
Here is how Maxymuk describes Clayton Tonnemaker …
Native Minnesotan Clayon Tonnemaker had his own Leaf Bubblegum football card in 1948 as a college player. He was co-captain of the Minnesota Gophers football team and an All American in his senior year of 1949. Among his teammates on the powerful Golden Gophers squad was future Vikings Coach Bud Grant.
Clayton was drafted number one by the Packers in 1950 and moved right into the starting lineup as a center and linebacker. In his memorable first game as a pro, he made over half the tackles against the Chicago Cardinals. Later that same year in a forgettable game against the Bears, Tonnemaker snapped the ball to the punter and then as stood up by Ray Bray and laid out by a sucker punch from Fred Davis. Clayton had to be carried off the field.
After his rookie year, Tonnemaker would spend the next 32 months in the Army Medical Corps, including a stint in the Korean War.
Upon his return to the Packers in 1953, the speedy 240-pound linebacker wrecked havoc on NFL gridirons or only two more seasons before returning to go into business.
His final foray in to sports was at the age of 32 in 1960 when he joined he first Minnesota Rugby Football Club in the Midwest Rugby Football Union.
He was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and died of a stroke in 1996.
Tonnemaker was honored in each of the three years he played in the NFL. In 1950, he ws named All Pro in his rookie year. In his first year back from the service was picked for the Pro Bowl in 1953, and in his last year he was a second team All Pro in 1954. If he had played a few more seasons in Green Bay, he probably would be in the Packer Hall of Fame.
Here is the list of all Packers players who have worn #35 over the past 50 years:
Tags: Green Bay Packers