Green Bay Packers in the Hall of Fame: Mike Michalske

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

One of those players sometimes called “Iron Mike,” guard August Mike Michalske was born in the spring of 1903 in Cleveland, Ohio and died at the age of 80 in Green Bay in the Autumn of 1973.

Michalske was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1964, the first guard to be accorded that honor. He was also chosen to be a virtual part of the all-decade team for the 1920s.

In 1970, Michalske was part of the first bunch inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

MORE ANALYSIS: Green Bay Packers 53-man roster predictions

Michalske played in the NFL for 11 seasons, the last eight with the Packers. In that baseball-centric era, he played his first seasons with the New York Yankees (but not the baseball team – the football team that shared a name with the Bronx Bombers). In the early decades of the NFL, many teams had the same name as the city’s baseball team (The Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals are two other examples of this confusing/unimaginative nomenclature).

Many of us might still hear Howard Cosell’s voice in our mind’s ear as he intoned, “the St. Louis football Cardinals” back in the days before the Cardinals football franchise moved to Arizona.

More Articles About Hall of Famers:


Michalske’s first three seasons with the Packers (1929, 1930 and 1931) coincided with their first three NFL Championships.

By the time Michalske joined the Packers, he was already viewed as the best guard in the NFL. Not only that, after his first season with the Packers, 1929, Hall-of-Famer Ernie “Big Dog” Nevers called him the best player in the NFL, regardless of position. Rare praise for a lineman.

In a marked contrast to current Packer Ty Montgomery, Michalske wore nine different jersey numbers during his career with the Packers.

Next: Top 30 moments in Green Bay Packers history

Although there are no statistics that usually apply to what guards do, it can safely be surmised that Michalske prevented thousands of sacks and other tackles for loss by doing his job, game in and game out, play in and play out.

That’s what guards do – especially the great ones, like Mike Michalske.