G Jerry Kramer, who played 11 seasons (1958-68) for the Green Bay Packers and was a member of teams that won five NFL championships and two Super Bowls, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a senior candidate. The announcement was made today by the Hall of Fame’s selection committee in Minneapolis.
“On behalf of the entire Green Bay Packers organization, I want to congratulate Jerry on this well-deserved honor,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. “I’m so happy for Jerry. His patience has been rewarded, as he will finally be going into the Hall of Fame after being a finalist 11 times. He was a key part of the offenses on the great Lombardi teams, as well as an outstanding leader. He’s remained actively involved with the Packers over the years and is beloved by our fans.”
Kramer was drafted by the Packers in the fourth round (No. 39 overall) of the 1958 NFL Draft out of the University of Idaho. He was named first-team All-Pro by The Associated Press five times (1960, 1962-63, 1966-67) and was selected to the Pro Bowl three times (1962-63, 1967). Kramer was also named to the NFL’s 50th Anniversary Team, the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s and the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team.
Kramer played in 130 regular-season games during his 11 seasons and helped Green Bay register winning records in all but his first and last season. He was an integral part of the Packers’ dominance during the 1960s, starting at right guard in five NFL championship games (missed 1961 due to injury), four of which were won by the Packers, and both of Green Bay’s victories in Super Bowl I and II.
Kramer delivered the key block that made way for Bart Starr’s game-winning touchdown in the 1967 NFL Championship against the Dallas Cowboys, a game famously known as the “Ice Bowl.” On top of being a big part of the offensive line, he also handled placekicking duties in 1962-63 and briefly in his final season. For his career, Kramer totaled 177 career points on 90 extra points and 29 field goals made. He kicked three field goals and one PAT in the 1962 NFL Championship Game win at the New York Giants.
Kramer is the 25th member of the Packers to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“In the old days when the quarterbacks called their own plays, since most of them were right-handed, they called most of the plays to the right. So the defense would put their best men on that half of the field. Therefore, Jerry Kramer, as a right guard, played against the best defensive tackle every week. He still made All-Pro five times. Jerry was a phenomenal guard. People like to talk about that one block during the Ice Bowl, but he was an all-around player. He’s the man I credit with winning the world championship in 1962, since he had to fill in as kicker. He did things players today can’t and won’t do. He played against the best that our opponents had to offer.
“Jerry had that Lombardi-like feeling: you never quit. No task was too big. No matter who he was playing against or how big he was, Jerry knew that if he did what he had to do, the way he was supposed to do it, he would win. When the going got tough, you knew that Jerry would give his all. He’s well deserving of this honor. We’ve got a spot that’s been waiting a long time for him in the Hall of Fame. I wish I could be the first man to congratulate him.”
-LB Dave Robinson, 1963-72 (inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013)
“Congratulations to Jerry. I couldn’t be happier for him. If anybody ever deserved it, it is him. He is well deserving. He was a great teammate and a great leader. Our favorite play was the power sweep, and he led that play so well.”
-HB Paul Hornung, 1957-62, 1964-66 (inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986)