NEWS NOW: ”He Used To Be A Very Humble Player,” Green Bay Packers Head Coach Confesses After The Club’s Star Player Is Confirmed…

Has Baby Ray failed to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame roster?

Does Canton really need Andrew Turnbull?

Susan from Tennessee’s Nashville

Baby Ray

I wanted to write to you because of how comprehensively you respond to inquiries, especially the in-depth analysis of players from the Lambeau era. Many of the Packer players that I grew up hearing about from my parents or spending summer vacations with have names I’ve read. Buford “Baby” Ray was my dad, may his memory be eternal. He spent eleven seasons as Curly’s player. Since the early 1970s, I have attempted—with little to no success—to get my father inducted into the Canton Hall of Fame. Where so many of his teammates have already received honors, he ought to be. I have written to every person that comes to me, including sportswriters, PFHOF board members, the Commissioner, ANYONE I could think of. My Daddy spent his whole career involved in football: from player to coach to area scout.

When he played for the Packers, he played the entire game, offense and defense. I know linemen rarely get the credit they deserve but, my Daddy most certainly deserves credit for his contributions to the game. I’m an old lady now and have spent many years trying to see that my Daddy receives the honor he deserves. (All these efforts will end once I’m gone. So, I persist.) I tried so hard to have this happen while he was still with us. He never knew because he would have been mortified by my efforts. He was a humble man; a man of great achievement but, a very humble man nonetheless; my Mama’s “gentle giant.” If you can do anything to help me in my efforts, I would be very grateful.

Andrew Turnbull

Let me start by saying, I admire both your passion and your frustration. And your efforts to try and get your father into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are commendable. Not only that, you have a strong case to make and I’m guessing you’ve done your best.

Also, I knew your dad. As a young reporter for the Green Bay Press-Gazette in the 1970s, I’d talk to him occasionally on his trips to Green Bay after he became a fulltime area scout for the Packers in 1971. In the summer of 1978, I conducted an extensive interview with him on scouting and the draft.

He was an engaging gentleman, and I remember him mostly for enlightening me about the lexicon of scouts, or at least his lexicon.

Among the sayings he shared with me were:

A player lacking speed: “He might meet a snail, but he’d never overtake one.” On a flanker with good hands: “He could catch a BB in the dark.” On a receiver reluctant to sell out on passes across the middle: “He won’t go in the briar patch.”

Baby Ray played for the Packers from 1938-48 and made the NFL’s 1940s All-Decade Team at tackle. He was one of the first big men in pro football at 6-foot-6 and 249 pounds, and he played on two of Curly Lambeau’s NFL championship teams.

Ray didn’t miss a game in his first five seasons and missed only four in his 11 seasons. He made at least one first team all-pro in 1939, ’41, ’43 and ’45. And he made big plays as a tackle, including a recovered fumble that set up the game-winning field goal with less than a minute left in a 24-22 victory over the Chicago Cardinals in 1938, when the Packers won the division by one game, and a blocked punt for a safety in a title-clinching 12-7 victory over Detroit in the 1939 regular-season finale.

Bob Waterfield, Hall of Fame quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams from 1945-52, picked Ray as one of two defensive tackles on his all-time opponent team. Milwaukee Sentinel sportswriter Stoney McGlynn, who was a tackle and captain of a star-studded team at Lawrence College in the early 1920s, once wrote about your dad: “He’s the closest thing to the raw-meat type of tackle the Packers haven’t had since Cal Hubbard used to train on TNT for sessions with the Giants and Bears.”


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