Guard and kicker Jerry Kramer went from number four draft choice in 1958 to one of the best lineman in Packer history.
A starter at right guard in his rookie season, the former University of Idaho Vandal and fellow guard Fuzzy Thurston became keys to the success of Vince Lombardi’s running attack.
The 6’3”, 250-pound Kramer was also a kicker. His three field goals helped the Packers win the 1962 championship in New York, 16-7. He scored 65 points in ‘62 and was the team’s leading scorer with 91 points in 1963.
Teammates nicknamed Kramer “Zipper” because of his numerous injuries and scars. In 1961, he fractured an ankle and suffered a detached retina. In 1964, doctors performed surgery and found pieces of a board lodged in his abdomen from a childhood accident. Kramer lost so much weight that some doubted he would play again.
He returned in 1965 and was All Pro in 1966 and ‘67. Kramer teamed with center Ken Bowman on a key block that propelled Bart Starr to the winning touchdown in the 1967 NFL “Ice Bowl” championship win over Dallas.
Kramer, host of the television show “Packerama” with Jim Irwin during his playing days, changed the way sports books were written with his literate, reflective Instant Replay and Farewell to Football.
A successful businessman after his retirement in 1968, Kramer followed up those books with Lombardi and Distant Replay.
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