It speaks to the success of the Green Bay Packers, as there are enough former players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame to provide material for an entire book.
Green Bay is represented in the hall by 28 individuals, all of whom are included in Michael Jacquart’s “Green Bay’s Greatest Players: An Introduction to the Packers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.” Jakat, who lives in Iola, said one reason for writing the book was to keep fans fresh with the Packers from a long time ago. A long time ago was closer than you might think.
“As the years go by, there are a lot of people who don’t even remember the Lombard era anymore,” said Jakat, a member of the Association of Professional Football Researchers. For the record, half of the Packers in the Hall of Fame are from the Lombard era, including Lombard himself.
The book includes biographies of every Packers player in the halls, with the exception of Leroy Butler, who took office in August. Butler has a shorter entry in the Packers section of the Pro Football Hall of Fame that should (or will be).
“The hardest part was Leroy Butler. Everyone was pretty sure he’d be in, but I couldn’t convince the publishers to delay,” Jakart said.
This section also includes Aaron Rodgers, Sterling Sharpe, Gale Gillingham, Jack Vainisi, Boyd Dowler, Bob Harlan, David Bakhtiari and Davante Adams.
The book includes statistics for each player and coach along with other biography facts such as birth and death dates, parents, high school and college attendance, and post-football careers. For example, Arnie Herber attended Green Bay West High School; Mike Michalske had 9 jersey numbers during his Packers career, the most of any player in franchise history; Jim Ringo had 10 straight years with the Packers Miss a game.
“A lot of the people who buy these books are stats junkies,” Jakart said.
He said it took about six months to write the book.
“Writing is actually the easiest part of a book. Citations, proofreading, publishing of text and photos, editing photos, writing bibliography and indexing is more work,” he said. There’s a lot of content in this book, with a wealth of sources, plenty of chapter notes, bibliography, and an index.
While researching the book, Jacquart said there were things he didn’t know or was reminded of.
“I knew Johnny Blood was a character. I didn’t know he was a character,” Jacquart said. “Vince Lombardi, you thought you knew him, but I didn’t know he was so far ahead in race relations. When Bart Starr died, I was a little surprised by the number of citations to people doing nothing with football.”
Jacquart previously published “A Century of Excellence: The 100 Greatest Packers of All Time”.
He will speak at a dinner program at the Neville Public Museum on November 10 at 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on the Neville Museum website.
The book costs $29.95 and is available at Bosse’s News & Tobacco in downtown Green Bay as well as at Barnes & Nobel and Amazon.com.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay News-Gazette: The Book Recounts the History of the Packers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame