Clayton Tonnemaker

Frank Clayton "Clayt" Tonnemaker (June 8, 1928 – December 25, 1996) was an American football player who played center and linebacker for the Green Bay Packers from 1950 to 1954. Tonnemaker was an All-American at the University of Minnesota, where he played center linebacker. In 1980, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Clayton Tonnemaker
refer to caption
Tonnemaker while playing at Minnesota, c. 1940s
No. 15
Position:Center, Linebacker
Personal information
Born:June 8, 1928
Ogilvie, Minnesota
Died:December 25, 1996 (aged 68)
St. Paul, Minnesota
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:237 lb (108 kg)
Career information
High school:Minneapolis (MN) Edison
College:Minnesota
NFL Draft:1950 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • Consensus All-American (1949)
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early life

Tonnemaker, weighing in at 11 pounds, was born on June 8, 1928 on a farm near Ogilvie, Minnesota, to Anna Nelson and Frank Clayton Tonnemaker. After his father died when Clayton was 7, he and his mother and sister, Lucille, sold their farm at auction and moved to the town of Rush City, Minnesota. The family later moved to Northeast Minneapolis, and Clayton attended Edison High School.

Football career

Youth

Tonnemaker lettered in football at Rush City High School as an 8th grader. After moving to Minneapolis, Tonnemaker played center for the Edison football team, serving as captain and winning All-City Honors. He unofficially played for the Minnesota Gophers while in high school, even scoring a touchdown during a 1946 spring season scrimmage. It was not legal for a high schooler to train with a college team at the time, so the Gophers didn’t acknowledge this.[1]

College: University of Minnesota

Tonnemaker officially began playing center linebacker for the Gophers during his freshman year, 1946, when a World War II-era ruling made it legal for freshman to play in the Big Ten. Before the war this was not allowed. He became part of a group of Gopher players known as the '49ers, their year of graduation.[1] He was a regular from mid-freshman year, with the Gophers winning 23 out of 30 games, and a "win-loss edge over every Big Ten rival except Michigan".[2] Along with Leo Nomellini, Tonnemaker was part of a defensive line that allowed "an average of less than nine points a game in the '49ers’ final season".[3]

Professional: Green Bay Packers

Originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, his pro contract was transferred to the Green Bay Packers after the All-America Football Conference merged with the NFL in 1950 and the rules changed.[5] The Packers made him their number one National Football League draft pick in 1950 (4th in the NFL overall),[6] and paid him $8,000 a year, the top salary on the team. Tonnemaker played center and middle linebacker.

  • Named All-Pro in his rookie season (1950) and again after his war service in 1953
  • Picked to play in the first Pro Bowl ever (January 14, 1951)[6] but missed it because he had to report for Army duty
  • Captain 1953/1954
  • Played from 1950–54[6]

Honors and awards

  • Minnesota Football Hall of Fame: 1946, 47, 48, 49
  • National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame: 1980
  • Played on 10 teams and named the captain of each one[7]
  • Chicago Tribune All-Time All-Big Ten Team – Center[8]
  • State of Minnesota Football Hall of Fame – 1981
  • Gopher Men's Sports Hall of Fame – 1992

Career

  • Served in the Korean War for 32 months, 18 months as a lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps in Japan.[9]
  • Left the Green Bay Packers in 1954 to begin a 22-year career with Cargill; achieved VP status[6]
  • 1961–1965 - NFL football commentator on CBS
  • 1979 – Became President of Coal Creek Mining Co in Ashland, Montana [10]
  • Tonnemaker spent the last years of his life in Minnesota and Wisconsin, close to his family, where he was involved in private business ventures.[11]

References

  1. ^ a b Maroon and Gold Forever, Ross Bernstein, 2009, Printing Enterprises, New Brighton, Minnesota.
  2. ^ Viking Update, Dick Gordon, October 9, 1995
  3. ^ Gold Glory, Richard Rainbolt, 1972, R. Turtinen Publishing Co, Wayzata, Minnesota, p. 133
  4. ^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 30, 1949, p. 19
  5. ^ Minneapolis Tribune, Sid Hartman, Feb. 6, 1980, p. 2C
  6. ^ a b c d Green Bay Press Gazette, Don Langenkamp, January 21, 1979
  7. ^ St. Paul Pioneer Press, Don Riley, October 19, 1980
  8. ^ Chicago Tribune, July 31, 1995, Section 7, pg 7
  9. ^ Interview with daughter, Susan Tonnemaker Hunter
  10. ^ Ibid.
  11. ^ Ibid.
1948 All-Big Nine Conference football team

The 1948 All-Big Nine Conference football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Big Nine Conference teams selected by the Associated Press (AP), United Press (UP) and the International News Service (INS) for the 1948 Big Nine Conference football season. Players selected as first-team honorees by the AP, UP and INS are displayed in bold.

Michigan compiled a 9–0 record, won both the Big Nine Conference and national football championships, and had four players who were selected as consensus first-team All-Big Nine players. Michigan's consensus first-team honorees were quarterback Pete Elliott, end Dick Rifenburg, tackle Alvin Wistert, guard Dominic Tomasi.

Other players receiving first-team honors from at least two of the three major selectors were Indiana halfback George Taliaferro, Purdue halfback Harry Szulborski, Northwestern fullback Art Murakowski, Minnesota end Bud Grant, Minnesota guard Leo Nomellini, and Northwestern center Alex Sarkisian.

1949 All-Big Nine Conference football team

The 1949 All-Big Nine Conference football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Big Nine Conference teams selected by the Associated Press (AP), United Press (UP) and the International News Service (INS) for the 1949 Big Nine Conference football season.

1949 Big Nine Conference football season

The 1949 Big Nine Conference football season was the 54th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Nine Conference (also known as the Western Conference and the Big Ten Conference) and was a part of the 1949 college football season.

Ohio State and Michigan tied for the 1949 Big Ten championship. Ohio State, under head coach Wes Fesler, compiled a 7–1–2 record and was ranked No. 6 in the final AP Poll. The Buckeyes defeated California in the 1950 Rose Bowl by a 17–14 score. Center Jack Lininger was selected as the team's most valuable player.

Michigan, under head coach Bennie Oosterbaan, compiled a 6–2–1 record and was ranked No. 7 in the final AP Poll. The Wolverines had a 25-game win streak broken with a loss to Army on October 8, 1949. Halfback Dick Kempthorn was selected as the team's most valuable player, and tackle Alvin Wistert was a consensus first-team All-American.

Minnesota, under head coach Bernie Bierman, finished in third place, compiled a 7–2 record, led the conference in both scoring offense (25.7 points per game) and scoring defense (8.9 points allowed per game), and was ranked No. 8 in the final AP Poll. Bud Grant and John Lundin were selected as the team's most valuable players. Tackle Leo Nomellini and center Clayton Tonnemaker were both consensus first-team All-Americans.

1949 College Football All-America Team

The 1949 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1949. The eight selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1949 season are (1) the Associated Press, (2) the United Press, (3) the All-America Board, (4) the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), (5) the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), (6) the International News Service (INS), (7) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and (8) the Sporting News.

1949 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team

The 1949 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team represented the University of Minnesota in the 1949 Big Nine Conference football season. In their 15th year under head coach Bernie Bierman, the Golden Gophers compiled a 7–2 record and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 231 to 80.Tackle Leo Nomellini was named an All-American by Walter Camp Football Foundation, Associated Press (AP), Look Magazine, and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). Center Clayton Tonnemaker was named an All-American by Walter Camp Football Foundation, AP, Collier's/Grantland Rice, Look Magazine, Football Writers Association of America and the AFCA. Nomellini, Tonnemaker and end Bud Grant were named All-Big Ten first team.Bud Grant was awarded the Team MVP Award.Total attendance for the season was 305,200, which averaged to 61,040. The season high for attendance was against Wisconsin.

1950 All-Pro Team

The 1950 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1950 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), and the New York Daily News.

1950 Green Bay Packers season

The 1950 Green Bay Packers season was their 32nd season overall and their 30th season in the National Football League. The club posted a 3–9 record under first-year head coach Gene Ronzani for a fifth-place finish in the National Conference.

1951 Pro Bowl

The 1951 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's inaugural Pro Bowl which featured the league's outstanding performers from the 1950 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 14, 1951, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 53,676 fans. The American Conference squad defeated the National Conference by a score of 28–27. The player were selected by a vote of each conferences coaches along with the sports editors of the newspapers in the Los Angeles area, where the game was contested.The National team was led by the Los Angeles Rams' Joe Stydahar while Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns coached the American stars. The same two coaches had faced each other three weeks earlier in the 1950 NFL Championship Game in which Brown's team had also defeated Stydahar's. Both coaches employed the T formation offense in the Pro Bowl.Cleveland Browns quarterback Otto Graham was named the game's outstanding player.

1953 All-Pro Team

The 1953 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1953 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP) (based on voting among 48 member paper sports writers and AP staffers), the United Press (UP), and the New York Daily News.

1953 Green Bay Packers season

The 1953 Green Bay Packers season was their 35th season overall and their 33rd in the National Football League. The club posted a 2–9–1 record under head coach Gene Ronzani and interim co-coaches Ray McLean, and Hugh Devore, and finished last in the newly named Western Conference.

Fourth-year head coach Ronzani led the team for the first ten games, but resigned after a nationally televised Thanksgiving Day loss, his eighth loss to the Detroit Lions in four seasons; McLean and Devore co-coached the last two games of the season, both losses.

It was the only in-season coaching change in Packers history, until 2018. This season also marked the first season that the Packers played at the recently completed Milwaukee County Stadium.

1954 Green Bay Packers season

The 1954 Green Bay Packers season was their 36th season overall and their 34th season in the National Football League. The club posted a 4–8 record under new head coach Lisle Blackbourn and finished fifth in the Western Conference.

In a season of streaks, the Packers lost their first three games, all at home, climbed back to .500 at 4–4, then lost their final four.

Edison High School (Minnesota)

Thomas Edison High School is the only public high school in the Northeast community of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was named after the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison. Located in the Holland neighborhood, the school's academic focus areas are: American Studies, Business Enterprise, Candidate International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, Personal Care & Therapeutic Services, and Technology & Multi Media.The school opened in 1922. Additions have been made to the rear of the building, and a gymnasium was built across Monroe Street. The track and football field are behind this gym, and the school's baseball/softball field is in adjacent Jackson Square Park.

List of Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl selections

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are currently members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and are the third-oldest franchise in the NFL. The team has had representatives to the Pro Bowl every year since 1950 except for nine seasons. Below is a list of the Pro Bowl selections for each season.

List of Green Bay Packers players

The following is a list of notable past or present players of the Green Bay Packers professional American football team.

List of NFL on CBS announcers

This article is a list of announcers for CBS' coverage of the National Football League (NFL).

List of NFL on CBS commentator pairings

CBS Sports began televising National Football League games in 1956. The network inherited the rights to games of most of the teams from the defunct DuMont Television Network; back then, each NFL team negotiated its own television deal. From 1956 to 1967, CBS assigned their commentating crews to one team each for the entire season. Beginning in 1968, CBS instituted a semi-merit system for their commentating crews. Following the 1993 season, there was no NFL on CBS after the network lost its half of the Sunday afternoon TV package (the National Football Conference) to the Fox Broadcasting Company. However, CBS gained the American Football Conference package from NBC beginning in 1998. The names of the play-by-play men are listed first while the color commentators are listed second; sideline reporters, when used, are listed last.

Ogilvie, Minnesota

Ogilvie is a city in Kanabec County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 369 at the 2010 census.

Rush City, Minnesota

Rush City is a city in Chisago County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 3,079 at the 2010 census. It is fifty-eight miles north of Minneapolis–Saint Paul.

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