Hall of Famers

Jim Ringo - Class of 1981
Center (1953-63)

At 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, it's doubtful Jim Ringo would even be considered for a spot on the offensive line in today's NFL. But even in 1953, when the Packers drafted him in the seventh round out of Syracuse University, Ringo was considered vastly undersized.

He was not, however, unfit for the role, using his outstanding quickness and excellent technique to build a 15-year NFL career, including 11 seasons with the Packers, as one of the game's best centers.

Ringo played for four different head coaches in his Packers tenure. In his first six seasons in Green Bay, playing under Gene Ronzani (1953), Lisle Blackbourn (1954-57) and Ray "Scooter" McLean (1958), the Packers went 20-50-2.

But Vince Lombardi's arrival in 1959 changed everything, and for Ringo's final four seasons the Packers went 50-15-1.

Ringo certainly knew individual success before the Lombardi era, attending his first of seven straight Pro Bowls in 1957, but he flourished under the coaching legend, earning consensus All-Pro honors from 1959-63.

Ringo's speed and mobility made him an ideal blocker for Lombardi's famous power sweep, and all but one of running back Jim Taylor's five 1,000-yard seasons -- including his then-record 1,474-yard effort in 1962 -- came with Ringo at center.

Ringo was member to the Packers' NFL Championship teams of 1961 and 1962, but was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles before the Green and Gold went on to win three more titles from 1965-67.

The details of Ringo's trade are the stuff of legend. For years it was said that following the 1963 season, Ringo showed up in Lombardi's office, with an agent in tow, looking to negotiate a raise and that Lombardi was so angered that he excused himself for five minutes only to return and announce that he had traded Ringo to the Eagles.

But over the years it's been suggested that that story includes more fiction than fact. In reality, Lombardi had probably been negotiating a trade for some time (the Packers also traded fullback Earl Gros and received in return linebacker Lee Roy Caffey and a first-round draft pick that they used to select fullback Donny Anderson). Still, the legend persists.

Ringo, who played 126 consecutive games for the Packers from 1954-63, finished out his career in Philadelphia, attending three more Pro Bowls before retiring after the 1967 campaign.

He went on to work on the coaching staffs of the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots and New York Jets.

During his Packers career, Ringo wore number 51.

James Stephen Ringo was born November 21, 1931, in Orange, New Jersey.

Ringo's Career Stats courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau:

YearG
1953 (GB) 5
1954 (GB) 12
1955 (GB) 12
1956 (GB) 12
1957 (GB) 12
1958 (GB) 12
1959 (GB) 12
1960 (GB) 12
1961 (GB) 14
1962 (GB) 14
1963 (GB) 14
1964 (Phi) 14
1965 (Phi) 14
1966 (Phi) 14
1967 (Phi) 14
GB Totals 131
NFL Totals 187