Allan Hale of Green Bay was named the 11th member of the Green Bay Packers FAN Hall of Fame at a press conference Friday at Lambeau Field.
Hale, who is in the midst of his 46th season as a beer vendor in Lambeau Field's section 119, was selected by fans from 10 finalists during a voting period that closed Nov. 25. Thousands of votes were cast from throughout the United States and countries around the world.
The 70-year-old Hale was nominated by Dave O'Brien, who often sits in section 119 and has admired Hale's work for years.
In nominating Hale, O'Brien wrote, "Al recently completed his 45th year of service for section 119, and he has hinted at possible retirement. My pre-game ritual usually involves a handshake, a pat on the back and some joking with Al. I cannot say how much I disagreed with his comment in the paper, 'I hate leaving this because I know within a year, a half a year, they'll say, 'Al who? Who's the beer man?' How can you forget 'the beer guy' that finally gave in and wore some gloves in 3 below zero temperatures? I mean, I think I have seen Al wear earmuffs only once or twice in the countless games I have gone to.
"At 70-years old, I can only hope I am as dedicated as Al, while still keeping a great sense of humor. He is the beer vendor you want to have at Lambeau. He's the only one I am aware of who gives you his 'blessing' after receiving a tip. I have to admit that this is perhaps one of the most unusual letters I have written, but I do believe a great way to honor Al's service to the best football fans in America is to include him in the Packers FAN Hall of Fame. I believe Allan Hale is one of the great stories about the Green Bay Packers organization that you don't always get to hear, and would appreciate your consideration on his inclusion somewhere in the Packers Fan Hall of Fame."
This year's other finalists included Susan Betler, Delmont, Pa.; Evelyn Brand, Marcell, Minn.; Bill Collins Sr., West Allis, Wis.; Sharon Deutschendorf, Sussex, Wis.; Beatrice Froelich, Green Bay; Russel Kriwanek, Green Bay; Scott Stroupe, Mooresville, N.C.; Robert Wankowski, Las Vegas, Nev.; and Ken Wiseman, Louisville, Ky.
Hale will receive four club seats to the Packers-Lions game, Dec. 28, 2008, at which he will be recognized on the Lambeau Field TundraVision video boards; a $500 Packers Pro Shop gift certificate; a road trip for two to a 2009 Packers away game, including game tickets, air fare and hotel accommodations; and a one-year subscription to Packer Plus and Packer Insider.
He also will be formally recognized at 2009 Fan Fest in March and have his name permanently displayed in a place of honor in the Packers Hall of Fame.
The Green Bay Packers established the Packers FAN Hall of Fame in 1998 for the purpose of annually honoring a devout and longtime Packers fan.
The 10 prior honorees include Mel Knoke, Appleton, Wis.; Louis Gardipee, Black River Falls, Wis.; Ed Jablonski, Wausau, Wis.; Paul Mazzoleni, Green Bay; Wanda Boggs, Brookfield, Wis.; Sister Isaac Jogues Rousseau, Milwaukee; Dorothy Hanke, Milwaukee; Kathy Lazzaro, Milwaukee; Rich Barbera, River Vale, N.J.; Richard 'Ike' Eisenhauer, Wauwatosa, Wis.
FAN Hall of Fame sponsors are ShopKo, Stein Gardens and Gifts, Best Buy and Mills Fleet Farm.