Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, Inc. Announces Donation of Game Ball Involved in Lambeau Field's First Touchdown; Has Notable Autographs
The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, Inc. today announced the donation of a game football used in new City Stadium's first ever scoring play on Sept. 29, 1957. City Stadium was renamed Lambeau Field in 1965 after the death of Curly Lambeau.
In a game the Packers eventually won, 21-17, over the archrival Chicago Bears, the first score was a 5-yard touchdown run by Bears quarterback Ed Brown in the first quarter. Pro Football Hall of Famer George Blanda then kicked the extra point and it sailed into the stands to Seats 22 and 23 of Section 1, Row 21, where Joseph Kaster and his wife, Jeanne, were sitting. Joseph caught the ball.
Not only is the ball itself a historical gem, but after the game, Joseph went to Green Bay's Hotel Northland to obtain autographs from players and coaches on both teams. Among the Packers' signatures are Pro Football Hall of Famers Paul Hornung, Jim Ringo and Bart Starr, as well as Lisle Blackbourn, Bobby Dillon, Max McGee, Ron Kramer, Gary Knafelc, Billy Howton and Babe Parilli. Among the Bears' coaches and players are Hall of Famers George Halas, John "Paddy" Driscol, Sid Luckman, Bill George and George Conner.
Other notable autographs obtained at the hotel were those from NFL Commissioner Bert Bell and former Packers player Johnny "Blood" McNally, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The ball recently was donated to the Hall by the children of Joseph and Jeanne Kaster: Paul Kaster, Ann (Kaster) Reeves and Claire (Kaster) Schmitt.
"We have been thinking about this for some time, and with this season being the 50th anniversary of Lambeau Field, we thought it'd be very appropriate with the ball coming from that first game," said Paul Kaster. "We are very happy to do this on behalf of our parents."
"It's an outstanding item for our collection," said Tom Murphy, the Hall's archivist and member of the board of directors. "The ball is a significant piece of Lambeau Field's history, no doubt about it. We are very thankful for the Kasters for their wonderful donation."
The ball will be on display beginning today in the Packers Hall of Fame.
*The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, Inc., is a non-profit corporation independent of the Green Bay Packers that guides the Hall as a historic national sports venue and educational resource to the Green Bay community and the state of Wisconsin. The Hall raises funds through its annual induction banquet, Golf Classic and other events to develop new exhibits and expand its archives. Historic memorabilia donated by individuals to the Hall may qualify as tax-deductible gifts.
Originally established in 1967 as a temporary display in the concourse of the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena, the Hall moved into its own facility in 1976 near Lambeau Field. In 2003, it was relocated to a spectacular new, 25,000-square foot facility in the Lambeau Field Atrium. The Hall of Fame is open on non-game days from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours may vary on game days and holidays. For more information, contact the Hall of Fame at 920/569-7512, or visit the Hall online at www.lambeaufield.com/halloffame.*