Oldest living Packers player died this week

Alex Wizbicki, a decorated WWII veteran and Green Bay DB in 1950, was 97


Alex Wizbicki, who was the oldest living former Green Bay Packers player, died Monday at age 97.

Wizbicki, a defensive back, played for the Packers in 1950. He appeared in 11 games and intercepted two passes. Prior to joining the Packers, Wizbicki played for the Buffalo Bills of the old All-America Football Conference from 1947 to 1949.

After the Bills folded when the NFL absorbed teams from the AAFC, Wizbicki was selected by the Cleveland Browns in a special draft. The Browns cut him in training camp and he joined the Packers.

The Packers released Wizbicki on the final cut in 1951. At the time, the Packers' home field was old City Stadium behind Green Bay East High School.

"I came from Buffalo to Green Bay and I was a little surprised," Wizbicki said in 2001. "The showers weren't the greatest. They had limited hot water at times. Things like that. You just couldn't believe this was the great Green Bay Packers that you heard about so much. It was amazing what they had to work with and what they accomplished."

The Packers held training camp in 1950 in Green Bay.

"I'll tell you how broke they were," Wizbicki said. "I got there later, but for their training camp they stayed at the Northland Hotel and they ate at the YMCA. The guys told me they charged it. The Packers didn't have any money."

Wizbicki died in Superior, Wis., where he had been a longtime resident. Arrangements are pending.

A veteran of World War II, Wizbicki was presented with a complete set of Pacific Theatre medals and the Bronze Star for bravery in 2013. Fellow veterans John Vaski and Cliff Hughes had applied for the replacement medals when they learned Wizbicki had lost the originals in his many moves around the country.

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