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Packers Hall of Fame receives donation of unique football

The football's origins can be traced back to a Packers-Cowboys game in 1966


The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame on Nov. 16 was presented with the donation of a unique football from the 1966 season, which was signed by 10 Packers players who went on to become Pro Football Hall of Famers and Super Bowl Champions. The presentation took place at the Packers Hall of Fame Inc. business office across the street from Lambeau Field prior to the game against the Eagles.

The donor, John Wucinski, received the ball as a gift from his late friend Billy Weiss. Weiss was a lifelong Dallas resident who was part of the Dallas Salesmanship Club, which sponsored an annual Cowboys game. The ball from the Aug. 20, 1966, game played between the Cowboys and the Packers was signed by more than 60 players between the two teams, 12 of whom would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Weiss won the ball in a Salesmanship Club raffle, and several years before his death in 2012, he gave the ball to his friend, Packers fan John Wucinski, under the condition that Wucinski donate the ball to the Packers Hall of Fame instead of sell it.

"I'm just honoring my word," said Wucinski at the donation presentation. "It feels really good to give something back to the Packers, since they've given me a lot over the years."

The Packers Hall of Fame Inc., which has several other footballs from the 1960s signed by championship teams, was excited to accept this one-of-a-kind football signed by both the Packers and the Cowboys from the 1966 season.

"At the time, those were the premiere football teams in the world," said Packers Hall of Fame Inc. director/archivist Tom Murphy. "The Super Bowl hadn't yet reached the level that it's at today, so those Cowboys-Packers NFL championship games were the big games. Those were the tough teams."

While the Packers Hall of Fame space in the Lambeau Field Atrium is closed for renovations, many historical Packers items similar to Wucinski's football can be seen at the Neville Public Museum's temporary exhibit, "Touchdown!" The new Hall of Fame will open in 2015.

By Katie Hermsen,

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