Green Bay Packers Worry About UCLA’s Undrafted But Undaunted Kenny Washington

The Chicago Tribune – August 24, 1940

“PACKERS REBUT VINEGAR SQUIRTS : WATCH OUR LINE! – IT’LL KEEP MR. WASHINGTON OCCUPIED, SAY PROS”

By George Strickler

With only the daily lecture, which comes with their grapefruit, to occupy them before their final scrimmage tonight, the Green Bay Packers had time to attend to their correspondence and take invoice of their assets for the Chicago All-Star game next Thursday. Voluminous correspondence has piled up on the world champions since practice began on Aug. 12, most of it of an anonymous nature from Chicago. The Professional Football Alumni association has weighed in daily with such sagacious observations as “quit fishing : go to work”, “we hope you’ll try to keep the All-Stars from scoring too often” and “we want you to make a respectable showing”.

Today’s bon mot, which could not have possibly come from the Chicago Cardinals because it is too early in the season for them to even be professiona football alumni, read : “Mr. Washington will cut down the Green Bay tree as another Washington cut down the cherry tree. But he will not be spanked, because you will not be able to catch him.”

This is the first time that the vinegar-quill technique has entered into preparations for the All-Star game and the Packers would be left speechless if the answers weren’t so obvious. The answers are that it has been so cold up here for the last week that no fish would allow itself to be lured by anything other than a pair of mittens or an umbrella. And as far as the uncatchable Mr. Washington, no one in the Packers camp ever heard of U.C.L.A. setting any scoring records during Washington’s career, nor is there any documented evidence that it went undefeated for three seasons.

The Washington matter will be left up to the Packers line, which brings us down the champions’ chief asset in next Thursday’s engagement. Before Washington can electrify many people, he will have to pass through a veteran line that averages 221 pounds and 6 feet 1 inch from end to end. This line, and its husky, capable replacements, will be charged with keeping Washington bottled up on running plays and harassing him so consistently on passes that he will not have time to draw a bead on enemy receivers.

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It is very thought provoking to note that, among all the celebrated and talented backfield players on the 1940 College All-Stars roster, the professional players on the defending National Football League champion Green Bay Packers were, apparently, most concerned about the threat posed by UCLA Bruins superstar KENNY WASHINGTON, the very same 195-pounder whom legendary Packers head coach Earl “Curley” Lambeau had already labeled as “the epitome of football perfection” less than three weeks earlier prior to the start of training camp.

After all, the Packers could have just as easily been paying attention to others such as Tennessee Volunteers left halfback GEORGE CAFEGO, the 174-pounder who had been honored as a First Team All-America selection by six major accredited organizations (Central Press Association, Irving Dix, Liberty Magazine, Newspaper Enterprise Association, The Detroit Times & Paul Williamson) as a junior in 1938 and again by another six major accredited organizations (Collegiate Writers, International News Service, Life Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, The Sporting News & United Press) as a senior in 1939. The versatile Cafego also just so happened to be the very same player whom the Chicago Cardinals had chosen with the first overall pick in the first round of the 1940 NFL Draft. And the Cardinals, to review, were rivals of the Packers in the NFL’s Western Division.

Green Bay also might have just as well been worried about Iowa left halfback NILE KINNICK, the 167-pound sensation who, as a senior in 1939, had been named First Team All-America by 13 of the 15 major accredited organizations tracked by this blog. The diminutive but dangerous Hawkeyes hero, of course, had also been awarded the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding collegiate football player in 1939 by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York City. Kinnick was snapped up in the second round (# 14 overall) of the 1940 NFL Draft by the Brooklyn Dodgers.

It is extremely significant to remember that both Cafego and Kinnick beat Washington out for a place on the NCAA’s official Consensus All-America squad for the 1939 season and that none of the ten NFL clubs, not even the Green Bay Packers, themselves, had the common sense / moral courage to select the UCLA phenom at the league’s annual draft of collegiate players.

The Chicago Tribune, for all of its favorable reporting on Washington’s impressive exploits all throughout the College All-Stars’ training camp, did a masterful job of avoiding any and all discussion with respect to the obvious question of why the NCAA’s total offense leader in 1939 would not be not be playing for any National Football League team whatsoever in 1940.

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Validating The All-America Candidacy Of Kenny Washington Via The 1940 College All-Star Game – Training Camp

If comprehensive analysis of relevant individual statistics from the 1939 NCAA season, itself, is not enough to make a complete mockery of KENNY WASHINGTON’s failure to secure Consensus First Team All-America status as a senior then, surely, a review of the performance from the UCLA star left halfback against the defending National Football League champion Green Bay Packers at the memorable 1940 College All-Star Game certainly would validate Washington’s worthiness of such honors.

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Passed over for First Team All-America status as a senior in 1939 by thirteen of the fifteen major accredited organizations studied by this blog and ignored entirely by all ten professional clubs at the 1940 National Football League Draft, it was at training camp for the 1940 College All-Star Game in Chicago where UCLA Bruins star left halfback KENNY WASHINGTON would have his invaluable chance to show countless All-America voters (not to mention the prejudiced NFL owners) how foolish their respective choices had been.

After being elected in the formentioned nationwide vote of fans, University of Iowa head coach Dr. Eddie Anderson gathered his enormous squad at Northwestern University on August 11th and immediately set about the difficult task of dividing this group of elite collegians into separate units for the first, second, third teams, etc. Anderson calculated that he might need to use as many as four different teams against the defending NFL champion Green Bay Packers in order to keep his troops fresh throughout the 1940 College All-Star Game. Still, with more than thirty backfield players on the roster, it was assured that at least a baker’s dozen “big name” backfield players would not be seeing any action at all.

From the outset, however, it was obvious that Bruins standout would not be one of those unfortunate players who would be watching the 1940 College All-Star Game from the bench. Indeed, the headline of an article in The Chicago Tribune on August 12th read, “Anderson Sends All-Stars Through Opening Practice – Mates Praise Washington”. Two days later, the same Windy City newspaper that was the sponsor of the annual College All-Star Game at Soldier Field highlighted the 195-pounder’s passing ability by reporting that “sideline observers express amazement at the passing exhibitions turned in by Kenny Washington, the celebrated UCLA halfback”.

Anderson, who had seen Washington play in person during the 1938 NCAA season when his Iowa Hawkeyes lost 27-3 to the UCLA Bruins in Los Angeles, made no secret of the fact that he would be use the four most qualified players in the backfield even if that meant that certain players would not be stationed at their ‘normal’ position. Of course, the primary ball-handler in Anderson’s traditional Single Wing offense would be the left halfback but the Iowa mentor was prepared to sacrifice power in favor of speed at the fullback position. The role of the quarterback, as was customary during the pre-World War II era, remained that of a lead blocker and pass receiver.

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College All-Stars head coach Dr. Eddie Anderson from the University of Iowa talks things over with the starting backfield as determined by a nationwide vote involving millions of fans — Purdue right halfback Lou Brock (# 40), Notre Dame fullback Joe Thesing (# 33), Iowa left halfback Nile Kinnick (# 1) and USC quarterback Ambrose Schindler (# 24).
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On August 21st, eight days prior to the seventh annual College All-Star Game, The Chicago Tribune reported that Anderson had tentatively named a first and second team for the upcoming clash with the Packers. Making good on his word, Anderson’s first string line-up included no fewer than three left halfbacks : Nile Kinnick of Iowa, Hal van Every of Minnesota and UCLA’s Washington. The nation’s total offense leader in 1939 (Washington) retained his accustomed place at the all-important left halfback position but the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner & Consensus First Team All-America (Kinnick) was shifted to right halfback and the Green Bay Packers’ first round selection at the 1940 NFL Draft who had led the entire NCAA in 1939 with nine pass interceptions (van Every) was moved to fullback; beefy Frank Emmons of Oregon, the 215-pound converted fullback who had been the fifth round pick (# 32 overall) of the Philadelphia Eagles at the 1940 NFL Draft, was penciled in at the quarterback position.

In addition to this quartet, three backfield players were named as reserves for the first team unit. USC Trojans second-string quarterback Ambrose Schindler, the two-time Second Team All-Pacific Coast selection who had been the Most Valuable Player of the 1940 Rose Bowl Game, was being deployed in training camp at both right halfback as well as at fullback while Clemson Tigers star Banks McFadden, the lanky right halfback who had been selected First Team All-America by three major accredited organizations including the Associated Press and taken fifth overall in the first round of the 1940 NFL Draft by the Brooklyn Dodgers, was working exclusively at fullback. Left halfback Bob Kellogg of Tulane, the First Team All-Southeastern Conference choice who had led the Green Wave to a regular season record of 8-0-1 and a Sugar Bowl berth as a senior in 1939, was asked by the College All-Stars coaching staff to learn the assignments of every backfield position save the quarterback slot.

Anderson’s so-called second team line-up consisted of five more backfield players featuring Texas Mines quarterback Ken Heineman, the Second Team Little All-America selection of the Associated Press in 1939 who had been tabbed in the sixth round (# 45 overall) of the 1940 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Rams. The undersized Heineman (5’9″ 168 lbs) impressed during training camp with his passing skills at left halfback while Notre Dame’s speedy left halfback Benny Sheridan was seen as a legitimate threat to run reverses over at right halfback. Also listed with the second unit were the pair of ninth round NFL draft picks : fullback Dom Principe of Fordham, the New York Giants prospect who had been named Third Team All-America by no fewer than four major accredited organizations in 1939, and rugged USC Trojans right halfback Bob Hoffman, the soon-to-be Washington Redskins rookie who had been named Second Team All-America by the New York Sun newspaper and was known to be a fearsome tackler at linebacker.

On August 25th, just four days ahead of the 1940 College All-Star Game to be played under the lights at Soldier Field, The Chicago Tribune dutifully reported Anderson’s depth chart as had been observed at practice less than twenty-four hours earlier :

Left Halfback : Washington, Kinnick, Olie Cordill (Rice), Heineman
Right Halfback : Kellogg, van Every, Brock, Floyd Dean (Iowa)
Quarterback : Emmons, Hoffman
Fullback : McFadden, Schindler, Thesing

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Validating The All-America Candidacy Of Kenny Washington Via The 1940 College All-Star Game – Final Roster Selection

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Almost an entire week before the College All-Stars had actually even held their first practice session, no less of an authority than legendary Green Bay Packers head coach Earl “Curley” Lambeau, rather prophetically, wrote in The Chicago Tribune newspaper on August 5, 1940 :

“(Kenny) Washington and (Banks) McFadden will likely be the collegians’ stars, carrying on where Bill Osmanski of Holy Cross left off (as Most Valuable Player) in 1939. These two men are the pick of the finest set of backs ever assembled for the (College) All-Star Game. Washington, UCLA’s rugged halfback, is the epitome of football perfection. He was the toast of the Pacific coast, where great football players abound. And we’re not overlooking Iowa’s Nile Kinnick, either.”

The lavish praise heaped upon Washington by the future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee who, at this point in his most distinguished career, had already won five National Football League titles with the Packers was particularly significant, especially considering the source. The 1940 edition of the College All-Stars had no less than five first round NFL draft picks plus the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner (Kinnick) in the backfield. Furthermore, one of those first round draft picks (Hal van Every from Minnesota) also just so happened to be the property of Lambeau’s defending champion Green Bay Packers .

1940 COLLEGE ALL-STARS : Halfbacks
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# 1 ….. Nile Kinnick ……………. Iowa …………………….. 2nd rd – Brooklyn
# 11 … Dom Carney ……………. Rockhurst
# 12 … Benny Sheridan ………. Notre Dame
# 14 … Floyd Dean ……………… Iowa
# 19 … Kenny Washington …… UCLA
# 23 … Lou Zontini ……………… Notre Dame
# 40 … Lou Brock ……………….. Purdue ………………… 3rd rd – Green Bay
# 43 … Dick Cassiano ………….. Pitt ………………………. 6th rd – Green Bay
# 45 … Bob Hoffman …………… USC ……………………… 9th rd – Washington
# 57 … Jack Padley ……………… Dayton ……………….. 16th rd – Detroit
# 60 … Bob Kellogg ……………… Tulane
# 61 … Jack Nix …………………… Mississippi St
# 66 … Banks McFadden ………. Clemson ………………. 1st rd – Brooklyn
# 67 … Olie Cordill ……………….. Rice …………………….. 1st rd – Cleveland
# 72 … George Cafego …………… Tennessee …………… 1st rd – Chi Cardinals
# 83 … Hal van Every ……………. Minnesota …………… 1st rd – Green Bay
# 93 … Bill Hutchison ……………. Dartmouth

1940 COLLEGE ALL-STARS : Quarterback
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# 7 ….. Steve Sitko ………………… Notre Dame ………. 22nd rd – Washington
# 8 ….. Ken Heineman ……………. Texas Mines ……….. 6th rd – Cleveland
# 24 … Ambrose Schindler …….. USC ………………….. 13th rd – Green Bay
# 29 … Ben Kish …………………….. Pitt …………………….. 8th rd – Chi Cardinals
# 34 … Tony Sacco ………………… St. Ambrose
# 78 … Grenville Lansdell ……….. USC …………………… 1st rd – New York
# 87 … Ted Hennis …………………. Purdue …………….. 13th rd – Philadelphia

1940 COLLEGE ALL-STARS : Fullback
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# 21 … Dom Principe ………………. Fordham …………… 9th rd – New York
# 31 … Jim Molnar ………………….. Bradley ………….. 17th rd – Philadelphia
# 33 … Joe Thesing …………………. Notre Dame
# 37 … George McGurn ……………. Northwestern
# 39 … Frank Emmons …………….. Oregon …………….. 5th rd – Philadelphia
# 49 … John McDermott ………….. Detroit
# 51 …. Marty Christiansen ………. Minnesota ……….. 5th rd – Chi Cardinals

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Validating The All-America Candidacy Of Kenny Washington Via The 1940 College All-Star Game – The Vote For the Starting XI

If comprehensive analysis of relevant individual statistics from the 1939 NCAA football season, itself, is somehow not enough to make a complete mockery of KENNY WASHINGTON’s failure to secure Consensus First Team All-America status as a senior then, surely, a thorough review of the performance from the UCLA Bruins star left halfback against the defending National Football League champion Green Bay Packers at the memorable 1940 College All-Star Game in Chicago certainly would validate Washington’s worthiness of such honors.

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As had been the tradition since the inception of the College All-Star Game in 1934, the starting XI for the collegiate team to be battling the Packers in late August of 1940 was based on balloting conducted by The Chicago Tribune and 391 other newspapers and radio stations across the country all working in conjunction. More than six and a half million people participated in the College All-Star election held in July that year and, especially considering the fact that three of the four official Consensus First Team All-America backfield players in 1939 were underclassmen, it remains interesting to analyze the results of the voting decades later. Not the least bit surprisingly, “triple-threat” left halfback Nile Kinnick of the Iowa Hawkeyes, the current Heisman Trophy winner and Consensus First Team All-America choice in 1939, was an overwhelming selection of the fans to occupy one of the starting slots in the All-Stars backfield having collected almost 1.2 million votes.

The other three players nominated to be in the All-Stars’ starting backfield alongside Kinnick, with perhaps one exception, must have raised more than a few eyebrows throughout the nation. At least USC quarterback Ambrose Schindler had been lauded as the Most Valuable Player of the 1940 Rose Bowl Game after rushing for one touchdown and throwing for another six points during the Trojans’ 14-0 impressive shutout of the previously unbeaten and untied Tennessee Volunteers on New Year’s Day. But Purdue Boilermakers right halfback Lou Brock, as was the case with Schindler, had not been recognized as either First, Second or Third Team All-America in 1939 by any of the fifteen major accredited organizations carefully studied by this blog previously (see, “The Multitude Of All-America Backfields In 1939”).

The election of fullback Joe Thesing from the University of Notre Dame, who received the second-highest number of votes (981,276) out of all the All-Stars’ players in 1940, was a most curious decision, indeed. Although it was the senior Thesing who had nominally started seven of Notre Dame’s nine NCAA games in 1939, it was junior fullback Milt Piepul who had been rewarded with Second Team All-America status by the Associated Press after leading the Fighting Irish with both 414 yards rushing (5.0 avg) and six touchdowns scored that season. Surely, it was Notre Dame’s national popularity at this particular point in time that had as much to do with the voting results as did Thesing’s talent.

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The 1940 College All-Stars official starting XI as voted for by football fans all across the nation line-up for a press photo under the lights at Soldier Field in Chicago. In the starting backfield, from left to right, are : Purdue right halfback Lou Brock (# 40), USC quarterback Ambrose Schindler (# 24), Notre Dame fullback Joe Thesing (# 33) and Iowa left halfback Nile Kinnick (# 1). And up front at the line of scrimmage, from left to right, are : Ohio State right end Esa Sarkkinen (# 25), Notre Dame right tackle Tad Harvey (# 69), USC right guard Harry Smith (# 70), Hardin-Simmons center Clyde Turner (# 38), Indiana left guard Jim Logan (# 71), Northwestern left tackle Nick Cutlich (# 64) and USC left end Bill Fisk (# 50).
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1940 College All-Star Voting : Halfback
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Nile Kinnick, Iowa ……………………… 1,189,076 ………… 14 All-America teams
Lou Brock, Purdue ……………………….. 963,482
Jack Padley, Dayton …………………….. 891,753
Dick Cassiano, Pitt ……………………….. 884,328 ………….. 4 All-America teams
Floyd Dean, Iowa ………………………….. 852,844
Benny Sheridan, Notre Dame ………… 826,197
Hal van Every, Minnesota ……………… 811,964 ……… (1st round NFL draft pick)
Bob Hoffman, USC ………………………… 802,518 ………….. 1 All-America team
Banks McFadden, Clemson …………….. 784,196 …………. 5 All-America teams
Bob Kellogg, Tulane ………………………. 751,425
Lou Zontini, Notre Dame ………………… 698,378
Bill Hutchison, Dartmouth ……………… 682,693
KENNY WASHINGTON, UCLA ……… 679,184 ………… 11 All-America teams
Olie Cordill, Rice ……………………………. 662,716 ………. (1st round NFL draft pick)
Dom Carney, Rockford …………………… 658,926
Jack Nix, Mississippi State ……………… 647,114
Joe Dubsky, Washington ………………… 438,552
George McAfee, Duke …………………….. 122,863 ………….. 7 All-America teams
Paul Stewart, Macomb (Ill) ……………… 116,492
Michael Brenkus, North Dakota ………… 98,215

(It is interesting to note that Kay Eakin, the Arkansas ball-slinger whom the Pittsburgh Steelers had made the third overall player picked in the first round of the 1940 National Football League Draft after leading the entire nation with 962 passing yards as a senior for the Razborbacks in 1939, finished in 25th place after receiving 28,317 votes)

1940 College All-Star Voting : Quarterback
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Ambrose Schindler, USC ………………… 759,312
Ted Hennis, Purdue ……………………….. 727,853
Grenville Lansdell, USC ………………….. 704,736 …………. 5 All-America teams
Tony Sacco, St. Ambrose …………………680,144
Steve Sitko, Notre Dame ………………… 653,416
Ben Kish, Pitt …………………………………. 627,504
George Cafego, Tennessee ………………. 604,293 …………. 9 All-America teams
Ken Heineman, Texas Mines …………… 582,817
Archie Steele, Bowling Green ………….. 439,607
Paul Krueger, Tulane ………………………. 216,593

(It is also interesting to note that USC third-string quarterback Doyle Nave, the so-called “Hero of the 1939 Rose Bowl” whom the Detroit Lions had made the sixth overall player taken in the first round of the 1940 NFL Draft, ended up in 17th place after garnering 21,278 votes)

1940 College All-Star Voting : Fullback
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Joe Thesing, Notre Dame ………………… 981,276
Dom Principe, Fordham ………………….. 704,755 …………. 4 All-America teams
George McGurn, Northwestern ……….. 676,392
Marty Christiansen, Minnesota ……….. 646,824
John McDermott, Detroit ……………….. 583,176
Frank Emmons, Oregon ………………….. 497,281
Jim Molnar, Bradley ……………………….. 321,754
Leon De Witte, Purdue ……………………. 137,963
Clarence Hydron, Missouri ……………… 118,582
Raymond Andrus, Vanderbilt ………….. 114,253

Fortunately for the sake of the College All-Stars’ chances in a game against the defending National Football League champions, the All-Stars coaches (who were always chosen after the balloting for the starting line-up had been completed) were under no obligation to leave any starting player(s) in the contest for any certain length of time after the opening kickoff.

In all reality, the vote to determine the starting XI for the College All-Stars was a ceremonial affair — actual playing time in the 1940 contest against the Packers, itself, would be decided on the practice field during the All-Stars’ eighteen-day training camp in August.

(As it was, the custom of allowing fans nationwide to elect a starting line-up and a coaching staff for the College All-Stars was discontinued in 1943)

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UCLA Bruins In College All-Star Game At Chicago’s Soldier Field

ucla-68-beban-all-star-gameHard-charging Green Bay Packers defensive end Willie Davis (# 87) glares with intent as quarterback Gary Beban (# 16) from the UCLA Bruins, hero of the Rose Bowl in 1966 and winner of the Heisman Trophy in 1967, looks to unload the football in a hurry during the annual College All-Star Game at Soldier Field in Chicago that was witnessed by a crowd of 69,917 fans on August 2nd, 1968.

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UCLA BRUINS appearing in COLLEGE ALL-STAR GAME
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1940 …. Kenny Washington – left halfback
1941 …. Jackie Robinson – right halfback
1947 …. Burr Baldwin – end, Ernie Case – halfback/placekicker
1948 …. Tom Fears – end
1951 … * Bob Wilkinson – end
1952 … * Hal Mitchell – tackle
1953 … * Donn Moomaw- guard, Ernie Stockert – end, Joe Sabol – halfback
1954 ….. Paul Cameron – left halfback
1955 … * Jim Salsbury – center
1957 ….. Don Shinnick – fullback
1961 ….. Billy Kilmer – quarterback
1963 ….. Kermit Alexander – halfback
1964 ….. Mel Profit – end
1967 … * Mel Farr – right halfback
1968 … * Gary Beban – quarterback
1976 …… Cliff Frazier – defensive tackle

* asterisk denotes UCLA player in official starting line-up for All-Stars

Notes — It is important to bear in mind that the above chart only lists players who actually made an official appearance in the annual contest at Soldier Field in Chicago, itself, and that participants are listed by the corresponding position played at the College All-Star Game (as compared to the position played for the UCLA Bruins during the preceding collegiate season).

Chuck Cheshire, the left halfback who was named Third Team All-America by the Newspapers Editors Association and accorded honorable mention status by both the Associated Press as well as the United Press as a senior in 1935, was one of 51 players selected for the College All-Star squad that faced the defending National Football League champion Detroit Lions in 1936. The 170-pound homegrown product out of Los Angeles High School, who established the UCLA school record for rushing yards in a single season (864) that stood until 1955 and still holds the Westwood school record for longest rushing play from scrimmage (93 yards versus Montana in 1934), had been the second round pick (# 17 overall) of those very same Detroit Lions at the 1936 NFL Draft. However, despite reportedly acquitting himself rather well during the training camp practice sessions prior to the game, Cheshire was not among the 32 total players used against the Lions by All-Stars head coach Bernie Bierman from the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Jimmy Johnson, the Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back whom the San Francisco 49ers had chosen with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 1961 NFL Draft after the right halfback had averaged 8.5 yards per attempt on 21 rushing attempts and 18.1 yards per catch on 14 pass receptions as a senior for the UCLA Bruins during the 1960 NCAA season, was named to the College All-Star squad in 1961 but did not make an appearance in the annual classic at Soldier Field in Chicago.

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The Chicago Tribune’s Annual College All-Star Game At Soldier Field

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The COLLEGE ALL-STAR GAME (1934-1976) was a rather high profile event on the American sporting calendar for the better part of four decades, a spirited exhibition contest that pitted the very best of the country’s recently graduated senior class and the defending National Football League champions. This once extremely popular engagement, sponsored by Chicago Tribune Charities and staged annually with one exception over a period of forty-three years, always attracted much larger audiences than the annual National Football League Championship Game until the early 1960s and was even able to outdraw the inaugural Super Bowl, as well. The College All-Star Game reached its zenith just after the end of the Second World War when throngs of 105,840 and 101,220 spectators showed up at Chicago’s Soldier Field in 1947 and 1948, respectively.

Not surprisingly, the more experienced professionals absolutely dominated the series against collegians over the years, winning 31 of the 42 games played while tasting defeat just nine times but this obvious David versus Goliath match-up probably helped contribute to the College All-Star Game’s unmistakable appeal to the American sporting public for such a long period.

The annual College All-Star Game at Soldier Field in Chicago is credited by historians with having directly contributed to the growth of professional football’s popularity in a major way. From the outset, the intriguing contest generated much needed attention for a youthful NFL which was still struggling to have any meaningful impact on the American sports landscape in the 1930s; in the years following the conclusion of the Second World War, the annual Windy City clash against the collegians gave the NFL invaluable television coverage, something which did much to sell the professional brand of football to a massive audience on a nationwide basis. Therefore, it is ironic that the ever-increasing reluctance of NFL head coaches to do without their high draft picks during training camp for any length of time and the rising cost of insurance (to cover the rapidly escalating salaries of the All-Stars’ rookie professional players – a clear reflection of the NFL’s substantial increase of wealth and status) ultimately combined to bring about an abrupt and unceremonious end to the annual affair when Chicago Tribune Charities announced the dissolution of the series in late December of 1976.

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UCLA Bruins Baseball : Kenny Washington vs Jackie Robinson

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Aside from playing together in the same backfield for the UCLA football team that went undefeated in 1939, both KENNY WASHINGTON and JACKIE ROBINSON shared something else in common — each spent one season as the starting shortstop for a Bruins varsity team that posted a record of six wins and nine losses in California Intercollegiate Baseball Association play, as well.

After establishing himself as a genuine star on the gridiron football field by totaling a combined 1,025 yards rushing and passing at the pivotal left halfback position for UCLA in the fall of 1937, Washington, as had been widely expected from the moment he first stepped foot on the Westwood campus, took over as the Bruins starting shortstop on the baseball diamond in the spring of 1938. And the sophomore out of Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles certainly did not disappoint the faithful at the plate, either. Two-thirds of the way through the fifteen-game season, the newcomer Washington found himself leading the entire C.I.B.A. circuit with a .454 batting average.

Although his production declined somewhat down the stretch, Washington still finished as UCLA’s second-leading hitter sporting a healthy .397 average and also led the Bruins in both home runs as well as runs batted in.

1938 UCLA BRUINS varsity baseball (won 6 lost 9)
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.448 avg … 30-67 h/ab … 0 HR … 13 RBI ….. Johnny Carter, of-p
.397 avg …. 26-66 h/ab … 4 HR … 19 RBI ….. KENNY WASHINGTON, ss
.353 avg …. 18-51 h/ab …. 2 HR … 10 RBI ….. John Zaby, of
.323 avg …. 21-65 h/ab …. 0 HR … 15 RBI ….. Al Martel, 3b
.285 avg …. 18-63 h/ab …. 1 HR ….. 8 RBI ….. Bill Gray, 1b
.235 avg …. 16-68 h/ab …. 0 HR ….. 9 RBI ….. Dale Wolin, 2b
.161 avg …… 9-56 h/ab ….. 0 HR …. 4 RBI ….. Charley Ewing, c
.150 avg …… 9-60 h/ab …. 0 HR ….. 5 RBI ….. Hal Hirshon, of

.333 avg …… 7-21 h/ab …. 0 HR …… 3 RBI ….. Bobby Whitlow, of-p
.318 avg …… 7-22 h/ab …. 0 HR …… 1 RBI ….. Johnny Baida, of-p
.125 avg ……. 2-16 h/ab …. 0 HR ….. 3 RBI ….. Dave Hill, of-p

(all players with ten or more official at-bats listed here)

source material for statistics presented :

https://archive.org/stream/ucladailybruin17losa#page/n393/mode/2up

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A transfer from Pasadena Junior College, multi-sport star Jackie Robinson had already earned two varsity letters at UCLA before slipping into his baseball spikes on behalf of the Bruins for the very first time. As the first string right halfback for the Westwood gridiron warriors, Robinson led the entire nation by averaging 16.4 yards per punt return while adding another 512 yards rushing (12.2 avg) in the fall of 1939. On the basketball court in winter, the would be Major League Baseball Hall Of Famer scored more points (148 in 12 games) for UCLA during the 1939/40 campaign than another other player in the Bruins’ four-team league which included California, Stanford and USC.

1940 UCLA BRUINS varsity baseball (won 6 lost 9)
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.278 avg …. 10-36 h/ab …. 3 HR ….. 8 RBI ….. Ray Bartlett, of
.269 avg …. 14-69 h/ab …. 0 HR ….. 5 RBI ….. Billy Guyer, 2b
.264 avg …. 14-53 h/ab …. 1 HR …. 11 RBI ….. Johnny Moore, of
.255 avg …. 13-51 h/ab ….. 1 HR ….. 7 RBI ….. Bob Null, 1b
.246 avg …. 15-61 h/ab ….. 1 HR … 10 RBI ….. Kirk Sinclair, of
.139 avg …… 6-43 h/ab ….. 0 HR ….. 4 RBI ….. Max Hess, 3b
.097 avg …… 6-62 h/ab ….. 1 HR …… 1 RBI ….. JACKIE ROBINSON, ss

.263 avg …… 3-11 h/ab ….. 0 HR …… 0 RBI ….. Milt Cohen, p
.250 avg …… 5-20 h/ab …. 0 HR …… 3 RBI ….. Dave Hill, of
.250 avg …… 4-15 h/ab ….. 0 HR …… 2 RBI ….. Johnny Colls, p
.167 avg ……. 3-18 h/ab ….. 0 HR …… 2 RBI ….. Rudy Hummes, p
.137 avg ……. 3-22 h/ab ….. 1 HR …… 2 RBI ….. Lynn Hale, of
.040 avg …… 1-25 h/ab ….. 0 HR …… 2 RBI ….. Ted Bell, c
.000 avg …… 0-16 h/ab ….. 0 HR …… 0 RBI ….. Bob Park, c

(all players with ten or more official at-bats listed here)

source material for statistics presented :

https://archive.org/stream/ucladailybruin19losa#page/n295/mode/1up

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