In the early days of American football the men who played it didn’t make millions of dollars. More often than not they all had day jobs- and these were professionals. The athletes of the National Football League, back when football was just a past time born out of Canton, Ohio, would be shocked to see the revenue generated from the gridiron today. Even in the “Superbowl Era” it’s been said that most of the athletes on Vince Lombardi’s Packers teams, actually worked separate jobs outside of the pigskin.
Because Canton is relatively close to the river city it was little surprise when the sport caught on here, as such in those early days, before the glitz and glamour and millions of dollars being spent on commercials the city of Louisville produced its share of athletes.
These individuals are sports legends of the Ville, but more than that they’re sports legends in American athletics as a whole.
Abraham “Honest Abe” Addams was drafted to Indiana University where he began to gain attention for his play in the early 1940’s. So much so that he soon made his way to the Detroit Lions, playing the 1949 season with team, in those days one season was a quality amount of time largely due to the tumultuous nature of the new sport. At 6’2- 220 pounds for that time Addams size made him an instant standout.
Chase Boldt graduated from Male high school prior to being drafted to the pros in 1921. Ironically enough he actually stayed in his hometown playing for the Louisville Brecks, formerly with the NFL the Brecks were an early professional team in Louisville. A utility athlete Boldt played a number of positions and played them well, being an important asset to the team for three years.
I’m just scratching the surface on this and in a part two segment I’ll look into some of the other legends.
Image courtesy of Niles Historical Society
Outside information Football Database