Six stats you may not know about Bart Starr the draft choice
NFL and Green Bay Packers icon/legend Bart Starr passed away on May 26 at the age of 85.
Starr’s passing has brought about a slew of articles, Facebook postings and remembrances from across the country. He was universally loved and admired. It seems that everyone has a Bart Starr story; mine goes back more than 50 years when as a youngster I heard him speak at a local high school. His message was one that extoled the virtues of putting God first in your life followed by family, friends and then self. Like many others in the audience that day, I shook his hand after the event and got an autograph. He was the first “celebrity” I ever met. He never disappointed me… even when he took over as head coach of the Packers and they were, shall we say, “less than successful.”
But I want to deal with one aspect of Starr’s career; he was an eighth round selection, the 200th pick of the Packers in the 1956 NFL Draft. Players picked that low don’t usually have NFL careers let alone become a star and a Hall of Famer. Here are a few stats you may not know about Bart Starr the draft pick and how that translated to his illustrious career.
- There have been a handful of NFL players who made the Pro Football Hall of Fame that were not drafted. In addition, there have been eight of the 279 Hall of Famers, like Starr, who were drafted lower than 200th in the draft. They are: Bart Starr (#200), Richard Dent (#203), Art Donovan (#204), Ken Houston (#214), Andy Robustelli (#228), Raymond Berry (#232), Lou Creekmur (#243) Chris Hanburger (#245) and Rosey Brown (#321). Starr is the lowest QB drafted to make the Hall; when Tom Brady is elected five years after his retirement, he will take a spot behind Starr… he was the #199 player drafted in the 2000 draft.
- There were 360 players drafted in the ’56 draft. Of those 360, only four went on to eventually make the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Lenny Moore (the #9 pick that year), Forrest Gregg (the 20th pick that year), Sam Huff (the 30th pick that year), and Starr (the 200th selection).
- Of the players taken in the ’56 draft, Starr is second on the list with most NFL games played with 196. The only player taken in the 1956 NFL Draft with more career NFL games is fellow QB Earl Morrall who was the second pick in the first round of that draft. He p;layed 255 career games in the league.
- There were 19 quarterbacks selected in that 1956 draft. Starr was the ninth QB selected.
- The Packers chose 29 players in that draft. As the 200th pick, Starr was the 16th player drafted by the Pack that year. Of those 29 picks by the Packers, only seven went on to have careers in the NFL and only four played 100 or more games in the league: Starr (196), tackle Forrest Gregg (193), tackle Bob Skoronski (146) and defensive back Hank Gremminger (131). The Pack’s #1 pick that year was halfback Jack Losch from Miami whose NFL career included only the 12 games he played with Green Bay in the 1956 NFL season.
- Starr was one of six University of Alabama players chosen in the ’56 draft. Of the six, Starr was the only one ever to play a game in the NFL.
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Giannis doing all this before the age of 25!
In a superlative-filled season, Giannis Antetokounmpo continues leading the Bucks closer to a chance to win an NBA title. The Bucks will be making their first appearance in a conference final since 2001 and hope to get their first finals appearance since losing to the Boston Celtics in 1974.
One thing we might forget about Giannis is that even though he is playing in his sixth NBA season, he is still not yet 25 years of age. He will not turn 25 until December of this year.
With that in mind, it’s interesting to note that Giannis earlier in the playoffs became the third Bucks player under the age of 25 to score 40 or more points in a playoff game. He scored 41 in a first round game against the Detroit Pistons on April 22. The other Bucks to accomplish this feat: Kareem Abdul-Jabber did it twice in his career with Milwaukee (he had 46 in a playoff game in 1970 at the age of 22 years-352 days and did it again two years later with 40 points in a 1972 playoff contest at age 24-362) and Terry Cummings who had 41 points in a 1985 playoff game at the age of 24 years-46 days.
So far in his career, Giannis has had three playoff games where he scored 35 or more points. That makes him one of only 30 NBA players in history to score 35 or more points in three or more playoff games before the age of 25. (He will certainly have a chance to add to that total as the Bucks play in the Eastern Conference Final and beyond this year.)
LeBron James has the most career NBA playoff games with 35+ points before the age of 25 with 15. He is followed by Kevin Durant with 12, Kobe Bryant with 11 and Bob McAdoo with 10. Giannis is one of nine players tied with three games each.
Giannis three 35-point playoff games before the age of 25 ranks second on the Bucks all-time list. Jabbar had six with the Bucks. Cummings had two such games and Marques Johnson and Gary Brokaw each had one game each where they tallied 35 or more points in a playoff game before the age of 25. For the record, Johnson is the youngest Bucks player to have 35 or more points in a playoff game; he had 35 in a 1978 playoff game at the age of 22-74.
Michael Jordan tops the league with the most points scored in a playoff game before the age of 25 with 63. He is followed by Rick Barry (55), Wilt Chamberlain (53), and Vince Carter, Chamberlain, Bob Cousy and Bob McAdoo with 50 points each.
The youngest player to score 35 or more points in a playoff game is Derrick Rose. He was 20 years-196 days when he in 2009 scored 36 in an Eastern Conference first round contest. Magic Johnson is second on this list; he was 20 years-276 days when he scored 42 in Game Six of the 1980 NBA Finals against Philadelphia.
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Christian Yelich loves to hit HRs vs. the Cardinals
When Christian Yelich hit a three-run HR against the Cardinals on April 16, it was his eighth home run against the Cards this season in only seven games. Those eight homers against the Cardinals this year established a new record for home runs by a Brewers players against the Cards in a single season. The previous record was seven HRs hit by Ryan Braun in 2008 vs St. Louis.
Here is a look at the Brewers who have hit the most home runs versus the Cardinals in a single season:
8-Christian Yelich, 2019 (through games of April 17)
7-Ryan Braun, 2008
6-Christian Yelich, 2018… Richie Sexson, 2001… Khris Davis, 2015
5-Rickie Weeks, 2010… Eric Thames, 2017… Corey Hart, 2011… Bill Hall, 2006… Jesus Aguilar, 2017… Aramis Ramirez, 2013… Prince Fielder, 2007
Braun holds the Brewers all-time record for most career home runs versus the Cardinals with 25. It’s interesting to note, however, that Yelich, in just seven short months as a member of the Brewers, is already tied for sixth on this all-time list with 14 career four-baggers against the Cards.
Following Braun on the list of most career HRs against St. Louis: 19-Prince Fielder, 17-Geoff Jenkins, Corey Hart, 15-Rickie Weeks, 14-Yelich, Richie Sexson, 13-Bill Hall.
The Brewers play against the Cardinals 19 times this season, meaning that Yelich will have several more opportunities to increase his record of HRs versus the Cardinals. The Brewers and Cards face-off against each other in a three-game series April 22-24, and then the two teams don’t play again until three three-game series on August 19-21, August 26-28 and September 13-15.
Yelich became the 14th Brewers player in history to have seven or more home runs against one team in a season. The 14:
Eric Thames vs. Reds, 10 in 2017
George Scott vs. Tigers, 9 in 1975
Greg Vaughn vs. Royals, 8 in 1996
Prince Fielder vs. Pirates, 8 in 2010
Christian Yelich vs. Cardinals, 8 in 2019
Tommy Harper vs. Angels, 7 in 1970
Gorman Thomas vs Royals, 7 in 1979
Robin Yount vs. Orioles, 7 in 1982
Gorman Thomas vs. Red Sox, 7 in 1982
Ryan Braun vs. Cardinals, 7 in 2008
Prince Fielder vs. Reds, 7 in 2009
Ryan Braun vs. Reds, 7 in 2011
Corey Hart vs. Astros, 7 in 2012
Christian Yelich vs. Reds, 7 in 2018
Two more HRs against the Cardinals this season would put Yelich in a tie with Thames for most HRs by a Brewers players versus one team in a season… three would break the record.
Yelich could also make a run at the MLB record; Lou Gehrig in 1936 hit 14 home runs against the Cleveland Indians. That is the most by a player versus one team in a season. With eight against the Cards as of April 17 and 12 more games this season against the Cards, Yelich would need to hit six more home runs against St. Louis by the end of the season to tie Gehrig for this unique record.
For those who are interested, Reggie Jackson holds the record for the most career home runs against the Brewers. He hit 62 versus the Brew Crew. He is followed by Sammy Sosa with 44 and Albert Pujols with 42. Sosa holds the number one spot for most home runs against the Brewers in a season… he hit 12 versus the Brew Crew in 1998.
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There was a time when going into Lambeau Field to play the Green Bay Packers meant certain defeat for opposing teams… not any more.
With consecutive home losses to Minnesota, New Orleans and Baltimore, the Packers have now lost three consecutive games at home in a season for the first time since 2006. And with a home game against the Tampa Bay Bucs on December 3, a potential fourth loss in a row at home looms large; the last time the Pack lost four straight at home in a season was back in 1991. (For the record, the Pack has never lost five straight at home in a single season!)
The team record for most consecutive losses at home is seven. It happened twice… from December 8, 1985 to November 9, 1986 and from November 21, 1976 to November 27, 1977.
Green Bay is currently 3-3 at home this season with two games remaining (they play the Vikings at Lambeau on December 23 in addition to the upcoming contest versus the Bucs). The last time the Packers finished below .500 at home was in 2006 when they were 3-5 (they also finished 3-5 at home the previous season). Since 1992 (the last 25 seasons), the Packers have finished under .500 at home in only those two seasons, a remarkable stretch of success at home.
A pair of wins in their final two home games would certainly help bring the Lambeau Field mystique back into play, but it’s safe to say that a win for the Packers at home is no longer a given these days.
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