Vintage Photo of the Day: Guy Chamberlin, Early NFL Star

The NFL was a baby when today’s Photo of the Day was taken.  The subject was one of the new pro league’s early stars.  Guy Chamberlin was a football star at Nebraska who followed the athletic exploits of Jim Thorpe with great enthusiasm.  It was Thorpe who got Chamberlin into pro football.

Guy Chamberlin Decatur Staleys 1920-21Chamberlin was a two-way player who began his career with Thorpe’s Canton Bulldogs in 1919 before migrating to Illinois.

A member of the 1920’s NFL All-Decade Team, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1965, two years before his death.  The Hall’s website calls him “the premier end of the 1920’s”.  However, he was equally known for his leadership ability, having served as player-coach on four different teams during the 1920’s.

This 3 ¼ x 7 ½” photo was part of the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper archives for decades before being acquired by RMY Auctions, which is offering it in its current Premier Auction.  It shows Chamberlin as a member of the 1920-21 Decatur Staleys, the team that would become the Chicago Bears.

Items from those early days of the NFL are extremely scarce.

The silver gelatin, double weight original photo shows Chamberlin in the uniform both he and legendary coach George Halas can both be seen wearing in 1921 images of the Staleys.

Except for a few pinholes, the photo is in excellent condition.

To register and bid in the auction, which includes over 400 historic news photographs, visit RMY Auctions website.