One of the most historic footballs in NFL history won’t be coming to your favorite auction house.
The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, Inc. has announced the donation of a game football used in the first scoring play at City Stadium (now called Lambeau Field) on Sept. 29, 1957.
In a game the Packers eventually won, 21-17, over the arch-rival Chicago Bears, the first score was a 5-yard touchdown run by Bears quarterback Ed Brown in the first quarter. Pro Football Hall of Famer George Blanda then kicked the extra point and it sailed into the stands to Seats 22 and 23 of Section 1, Row 21, where Joseph Kaster and his wife, Jeanne, were sitting. Joseph caught the ball.
Not only is the ball itself a historical gem, but after the game, Joseph went to Green Bay’s Hotel Northland to obtain autographs from players and coaches on both teams. Among the Packers’ signatures are Pro Football Hall of Famers Paul Hornung, Jim Ringo and Bart Starr, as well as Lisle Blackbourn, Bobby Dillon, Max McGee, Ron Kramer, Gary Knafelc, Billy Howton and Babe Parilli. Among the Bears’ coaches and players are Hall of Famers George Halas, John "Paddy" Driscol, Sid Luckman, Bill George and George Conner.
Other notable autographs obtained at the hotel were those from NFL Commissioner Bert Bell and former Packers player Johnny "Blood" McNally, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The ball recently was donated to the Hall by the children of Joseph and Jeanne Kaster: Paul Kaster, Ann (Kaster) Reeves and Claire (Kaster) Schmitt.
"We have been thinking about this for some time, and with this season being the 50th anniversary of Lambeau Field, we thought it’d be very appropriate with the ball coming from that first game," said Paul Kaster. "We are very happy to do this on behalf of our parents."
"It’s an outstanding item for our collection," said Tom Murphy, the Hall’s archivist and member of the board of directors. "The ball is a significant piece of Lambeau Field’s history, no doubt about it. We are very thankful for the Kasters for their wonderful donation."
The ball is already on display in the Packers Hall of Fame, located at the stadium.
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