Wisconsin has quietly built up quite the history of great professional athletes. Between the Bucks, Brewers, and Green Bay Packers, a plethora of high-profile athletes have spent any number of years in the great state of Wisconsin. In this series, we will take a look at the best players to wear each jersey number. In this edition, we are looking at the best players who wore numbers 26 through 30.
Number 26- Herb Adderley: Green Bay Packers (1961-1969)
The Green Bay Packers have one of the richest traditions in the NFL. If every Hall of Fame Packer had his number retired, there would not be very many numbers left. Herb Adderley is an example of a great Hall of Fame Packer whose number remains in use.
Adderley was originally drafted by the Packers with the 12th overall pick in the 1961 NFL Draft. He would go on to have one of the greatest careers by a corner back in NFL history. Bart Starr called him the best to ever play the position, and Willie Wood claimed Adderley was the most athletic player on the team.
In nine years with the Packers, Adderley recorded 39 interceptions, returning seven of them for touchdowns. He made four All Pro teams and five Pro Bowls during his tenure, and helped the Packers win five championships in seven years. His most iconic play, perhaps is the 60-yard interception return he had for a touchdown to ice Superbowl II for the Packers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.
Honorable Mention: Jeff Cirillo (Brewers)
Number 27- Clarke Hinkle: Green Bay Packers (1932-1941)
Clarke Hinkle wore many numbers during his tenure in Green Bay. In 1932, he had the number 27. While many other athletes that played in Wisconsin wore 27 longer, none of them are in their sport’s Hall of Fame. Thus, Clarke Hinkle is our selection for this spot on the list.
Former teammate Bob Adkins once describe Clarke Hinkle to be “meaner than a rattlesnake.” An icon of the iron-age of football, there was no one tougher than Hinkle. Playing both offense and defense, Hinkle was best-known for his smash-mouth style of running. In addition, he also tried his hand at kicking some field goals for the Packers.
Clarke Hinkle helped the Packers win two NFL championships in 1936 and 1939. By the time he retired, he was the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with 3,860 yards. His record would stand for eight years after he retired. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964.
Honorable Mention: Carlos Gomez (Brewers)
Number 28- Prince Fielder: Milwaukee Brewers (2005-2011)
There have been very few Brewers players to gain the national fame that Prince Fielder enjoyed during his time in Milwaukee. The slugging first baseman provided Brewers’ fans with countless moments and reasons to celebrate. He, himself, was quite the choreographer when it came to celebrations:
Prince Fielder was drafted by the Brewers with the seventh overall pick in the 2002 amateur draft. During his Brewers’ career, he hit .282/.390/.540 with 230 home runs and 656 RBI. In 2007, at the age of 23, Fielder became the youngest player ever to hit 50 home runs in a season. In 2009, he hit 46 home runs and led the NL with 141 RBI.
During his time in Milwaukee, Fielder made three All-Star teams, won two Silver Sluggers, and finished third in the MVP voting twice. In 2009, he became the first Brewers’ player to win the Home Run Derby. He was a vital part of the 2008 and 2011 playoff teams that brought a winning culture back to Milwaukee. Fielder played for Detroit and Texas before being forced to retire early due to a neck injury.
Honorable Mention: Willie Buchanon (Packers)
Number 29- Charley Brock: Green Bay Packers (1939-1947)
The fact that Charley Brock is not in the Hall of Fame is a crime against football. Brock played center for the Packers during the Iron-Man Era of football, but like many players at that time also played defense. During the course of his career, he racked up 20 interceptions, returning three for touchdowns. Interceptions were not recorded officially during his rookie season, but according to newspapers of the time, he had an additional eight interceptions as a rookie.
Brock’s problem was that he played center at the same time as “Bull Dog” Turner, the Hall of Fame center of the Giants. Turner was a six-time All-Pro while Brock was only named All-Pro once. Curly Lambeau, though, believed Brock to be the best center in the game:
“(Charley) is the best center in professional football. I include Bulldog Turner… I have a great deal of respect for Bulldog Turner. He is fast, too, but does not maneuver with the skill of Brock, who has the coordination of a halfback.”
Brock was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1940s, and to two Packers All-Time Teams in 1946 and 1957.
Honorable Mention: Chris Bosio (Brewers)
Number 30- Ahman Green: Green Bay Packers (2000-2006; 2009)
The best number 30 in Wisconsin sports history is the Packers’ all-time leading rusher, Ahman Green. A great dual-threat back, Green rushed for over 1,000 yards in six of eight seasons wearing the Green and Gold. In two of those seasons, he also had over 550 receiving yards.
A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Green had his best season in 2003. During that campaign, he rushed for 1,883 yards on 5.3 yards per carry. He scored 15 touchdowns on the ground that season as well. In addition, he also had 367 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns.
Ahman Green left the Packers to play for two years in Houston. However, he came back in 2009 to finish his career with the Packers. It was during that 2009 season that Green became the Packers’ all-time leading rusher with 8,322 yards as a Packer.
Honorable Mention: Craig Counsell (Brewers)
MORE IN THE SERIES
Follow me on Twitter at @MrAdams88 and follow us @OTHWisconsin for more great content. Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion.To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here!