Following on our earlier discussion of Packer award rings, Dale Christiansen sent me these pictures of a ring in his collection that I had never before seen.
This ring was issued by the Green Bay Packer Alumni Association.
The stone, although it appears black in these photos, is actually a very dark green.
This ring belonged to Robert Conrad, who was with the organization for nine years. The Packers list him as the Scouting Director from 1944-50 and Personnel Director from 1944-52.
I'd love to know what that "22" at the bottom refers to. Had Mr. Conrad been a player, I'd suspect that was a place for his jersey number.
I'd also love to know more about the background of this ring; we know when Mr. Conrad was with the team, but not when he joined the Alumni Association or when this ring was designed or issued.
The Alumni Association used to be very active in Green Bay. As early as 1951, it was helping the Packers organize a Reunion and Homecoming weekend, as seen in this letter sent to former Packer players in October of that year:
Among the Packer players who served at on the Association's Board of Directors was Packer Hall of Fame center Charley Brock.
In the mid-1950s Alumni Association hosted coaching clinics, when high school and college coaches could come and watch Bart Starr and Paul Hornung, among other Packers, run through their drills.
When Vince Lombardi was hired to coach the team in 1958, a somewhat-controversial move at the time, the Association issued a press release backing him wholeheartedly and hoping that "the Lombardi plan for resurgence will pay dividends; and that the thrill of good, sound and representative football will again be part of the everyday life of the citizens of Green Bay and Wisconsin."
Their prediction proved correct, of course, and the Packers embarked on a new golden age of football. The Alumni Association was very active in the 1960s, especially in the team's Golden Anniversary year of 1969.
To commemorate 50 years of pro football in Green Bay, the Alumni Association hosted a banquet and Homecoming weekend.
The agenda for the weekend was full, with a parade, cocktail party, brunch and ceremony on the field before the game.
I love the Willard Mullin-esque drawing of a 1940s player kicking the ball on their letterhead.
The Alumni Association had big plans for the fans in 1969 as well. They published a 72-page magazine celebrating Packer history.
Today, the Green Bay Packer Alumni Association keeps a pretty low public profile. If they were involved with the recent event honoring the 1961 team, it was strictly behind-the-scenes. Only the occassional donation to a charity auction tells us that the Alumni Association still exists, hopefully still meeting the needs of all former Packers.