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Hammond Pros
Founded1917
Suspended1926
Based inHammond, Indiana, United States
LeagueNational Football League
Team historyHammond Pros (1920–26)
Team colorsPurple, gold, white
   
Head coachesHank Gillo (1920)
Max Hicks (1921)
Wally Hess (1922–24)
Fritz Pollard (1925)
Doc Young (1925)
Owner(s)Paul Parduhn
Doc Young
Home field(s)Cubs Park

The Hammond Pros from Hammond, Indiana played in the National Football League from 1920 to 1926 as a traveling team.

History

The Pros were established by local businessman Paul Parduhn and Dr. Alva Young. Young, a boxing promoter and owner of a racing stable, also served as doctor/trainer (and part-owner) for a semi-pro football team operated by the Hammond Clabby Athletic Association from 1915 to 1917. In 1918, Young presided over a new team known as the "Hammond All-Stars" and played against many of the teams that would form the backbone of the American Professional Football Association (including the Racine Cardinals, Detroit Heralds, Rock Island Independents, Minneapolis Marines, Cleveland Tigers, Canton Bulldogs, and Toledo Maroons); Young attended the historic meeting in Canton, Ohio at which the APFA was formed in 1920. (It is said that a game between Hammond and Canton, played Thanksgiving Day 1919 and drawing some 12,000 spectators in Chicago, convinced team owners that a league would be viable.)

In 1919, the team starred George Halas at wide receiver; Halas left for the Decatur Staleys – the future Chicago Bears – the following year, remaining with that franchise as a player, coach and owner until his death in 1983.

Despite the name, the Pros were little more than a semi-professional outfit; most of the players were locals who had full-time jobs and couldn't practice much, and thus were simply no match for most other NFL squads. Nor did they really represent Hammond, as the town's stadium (A. Murray Turner Field) was built for baseball and seated only a few thousand. The Pros would play only two regular-season NFL games in Hammond over their seven years in the league,[1][2] and would use Cubs Park in Chicago as an unofficial "home" stadium[citation needed]. Nevertheless, Young kept the team going in the NFL for seven years and 34 games, with a combined record of 5–26–4. The Pros might have lasted even longer, but after winning the 1926 battle with the American Football League, the NFL decided to scale down to 12 teams, getting rid of many of the smaller franchises, including the Pros.

Of the nine African-American players in the league during those years, six played for the Pros, including the first African-American head coach in the NFL, Fritz Pollard, and the successful music producer Mayo Williams.

Hall of Famers

Hammond Pros Hall of Famers
No. Name Position Tenure Inducted
Paddy Driscoll QB/HB 1919 1965
George Halas End 1919 1963
Fritz Pollard HB
Coach
1923, 1925 2005

Season-by-season

Season records for the Hammond Pros
Year W L T Finish Coach
1920 2 5 0 12th Hank Gillo
1921 1 3 1 13th Max Hicks
1922 0 5 1 15th Wally Hess
1923 1 5 1 15th
1924 2 2 1 10th
1925 1 4 0 14th Fritz Pollard, Doc Young
1926 0 4 0 21st Doc Young

References

  1. ^ "Duluth Eskimos at Hammond Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
  2. ^ 1923 Hammond Pros Statistics & Players