Tiny Croft
Personal information
Born:(1920-11-07)November 7, 1920
Chicago, Illinois
Died:January 22, 1977(1977-01-22) (aged 56)
Woodruff, Wisconsin
Career information
College:Ripon
Position:Offensive tackle
NFL Draft:1942 / Round: 20 / Pick: 186
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played:51
Games started:11
Fumble recoveries:4
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Milburn Russell "Tiny" Croft (November 7, 1920 – January 22, 1977) was an American football offensive tackle in the National Football League for the Green Bay Packers 1942-1947. He played college football at Ripon College. Croft was drafted in the 20th round of the 1942 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.

Football career

Croft graduated from Steinmentz High School in Chicago, Illinois.[1] He was selected to an all-star team of high school players from Chicago to travel to Arizona for a game against an all-star team of Phoenix area players.[2] Croft then attended Ripon College. Despite his size, Croft was known as gentle on the football field. The Ripon coaches set up a boxing match with a semi-professional boxer who promptly punched Croft in the nose which angered him. This experience was seen as a turning point in his athletic career.[3] Croft went on to be a three year starter as a linemen for the Red Hawks earning first-team All-Midwest Conference three consecutive years.[4] He was also the team placekicker.[5]

After finishing his college career, Croft was drafted in the 20th round of the 1942 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.[6][7] Croft was acquired by the Green Bay Packers during his first training camp.[8] Croft would go on to play for the Packers for six seasons.

Personal life

His freshman year, Croft wrote to actress Ann Sheridan to invite her to the college's prom. Sheridan wrote him back declining his invitation but sent a signed picture.[9] He married Myra Ann Wasserburger in 1944.[10] He was a charter member of the Green Bay Packer Alumni Club. He worked in the automobile business for 30 years and retired as a District Manager for American Motors.[11] Croft died of a heart attack in 1977 at age 56.[12]

References

  1. ^ "Obituary for Milburn Milburn Croft". Green Bay Press-Gazette. January 24, 1977. p. 25. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  2. ^ "State Prep Gridders Arrive for Drills". Arizona Republic. December 27, 1937. p. 10. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  3. ^ "Punch in Nose Awakens Gridder Tiny Croft". Wausau Daily Herald. October 12, 1939. p. 18. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  4. ^ "Milburn Croft first all-midwest conference 3rd time in a row". The Gazette. November 30, 1941. p. 13. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  5. ^ "Coe-Ripon (Tiny Croft)". The Gazette. September 28, 1941. p. 12. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  6. ^ "Tiny Croft 'Light'". Green Bay Press-Gazette. July 15, 1942. p. 13. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  7. ^ "Tiny Croft Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  8. ^ "Lambeau Makes Shifts in Lineup; Packers Get Croft from Redskins". Kenosha News. September 10, 1942. p. 8. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  9. ^ "Tiny Croft Gets Ann Sheridan's Picture". The Morning Call. February 8, 1939. p. 20. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  10. ^ "Wassserburger-Croft Wedding". Ironwood Daily Globe. January 7, 1944. p. 3. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  11. ^ "Obituary for Milburn Milburn Croft". Green Bay Press-Gazette. January 24, 1977. p. 25. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  12. ^ "Obituary for Milburn Croft (Aged 56)". Chippewa Herald-Telegram. January 26, 1977. p. 13. Retrieved January 14, 2022.