Ace Parker, the Hall’s first player ever to reach 100
years of age, made his fame as the star of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Yes, Ace also played major league baseball, but not with Brooklyn. The Dodgers were his NFL team, one he transformed from perennial losers into one of the league’s better teams.
|1940 Brooklyn Dodgers
The Dodgers became an NFL franchise in 1930 when a Brooklyn businessman by the name of John Dwyer purchased the league’s Dayton Triangles franchise and moved it to New York. The club was sold three years later to Chris Cagle and John “Shipwreck” Kelly but one year later was sold again to Dan Topping.
The best years for the team came when Ace Parker arrived on the scene capped by back-to-back winning seasons in 1940 and 1941. Parker led the way and the winning brought much attention to the once down-trodden team. Then, World War II depleted the team’s roster including Parker who went to serve in the Navy. The team fell to last place.
In 1944 the team changed its nickname to the Tigers. One year later, Topping stunned the NFL when he announced he was joining the new All-America Football Conference. The NFL canceled his franchise and merged the team with the struggling Boston Yanks.
Parker, who had returned from the war and rejoined the Yanks in ’45 followed Topping to the AAFC for one final season. He was one of the veteran leaders of his New York Yankees squad that won the AAFC’s Eastern Division.
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