Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve Its History, Promote Its Values & Celebrate Excellence Everywhere
"I wanted to play so badly that I would have signed for nothing.”
(Bucknell)...5'11'', 202...William Clarke Hinkle. . .One of the most versatile stars in NFL annals. . . Fullback on offense, linebacker on defense. . . Famous for head-on duels with Nagurski. . .Did everything well - ran, passed, punted, placekicked, caught passes. . . Savage blocker, vicious tackler, adept pass defender. . .All-NFL four years. . .Rushed 3,860 yards, scored 379 points, averaged 40.8 yards on punts. . .Top NFL scorer, 1938. . . Born April 10, 1909, in Toronto, Ohio. . .Died November 9, 1988, at age of 79.
Clarke Hinkle was a hard-nosed player who loved to challenge his opponent. He was a pile-driving runner but he could turn the corner as well as hit the middle. Hinkle could catch the ball out of the backfield and was also the Packers' punter and placekicker.
As brilliant as he was on offense, Hinkle may have been even deadlier on defense. Backing up the Packers line, he was a vicious tackler against the run and terrific on pass defense – Hinkle proudly claimed he let only one receiver get behind him during his decade of pro football.
During his 10 years with the Green Bay Packers, Hinkle was named first- or second-team all-league each year. But, he is best remembered for his head-to-head duels with another great fullback-linebacker, Bronko Nagurski of the Chicago Bears. Nagurski was the prototype power runner of the 1930s but the rugged Hinkle, 30 pounds lighter, was determined to hold his own with anyone on an NFL gridiron. Hinkle's creed was "get to the Bronk before he gets to me," a tactic he used to perfection one day in 1934. Trapped on the sidelines by Nagurski, Clarke escaped his tackle by driving directly into and over him. The Bears' superstar was helped from the field with a broken nose and a fractured rib.
Hinkle, with his burning desire to compete and willingness to play in spite of painful injuries, always enjoyed the lasting respect of friend and foe alike. Nagurski himself turned out to be Clarke's staunchest press agent and even presented him for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964.
"They said I was hard to tackle, but here was a guy who didn't have too much trouble," Nagurski said of his Green Bay foe. When he retired after the 1941 season, Clarke Hinkle was the leading rusher in NFL history.
Full Name: William Clarke Hinkle
Birthdate: April 10, 1909
Birthplace: Toronto, Ohio
High School: Toronto (Ohio)
Died: November 9, 1988
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: September 6, 1964
Presenter: Bronko Nagurski, Hall of Fame player
Other Members of Class of 1964: Jimmy Conzelman, Ed Healey, Link Lyman, Mike Michalske, Art Rooney, George Trafton
Pro Career: 10 seasons, 113 games
Drafted: Hinkle played prior to the NFL Draft being implemented.
Uniform Number: 30, (39, 40)
Clarke Hinkle Enshrinement Speech 1964
Presenter: Bronko Nagurski
Ladies and gentlemen, it's my plea sure to be back here again, last year as an inductee, this year as a presenter. Clarke Hinkle while he was at Bucknell was the leading ground gainer and scorer. In my book he was the greatest that I have ever played against. It is a great pleasure for me to make this presentation to Clarke Hinkle.
Bronko, I am proud to sit in the Hall of Fame with you. Today, I feel like the boy who has climbed the highest tree in the woods and conquered the forest. What else is there?