Robert (Cal) Hubbard Green Bay Packers & New York Giants & Pittsburgh Pirates
"I’ve taken enough beatings for one man. Not that I couldn’t take some more. It’s not fat nor age that’s driving me out…I’ve just had enough shoving and kicking around.”
Cal Hubbard, at 6-2 and 250 pounds was, by the standards of the 1920s, was huge. Still, he could run the 100-yard dash in close to 11 seconds. It was an awesome combination for a tackle – size and speed.
Hubbard played college football at two relatively small schools, Centenary College and Geneva College. But, when he turned pro, he went to the game’s biggest city, New York. The Giants, however, were well stocked at the tackle position, so the big man from the small schools was moved to the end position on offense and linebacker on defense. For the next two years, 1927 and 1928, the Giants teamed Cal with another future Hall of Fame lineman, Steve Owen.
The addition of big Cal made a good Giants defense great. New York posted 10 shutouts in 13 games in 1927 and allowed only 20 points for the season while winning their first NFL title. Hubbard earned all-league acclaim both seasons with New York.
In 1929, at his request, Cal was traded to Green Bay where he liked the small town atmosphere. Packers’ coach Earl (Curly) Lambeau was building a championship organization in Green Bay. Lambeau moved the versatile Hubbard back to the tackle spot. The Packers won NFL championships three straight years – 1929, 1930, and 1931. Cal enjoyed his best years with the Packers from 1929-1933 and 1935. During that time he earned first-team all-league honors as a guard in 1929 and at tackle in 1931, 1932, and 1933.
During the summers in Green Bay, Hubbard began umpiring baseball games. In 1936, he began a new career as an American League umpire. He became almost as famous as a baseball umpire as he had been as a football player. In 1958 he was appointed umpire-in-chief of the American League. Hubbard is the only person to be enshrined in both the Baseball and Pro Football Hall of Fames.