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June 24, 2020 Happy Birthday Anniversary Ron Kramer

Posted on June 23, 2020 by Barry Gallagher

Today is a great day to remember the happy birthday anniversary of a Wolverine legend named Ron Kramer. Ronald John “Ron” Kramer was born on this day in 1935 in Girard, Kansas. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Kramer’s family moved to East Detroit, Michigan when he was five years old. Ron grew up to be an outstanding athlete at East Detroit High School. He earned all-state honors in football, basketball and track and field. When it came time to pick a college, Ron Kramer decided to become a Michigan Man. The rest, as they say, is history.

(Note – Ron Kramer (#87) takes a tumble after blocking a MSU punt in 1956. He actually blocked two against Sparty that day. Unfortunately, the Wolverines lost that day. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)

Part I. Wolverine of the Day: Ron Kramer

From East Detroit to Ann Arbor

Ron Kramer arrived in Ann Arbor in 1953, but freshman could not play on the varsity in those days. So, he played on the freshman team and focused on getting ready for the future.

Ron Kramer TD catch 1954 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Ron Kramer burst onto the Michigan football scene with plays like this game winning TD vs Iowa in 1954. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

An Impact Player as a Sophomore…and Beyond!

Kramer was back on the Michigan Football Roster in 1954.  He was, in fact, ready to make an impact as a Wolverine. Ron started 9 games at left end and caught 23 passes for 303-yards and 2 touchdowns. He ran the ball 4 times for 17 yards. Kramer also punted and did some placekicking for the Maize and Blue. Oh, by the way, he was a force on the defensive side of the ball. I am certain that Ron Kramer slept well after every practice and every game in 1954. Kramer earned a letter and first team All-Big Ten recognition for his outstanding play in 1954. Yes, his Michigan football career was off to a very good start! Michigan finished with an overall record of 6 wins and 3 losses that year and posted a record of 5-2-0 in the Big Ten.

Ron Kramer’s junior year was not as productive as his sophomore season, but he still played very well on offense, defense and special teams. He started 6 more games and caught 12 more passes for 224-yards and 4 more touchdowns. Kramer led the Michigan team in scoring with 32 points. Once again, his all-around play earned him first team All-Big Ten honors. He was also named a consensus All-American in 1955. The Wolverines also had a strong season in 1955. Bennie Oosterbaan’s footballers won 7 games and lost 2. They finished third in the Big Ten Conference with a record of 5-2-0.

The talented Kramer returned for his senior season in 1956. The Wolverines posted another record of 7 wins and 2 losses and finished second in the Big Ten at 5-2-0. Ron Kramer started all 9 games at left end. He hauled in 18 more passes for 353-yards and scored two touchdowns. Once again, Kramer led the team in scoring with 36 points. Ron Kramer earned All-Big Ten recognition for the third consecutive season in 1956 and was also named a unanimous first-team All-American.

A Remarkable Athlete

Ron Kramer finished his Michigan athletic career with 9 varsity letters. 3 each in football, basketball and track and field. He led the Michigan basketball team in scoring in his last two years. Kramer basically did it all at Michigan and he did it very well. Of course, his number was retired when he left the program in 1956.

Ron Kramer 1957 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Ron Kramer finished his UM career as a two-time All-American and a nine-time letterman (3X in football, basketball and track.) Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Ronald J. Kramer was a special player at Michigan. He was a force on offense, defense and special teams. He did a lot for the Wolverine football program.

Ron Kramer’s Michigan Football “Firsts”:

·         I am 99% certain that Ron Kramer was the first Wolverine to block two punts in the same game. He accomplished this unique feat during a 33-7 victory over Michigan State on November 13, 1954.

·         Ron Kramer was the first Wolverine receiver to catch three touchdown passes in a game in 1955 against Missouri in 1955.

·         Ron Kramer was also the first Michigan athlete to be drafted by the NFL (Green Bay packers) and the NBA (Detroit Pistons) in 1957.

·         Kramer was one of the first seven men to be inducted into the Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor in 1978.

Michigan Man Ron Kramer died on September 11, 2010 at the age of seventy-five. I could write an entire book about the great Ron Kramer, but I will shut it down right here. Bottom line, today is a great day to the 85th birthday anniversary of Ron Kramer and appreciate his contributions to the wonderful history of Michigan Wolverine Football. May Ron Kramer always Rest in Eternal Peace. Go Blue!

To read more about Ron Kramer please check out the links below:



Part II. June 24, 2020 National Day Calendar Update

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