(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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
· 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:
The Legend of Bo Schembechler is a football love story. Millions of Michigan football fans loved Bo Schembechler almost as much as he loved The University of Michigan. This insightful book details how “Bo Who” simply became “Bo” to Wolverine Nation and to college football fans across the country and around the world. It details Bo’s twenty-one-year journey to bring Michigan Football back to national prominence and how he kept it there!
Click below to order your copy!