Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 17, 1986
Michigan's man of
Kramer, former star,
By DARREN JASEY
Like a street bum wandering through Jacobson's,
Ron Kramer is a startling sight to see in the empty
Michigan Stadium press box.
"Havea seat my man," says the intimidating 6-3
giant pounding his large fist on the reporter's table
Kramer looks more like an old motorcycle guru
with his graying beard, faded jean jacket, and black
cowboy hat, than the successful business man that
he is. He peers intently over the sun-drenched foot-
ball field where Bo Schembechler is leading his
team through a spring scrimmage.
"WELL LOOK at that," bursts Kramer, who has
analyzed Michigan football on either radio or TV for
the last nine years. "See they're playing the zone
defense and it was a good recognition by the tight
end plus the quarterback. He got into the seam and
it was good blocking up front."
Kramer attributes his football knowledge to a pro
and college career that stretched from 1955 to 1966.
At Michigan, Kramer earned All-America football
honors his junior and senior years. He then lived up
to his number one selection in the NFL draft in 1957
by becoming the prototype tight end for the Vince
Lombardi-led Green Bay Packers of the early 1960s.
Kramer also saw time with the Detroit Lions.
Kramer considers the time he spent at Michigan
acquiring his BA in psychology as a major factor in
developing his ability to communicate well. In ad-
dition to his radio and TV work, Kramer has been in
the steel business since 1960.
Kramer's athletic talents extended far beyond the
reaches of football. In fact, he earned nine letters in
three sports - football, basketball, and track -
during his four-year stay at Michigan.
AS A 6-3, 230-pound end ("there was no such thing
as a tight end then") Kramer caught 53 passes for
880 yards. That's a 16.6 yard per catch average on a
Michigan team that passed even less than the
Schembechler coached teams of the 1970s.
Kramer's accomplishments helped Bennie
Oosterbaan's teams win 20 of 27 games during
L '* forges i
Kramer's three-year stint at Michigan.
"We weren't one of the great talented Michigan
teams," says Kramer. "They weren't lean years
either. As a matter of fact we were in it (the Big Ten
race) every year. If we had beaten Ohio State in
1955 we would have finished first - the same
situation arose the next year."
AT THE time Kramer was considered by Ooster-
baan to be the greatest end in Michigan history, but
Oosterbaan considered Kramer's blocking and
tackling abilities more important to the Wolverines.
Kramer also punted 31 times for an average of 40.6
yards, kicked two field goals, and made 43 of 51 ex-
tra point attempts.
especially relishes the accomplishments of the 1962
Packer team, when it won 20 of 21 games.
"NOT ONLY that, but we won all of our preseason
games that year," adds Kramer seriously. "See, we
never used to get paid for preseason."
Whatever big money Kramer- may have missed
out on by finishing his career before the era of big
salaries and benefits doesn't bother him.
"I have nothing against anyone making as much
money as he can as long as they perform up to that
expectation," says Kramer, who signed for $20,000
as the number one draft choice in 1957. "Like in
basketball when I watch (Larry) Bird play - he is
worth every friggin' penny he's paid."
"THE PRODUCT is being sold, being promoted,
and the thing is that people will buy it at that price."
Money is not one of Kramer's bigger worries. The
former Paragon Steel vice president recently for-
med his own steel brokering company, Ron Kramer
Industries, in 1982. He lives in a Bloomfield Hills
condominium and drives a maize and blue van that
shows off his retired number 87 jersey -number on
his spare tire cover.
Kramer continues to breathe maize and blue
wherever he goes. When he talks about his past
career or his current job as color commentator for
WTBS in Atlanta, he shines with that Michigan
"We have these great traditions at Michigan and I
think that's probably the greatest feeling anybody
can have whether you're in school as a junior or you'
.graduated 29 years ago," says Kramer, lifting his
cowboy hat to brush back his thinning dark hair.
"I've been all over the world and wherever I go I
always find somebody who is maize and blue."
Juggling a successful business career and the
duties radio and TV color responsibilities seems like
a burden, but Kramer is used to the grind.
"I don't consider my. business work," says a
satisfied Kramer. "Life in general should be a hap-
py experience, and if you aren't getting that out of
it, well then there's something wrong."
The gifted Kramer also starred as a 6-3 center for
the Wolverine basketball team. "I wasn't tall but I
was mean," says Kramer. His fierce competitive
spirit and scoring ability led to his selection as
Michigan's Most Valuable Player in each of his
In the spring Kramer filled his spare time by par-
ticipating on the track team, which was coached by
Don Canham, Michigan's current athletic director.
"I'D COME out here and I would play (football) in
spring practice, and then I'd go run track," says
Kramer, chuckling at his dedication to athletics.
"He was a tremendous competitor and great
natural athlete," says Canham. "He combined
great ability with aggressiveness and intelligence."
Kramer's pro football career peaked during
Green Bay's NFL championship years of 1961 and
1962, when he caught 35 and 31 passes, respectively.
He earned All-Pro honors both seasons. Kramer
-Sports Information Photo
Ron Kramer was an outstanding athlete for Michigan in the 1950's.
Besides garnering All-America status in football, he was selected MVP
of the basketball team and lettered in track. After a successful career in
the NFL, he began a new life in the business world.
S E M E S T E R
SPORTS OF THE DAILY:
Pistol Team on target in tourney
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By DUANE ROOSE
Most teams like to set their sights
on first place. The Michigan Pistol
Team, however, captured first and
second places while gunning down the
opposition at the recent Ohio State In-
vitational. Michigan's first and
second place teams racked up 1171
and 1149 (out of 1500) points, respec-
tively, outdistancing OSU, Purdue,
Penn State, Vanderbilt, and the
Illinois Institute of Technology.
Four members placed in individual
competitions in the invitational,
leading the two squads to their im-
pressive finishes. Senior Kevin Aim-
sworth, the team captain, took second
place in the slow fire, giving him a
second place overall finish. Mean-
while, senior Tony Perkins captured
first place in the slow fire. Junior Ken
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Cho also earned honors, taking second
place in the timed fire.
The team is in its third year of
existence, but this year is the first
time it has competed. Under the
direction of gunnery Sgt. Lindstrom,
the pistol team's initial season of
competition has been a successful
one. "Gunnery Sgt. Lindstrom, with a
lot of coaching and advising, has
helped us improve our scores," said
Aimsworth. This is the first year that
the team has been under the direction
of Lindstrom, according to Aimswor-
Besides invitational meets like the
competition at Ohio State, the pistol
team is also participating in a ten week
"postal match." In the postal match,
the team sends in weekly scores to the
host school, Oregon State. At the end
of the ten week period, the school with
the most points is declared the win-
ner. Five weeks into the competition,
Michigan is in sixth place.
Not onlythas this season been suc-
cessful, but Aimsworth feels that next
year's team will also do well. Aim-
sworth said the return of Perkins and
Cho will provide the team with talen-
ted seniors. Aimsworth also cited
freshman John Hicks as "one of the
top five" shooters on the squad this
year, who should also do well in the
Batsmen rained out
Yesterday's baseball games again-
st Eastern Michigan were rained out,
and may be played later in the season.
The Wolverines' short vacation ends
when they travel to Indiana for
weekend Big Ten action.
Michigan will be home to face
Cleveland State on Tuesday, April22.
CHICAGO (AP) - Ron Kittle drove
in four runs with a three-run homer
and a sacrifice fly and Carlton Fisk
also homered last night to lead the
slump-ridden Chicago White Sox to a
10-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
The triumph, behind the four-hit
pitching of Floyd Bannister, Bill
Dawley and Bob James, was only the
second in eight games for the Sox and
came at the expense of Walt Terrell,
THE GAME was disrupted in the
Chisox rock Terrell,
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seventh inning when a Bannister pitch
sailed behind Dave Collins. Collins
charged Bannister, 1-1, as both ben-
ches emptied, but order was quickly
restored. Collins was ejected from the
Two innings earlier, Detroit's Ran-
dy O'Neal had hit John Cangelosi with
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first
when Alan Trammell tripled and
scored as Darnell Coles grounded out.
The White Sox added four in the
second. Singles by Joel Skinner and
Cangelosi and an infield force by
Tolleson produced one run. Baines
beat out an infield single and Kittle
followed with his first homer of the ,
The Tigers scored a pair of unear-
ned runs in the third on a single by
Tom Brookens, a walk to Collins and
two-base throwing error by third
baseman Tim Hulett.
Detroit added a run in the fourth on
singles by Larry Herndon and Chet
Lemon and Brookens' infield out.
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