Game 167 | January 31, 1969 | Willie Davis
One of the most durable defensive linemen of his era, Green Bay Packer defensive end Davis never missed a game in his 12-year NFL career. A favorite of Packer coach Vince Lombardi, Davis was named All-Pro five times as the Packers won five NFL championships and six divisional titles in eight seasons. He retired after the 1969 season.
Game 168 | February 21, 1969 | Lou Nanne
It was the first of many Dunkers appearances for Lou Nanne, the hockey player/coach/executive/author who would become Head Coach of the Dunkers in 1993. A standout on Gopher teams of the early 1960s, Nanne made his North Stars debut in 1968 after playing in the 1968 Winter Olympics. A defenseman, he played in 635 games for the North Stars over a 10-year period.
Game 169 | March 10, 1969 | Bill Fitch
When John Kundla retired as Gopher basketball coach after the 1967 season, the search team remembered the remarkable recent record of a young coach at North Dakota. Fitch had moved from North Dakota to Bowling Green in 1967, but he was available when the Gophers came calling. After just two seasons at Minnesota, Fitch became the first-ever coach of the NBA expansion Cleveland Cavaliers, and he gained his greatest NBA fame as the coach of the Boston Celtics from 1979 to 1983, including his league championship 1981 team that featured former Gopher Kevin McHale. He twice was named NBA Coach of the Year.
(LtoR) Back row: Paul Foss, Sid Hartman (physician); Front row: Bill Fitch
Game 170 | March 19, 1969 | Bobby Richardson
Playing second base alongside shortstop Tony Kubek, Richardson was a key part of the dominant New York Yankee teams of the 1950s and 1960s. He was a seven-time all-star in his 11-year career. He is probably best remembered for his defensive play in the 1962 World Series that kept Willie Mays and Matty Alou from scoring the runs that would have beaten the Yankees and given the series to the San Francisco Giants. His manager; Casey Stengel, once said of Richardson, a devout Christian, "Look at him. He don't drink, he don't smoke, he don't chew, he don't stay out late, and he still can't hit .250."
Game 171 | April 16, 1969 | Morris Siegel, Phil Bengston
A native of Roseau, Minnesota, Bengston played football at Minnesota in tandem with Bud Wilkinson. Hired by Vince Lombardi as one of his first assistants at Green Bay in 1959, Bengston was the choice to coach the team when Lombardi surprisingly stopped coaching after the 1967 season. Lombardi served a year as Packers general manager and came back to coach Washington in 1969. Under Bengston, the Packers compiled a two-year record of 20-21-1 before he was replaced by Proctor, Minnesota, native Dan Devine. Siegel was a long-time columnist for the Washington Times and led the fight to bring major league baseball back to Washington after the Senators moved to Minnesota in 1961.
Game 172 | May 1, 1969 | Bowie Kuhn
When major league baseball owners forced Wilham Eckert out of the commissioner's position in 1968, Kuhn, an attorney who had argued cases on behalf of baseball, was the logical choice as his successor. He was visiting all major league cities in his first year as commissioner when he appeared before Dunkers. He held the position for 15 years before giving way to Peter Ueberroth in 1984. He died in 2007 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame nine months after his death.
Howard Fox (physician), Bowie Kuhn; Jerry Moore
Game 173 | May 28, 1969 | Dick Siebert, Noel Jenke
Siebert, three times the coach of national baseball championship teams at Minnesota, would go on to coach Gopher baseball for another nine years. His guest, Jenke, was a three-sport letterman (football, baseball and hockey) from Owatonna, Minnesota. Often mentioned with Paul Giel, Ken Yackel and Dave Winfield as one of the best athletes in Gopher history, Jenke was a first-round pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 1969 draft. He made his debut later that year as an outfielder at Triple AAA Louisville. After two years in the Red Sox minor league organization, he switched to football and played the next four years at linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons.
Game 174 | July 11, 1969 | Rod Carew
Named for Dr. Rodney Cline, the man who delivered him on a train in Panama, Rodney Cline Carew had a breakout season in 1969. Responding well to the tutelage of manager Billy Martin, Carew, the 1967 American League Rookie of the Year; hit .332 and stole home a record seven times. Carew went on to win seven American League batting titles and appeared on the cover of Time magazine.
(LtoR) Norm McGrew (physician), Rod Carew, Jerry Moore
Game 175 | August 22, 1969 | John D. McCallum
One of the top sports authors of the time, McCallum was to write some 35 books over his long career as a writer and columnist for Newspaper Enterprise Association. His most famous book was The Tiger Wore Spikes, a biography of Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb. , 1969
Game 176 | August 28 | Jim Carter, Phil Hagen
The 1969 season was a great year for legendary athletes at the University of Minnesota. Jim Carter, a high school star at South St. Paul, was an outstanding hockey player and devastating running back for the Gophers football team. Taken in the third round of the 1970 FL draft, Carter went on to star for eight years at linebacker for the Green Bay Packers. Hagen, a Wisconsin native, shared quarterback duties during his Gopher career with Curtis Wilson, Ray Stephens and Walter Bowser, and one of his favorite receivers was future Dunker Doug Kingsriter.
Game 177 | September 23, 1969 | Gary Cuozzo
An undrafted quarterback out of the University of Virginia, Cuozzo came to the Minnesota Vikings in 1968 from the Baltimore Colts, where he was backup to legendary John Unitas. Cuozzo took over at quarterback for the Vikings when Joe Kapp left after the 1969 season. He started for two seasons before Norm Snead took over in 1971 and the return of Fran Tarkenton in 1972.
Game 178 | October 29, 1969 | Rosy Ryan, Bill Rigney
When Billy Martin was abruptly fired after the 1969 season, the region was covered with stickers urging the Twins to "Bring Billy Back." They did bring back a Bill in the form of one-time Millers manager Rigney. The team won the American League Western Division under Rigney in 1970. Midway through the 1972 season he was fired in favor of Frank Quilici. Ryan, a former major league pitcher, was the longtime general manager of the Minneapolis Millers.
Game 179 | December 1, 1969 | Morris Chalfen, Ned Irish
Along with Ben Berger, Chalfen put up the money to purchase the Detroit Gems and bring them to this area as the Minneapolis Lakers. An excellent promoter, Chalfen's Holiday on Ice shows were regular parts of the winter entertainment scene. Irish is credited with founding the New York Knicks basketball team and becoming one of the central characters behind the formation of the National Basketball Association.
Game 180 | December 26, 1969 | George Allen
The Dunkers for many years held no meetings in December and only met once between Christmas and New Year's The guest that day was Allen, the Hall of Fame coach of the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins. Twice named NFL Coach of the Year; the impatient Allen made frequent trades in search of immediate success. His mantra was "The future is now!"
(LtoR) Back row: Sid Hartman, George Allen, Max Winter (physician)