1917-1919: Based out of the Chicago suburb of Hammond, Indiana the Hammond All-Stars were founded in 1917 by respected boxing promoter Dr. Alva Young. Playing most games on the road, the All-Stars faced many teams that would become the foundation of the early years of the National Football League, including a game against the Canton Bulldogs that drew of 10,000 fans that helped convince owners a league would be viable.
1920: Becoming the Hammond Pros, Dr. Alva Young’s team was invited to join the American Professional Football Association. Unfortunately they would lose one of their top players when George Halas, who played with Hammond in 1919 became the front man for the Decatur Staleys. The Pros had many disadvantages in their first season as most players held full time jobs outside of football. Playing as a traveling team, the Pros were steamrolled in their first two games, losing to the Rock Island Independents 26-0 and the Dayton Triangles 44-0. Hammond would play just one more league game, suffering a 28-7 loss to the Staleys. However, the Pros did not fare that well against non AFPA teams, splitting four games as they posted an overall record of 2-5.
1921: Playing all their games on the road again, the Hammond Pros started the season with a 17-0 loss to the Buffalo All-Americans. However, a week later the Pros had a much better showing drawing the Canton Bulldogs 7-7. A week later they would win their first AFPA game blanking the Evansville Crimson Giants 3-0. However, after two weeks off the Pros would not keep their momentum as they finished the AFPA schedule with losses to the Chicago Cardinals and Green Bay Packers. The Hammond Pros would play three games outside the AFPA without a win to close their season, including a Thanksgiving double header against the Gary Elks and Chicago Boosters. The Pros would lose to the Elks 7-0 and played a scoreless tie against the Boosters to close the year with a record of 1-5-2.
1922: The AFPA becomes the NFL, as the Hammond Pros make history by not scoring a single point in six games. Once again, the Pros were a traveling team, with no games at home. With teams able to create their own schedules, struggling teams made more money by accepting to play their entire schedule on the road. After losses to the Buffalo All-Americans, Toledo Maroons and Dayton Triangles the Pros earned a tie by shutting out the Milwaukee Badgers. However, they would end the season with loss to the Akron Pros and Racine Legion to finish 0-5-1, while being outscored 69-0.
1923: After starting the season with a 17-0 loss to the Canton Bulldogs, the Pros would get a rare “home game” using Chicago’s Cub Park in a game against the Dayton Triangles. In that game the Hammond Pros would score for the first time in ten games, and earned a 7-0 win. A week later the Pros would play the St. Louis All-Stars to a scoreless tie. Hammond would lose their final four games, scoring just one touchdown as they finished the season with a record of 1-5-1.
1924: The Hammond Pros played a limited scheduled with all five games on the road in the overcrowded NFL, but had their most competitive season. After losing to the Racine Legion and Rock Island Independents the Pros played the Kensoha Maroons to a 3-3 tie. The Pros would do even better a week later stunning the Chicago Cardinals 6-3 before blanking the Kansas City Blues to post a record of 2-2-1.
1925: Coached by Fritz Pollard, one of nine African Americans in the early years of the NFL the Hammond Pros would start the season with a 14-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers. A week later they would once again beat the Chicago Cardinals 10-6. Making the result all the more surprising is that the Cardinals would go on to win the NFL Championship. However, the traveling Hammond Pros would not win another game themselves posting a 1-4 record in NFL games, and losing another game outside the league to the Toronto Tigers.
1926: With Doc Young now running the team on the field, the Hammond Pros would once again fail to win any games, as they were outscored 56-3 while losing all four games. Following the season, the Hammond Pros would be one of 12 teams contracted by the NFL who wanted to get the number of teams down to a more manageable level rather than 22 teams that took the field in 1926. The Hammond Pros never really stood a chance in the NFL, but one lasting contribution is that they were perhaps the most inclusive team in the early NFL, as five of ten African Americans to play in the league’s early years at one time played for the Pros, including Hall of Famer Fritz Pollard.
©MMXV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Hammond Pros or the NFL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on January 28, 2015. Last updated on January 28, 2015 at 9:55 pm ET.