This Day in Browns History: Jan. 21

Posted by Matt Florjancic on January 21, 2012 – 8:46 pm

By: Steve King, Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com

Cleveland Clinic presents This Day in Browns History.  If you call 1.800.274.2009, Cleveland Clinic will schedule an appointment for either the same day or the next day, including Saturdays.  Call to learn more.

The Browns didn’t need a lot of help as they prepared to enter the NFL.

After all, in their first four years of existence from 1946-49, they had captured all four championships in the All-America Football Conference, even posting a perfect 15-0 season in 1948.

And in each of their first six seasons in the NFL (1950-55), they would also play in the league title game and claim three more championships.

Nonetheless, in the 1950 NFL Draft, held on Jan. 21, 1950, they were still able to add some valuable players, including with their first two picks of running back/returner Ken Carpenter and right tackle John Sandusky.

Carpenter, an Oregon product taken in the first round, played for the Browns for four years (1950-53) and rushed 242 times for 1,186 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 5.0 yards a carry.

He also caught 42 passes for 473 yards and five scores, averaged 10.9 yards on 34 punt returns and scored once, and averaged 21.8 yards on 41 kickoff returns.

He was one of three productive running backs with that last name who played with the Browns during that general era, joining brothers Lew (1957-58) and Preston (1957-59) Carpenter.

Sandusky, a second-rounder from Villanova, played for Cleveland for six seasons (1950-55) and was the starter from 1952-54.

His son, Gerry Sandusky, is part of the radio announcing crew for the Browns’ rivals in the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens.

Two-way end/kicker Jim Martin was taken later in the second round out of Notre Dame. He played only that 1950 season in Cleveland but spent the next 11 years with the Detroit Lions and then finished up in 1963 and ’64 with the Baltimore Colts and Washington Redskins.

Running back Don “Dopey” Phelps, from Kentucky, was taken in the fifth round and played in a limited role for the Browns for two years (1950-51), rushing for three TDs.

Ken Gorgal, a safety from Purdue, was the sixth-round choice and intercepted 11 passes, returning one for a score, in his three seasons in Cleveland (1950, 1953-54). His six interceptions in 1950 were third-best on the team.

Running back Emerson Cole, from Swanton (Ohio) High School and the University of Toledo, was tabbed in the 12th round. One of the first African American players in team history, he played the 1950 and ’51 seasons and part of 1952 with the Browns, rushing for 357 yards and a TD.

Another running back, Dom Moselle from Superior State (Wis.), was a 23rd-round pick and played just that 1950 season in Cleveland.


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This Day in Browns History: Jan. 20

Posted by Matt Florjancic on January 21, 2012 – 8:45 pm

By: Steve King, Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com

Cleveland Clinic presents This Day in Browns History.  If you call 1.800.274.2009, Cleveland Clinic will schedule an appointment for either the same day or the next day, including Saturdays.  Call to learn more.

A team doesn’t have to use a top draft pick to find a top-notch player.

But it helps.

The Browns found that out in the late 1950s.

John Wooten, a guard from Colorado, was selected by the Browns with the first of their two picks in the fifth round as the 1959 NFL Draft concluded on Jan. 20, 1959.

Wooten developed into one of the best guards in the game during his nine-year career (1959-67), blocking for three Pro Football Hall of Fame running backs in Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell and Leroy Kelly and making the Pro Bowl twice. He was a key member of the 1964 team that won the NFL championship, and also the ’65 club that returned to the league title game.

The Browns’ other fifth-round pick in 1959 was a cornerback from London, Ohio and Ohio State named Dick LeBeau. He didn’t end up playing for the Browns, but he did for the Detroit Lions, so well, in fact, that he is enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Also on this date, Jan. 20, in 1936, Milt Plum was born in Westville, N.J. A quarterback from Michigan State, he was part of the Browns’ great 1957 draft.

Plum, one of the best passers in the game from 1959-61, was taken in the second round after the club had used its first-round pick on Jim Brown. Browns HOF guard Gene Hickerson was chosen in the seventh round.

A fifth-round choice was defensive tackle Henry Jordan, who played two years for the Browns before going on to have a Hall of Fame career with the Green Bay Packers.


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