How Cardozo’s Willie Wood Became a Hall of Famer

Did you know legendary Packer safety Willie Wood was known locally for his high school bsaketball duels with sharpshooter Wil Jones? The all-around athlete went on to do great things, in part aided by this letter from his former Boys Club mentor, to a certain coach:

A letter from Bill Butler to Vince Lombardi – Dec. 10, 1959

Dear Mr. Lombardi,

I am Bill Butler, athletics instructor at the Boys Club in Washington, D.C., and my reason for writing is simply because I was told by Willie Wood, QB and co-captain of the Southern California Trojans, that you were interested in him, but I didn’t see his name on your draft selections and I wondered why.

Willie came up under my wing at the Boys Club and I know he’s a terrific football player … I can say quite safely that the Trojans’ offensive style of play certainly didn’t embellish Willie’s all-around ability by any means, for this kid is a “thinking man’s” ballplayer, a real good field general of the Eddie LaBaron mold, good ball handler, strong runner and a tremendous passer. He can really throw the long ball.

Mr. Lombardi, if you could see this kid unshackled you would really agree with me.

If you hadn’t contemplated giving him a chance, just try him one time and I’ll guarantee you’ll be glad you did. If you can find the time, I sure would like to hear from you and maybe we at the Boys Club can be told by you the things maybe we fail to see.

Bill Butler

Happy birthday Mr. Wood

from DC Basketball


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