Sulecki to Discuss “Real Story of the Cleveland Rams” in Kirtland, Apr. 12

The Cleveland Rams’ James C. Sulecki will make an author’s visit at Kirtland Public Library in Kirtland, OH, on Wednesday, April 12, 7:00–8:00PM.

The title of his presentation will be “The Real Story of the Cleveland Rams—and the Echoes That Resound Today.” Copies of his book will be available for purchase and signing.

For more information: http://www.kirtland.lib.oh.us/content/what-about-those-cleveland-rams

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Rams History Trail >> Hollenden Hotel

Cleveland Rams, Hollenden Hotel

Where: The Hollenden Hotel

Why: The National Football League as we know it began here

Now: Fifth Third Bank Building, 600 Superior Avenue, Cleveland

What: The Rams franchise probably would not be here today had the American Professional Football Association not been founded in Canton, Ohio in 1920, then changed its name to the National Football League at an owners meeting at Cleveland’s Hollenden Hotel on June 18, 1922. The new NFL moniker was championed by Chicago Bears founder George Halas, who thought “professional” was “superfluous” and that the term “association” connoted second-division baseball. “And we were first class,” he said. The NFL, destined to be called “America’s Game,” was underway …

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Home of Damon “Buzz” Wetzel >>

Rams History Trail >> Damon “Buzz” Wetzel’s House

Damon "Buzz" Wetzel house, Cleveland

Where: Home of Damon “Buzz” Wetzel

Why: The true founder of the Rams franchise lived here while coaching the team in its inaugural season of 1936

Now: A semi-rehabbed but abandoned residence at 7609 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland

What: The founding of the Rams usually is attributed to lawyer-businessman Homer H. Marshman, and indeed it was at Marshman’s house in the exclusive Cleveland suburb of Waite Hill that funding was lined up to launch the team in the American Football League in 1936. But it was young Damon “Buzz” Wetzel—barely out of The Ohio State University, son of a Cleveland Indians scout, and with one season under his belt as an NFL player for the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Pirates (now Steelers)—who prevailed on Marshman and other Cleveland moneymen to invest. Wetzel recruited future Hall-of-Fame coach Sid Gillman to play for the Rams, became the team’s first head coach, and served as its general manager when the team entered the NFL in 1937. In 1938 he was pushed out by many of the same investors he had brought in and never worked in the NFL again.

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