Ronald J. Kramer (June 24, 1935 – September 11, 2010) was a multi-sport college athlete and professional American football player. Before embarking on a career in the National Football League, he lettered in football, basketball, and track at the University of Michigan in the 1950s. Playing at end for the Michigan Wolverines football team from 1954 to 1956, Kramer was a three-time All-American. Following his days at Michigan, Kramer was selected in the first round of the 1957 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He played for the Packers for seven seasons (1957, 1959–1964) and three more with the Detroit Lions (1965–1967). Kramer was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1978. His football jersey number at Michigan (#87) was retired upon his graduation.
Early life and college career 
Kramer tackling Ohio State's Jim Roseboro, 1956
Kramer began his sports career playing for East Detroit High School in Eastpointe, Michigan. In the tradition of Michigan athletes, he is considered to be ranked among the best. A three-sport athlete (football, basketball and track), Kramer led both the football and basketball teams in scoring for two years. Altogether, Kramer won a total of nine varsity letters in his three sports—the maximum number possible, as freshmen did not have athletic eligibility at the time.
Kramer's credits include two consensus football All-American selections (1955–56), the retirement of his jersey number (87) by the Wolverines following his senior season (one of only five numbers in school history to be retired), and the selection as the basketball team's most valuable player in each of his three seasons. As basketball team captain, he was third-team All-Big Ten in 1957 after being second-team All-Big Ten in both 1955 and 1956. During his junior year, he averaged 20.4 points per game over a 22-game season and is a member of the career 1000-point club. He held the Michigan Wolverines men's basketball career scoring record of 1119 points from 1957 until it was broken by John Tidwell in 1961.
NFL career 
In the NFL, Kramer played 10 seasons (1957, 1959–1967), the first seven with the Green Bay Packers and three with the Detroit Lions.
Honors and death 
Kramer in basketball uniform, 1957
Kramer was elected into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1971. In 1981, he was named as a recipient of the NCAA's Silver Anniversary Award in recognition of significant professional and civic contributions spanning 25 years after completion of his college eligibility.
Bennie Oosterbaan, Kramer's football coach at Michigan, described his blocking and tackling ability as his most valuable asset. Oosterbaan said this of his star player:
"To top off his marvelous physical gifts of size and speed and strength, plus an uncanny coordination, Kramer was one of the fiercest competitors I've ever seen. Nothing was impossible for him — the impossible was only a challenge."
In 1999, Sports Illustrated published a list of "The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Michigan" (in all sports), and ranked Kramer seventh on the list behind Joe Louis, Magic Johnson, Charlie Gehringer, Bennie Oosterbaan, Hal Newhouser and Dave DeBusschere. "The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Michigan," Sports Illustrated, December 27, 1999. He was ranked ahead of many legendary Michigan Wolverines football figures, including Fielding H. Yost (#9), Rick Leach (#22), Fritz Crisler (#31) and Harry Kipke (#40).
Kramer died in September 2010 at age 75.
On September 15th, 2012, Kramer was recognized as a Michigan Football Legend and his jersey (#87) was unretired and given to Brandon Moore. Like the two other Michigan Football Legends, Desmond Howard (21) and Bennie Oosterbaan (#47), the Michigan Stadium locker rooms were customized and will be forever recognized as a Michigan Football Legends. A patch over the left upper chest will also be permanently affixed to the No. 87 jersey.
See also 
External links