Vintage Sports Autographs

Stars of the Past

Bill Kerslake (1929-2015)

Freestyle/Greco-Roman Wrestler—Olympic Games: 1952 – Freestyle 5th Place, 1956 – did not compete, 1960 – 8th Place  [National Wrestling Hall of Fame 1982]

While wrestling my senior year [at Case Institute of Technology] I saw that I was just about equal with everyone in the nation at the time, so I tried out for the Olympic team and I won a spot in 1952. I was undefeated in this country from 1952 through 1960.

     Bill Kerslake

 

 

Bill Kerslake autographed this 1956 Bill Pevear cartoon. 

He became the dominant figure of the 1950s, winning 15 national championships in a row in Freestyle and Greco-Roman.  Over an eight-year span starting in 1953, he won 76 consecutive bouts in national tournament competition, and the national championship in both styles, until his streak was broken in the Greco-Roman finals of 1960.  One of his tournament bouts in 1956 ended in just four seconds, still a record for the fastest fall in national competition.  He won a gold medal in the Pan American Games of 1955 and three times represented the United States in the Olympic Games, placing fifth, eighth and seventh from 1952 through 1960. 

Henry Wittenberg (1918-2010)

Freestyle Wrestler—Olympic Games: 1948 – Freestyle Light Heavyweight: Gold Medal; 1952 – Freestyle Light Heavyweight: Silver Medal  [National AAU champion 1941, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1947, 1948 and 1952, undefeated in over 300 consecutive matches between 1939 and 1951, National Wrestling Hall of Fame 1977, Jewish Sports Hall of Fame 1993]

 

Harry Wittenberg autographed this 1952 Tom Paprocki cartoon.