Hanson, Melvin

Melvin Hanson, "Fritzie," football player (born 13 July 1912 in Perham, Minn; died 14 February 1996). Hanson joined the Winnipeg Football Club in 1935, during an era of massive importing of American talent in the Western Conference. In his 7 years with Winnipeg, the most important was the first (1935), when Hanson ran around and between Hamilton Tiger players, including over 300 yards on 7 punt returns alone, to lead Winnipeg and the West to their first GREY CUP win. Hanson's Bombers became the football power in western Canada and reached the championship game again in 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1941, winning in 1939 and 1941. Hanson finished his career, after a brief retirement, by playing 2 seasons (1947 and 1948) with the CALGARY STAMPEDERS, who went undefeated to a Grey Cup victory in 1948. Hanson was a 5-time Western all-star 1937-41, and won the league scoring championship in 1938. He was made a charter member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1963.