Max C. Messner
Max comes from a family of talented athletes, from father Glenn down through brothers, Dick, Bob, and Jim. The only one to play football in high school, he came out as a junior, made first team and his senior year made honorable mention All-Ohio. Recruited by the University of Cincinnati, he played varsity football for three years, and was a teammate of the great Oscar Robertson two years in basketball.
Max was a ten-letter winner in high school at Ashland, including four each in basketball and baseball. He stands second behind his brother Dick in all time scoring in basketball and rebounding, made Associated Press second team All-Ohio his senior year. As a 4-year catcher, Max batted .333 his final season on a team that was finally eliminated in the state regional finals.
At Cincinnati he played tackle, guard, and linebacker, made All Missouri Valley Conference team, and was selected to play in the Blue-Gray game in Montgomery, Alabama on December 26, 1959. He was later chosen to join the college All-Stars, coached by Otto Graham, to play against the Baltimore Colts. Drafted by Houston, Montreal, and Detroit, Max chose to go with Lions. He was linebacker and member of the specialty or “suicide” squads, on punts, kick-off, and punt returns from 1960-64, and ended his career in 1966 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A fine student, he was selected to attend Boys State in high school, in college enjoyed speaking to church and school youth groups, even taught a class of 29 girls advanced typing at Cincinnati Woodward High School, as a senior in Business Education.
Nicknamed “the Whale,” on retiring from football, Max said, “I haven’t regretted it. I achieved my two goals of making first string linebacker in the NFL and playing fourteen games in a season without injury.”
Nominator: Penny Karper
Presenter: Dick Humrichouser