CANTON, Ohio -- Jerry Kramer waited 50 years to hear his name announced to received his Hall of Fame gold jacket.
"Welcome to the Hall of Fame, Jerry Kramer!"
The announcer's words were quickly drowned out by roaring applause and cheers from the crowd as Kramer stepped up to receive his gold jacket.
Close to 140 Hall of Famers returned to Canton in their gold jackets to celebrate Kramer and the seven other inductees Friday night. One player after another stopped Kramer for a hug as he made his way to center stage.
Kramer finally slipped on his jacket near the end of the ceremony. His daughter, Alicia, who has been by his side through the entire process, was there again Friday night to present her father with the jacket.
"Finally dad!" she exclaimed on stage just before she helped him put on the long-awaited jacket reserved for only those who are deemed worthy of Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Kramer retired his NFL jersey 50 years ago as one of the Green Bay Packers' star offensive linemen. After the Gold Jacket Ceremony on Friday, Kramer told the NFL Network that even though he waited five decades for the honor, he has put that frustration behind him.
"Everything is forgotten," he said. "It's a beautiful world and I love everybody."
Kramer was raised in Sandpoint and signed with the Vandals after his senior year. He became Idaho’s first All-American in 1956. He was later selected 39th overall by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 1958 NFL Draft.
The former offensive guard played all 11 years of his professional career with the Green Bay and won two Super Bowl titles, five NFL championships and was named to the NFL’s 50th anniversary team. He was also named to the All-Decade Team of the 1960s and was a five-time All-Pro.
He was also Green Bay’s placekicker for three seasons. As a kicker, he made 29 of 54 field goal attempts and racked up 90 extra points, missing just five of his career, for a total of 177 points.