|For a college football player from less than a Division 1 school to make a career in professional ranks is an accomplishment in itself. To do it with a less than imposing physical structure, with a military service obligation to be honored, and with a team on the rise with outstanding players across the board, borders on miraculous.
Yet that is exactly what Ordell Braase did. A native of Mitchell, who played football at the University of South Dakota, took his tour of Army duty in Korea and then became a member of the champion Baltimore Colts of the National Football League. Braase was far from the figure of extreme size one usually associates with a standout pro-lineman.
Braase, longtime nicknamed “Brace”, played the pro version of the game at 6 ft. 5 in. and about 245 pounds, far less imposing statistics than the 300 pounders that were coming in to the game and now abound. Brasse has been a tireless ambassador not only for South Dakota but also for the retired players of pre-1965 in the NFL. He is a past president of the NFL Players Association, and is joined in the effort to aid old-timers by another South Dakota Hall of Famer, Pete Retzlaff. Braase played in the Pro Bowl (for all-star players) twice and was on three NFL championship Colt teams.
|Home Town (Mitchell, SD)|