The 1939 National Football League All-star Game was the professional football league's first-ever all-star game, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times as a charity game to benefit the Salvation Army.[1][2] It pitted the New York Giants, the league's champion for the 1938 season, against a team of all-stars. The game was played on Sunday, January 15, 1939, at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, California in front of 15,000 fans; although 30,000 spectators were expected, bad weather led to the poor attendance.[3] The Giants defeated the all-stars by a score of 13–10.[4]

1939 NFL All-star Game
1234 Total
New York Giants 03010 13
All-America All-Stars 0307 10
DateJanuary 15, 1939
StadiumWrigley Field, Los Angeles, California
MVPnone selected
TV in the United States
Networknot televised

The players on the all-star squad were selected by fan balloting. For the only time in the game's history, players from teams outside the NFL were invited; five players from the Los Angeles Bulldogs and Hollywood Stars, two local teams in what would eventually become the Pacific Coast Professional Football League, were among the members of the All-Star team.[5]



The players involved in this game were:[4][6][7]

All-American All-Stars roster

Position: Starters: Reserves:
Quarterback Erny Pinckert, Washington Redskins Stu Smith, Pittsburgh Pirates
Ed Goddard, Cleveland Rams
Gordon Gore, Los Angeles Bulldogs
Johnny Drake, Cleveland Rams
Cecil Isbell, Green Bay Packers
Left Halfback Sammy Baugh, Washington Redskins
Right Halfback Lloyd Cardwell, Detroit Lions
Fullback Clarke Hinkle, Green Bay Packers
Left End Gaynell Tinsley, Chicago Cardinals Bob McChesney, Washington Redskins
Joe Carter, Philadelphia Eagles
Bill Moore, Los Angeles Bulldogs
Right End Perry Schwartz, Brooklyn Dodgers
Left Tackle Joe Stydahar, Chicago Bears Ernie Smith, Hollywood Stars
Right Tackle Frank Kinard, Brooklyn Dodgers
Left Guard Byron Gentry, Pittsburgh Pirates Owen Hanson, Hollywood Stars
Bill Radovich, Detroit Lions
Russ Letlow, Green Bay Packers
Right Guard Pete Mehringer, Los Angeles Bulldogs
Center John Wiatrak, Cleveland Rams Phil Dougherty, Chicago Cardinals

New York Giants roster

Position: Starters: Reserves:
Quarterback Nello Falaschi Tuffy Leemans
Len Barnum
John Karcis
Kink Richards
Johnny Gildea
Dale Burnett
Leland Shaffer
Left Halfback Hank Soar
Right Halfback Ward Cuff
Fullback Ed Danowski
Left End Jim Lee Howell Hap Barnard
Chuck Gelatka
Jack Haden
Right End Jim Poole
Left Tackle Ed Widseth Frank Cope
John Mellus
Right Tackle Ox Parry
Left Guard Orville Tuttle Pete Cole
Right Guard Kayo Lunday
Center Mel Hein Stan Galazin


  1. ^ "Facts, Figures Regarding First Annual Pro Game". Los Angeles Times. January 8, 1939. Archived from the original on January 27, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2019 – via
  2. ^ United Press (January 16, 1939). "Giants Defeat Pro All-Stars". Republican Herald. Archived from the original on January 27, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2019 – via
  3. ^ Crawford, Fred R. "The First Pro Bowl Game" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Giants Beat Stars; Ward Cuff Is Hero". Milwaukee Journal. UP. January 16, 1939. p. L-7. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2012 – via
  5. ^ "Giants Meet All-Stars in Last of Bowl Games". Milwaukee Journal. UP. January 15, 1939. p. 7 (section III). Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  6. ^ Guenther, Jack (January 16, 1939). "N.Y. Giants Winners of Pro Title". Berkeley Daily Gazette. United Press. p. 10. Archived from the original on December 11, 2015. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  7. ^ Crawford, Fred R. (1990). "The First Pro Bowl Game" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. 12 (4). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 18, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2012.