Darrel “Pete” Brewster’s 1954 Browns Football Contract

It is nearly the middle of October. The weather is cooler, the days are shorter, the leaves are turning color and falling to the ground, and it is football season. And football often causes me to think of my first cousin twice removed, Darrel Pete Brewster (1930-2020), a professional football player over 60 years ago, who once played for the Cleveland Browns and eventually earned a Super Bowl ring.

Pete Brewster football card, signed by “Pete” on 16 July 2014. (2014 photo by Karen)

Darrel Burton Brewster, later nicknamed Pete, was born in 1930 in Adams County, Indiana, and grew up in Portland, Indiana, where he excelled in basketball and football. After high school he attended Purdue University, where he again excelled in football. After graduating from Purdue he was drafted into the NFL and played professional football for the Browns and Steelers. He later coached for the Vikings and Chiefs and received his Super Bowl ring in 1970, while coaching for the Chiefs. He played and worked with some big names in football back then, including Paul Brown, Buddy Parker, and Hank Stram. And unlike football players today, he played on offense, defense, and special teams because the teams needed players.

Thanks to Rick, a Cleveland Browns fan and Karen’s Chatt reader, for sharing these photos of Darrel Brewster’s 1954 Browns football contract. Rick said he purchased the documents when the Browns old stadium was demolished and they threw out their old files. How interesting!

Darrel Brewster’s 1954 Cleveland Browns football contract.

Darrel Brewster’s 1954 Cleveland Browns football contract.

Darrel Brewster’s National 1954 Football League contract, in part:

Cleveland Browns Inc., Cleveland, Ohio which operates a professional football team and which is a member of the National Football League, and which is hereinafter called the “Club”
 and Darrell Brewster, hereinafter called the “Player.”

…The term of this contract shall be from the date of execution hereof until the first day of May following the close of the football season commencing in September 1954, subject however, to rights of prior termination as specified herein…

…the Club promises to pay the Player each football season during the term of his contract the sum of $8,500 to be payable as follows: 75% of said salary in weekly installments commencing with the first and ending with the last regularly scheduled League game played by the Club during such season and thee balance of 25% of said sum of the end of said last regularly scheduled League game.

In addition, the Club promises and agrees to pay the reasonable board and lodging expenses of the Player incurred while playing games for the Club in other than the Club’s home city and also to pay all proper and necessary traveling expenses of the Player and his meals en route to and from said games.

The Player agrees at all times to comply with and to be bound by all the provisions of the Constitution, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations of the League and of the Club, all of which are hereby made a part of this contract. If the Player fails to comply with said Constitution, By-laws, Rules and Regulations the Club shall have the right to terminate this contract or to take such other action as may be specified in said Constitution, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations, or as may be directed by the Commissioner of the League, hereinafter call the “Commissioner.” The Player agrees to submit himself to the discipline of the League and of the Club for any violation of such Constitution, By-laws, Rules and Regulations subject however, to the right of a hearing by the Commissioner. All matters in dispute between the Player and the Club shall be referred to the Commissioner and his decision shall be accepted as final, complete, conclusive, binding and unappealable, by the Player and by the Club. The Player hereby waives any and all rights of action against the Commissioner, the League, the Club, or any of its members or stockholders, and against any officer of the Club or of the League…

The next section is about fines and suspensions for life or indefinitely if a player accepts a bribe or who agrees to throw or fix a game or failure to report an if a bribe is offered.

Signatures on Darrel Brewster’s 1954 Cleveland Browns football contract.

This agreement has been made under and shall be governed by the laws of the State of Ohio.

In witness whereof the Player has hereunto set his hand and seal and the Club has caused this contract to be executed by its duly authorized officer on the date set opposite their respective names.

Signed 7 June 1954 by two witnesses and approved by Bert Bell, Commissioner.

Signed by Paul E Brown, Cleveland Browns Inc. General Manager

Signed by Darrel Brewster, player, 1725 NE 17 Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 

His contract was for $8500, which doesn’t sound like much, but today, in 2023, it would be about $97,000.

I met Darrel Pete Brewster a few years ago and wrote a blog post about that meeting as well as a couple other blog posts over the years. [1]

Darrel Brewster by his memorial plaque, Portland, IN, July 2014

There is a memorial plaque honoring Darrel Pete Brewster at Portland’s East Jay Middle School football field, where he used to play high school football. In 2012 the field was renamed Brewster Field and the plaque was erected. The memorial plaque tells Brewster’s football history and is inscribed:

The football field at East Jay Middle School, the former football field of Portland High School, is dedicated to honor the career of Pete Brewster, class of 1948.
• Member of Portland Panther Varsity Football and Basketball teams.
• Named as 1948 Indiana High School Basketball All Star.
• Played Basketball and Football at Purdue University.
• Named to 1952 College Football All Star team.
• Played 9 seasons in the NFL 1952-1960.
• Earned two NFL championships with the Cleveland Browns (1954 and 1955)
• Retired from the NFL in 1960 after accumulating 210 receptions, 3,758 receiving yards, and 221 touchdowns as an offensive end.
• An Assistant Coach for the NFL Kansas City Chiefs that won Super Bowl IV in 1969.
• Inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.
• Inducted into the Purdue Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
This Jay School Corporation board resolution made on this day, July 16, 2012.
Greg Wellman, President
Mike Masters, Vice President
Larry Paxson, Secretary
Mike Shannon, Beth Krieg, Ron Laux, Jim Sanders, members
Dr. Tim Long, Superintendent

Darrel Pete Brewster, July 2014.

[1] “Lunch with Darrel ‘Pete’ Brewster,“ Karen’s Chatt, 18 Jul 2014, “Pete Brewster-Professional Football Player,” Karen’s Chatt, 12 Oct 2012, and “The Passing of Darrel ‘Pete’ Brewster,” 10 Jan 2020.

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