Cal Hubbard was known as one of the top defensive tackles in the history of the NFL. In addition, he was known as one of the better two way players, playing both as an offensive lineman and defensive tackle. Starting his Pro Football career in 1927, Hubbard dominated as an defensive lineman for the better part of ten seasons. Right off the bat, he was noticed for his ability on the gridiron. His first pro season, his New York Giants team won the NFL Championship. Winning all league for his position, he also was part of an defensive line that held its opponents to just 20 points all season. In addition, he was considered one of the first to play the position we now refer to as linebacker. He line up in a standing position somewhat back of where the defensive line was. Regardless of where he actually stood, few would refer to Hubbard as anything but a great defensive lineman. After joining the Green Bay Packers in 1929, he was a part of three more NFL Championships (1929-1931). Even though he started his pro career in 1927, he was still named to the All Decade Team of the NFL for the 1920s.
Hubbard was clearly one of the best of his time and when the best of all time has been discussed, Cal continues to be mentioned as one of the best to ever play. The first year the NFL started enshrining players into the Hall of Fame, Cal was among the first nominated in 1963. In 1969, Hubbard was named to the NFL's 50th Anniversary All Time Team. In 1994, he was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All Time Team as a two way player. What is even more amazing about Cal Hubbard is the fact that he managed to prepare himself for a second career after he was finished playing in the NFL.
During the NFL off season, Hubbard would work in the 1920s and 1930s as an umpire in the minor leagues. By the time he retired, he was a full time MLB umpire in the American League- his first season was 1936. From the years of 1936-1951, Hubbard was known as one of the most respected in the game. He was known as being a fair arbiter and his imposing size made it difficult for anybody to attempt to cross. He would have been an AL umpire longer if not for an unfortunate hunting accident which affected his vision permanently. Obviously, the most important asset to an umpire. After working 4 World Series and 3 All Star Games, Hubbard succeeded the great Tom Connolly as supervisor of umpires before retiring in 1968. He was inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1976- only the 5th umpire ever chosen. Over a year later, just two weeks shy of his 77th birthday, Cal Hubbard succumbed to cancer in St Petersburg, Florida.