In 1940, the Boston Bears competed in the third American Football League. With Andy Karpus at quarterback, Coach Eddie Casey’s team was a competitive one, finishing the 1940 season with a 5-4-1 record, good for third place in the AFL.

In a five-year career just before World War II, Andy Karpus played with nine different teams in four different leagues, not to mention a trial or two with NFL teams.

Karpus began his pro travels in 1937 with the Brooklyn Dodgers of the NFL, but he was cut before the regular season started and hooked on with the New York Yankees of the AFL. He was then sold to the Los Angeles Bulldogs, the AFL’s best team. His touchdown pass in their last game proved to be the final scoring play in the two-year existence of the AFL.

Karpus returned to the West Coast for the 1938 season with the Salinas Packers of the new California Football League. The CFL folded after the season and in 1939 he resurfaced with the Union City Rams of the American Association.

For the first time in Karpus’s career, his league didn’t fold in the offseason, but his team did. A few of the Rams’ top players, Karpus among them, caught on for 1940 with a new AA team, the Long Island Indians. The Indians won their first two games, but the bottom fell out when the Boston Bears of the new AFL stole several of their stars, including Karpus.

For the Bears he played as a halfback and was named to the All-AFL team. Karpus led the AFL in completions and passing yardage, and that earned him a first-team berth on the all-league team.

But success on the field did not transform itself into success in the stands. Before the league’s annual preseason meeting, the owner announced the dissolution of the team. In the meeting, the league tabbed Detroit for an expansion team for the 1941 season to replace the Bears.

Andy Karpus probably never made much money, and he sure didn’t make a lasting name for himself; but if they gave points for persistence and love of the game, he’s high on the list.