“FENWAY'S BEST PLAYERS”
Andy Karpus was the quarterback at Bay City Central 1930-31 in Michigan, and led them back-to-back undefeated seasons. He played college footbal at the University of Detroit from 1933-1934.
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. He 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.
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.
Though Karpus probably led the team in total offense by a good margin, there’s not much of a record to go on. He threw a couple of touchdown passes. After the Yankees had played their last game, Karpus was 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. After a few games he moved on to the Fresno Crushers of the same league. He led the league in touchdown passes with only two. The CFL folded after the season. In 1939 he resurfaced with the Union City Rams of the American Association. He played very well, making the all-league second team. He had 79 attempts, 37 completions, 366 yards.
The highlight of the season came in the final game against the Paterson Panthers, champions of the Northern Division. (Union City was in the Southern.) Karpus completed 17 passes and booted a fourth- quarter field goal, the only one of his career, for a 3-0 win.
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. The Bears finished with a 5-4-1 record, good for third place, behind league champions Columbus Bulls and second-place Milwaukee Chiefs. Karpus led the AFL in completions and passing yardage, and that earned him a first-team berth on the all-league team.
The Bears folded in the offseason, keeping Karpus’s streak intact, but he caught on with the New York Americans of the same league for 1941. He threw three touchdown passes in three games before his contract was acquired by the struggling Buffalo Tigers.
Just before the 1942 season started, the AFL suspended operations for the duration of World War II. Since it never reorganized afterward, you might as well say it folded. He enlisted in the Navy.
Still not ready to abandon football, Karpus returned in 1946 with the Newark Bombers of the reorganized American Association, now called the AFL. But he was 30 years old, and may not have played since 1941. Whatever the reason, he failed to survive the final cut. But a year later he popped up with the Providence Steam Roller of the New England Pro Football Conference.