The purpose of today’s post is to wish a Happy Birthday to a Wolverine named Mike Hammerstein. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Michael Scott “Mike” Hammerstein was born on this day in Kokomo, Indiana. Hammerstein’s family moved to Ohio while he was growing up. Mike became an outstanding football player at Wapakoneta High School in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Hammerstein disappointed a lot of his Buckeye friends when he decided to continue his education, and his football, at Michigan.
Mike Hammerstein arrived in Ann Arbor in the summer of 1981. He was listed as an offensive lineman as a freshman, but that changed pretty quickly.
Hammerstein settled in on the defensive side of the ball for his final years at Michigan. He didn’t become a full-time starter until 1984. Hammerstein started all twelve games in 1984. Mike became a force on the defensive line, but too many injuries to his teammates led to a disappointing season (6-6-0) for the 1984 Wolverine Football team. In addition to his outstanding performance on the football field, Mike also earned the Dr. Arthur Robinson Scholarship Award.
The Michigan Wolverines were determined to turn things around in 1985 and they did! Mike Hammerstein and Marc Messner formed a dominating combination on the defensive line. Michigan’s defense was amazing in 1985 and Mike Hammerstein, who started all 12 games, was one of the big reasons why. His statistics for the 1985 season were mind-boggling. Hammerstein recorded 23 tackles for loss which tied the single season record for Wolverine defenders. He also sacked opponents for total losses of 112 yards.
Mike Hammerstein was a leader on and off the field in 1985. He was voted the Most Valuable Player of the Michigan Football team. Hammerstein earned All-Big Ten and All-American honors for his stellar play. He also earned MVP honors for his great game in the 1986 Fiesta Bowl. Oops, I almost forgot. Mike also earned the Dick Katcher Award (Michigan’s Best Defensive Lineman) in 1985.
Yes, Mike Hammerstein was a ferocious defender and a very special player for the Wolverines from 1984 to 1985. His name is still all over the Michigan Football Record Book. Today is a great day to appreciate the contributions of Mike Hammerstein to Wolverine Football. I hope that Michigan Man Mike Hammerstein has a very Happy Birthday today. Go Blue!
To learn more about Mike Hammerstein check out the links below:
Erick Anderson was one of the greatest linebackers in Michigan Football History. He played for Bo from 1988 to 1989 and Mo from 1990 to 1991. As a freshman, Andersen tied with J. J. Grant for the team lead in tackles in 1988 with 77 takedowns. Erick kept knocking people down at a very high rate for his final three seasons. He led the Wolverines in tackles for his last three seasons and became the first man to record over 100 tackles for three straight seasons.
Who did Michigan defeat for the 900th victory in program history?