Today in Patriots History April 12 Birthdays Happy birthday to Tom Addison Born April 12, 1936 in Lancaster, SC Died June 4, 2011 at the age of 75 Patriot LB, 1960-1967; uniform #53 Addison was an All-Star for five straight seasons, and a member of the Pats' All-Decade team for the 1960s. He played in 107 games for the Patriots, with 16 interceptions. Addison was also the first president of the AFL's player association, which in turn helped give players confidence to sign with the new league and helped the league improve and eventually merge with the NFL. Former Boston Patriot Addison Dies A 6-foot-2, 230 pound linebacker, Addison was originally drafted out of the University of South Carolina by the Baltimore Colts in 1958, but signed with the newly-formed Boston Patriots in 1960. Addison played his entire career with the Patriots (he retired in 1967), and was quickly a standout player. According to pro-football-reference.com, he snagged 16 interceptions in his career, one of which he took back for a touchdown (the site does not have tackle numbers). In 1960, he received All-AFL honors; the next year, the league formed its All-Star game, and Addison played in the exhibition every year from 1961-64. In 1971, fans voted Addison to the Patriots all-decade team for the 1960s. Addison wasn’t just a leader on the field: he was voted the first president of the AFL Players’ Association by his peers when the union was formed in 1964. His contributions as president played a significant role in the development and competitiveness of the league. A member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, Addison will be buried in his hometown of Lancaster, S.C. on Friday. Happy 31st birthday to Nate Solder Born April 12, 1998 in Denver Patriot LT (2012-2017), RT (2011) Pats 1st round (17th overall) selection of the 2011 draft, from Colorado With Matt Light reaching the end of the line in 2011, the Pats used a first round pick on an offensive tackle. Solder started immediately on the right side with Sebastian Vollmer sliding over to left tackle. The following year Solder took over on the blind side and was a steady performer at LT for six seasons. While never an All-Pro, Solder played well enough to earn a contract extension - and two Super Bowl rings. In 2018 the Patriots let Solder walk away with a four-year $62 million free agent contract from the New York Giants, with $35 million guaranteed. The Giants finished the season 5-11, while the Patriots won the Super Bowl with a left tackle practically given away by San Francisco. Happy 52nd birthday to Bobby Abrams Born April 12, 1967 in Detroit Patriot LB, 1995; uniform #50 Abrams was a career backup and special teams player, appearing in 74 NFL games over six years with five teams. New England was his last stop, where he played in nine games with one start. Since then he has worked as an educator and is now a high school principal in Montgomery Alabama. Happy 55th birthday to Perry Williams Born April 12, 1964 in Cartersville, Georgia Patriot DB, 1987; uniform #38 Williams was one of the replacement players during the 1987 strike. In the season opener of the 1985 season at Clemson, Williams had five pass deflections in a 20-17 victory at Virginia Tech. Other pro football players with New England connections: Fred Wallner (4/12/1928-11/4/1999) Greenfield Mass. native was an All-American under Frank Leahy at Notre Dame. Wallner was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals and was a Pro Bowl linebacker in 1955. In 1960 he was a player coach with the Houston Oilers, who won the first AFL championship. Wallner continued coaching in the college ranks and with minor league teams. He was the head coach of the Hartford Knights of the old Atlantic Coast Football League. Walter Tullis (4/12/1953) Tullis is from Hartford CT and was a late draft pick by Washington in 1976. The wide receiver appeared in 32 games with the Packers, catching ten passes and one touchdown. His biggest play though was off the field, helping to rescue a mother and two children trapped in an early morning fire.