Charles “Buckets” Goldenberg didn’t care where he played as long as it was in Green Bay.
In 1933, “Buckets” led the Green Bay Packers in touchdowns with seven in his rookie season. That included six rushing touchdowns and a seventh on a rarely thrown pass. A year later, he shifted to blocking back, as the Packers began to shovel the ball often in the direction of future Hall-of-Famer Clarke Hinkle while seeking to keep Goldenberg’s valuable blocking skills on the field.
Over his first three seasons, Goldenberg would amass 98 of his career 108 carries, a number that dwindled as time passed because in his sixth season he was shifted to guard. Not many players would have accepted moving from the backfield into the mud of the interior line, but "Buckets" did. He said that he didn’t see much difference between a blocking back and a blocking guard in the Notre Dame Box alignment favored by Packers' Hall-of-Fame coach Curly Lambeau. The goal was the same: Put somebody on his back, which he did often enough that lyric sportswriter Red Smith once called him “a man of oak.”
What the Pro Football Hall of Fame called him was an all-decade player of the 1930s. Yet few remember his name today outside of Green Bay, where "Buckets" Goldenberg is in the Packers' Hall of Fame for the 13 years he was there during Green Bay's first glory run in the 1930s.
Goldenberg was not only a powerful blocker but also a gap-shooting guard on defense in a six-man front where he floated around as if Bill Belichick was at Lambeau Field calling the signals. He was not, but that didn’t stop Goldenberg from starting on three NFL championship teams (1936, 1939 and 1944) and becoming Green Bay’s first full-time co-captain in 1942.
“Buckets” was so hell bent on being a Packer from beginning to end that he sat down to prove it in 1938. Goldenberg was traded that spring to Pittsburgh for two rookies but chose to retire rather than continue his career. Green Bay was unable to sign the rookies, and after some time the trade was nullified. Goldenberg returned to play six more seasons in Green Bay, including on two of those world championship teams.
“ 'Buckets' is not only a great guard, but has one of the greatest competitive hearts in the history of the sport, “ Lambeau said upon Goldenberg’s retirement in 1945. By that time, “Buckets’’ had emptied his bucket, starting 55 games at guard and 18 in the backfield.
But he was still not finished with the Packers. Eight years later he was named to the Packers’ board of directors and remained there until 1985.
“Buckets” Goldenberg is one of 10 members of the 1930s' all-decade team not enshrined in Canton. Of those 10, six were members of the Packers and three of those six were interior linemen.
“Buckets” Goldenberg may have gotten lost on his way to Canton among the greatness of the early Packers' teams, but that’s probably all right with him. After all, the only place he ever really wanted to be in football was Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he stayed from brilliant start to All-Decade finish.