Curt Herrman is joined by Kansas City Chiefs ambassadors John Lohmeyer, left, and Jerry Cornelison, right, for an interview Wednesday, May 8, 2024, in Manhattan. (Lewis Marien, The Mercury)
Kansas City Chiefs ambassadors returned to Manhattan this week as the latest member of the Chiefs family toured local resident and Manhattan-Ogden school board member Curt Herrman’s “Chiefseum” — the world’s largest collection of Chiefs memorabilia, according to Guinness. The collection now boasts over 1,600 unique items.
Jerry Cornelison is a former offensive tackle, who played professionally in both the American and Canadian Football League as well as collegiately at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Wednesday was his first trip to Herrman’s shrine to the back-to-back Super Bowl champions.
      Cornelison on collection

At 87, Cornelison is the oldest living former Chiefs player and one of a handful of living members of the inaugural 1960 team. The oldest title is something he says he plans to hold on to for as long as he can.

Cornelison was accompanied Wednesday by Chiefs ambassador and former defensive end John Lohmeyer, who played for the Chiefs during the 1970s and Herrman, who has welcomed several to his Manhattan home before to tour the collection. He says having former players come in and share fond memories of their football past is something he treasures.

      0510-Herrman 1

Players in those days also had to provide their own shoes and if they made the team those players would get to keep those single pair of shoes for gamedays throughout the season — a vast difference from today’s modern NFL.

Cornelison was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1958, but opted instead to play a year for the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders, who offered him more money to play professionally.
      Cornelison early pro career


That Lamar was Lamar Hunt, founder of the Dallas Texans, as well as the newly formed American Football League. Cornelison played three seasons with the Texans before the team relocated to Kansas City and was renamed the Chiefs. Cornelison recalls learning of the team’s move in a Dallas newspaper.
      Cornelison real job

After football, Cornelison entered his next career, selling pants for the Haggar Clothing Company, a job he held for 31 years. Shortly before retiring from that job, the Chiefs came calling again, asking if he’d like to join the the Chiefs Ambassadors, a group of retired former players, who perform philanthropic work throughout the year in the greater Kansas City area and surrounding region.
He says if he could press rewind and do his career all over again, he most certainly would.
      Cornelison blessed man


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