Although his father did not want him to play football, Lee D. Cranmer took the road from Fresno High School’s Varsity to the Rose Bowl and along the way changed his father’s mind.
A native of the San Joaquin Valley, Cranmer came to Fresno when he was two years old, from Modesto where he was born in 1899.
Entering Fresno High in 1913, he played rugby. His junior year, American Football took the place of rugby. He played first-string tackle playing in every game during his junior and senior years, except the Bakersfield High School game his junior year.
That one time, his father caught him sneaking out of the house for the game and made him stay home. However, Cranmer convinced his father by his senior year that he really wanted to play football.
The gridster played freshman football at Cal in 1917 on the first-year team that twice defeated an Olympic Club eleven that twice beat the Cal Varsity.
During the WW I year of 1918, he played for the Student Army Training Corps at the college until he was benched by a case of Diptheria.
The next year under the coaching of the great Andy Smith, Cranmer played running guard every minute of every Cal game.
In 1920, he continued as a running guard on the California "Wonder Team" which was undefeated, winning eight regular-season games and then shut out Ohio State, 28-0, for a Rose Bowl victory.
This year, he was named "Iron Man" for playing more minutes than any other player on the team; selected All-Coast and made several All-American teams and earned "Honorable Mention" by Walter Camp
Cranmer player in two Rose Bowl games, one (1921) 60 minutes and the other (1922) 58 minutes.