The NFL season is a little over a month away. Preseason games almost feel like the real thing after months away from the game. The annual or what feels like semi annual due to the catastrophe last year – Hall of Fame game kicks off tonight. I thought it would be cool go back through Eagles history and look at all the players who went in the HOF as Eagles or wore an Eagles Jersey at any point during their career.
Chuck Bednarik C/LB – Elected 1967 – Eagles Career 1949-1962
Bednarik was an NFL and Eagles great. Concrete Charlie was the last of a dying breed. The last true 2 way player – a 60 minute man. Chuck Bednarik was the lynch pin on the 1960 Championship team making the winning tackle against Green Bay’s Jim Taylor.
Bert Bell Owner/HC – Elected 1963 – Eagles Career 1933-1940/NFL Career 1933-1959
None of this would be possible with out Bert Bell. He founded the Eagles in 1933. From The New Eagles Encyclopedia – “Bell bought the rights to the financially strapped Frankford Yellow Jackets for $2,500. He renamed the team the Eagles in honor of Franklin Roosevelt’s National Recovery Act, which had the Eagle as it’s symbol.”
Bob Brown T – Elected 2004 – Eagles Career 1964-1968/NFL Career 1964-1973
The Eagles selected Brown in the first round of the 1964 draft. He suited up for the Eagles for 5 years. We’ve featured Bob Brown in our Alumni Focus series last year.
Chris Carter WR – Elected 2013 – Eagles Career 1987-1989/NFL Career 1987-2002
Chris Carter said Buddy Ryan saved his life by cutting him during the 1989 season. A lot of people often forget Carter started his career with the Eagles. If only he had finished his career with the Eagles. Carter’s first NFL catch went for a touchdown. 22 yards. All he does is catch touchdowns.
Bill Hewitt End – Elected 1971 – Eagles Career 1937 – 1939,1943/NFL Career 1932-1943
Bill Hewitt was a different cat and an all around bad ass. From The New Eagles Encyclopedia – “Bill Hewitt is best remembered for his refusal to wear a helmet on the football field. He only began wearing one in 1939 when the NFL made it mandatory for all players.” He died in a car crash in 1947.
Claude Humphrey DE – Elected 2014 – Eagles Career 1979-1981/NFL Career 1968-1981
Humphrey led the Eagles in sacks during the 1980 Super Bowl season. He finished his career with the Eagles after Marion Campbell lured out of retirement from the Atlanta Falcons.
Sonny Jurgensen QB – Elected 1983 – Eagles Career 1957-1963/NFL Career 1957-1974
After Norm Van Brocklin retired following the 1960 Championship season Jurgensen took over the team. Although productive, he didn’t really make a name for himself until playing with the Redskins.
Mike Ditka TE – Elected 1988 – Eagles Career 1967-68/NFL Career 1961-1972
Tight Ends voted into the Hall of Fame before Mike Ditka? 0! He was the first. He also hated his time here with the Eagles. He left after 2 season of unproductive play and multiple questions about the teams management. He was T.O. in Philly before T.O.
James Lofton WR – Elected 2003 – Eagles Career 1993/NFL Career 1978-1993
From “The Eagles Encyclopedia” – Lofton “was the first player to score a touchdown in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.” James Lofton was signed at 37 years old after Fred Barnett was injured during the 1993 season. He only played in 9 games catching 13 balls for 167 yards.
Ollie Matson HB – Elected 1972 – Eagles Career 1964-1966/NFL Career 1952-1966
Tommy McDonald – Elected 1998 – Eagles Career 1957-1963/NFL Career 1957-1968
Tommy McDonald is my kinda guy. The dude helped the Eagles with their 3rd Championship during the 1960 season. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him on a few occasions and he couldn’t have been nice. I even got a chance to wear his 1960 Championship ring (so yes, I’m a little biased). Upon retirement he ranked in the top 10 in all major receiver categories including second in touchdown catches with 84.
Pete Pihos End – Elected 1970 – Eagles Career 1947-1955
From “The Eagles Encyclopedia” – Pihos earned a battlefield commission with the U.S. Army in World War II. He was 24 when he joined the Eagles after completing his Military Service. He had 11 touchdowns in a 12 game season in 1948.”
Jim Ringo C – Elected 1981 – Eagles Career 1964-1967/NFL Career 1953-1967
Norm Van Brocklin – Elected 1971 – Eagles Career 1958-1960/NFL Career 1949-1960
Van Brocklin was the quarterback of the 1960 team. Dutch also led the Rams to the 1951 Championship as well.
Steve Van Buren HB – Elected 1965 – Eagles Career 1944-1951
Van Buren was Shady before Shady. Against the Chicago Cardinals in the 1948 NFL Championship game he ran for a then record 196 yards in a blizzard at Shibe Park. His snow game and record stood until 2013 when LeSean McCoy eclipsed his mark against the Detroit Lions. Steve Van Buren was a bad man.
Alex Wojciechowicz LB – Elected 1968 – Eagles Career 1946-1950/NFLCareer 1938-1950
Reggie White DE – Elected 2006 – Eagles Career 1985-1992/NFL Career 1985-2000
Reggie White won the Defensive Player of the Year award 3 times. He was a Super Bowl Champion with the 1996 Packers defeating the New England Patriots. In 8 season with the Eagles he record more sacks (124) than games played (121) – The New Eagles Encyclopedia. White died of an apparent Heart Attack on December 26th 2004.
The above list is all players and Owners. Let’s not forget about the coaches that currently reside in the HOF. That list of Coaches includes – Bert Bell, Earle Greasy Neale, Sid Gillman and Mark Levy. Marv Levy was actually the ST coach during the 1969 season.
Source(s) – “The Eagles Encyclopedia” and “The New Eagles Encyclopedia”
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