NFL Corridor of Fame Hugh McElhenny, an elusive runner from the Nineteen Fifties has died. He was 93.
The Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame mentioned in a press launch that McEhlenny died of pure causes June 17 at his Nevada house and that groom Chris Permann confirmed the dying.
Elected to the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1970, McElhenny’s thrilling working and complete abilities as a runner, receiver and turner made him the most effective NFL gamers of the Nineteen Fifties. He was a rookie of the yr in league in 1952 (earlier than the award grew to become official) and made two All-Professional groups, the Six Professional Bowls and the NFL squad all through the Nineteen Fifties.
“Hugh McElhenny was a risk in any respect levels of the sport in assault – dashing, passing passes and returning kicks and kicks. “His versatile expertise – evident to skilled soccer scouts when Hugh was nonetheless an adolescent – will likely be celebrated and preserved eternally in Canton,” Corridor of Fame president Jim Porter mentioned in an announcement.
A participant of all conferences in Washington, the place he set a number of Pacific Coast Convention information, McElhenny was elected ninth general within the 1952 draft and had a direct impression. Not solely did he lead the NFL happiest on the yard for the switch (7.0) that season, however McElhenny had the longest working from the brawl, 89 yards and the longest return of works, 94 yards. He scored 10 hits as a starter.
It was the start of a nine-season stretch wherein McElhenny was the forty ninth important attacking weapon. Solely in 1954, when a cut up shoulder set him apart after six video games, and 1960, his last yr in San Francisco, McElhenny was not a focus for the Niners.
He was additionally one thing of a franchise savior, which was acceptable as a result of the 49s as soon as tried to kick him out of highschool whereas nonetheless on the All-American Soccer Convention.
“When Hugh joined the 49ers in 1952,” mentioned Lou Spadia, then the workforce ‘s normal supervisor, “it was debatable whether or not our franchise may survive. McElhenny eliminated all doubts. That’ s why we name him our franchise defender. . ”
The defenders would name him one thing else as they’d wings stuffed with air as an alternative of the ball holder.
“My angle to holding the ball was concern,” he mentioned. “Not a concern of getting harm, however a concern of being caught behind and falling and embarrassing myself and my teammates.”
Simply recognizable for his lengthy stride and knee-high motion, McElhenny was not solely quick, but in addition had the actions of a break dancer many years earlier than break dancing grew to become a factor.
“Making ready for a workforce that lists McElhenny on the checklist,” mentioned Hamp Pool, who coached rival Rams from 1952-54, “you simply cannot threat it.”
Coincidentally, his longtime 49-year-old good friend, defender Joe Perry – one other Corridor of Famer – had performed at Compton Junior School in California, the place McElhenny performed earlier than transferring to Washington. Collectively in San Francisco, they shaped the most effective soccer groups on the again discipline.
However the Niners got here out after the season solely as soon as with McElhenny, shedding a playoff recreation for the Western Convention title to Detroit in 1957. In 1961, with McElhenny slightly drained, he was left on the enlargement draft checklist and was kidnapped by Minnesota . He had a powerful season and reached the Professional Bowl because the Vikings went 3-11 of their inaugural season.
Knee issues then slowed him down. He performed one other yr with Minnesota, spent 1963 in its place with the New York Giants, the place he performed in his solely NFL title match, shedding to Chicago, and ended his 1964 profession with Detroit.
When he retired, McElhenny was one in every of three gamers to have gained greater than 11,000 yards for all targets.
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