April 24th, 2014
Emlen Tunnell. Cool name and even cooler football player.
Emlen Tunnell was undrafted after college and began his pro career by hitchhiking across the country, from Iowa to New York City, to meet New York Giants owner Jack Mara and ask to try out for the team.
It was worth the effort. The Giants signed Tunnell in 1948 and made him the first African-American ever to play for the New York Giants.
Tunnell played defensive back for 14 years and was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection. He ended his career with a record 79 interceptions, which he returned for 1,282 yards and 4 touchdowns, and 16 fumble recoveries, along with another 3,506 return yards and 6 touchdowns on special teams. He twice led the NFL in punt return yards. Busy guy!
Emlen was named to both the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team and the NFL 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He was elected as the first African-American in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.
In his Hall of Fame induction speech, he thanked the truck driver who dropped him off near this Polo Grounds "appointment." Cool guy!
What was happening in 1967?
Super Bowl I was played. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35–10 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
A gallon of milk cost $1.03.
Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first African-American Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
A loaf of bread cost 29 cents
Walt Disney's 19th full-length animated feature, The Jungle Book, is released. It was the last animated film personally supervised by Walt.
A hamburger was 39 cents. Whoa. How much for a double-cheese?