rainn.png
Friday December 13th, 2019 11:34PM

Tommy McDonald, speedy Hall of Fame receiver, dies at 84

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tommy McDonald, the small, speedy and sure-handed receiver who teamed with quarterback Norm Van Brocklin to help the Philadelphia Eagles win the 1960 NFL championship, has died. He was 84.

His death was announced Monday by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Details were not disclosed.

McDonald was a two-time All-American from Oklahoma who played 12 NFL seasons for five teams and was a six-time Pro Bowl selection. When he retired in 1968, he ranked second in league history in touchdown catches, fourth in yards receiving and sixth in receptions.

But the 5-foot-7, 175-pound McDonald had to wait 30 years before becoming the smallest player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"Oh, baby!" McDonald shouted in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 1, 1998. "Do I look excited, like I just won the lottery or the jackpot? Yes! I'm in the Hall of Fame!"

His induction speech was equal parts hysterics and histrionics. McDonald told jokes and tossed his 25-pound bronze bust in the air. He pulled out a radio and danced to disco music — all on the steps of the hallowed hall.

"Tommy McDonald lived life like he played the game of football. He was charismatic, passionate and had fun," Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker said. "He was such a character. Heaven is a happier place today."

In seven seasons with Philadelphia, the durable McDonald had 287 receptions for 5,499 yards, with a per-catch average of 19.2 yards. He had 66 touchdowns in 88 games, and No. 25 went to the Pro Bowl five straight seasons (1959-63).

"Tommy McDonald played the game with a passion and energy that was second to none," said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. "He will be remembered as one of the most exciting players ever to play his position, but what really separated him and made him so unique was the infectious personality and charisma that he brought to his everyday life. He had a genuine love for this team, for the Philadelphia community, for the fans, and, of course, his family. He was a man of character, both on and off the field, who exemplified all the qualities that we hope to represent as an organization.

"He was a champion, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, and one of the most genuine individuals I have ever met. On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the entire McDonald family."

He was traded to Dallas in 1964 and dealt the next season to the Los Angeles Rams. Determined to show he could still be a force in the league, McDonald had a solid season with a career-best 67 receptions for 1,036 yards and nine TDs and earned another trip to the Pro Bowl.

A running back at Oklahoma under Bud Wilkinson, McDonald was an All-American in 1955 and 1956. He never experienced a loss with the Sooners, winning 31 straight games, part of Oklahoma's 47-game run.

In 1956, McDonald finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting behind Paul Hornung of Notre Dame and Johnny Majors of Tennessee.

Amid rumblings he was too small to play in the NFL, the Eagles drafted McDonald in the third round in 1957.

He was used primarily on punts and kick returns early his rookie season, before being inserted as a flanker against the Washington Redskins midway through the year. McDonald scored two touchdowns, including a 61-yarder that late NFL commissioner Bert Bell reportedly called "one of the greatest catches I have ever seen in pro football."

McDonald and Van Brocklin proved a formidable pair for the Eagles. They combined for one of the most memorable touchdowns in franchise history, a 35-yard reception on a frigid afternoon that helped the Eagles to a 17-13 win over Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers in the 1960 NFL title game at Franklin Field. It was the team's third championship and the only championship game a Lombardi-coached team lost.

"You can't go any higher," McDonald said in 2005 as the Eagles prepped for a Super Bowl appearance. "We were at the top of the hill looking down yelling, 'Hello! Nobody expected us to be here.'"

The next season, McDonald set a franchise record with seven catches for 237 yards receiving in a game against the Giants and went on to finish with 64 receptions for a league-leading 1,144 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Born in New Mexico, McDonald's family moved from the small town of Roy to Albuquerque before his sophomore year in high school. He developed into a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track

.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tommy McDonald, speedy Hall of Fame receiver, dies at 84
Tommy McDonald, speedy Hall of Fame receiver who helped Eagles win 1960 title, dies at 84
10:36AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Germany looking to sell costly, rarely used drone to Canada
Germany wants to sell Canada a secondhand drone that's cost over 700 million euros ($823 million) _ without many core components it needs to fly
10:31AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Trump, at UN, says 2nd North Korea summit likely 'soon'
Confronting the dangers of North Korea's nuclear threat, President Donald Trump has struck a far less ominous tone at the United Nations than a year ago, announcing he likely will hold a second summit with Kim Jong Un "quite soon."
10:21AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Cosby accuser in court for sentencing hearing
Bill Cosby's chief accuser has arrived at a courthouse outside Philadelphia for the start of a sentencing hearing
9:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Cosby arrives for start of sentencing hearing
Bill Cosby has arrived at a suburban Philadelphia courthouse for the start of a sentencing hearing that will determine the punishment for the 81-year-old comedian convicted of sexual assault
8:57AM ( 1 hour ago )
Sanchez spark still missing for Manchester United
Alexis Sanchez was expected to be a key performer for Manchester United in the early weeks of the Premier League
6:21AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Brady, Patriots searching for answers after another loss
Tom Brady isn't the type to panic over a couple early losses, but he's also not making any promises about where New England's season could go from here
1:03AM ( 9 hours ago )
Matt Patricia-led Lions beat Bill Belichick, Patriots 26-10
Matt Patricia beat mentor Bill Belichick, seemingly making all the right moves to help the Detroit Lions defeat the New England Patriots 26-10
12:18AM ( 10 hours ago )
The Latest: Lions finally have a 100-yard rusher
For the first time since 2013, the Detroit Lions have a 100-yard rusher
11:02PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Football
AP Top 25: Kentucky enters rankings for 1st time since '07
After season-high 7 ranked teams lost, back half of AP college football poll gets makeover; Kentucky enters rankings for 1st time since '07
5:25PM ( 17 hours ago )
No. 7 Stanford rallies for 38-31 OT win over No. 20 Oregon
K.J. Costello threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns, the last a 23-yarder to Colby Parkinson in overtime, and No. 7 Stanford rallied for a 38-31 victory over No. 20 Oregon
1:55AM ( 1 day ago )
No. 5 Oklahoma escapes with 28-21 OT win over Army
Kyler Murray threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb in overtime, and Parnell Motley intercepted Kelvin Hopkins' fourth-down pass to help No. 5 Oklahoma escape with a 28-21 overtime victory over Army
12:16AM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
No. 4 Ohio State routs Tulane in Meyer's return to sideline
Dwayne Haskins Jr. threw for 304 yards and five touchdowns in the first half as Ohio State blew out Tulane 49-6
9:49PM ( 1 day ago )
Tagovailoa propels No. 1 Alabama past No. 22 Texas A&M, 45-
Tua Tagovailoa passed for 387 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another score to lead No. 1 Alabama to a 45-23 rout of No. 22 Texas A&M
7:11PM ( 1 day ago )
No. 2 Georgia clears another SEC hurdle at Missouri, 43-29
Jake Fromm threw three touchdown passes and No. 2 Georgia had a defensive touchdown and returned a blocked punt for a score to beat Missouri 43-29 on Saturday
6:41PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Manning throws 2 TDs as Giants beat Texans 27-22 for 1st win
Eli Manning threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns and rookie Saquon Barkley added a score as the New York Giants got their first win with a 27-22 victory over the struggling Houston Texans on Sunday
6:36PM ( 16 hours ago )
The Latest: Hobbled Rams take 15-point lead into 4th
Down 2 top cornerbacks, Rams take 15-point lead over Chargers in to 4th quarter
6:34PM ( 16 hours ago )
Mahomes throws 3 TD passes as Chiefs beat 49ers, 38-27
Patrick Mahomes threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns to help the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 38-27
6:13PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Germany looking to sell costly, rarely used drone to Canada
Germany wants to sell Canada a secondhand drone that's cost over 700 million euros ($823 million) _ without many core components it needs to fly
10:31AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Trump, at UN, says 2nd North Korea summit likely 'soon'
Confronting the dangers of North Korea's nuclear threat, President Donald Trump has struck a far less ominous tone at the United Nations than a year ago, announcing he likely will hold a second summit with Kim Jong Un "quite soon."
10:21AM ( 25 minutes ago )
The Latest: Cosby judge weighs hearing on 'predator' status
A judge is weighing whether to hold a hearing to determine if Bill Cosby is a sexually violent predator
10:19AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Brexit backers advocate alternative economic plan
Brexit advocates unveiled Monday a new economic plan for Britain's exit from the European Union as official figures emerged showing the country's increasingly deteriorating trade in goods relationship with the bloc.
10:17AM ( 29 minutes ago )
The Latest: France wants UN backing for Syria accord
France's foreign minister wants the U.N. to rally behind a Russian-Turkish accord averting a massive battle for the Syrian rebel stronghold of Idlib
10:07AM ( 39 minutes ago )