The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Ford Motor Company paid tribute to Gold Jacket at his high school alma mater on Tuesday morning as part of the Hometown Hall of Famer™ program. An audience of 1,300 attended the ceremony at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. that is located blocks away from Marino’s childhood home. The crowd included students, teachers, the school’s marching band and many of Marino’s former football and baseball teammates.
"When I walked the halls earlier today, it made me realize how special this place was for me growing up and how special it still is today," Marino shared.
Hometown Hall of Famer™ is a national program that honors the hometown roots of the greatest heroes of the game with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.
"I only wish my parents could be here today because they urged me (to succeed). And, I urge you to live in the moment, that you are receiving a great education for life and this plaque is yours, to inspire you to dream big and never accept ‘you can't’ for an answer," Marino commented after being presented with the plaque by the school’s head football coach, and former high school teammate, Terry Totten.
“While Mr. Marino is no stranger to award ceremonies, today is special because it helps connect a player who has reached the pinnacle of football glory with the community where he began his journey,” Megan Carlini, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager for Ford Motor Company, remarked.
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Tuesday’s event was the 95th Hometown Hall of Famer™ ceremony.
Marino was a first round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 1983 NFL Draft. He would become the most prolific passer in NFL history, including being the first player ever to pass for 5,000 yards in a season and threw a then-record 48 touchdowns in 1984. In all, he completed 4,967 of 8,358 attempts for 61,361 yards, and 420 touchdowns. All four marks stood, at one time, as the NFL career records. The nine-time Pro-Bowler recorded thirteen 3,000-yard seasons. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.