While it’s true that the National Football League was started in Canton, Ohio in 1920, the actual “birthplace” of the professional game was Pittsburgh, Pa.
A player by the name of William “Pudge” Heffelfinger was paid $500 to play in a football game on Nov. 12, 1892. The accounting ledger from that game that serves as evidence of the first paid pro player is among the rarest documents in the Hall of Fame’s collection.
By the way, the “investment” in Heffelfinger paid big dividends for the Allegheny Athletic Association (AAA) as the Yale star picked up a fumble and returned it for the game’s only score that day. A touchdown was worth four points at the time, so the AAA walked away with a 4-0 victory over the rival Pittsburgh Athletic Club.
Before you set your fantasy lineup for today, check out more on the story of pro football’s “birth.” Read>>>