DICK (NIGHT TRAIN) LANE

DICK (NIGHT TRAIN) LANE

Class of 1974
Cornerback >>> 6-1, 194
(Scottsbluff - NE Jr. College)
1952-1953 Los Angeles Rams, 1954-1959 Chicago Cardinals, 1960-1965 Detroit Lions

Richard Lane. . .Joined Rams as free agent after four years in Army. . .Set NFL interception record (14) as rookie, 1952. . . All-NFL six years. . .Named to seven Pro Bowls. . .Selected all-time NFL cornerback, 1969. . . Career interception record: 68 for 1,207 yards, five TDs. . .Gambler on field who made spectacular plays. . .Deadly open-field tackler. . .Very fast, agile, aggressive. . .Born April 16, 1928, in Austin, Texas. . . Died January 29, 2002, at age of 73.

Dick Lane was an Army veteran “looking for a good job” when he stopped in the offices of the Los Angeles Rams in 1952 and asked for a tryout. All he had for credentials was a battered scrapbook, which chronicled his football experiences in high school, junior college and the Army.

The defending-champion Rams’ coach Joe Stydahar saw just enough “good press” in the scrapbook to offer Lane a trial. At first Dick was tried at end but with future Hall of Famers Tom Fears and Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch set as starters, his chances didn't look good. Lane did, however, spend a great deal of time consulting with Fears, who was continually playing the hit record "Night Train," on his phonograph. One day, a teammate entered the room, saw Dick and blurted out, "Hey, there's Night Train," and "Night Train Lane" it was from then on.

Once Stydahar moved Lane to defense, he quickly made an impression. Blessed with outstanding speed, exceptional agility, reflex action, and a fierce determination to excel, “Night Train” set the NFL on fire as a rookie. He intercepted a record 14 passes in the 12-game season. Besides being a constant threat to steal passes, Lane also became known as a devastating tackler.

Lane also was willing to take chances on the field in spite of the risks. Most, however, would agree that percentage-wise he was well a head of the game. Lane played two years with the Rams before being traded to the Cardinals in 1954.

Six years later, he was sent to the Detroit Lions where he enjoyed his finest years. Dick was named first- or second-team All-NFL every year from 1954 through 1963. Named to seven Pro Bowls, Night Train intercepted 68 passes for 1,207 yards and five touchdowns during his Hall of Fame career.

Year
Team
G
Int
Yds.
Avg.
TD
No.
Yds.
TD
1952 Los Angeles
12
14
298
21.3
2
0
0
0
1953 Los Angeles
11
3
9
3.0
0
3
26
1
1954 Chicago Cardinals
12
10
181
18.1
0
0
0
0
1955 Chicago Cardinals
12
6
69
11.5
0
0
0
0
1956 Chicago Cardinals
12
7
206
29.4
1
2
11
0
1957 Chicago Cardinals
8
2
47
23.5
0
2
5
0
1958 Chicago Cardinals
12
2
0
0.0
0
0
0
0
1959 Chicago Cardinals
12
3
125
41.7
1
0
0
0
1960 Detroit
12
5
102
20.4
1
0
0
0
1961 Detroit
14
6
73
12.2
0
0
0
0
1962 Detroit
14
4
16
4.0
0
1
15
0
1963 Detroit
12
5
70
14.0
0
2
0
0
1964 Detroit
7
1
11
11.0
0
0
0
0
1965 Detroit
7
0
0
0.0
0
1
0
0
Career Total
157
68
1207
17.8
5
11
57
1
Additional Career Statistics: Receiving: 8-253, 1 TD; 1 Safety; Punt Returns: 4-14
Full Name: Richard Lane

Birthdate: April 16, 1928

Birthplace: Austin, Texas

Died: January 29, 2002

High School: L.C. Anderson (Austin, Texas)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 12, 1974

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: July 27, 1974

Presenter: W.E. Pigford, Lane's coach at Anderson H.S.

Other Members of Class of 1974: Tony Canadeo, Bill George, Lou Groza

Pro Career: 14 seasons, 157 games

Drafted: Signed as a rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Rams

Uniform Number: 81

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