MIKE DITKA

MIKE DITKA

Class of 1988
Tight End >>> 6-3, 228
(Pittsburgh)
1961-1966 Chicago Bears, 1967-1968 Philadelphia Eagles, 1969-1972 Dallas Cowboys

Michael Keller Ditka ... Consensus All-American, 1960 ...  Bears' No. 1 pick, 1961 ... First tight end elected to Hall ... Fast, rugged, outstanding blocker, great competitor ... Big-play star of Bears' 1963 title team ... Scored final touchdown in Cowboys' Super Bowl VI win ... Rookie of the Year, 1961 ... All-NFL four years, in five straight Pro Bowls ... Career record: 427 receptions, 5,812 yards, 43 TDs ... Born October 18, 1939, in Carnegie, Pennsylvania.

Mike Ditka, the No. 1 draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1961, introduced a new dimension to the tight end position that once was viewed primarily as an assignment for a tough, talented blocker. Ditka proved to be a superior blocker but he also became one of the first tight ends to catch a large number of passes.

He startled opponent defenses with 56 catches for 1,076 yards and 12 touchdowns in his Rookie-of-the-Year campaign in 1961. Three years later in 1964, he had 75 receptions, a season record for tight ends that lasted until 1980 and the era of the 16-game season. The 6-3, 225-pound native of Carnegie, Pennsylvania was a consensus All- American in 1960 while playing for the University of Pittsburgh.

He moved into the Bears' starting lineup at the beginning of his rookie season and didn't miss a start in 84 games with the Bears. He earned All-NFL honors four straight seasons from 1961 through 1964 and was a Pro Bowl choice after each of his first five seasons. He wound up his 12-year career with 427 receptions for 5,812 yards and 43 touchdowns.

At the time of his retirement after the 1972 season, he ranked second among all tight ends in receptions. In 1967, Ditka was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. An injury in the second game that year aborted his consecutive-game streak at 86. He missed eight games in two years with the Eagles before moving on to the Dallas Cowboys in 1969. The fiercely determined and competitive Ditka regained much of his old form in four years in Dallas. His best campaign there was in 1971 when the Cowboys won their first Super Bowl championship. Ditka had 30 receptions that year and he scored the final touchdown in Dallas' 24-3 win over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI.

Year
Team
G
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
1961 Chicago
14
56
1076
19.2
12
1962 Chicago
14
58
904
15.6
5
1963 Chicago
14
59
794
13.5
8
1964 Chicago
14
75
897
1.02
5
1965 Chicago
14
36
454
12.6
2
1966 Chicago
14
32
378
11.8
2
1967 Philadelphia
9
26
274
10.5
2
1968 Philadelphia
11
13
111
8.5
2
1969 Dallas
12
17
268
15.8
3
1970 Dallas
14
8
98
12.3
0
1971 Dallas
14
30
360
12.0
1
1972 Dallas
14
17
198
11.6
1
Career Total
158
427
5812
13.6
43
Additional Statistics: Rushing: 2-2; Kickoff Returns: 3-30; Fumble Recoveries for TDs: 2

Championship Games

1963 NFLChicago Bears 14, New York Giants 10
Ditka started at right end. He had three receptions for 38 yards.

1970 NFC Dallas Cowboys 17, San Francisco 49ers 10
Ditka played but did not start. He had one reception for five yards.

1971 NFCDallas Cowboys 14, San Francisco 49ers 3
Ditka started at tight end. He had one reception for five yards.

1972 NFC – Washington Redskins 26, Dallas Cowboys 3
Ditka started at tight end. He had one reception for four yards.

Super Bowls

Super Bowl V – Baltimore Colts 16, Dallas Cowboys 13
Ditka started at tight end. He had one reception for five yards.

Super Bowl VIDallas Cowboys 24, Miami Dolphins 3
Ditka started at tight end. He had two receptions for 28 yards and one touchdown.

All-NFL: 1961 (NEA), 1962 (UPI, NEA), 1963 (AP, UPI, NEA, NY), 1964 (AP, UPI, NEA, NY)

All-NFL Second Team: 1961 (UPI, NY), 1962 (AP), 1965 (AP, UPI, NEA, NY), 1966 (AP, UPI)

All Western Conference: 1961 (SN), 1962 (SN), 1963 (SN), 1964 (SN), 1965 (SN)

(5) – 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966

Bears records held by Ditka
(Records through the 1966 season, Ditka’s final season with Chicago)

• [Tied for 1st] Most Touchdown Receptions, Game – 4 (vs. Los Angeles, Oct. 13, 1963)
• [2nd] Most Pass Receptions, Career – 316
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Touchdown, Game – 4 (vs. Los Angeles, Oct. 13, 1963)
• [3rd] Most Receiving Yardage, Career – 4,513

Team Statistical Championships
Scoring Titles: 1961, 1963
Reception Titles: 1961, 1962, 1963

• NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team

Year Team W L T Division Finish
1961 Chicago Bears 8 6 0 (4th)
1962 Chicago Bears 9 5 0 (3rd)
1963 Chicago Bears 11 1 2 (1st)
1964 Chicago Bears 5 9 0 (6th)
1965 Chicago Bears 9 5 0 (3rd)
1966 Chicago Bears 5 7 2 (5th)
1967 Philadelphia Eagles 6 7 1 (2nd)
1698 Philadelphia Eagles 2 12 0 (4th)
1969 Dallas Cowboys 11 2 1 (1st)
1970 Dallas Cowboys 10 4 0 (1st)
1971 Dallas Cowboys 11 3 0 (1st)
1972 Dallas Cowboys 10 4 0 (2nd)

Full Name: Michael Keller Ditka

Birthdate: October 18, 1939

Birthplace: Carnegie, PA

High School: Aliquippa (PA)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 30, 1988

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: July 30, 1988

Presenter: Ed O'Bradovich, former Chicago Bears teammate

Other Members of Class of 1988: Fred Biletnikoff, Jack Ham, Alan Page

Pro Career: 12 seasons, 158 games

Drafted: 1st round (5th player overall) in 1961 by Chicago Bears. Also drafted in 1st round of the 1961 AFL Draft by the Houston Oilers.

Transactions: April 26, 1967 -- Ditka traded from Chicago Bears to Philadelphia Eagles for QB Jack Concannon and undisclosed draft pick (that was never exchanged). Jan. 27, 1969 -- Ditka trade from Philadelphia Eagles to Dallas Cowboys in exchange for end David McDaniels.

Uniform Number: 89. (He wore No. 89 with Bears, Eagles, and Cowboys but also wore #98 briefly with the Eagles).

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