MIKE MCCORMACK

MIKE MCCORMACK

Class of 1984
Tackle >>> 6-4, 246
(Kansas)
1951 New York Yanks, 1954-1962 Cleveland Browns

Michael Joseph McCormack, Jr ... Drafted by 1951 New York Yanks ... Played in first of six Pro Bowls as a rookie ... In U.S. Army, 1952-1953 ... Traded to Browns in 15-player deal while in service ... Played defensive middle guard, 1954 Browns ... Stole ball to set up key Browns TD, 1954 NFL title game ... Excelled as offensive right tackle for eight years, 1955-1962 ... Equally adept as rushing blocker, pass protector ... Born June 21, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois ... Died November 15, 2013, at age of 83.

Mike McCormack, one of the game’s greatest offensive tackles, began his pro football career with the NFL’s 1951 New York Yanks where as a rookie he earned the starting right tackle spot. That year he earned the first of six trips to the Pro Bowl, before being called into military service.

The Baltimore Colts who acquired his rights before the start of the 1953 season, traded him to the Cleveland Browns in a massive 15-player deal. Even though the Browns knew Mike would not be available for a full year, he was the key man in the trade. Coach Paul Brown always considered it one of his wisest personnel moves.

In his first season in Cleveland, McCormack, a former University of Kansas star and Chicago native, was asked to fill the middle guard position that had been vacated by the retiring Bill Willis on the defensive unit. It was a tall order, considering Willis would himself be elected to the Hall of Fame. McCormack, not surprisingly, was up to the challenge.

He quickly became an important factor on an excellent Cleveland defensive team. Mike enjoyed perhaps his most memorable individual moment on the defensive team when, in the 1954 NFL Championship Game, he stole the ball from Detroit Lions quarterback Bobby Layne to set up one of the early touchdowns in a 56-10 Cleveland rout.

But it was as an offensive tackle that McCormack made his lasting mark in pro football. Mike was the Browns' offensive right tackle for eight years from 1955 through 1962. During that period, the Browns’ forward wall played a major role in assuring a balanced offensive approach and McCormack, equally adept as a blocker on rushing plays and as a quarterback protector, was a stabilizing factor throughout the period.

Year
Team
G
1951 New York Yanks
12
1954 Cleveland
12
1955 Cleveland
12
1956 Cleveland
12
1957 Cleveland
12
1958 Cleveland
9
1959 Cleveland
10
1960 Cleveland
12
1961 Cleveland
14
1962 Cleveland
14
Career Total
119
Additional Career Statistics: Rushing: 8 Yds; Kickoff Returns: 1-0; Interceptions: 1-14
Full Name: Michael Joseph McCormack, Jr. 
 
Birthdate: June 21, 1930
 
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
 
Died: November 15, 2013 
 
High School: De La Salle (Kansas City, KS)
 
Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 21, 1984
 
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: July 28, 1984 
 
Presenter: Paul Brown, McCormack’s coach
 
Other Members of Class of 1984: Willie Brown, Charley Taylor, Arnie Weinmeister
 
Pro Career: 10 seasons, 119 games
 
Drafted: 3rd round (34th player overall) in 1951 draft by New York Yanks
 
Transactions: Traded by Baltimore Colts to the Cleveland Browns on March 26, 1953
 
Uniform Number: #74 
 

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