The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance have teamed to honor great NFL legends as part of the Hometown Hall of Famers™ program. Legendary quarterback and Class of 1985 enshrinee Joe Namath was honored in a special ceremony in his hometown of Beaver Falls, Pa. on the morning of Saturday, September 10, 2011. The event took place at the Carnegie Free Library.
Namath returned to his roots where he was the star of the Beaver Falls High School football team before embarking on his collegiate career at Alabama and then in the pros as the long-time quarterback of the New York Jets.
He was presented with his Hometown Hall of Famers™ plaque by fellow Beaver Falls native Mark LaNeve, Allstate executive vice president, marketing and sales operations. The plaque will be on permanent display at the library to serve as an inspiration for local residents.
"I grew up idolizing Joe, went to the same grade school and my dad coached him at St. Mary's Catholic School," said LaNeve. "To be here among so many old friends honoring Joe is really a thrill."
Attending the ceremony were community officials and representatives from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Allstate and the Larry Bruno Foundation which inducted Namath, fellow Beaver Falls graduate Jim Mutscheller and the foundation's namesake, former Beaver Falls head coach Larry Bruno, into the inaugural Circle of Achievement at a dinner on Saturday evening.
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In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Joe Namath Hometown Hall of Famer™ road sign will be displayed in the Hall of Achievement at the Carnegie Free Library. The library has been in operation for more than 100 years and serves as the community center, housing the Beaver Falls Historical Museum and the Beaver County Genealogy and Local History Centers.
Namath was a three-sport star at Beaver Falls High School and led the football team to an undefeated season in 1960. He earned a full scholarship to play at the University of Alabama, and was later drafted in the first round of the 1965 American Football League draft by the Jets and by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NFL Draft that year. A highly publicized star, Namath signed with the AFL's Jets with whom he played from 1965 to 1976 before playing one final NFL season with the 1977 Los Angeles Rams. Namath, the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl III, threw for 27,663 yards and 173 TDs in his career. In 1967 he made history when he became the first quarterback ever to pass for 4,000 yards in a season.
Hometown Hall of Famers™ presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate is the Hall of Fame's first nationwide plaque program and will lead into the celebration of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 50th anniversary in August 2012.
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