Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman and Class of 1996 enshrinee Dan Dierdorf, a six-time Pro Bowl selection with the St. Louis Cardinals, was honored Friday, Nov. 2 as a Hometown Hall of Famer™ by the Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company
. In front of GlenOak High School’s student body and staff, friends and family and members of the Canton community, Dierdorf accepted a historic hometown plaque that will live inside the high school, just a few miles away from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as a permanent extension of the Hall of Fame.
Upon his arrival, Dierdorf was greeted with balloons, cheerleaders and posters with photos of his legendary football career as he walked the green turf carpet laid out by the students.
After event emcee, Superintendent Brent May, greeted the auditorium of about 500 guests, the national anthem was performed by one of GlenOak’s students and a highlight video of Dierdorf’s playing days was shown.
Presenting Dierdorf with his plaque was longtime friend and Vice President of Marketing/Sponsorship for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Dave Motts. He spoke of Dierdorf’s road to the Hall of Fame emphasizing how it was destiny for Canton’s own hometown hero.
After the plaque unveiling, Dierdorf gratefully took the stage and expressed his pride in his hometown and alma mater. He discussed the significance of growing up just a few miles from the Pro Football Hall of Fame and now being a part of such an elite group saying, “How can you make this stuff up? Here I stand today, a Hall of Famer myself, having been inducted 16 years ago at the very same building I watched come to life as a kid. It is truly an honor to share this plaque and history with GlenOak.”
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Dan Dierdorf “Hometown Hall of Famer™” road sign will be on display in Canton.
“Today GlenOak High School becomes the 45th school in the nation to be a Hometown Hall of Fame plaque recipient,” said George Veras, president and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises. “This plaque really commemorates you. This ceremony is a testament for what you feel for the game and for Dan who is not just a Hall of Famer on the field, but also a Hall of Famer in the broadcast booth.”
Also in attendance was local Allstate representative Ted Stefanov, members of the Canton Chamber of Commerce, and staff and board members from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“It is a privilege to honor the legacy of a professional football legend like Dan Dierdorf and brings his family to where it all began – and where the Pro Football Hall of Fame lives – here in Canton.” said Stefanov.
A second-round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971, Dierdorf possessed all the necessary attributes for an outstanding lineman. He played both guard and tackle his first two seasons in the NFL before settling down as the Cardinals’ permanent right tackle in his third season. Equally effective as a blocker on both running and passing plays, Dierdorf was the ring-leader of the Cardinals’ line that permitted the fewest sacks in the NFC for five straight years in the 1970s. He was voted three times by the NFL Players Association as the best overall blocker in the league from 1976 to 1978. Dierdorf is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
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