Elroy Hirsch, 1923-2004

01/28/2004

Hall of Famer Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch passed away early today at age 80.

"Elroy Hirsch helped revolutionize the game of pro football as one of the first big-play receivers." commented Hall of Fame President John Bankert. "His contribution to the game will forever be preserved here in Canton. It is at this time, though, that we extend our deepest sympathies to his family during this very difficult time."

Hirsch began his professional football career as a halfback with the Chicago Rockers in the All-America Football Conference. After three seasons with Chicago, he joined the NFL's Los Angeles Rams in 1949. After sitting on the bench for most of his first season in L.A., Hirsch was converted to an end. Teamed with fellow Hall of Fame wideout Tom Fears, the duo took the league by storm.

In 1951, Hirsch rewrote the record book when he amassed an incredible 1,495 yards receiving and scored a league-leading 17 touchdowns, 10 of which were long-yardage bombs.

Hirsch, who was named to the NFL's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1969, caught 387 passes for 7,029 yards and 60 touchdowns during his career.

He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 3, 1968 along with Cliff Battles, Art Donovan, Wayner Millner, Marion Motley, Charley Trippi, and Alex Wojciechowicz.

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