Jim Parker dead at 71


Jim Parker, the first full-time offensive lineman elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, has died.  The Class of 1973 enshrinee passed away on Monday morning at the age of 71.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Jim’s passing,” commented John Bankert, the Hall of Fame’s president.  “He was without a doubt, one of the greatest linemen of not only his era but of all-time.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Parker, a 6’3”, 273-pound lineman, spent half of his career at tackle and the other half as a guard.  Noted for his superb blocking, he specialized in protecting Johnny Unitas and other Colts quarterbacks during his career with Baltimore that spanned from 1957 to 1967.

He earned all-pro honors eight straight seasons, 1958-1965, and also was elected to the Pro Bowl eight times.  The former number one draft pick of the Colts out of the Ohio State, Parker is a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team as a guard.

Parker was elected to the Hall of Fame on January 13, 1973 and formerly inducted into the Hall on July 28 of that year along with teammate Raymond Berry, and Detroit Lions linebacker Joe Schmidt.


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