Mick Tingelhoff, who starred at center for 17 seasons with the , was nominated as the senior finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015. He was selected by the Hall of Fame’s Senior Committee that met in Canton today.
"It feels great. I thought maybe history forgot me. But, this is a great honor,” said Tingelhoff.
Tingelhoff will join 15 yet-to-be-named modern-era finalists in addition to two contributor finalists from which the Class of 2015 will be selected. The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s selection meeting
will be held on Jan. 31, 2015, in Arizona, the day before Super Bowl XLIX.
Originally signed as a free agent out of the University of Nebraska by the Vikings in 1962, Tingelhoff earned a starting nod at center as a rookie and never relinquished the role for the remainder of his career.
Tingelhoff, at 6’2”, 237 pounds, was known for his durability, toughness, and perseverance. He never missed a game and started all 240 games of his career that ended with his retirement after the 1978 season.
He anchored an offensive line that helped the Vikings claim 10 divisional titles in an 11-season span, and win four NFL/NFC championships. He was voted first-team All-Pro/All-NFL seven straight times from 1964-1970. Additionally, he was named to six consecutive Pro Bowls.
The Seniors Committee is comprised of nine members of the overall selection committee. Through mail vote, the 2015 senior nominees were reduced to a final list of candidates. Then, on a rotating basis, five of the nine members meet at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton to discuss each of the senior candidates and select the finalist. A senior nominee is an individual whose career ended at least 25 years ago.
Tingelhoff must receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists. The Hall’s Selection Committee, at its annual meeting in January will consider 18 finalists, including one senior (Tingelhoff), two contributors, and 15 modern-era candidates for a class no smaller than four or larger than eight.
A bylaws modification to the selection process
was approved earlier this month by which a Contributor – defined as an individual who has “made outstanding contributions to professional football in capacities other than playing or coaching” – will automatically be included among the annual list of finalists for election. The Contributor finalist will also be voted on for election independent of all other finalists.
The Hall of Fame’s Board of Trustees
, in an effort to address the backlog of deserving Contributor candidates, also approved a temporary measure allowing for two Contributor finalists in years one (starting with the Class of 2015), three and five, of the next five years. In years two and four of that same period, there will be just one Contributor finalist. To keep the maximum number of nominees elected at no more than eight per year, the Senior finalists will be reduced from two to one per year in years one, three and five of the same five-year period. In years two and four and each year thereafter, there will be two Senior finalists.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 will be formally enshrined during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in Canton, Ohio next August. The Enshrinement ceremony is televised nationally by the Hall of Fame’s broadcast partners, NFL Network and ESPN.
An all-time list of Senior Nominees
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