The NFL’s centenarians

 Ralph Horween  

Ace Parker may be the first member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to celebrate his 100 birthday but he is not the National Football League’s first centenarian. He is one of four former NFL players to reach the milestone age.

Ralph Horween, a back for the Chicago Cardinals from 1921-23, hit the century mark in 1996. Horween, who died in 1997, still has his impact felt around the NFL today. After he left the playing field he and his brother Arnold, who also played for and coached the Cardinals, inherited the family’s leather-tanning business. That business, today named the Horween Leather Company, has been the exclusive provider of the leather used by Wilson to create NFL footballs for more than 70 years.

Tom Dickinson who played in the NFL’s inaugural season in 1920 with the Detroit Heralds died at 102 in 1999. Sam Dana played one year in the NFL under the name of Sam Salemi with the 1928 New York Yankees. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 104. Dana was the guest of the Hall of Fame for Senior Citizens Day in 2003. See photos from the event>>>

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