Charley Trippi First to Step Under 'Gold Jacket Spotlight'

Charley Trippi First to Step Under 'Gold Jacket Spotlight'

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In 1947, the spotlight of professional football shined brightest on Charley Trippi, a two-sport collegiate standout who would spurn offers from several Major League Baseball teams, opting instead to play football for future Hall of Fame owner Charles Bidwell in Chicago.

Trippi’s initial four-year, $100,000 contract — a record amount at the time in the National Football League — drew national attention.

He might have been underpaid.

In his rookie season, Trippi helped the Cardinals to their first title in more than two decades. His performance in the spotlight of the 1947 NFL championship game didn’t disappoint, either. He recorded 206 all-purpose yards that included 102 yards on two punt returns, one for a 75-yard touchdown, and a 44-yard rushing touchdown in the Cardinals’ 28-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on frozen Comiskey Park turf in Chicago.

Trippi was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968, and this week the Hall is shining renewed light on his career. The oldest living member of the Hall — and second oldest ever — is the first enshrinee to be honored in a new, weekly feature called “Gold Jacket Spotlight.”

From Sunday through Saturday, the Hall will highlight the lives and careers of one “Gold Jacket” — a living Hall of Famer — with tributes across all of its social media platforms and in the Museum, where the player (or coach or contributor) will be featured in a special area near the Hall of Fame Gallery.


The goals of this new program are simple and match pillars of the Hall’s Mission: to honor heroes of the game and to preserve its history.

Follow along each week on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as the Hall puts another Legend of the Game in its Gold Jacket Spotlight.

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