Frank Gatski, 1919-2005
Frank Gatski, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s famed Class of 1985, passed away on Tuesday night at the age of 86.
A stellar center for the Cleveland Browns from 1946 to 1956, Gatski helped the team to unprecedented success during that era. He finished his Hall of Fame career with one final season with the Detroit Lions.
“Frank was truly one of those unsung heroes. As an offensive lineman, he certainly didn’t grab much of the limelight,” commented the Hall of Fame’s Interim Executive Director Ron Dougherty. “However, undoubtedly his tenacious play was an integral part of Cleveland’s offense that helped the Browns dominate the pro football scene in the 1940s and 1950s. His dedication to the game was demonstrated by the fact that he never missed a game or practice throughout his high school, college, or pro career.
“Our sincere condolences go out to Frank’s family,” continued Dougherty.
Gatski, nicknamed “Gunner,” enjoyed winning throughout his career as he played in 11 championship games in 12 pro seasons. His teams won eight of those title bouts.
Gatski was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on January 19, 1985 and formally enshrined on August 3 of that year along with Joe Namath, Pete Rozelle, O.J. Simpson, and Roger Staubach.
Frank was a regular in Canton and rarely missed returning for the annual enshrinement ceremonies. “He loved the Hall of Fame,” his son Jimmy offered.