Art Rooney Enshrinement speech
Art Rooney Enshrinement Speech 1964
Presenter: David Lawrence
The Reverend Clergy, Justice Douglas, civil authorities, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Let me begin by congratulating these great athletes, who by their faith and dogged deeds have won a place in this great Hall of Fame. It is my pleasure to give this award to my close personal friend, a friend I have known for over fifty years.
Art Rooney came into football back in 1933. He has given more to sports and asked for less than any man in the game. He is the all-time, all-around sportsman, participant, promoter, fan, and benefactor. He was a good minor league outfielder, won amateur boxing titles, and scrimmaged on rocky semi-pro gridirons. When it was possible and maybe when it wasn't, he financed financially shaky baseball clubs, backed big boxing shows, sponsored amateur athletes, and fed many a hungry fighter.
But what did he ever do for pro football? Kept it breathing in its very cradle, Pittsburgh, when no one else would. Kept it from floundering in World War II by fielding a team when others shied away. Kept it rise from raggedy days with top price magic names such as Whizzer White, Jock Sutherland, Bill Dudley. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to place the name of Arthur Rooney, a man without an enemy, in Football's Hall of Fame.
Governor Lawrence, fellow members of the Hall of Fame, reverend clergy, ladies and gentlemen. I am indebted and grateful to the men that choose me for this great honor. To the people of Pittsburgh and all the sports fans everywhere, I owe my thanks.
To the men in cities and towns that pioneered professional football, both promoters and players alike that will never receive this honor, all of us who are a part of the game today are indebted and owe our thanks. May God bless and keep them.