Dan Reeves Enshrinement speech
Dan Reeves Enshrinement Speech 1967
Presenter: Bob Waterfield
Well ladies and gentlemen, it's a real pleasure for me to be back in Canton. It seems like it's every year that I'm back and it probably will be every year for a while. The man I'm going to introduce to you is really quiet a man. He actually was the first man to move franchise to the west Coast. He moved the Cleveland Rams to Los Angeles which led to all the professional sports in the Southern California area which includes baseball, soccer, hockey, basketball, and everything. That took a lot of courage and a little bit of money, I suppose. I really like him; I work for him - maybe that's the reason. He's had some good pupils too, people like Mr. Pete Rozelle who is now the Commissioner of the National League, Burt Rose who is the General Manager of the New Orleans team.
He's been a fine teacher to a lot of us. He started probably what is now the draft system that has been adopted by almost every team in the league. He was the first one to go into it in such a manner, that we had complete coverage over the United States. Through this he was the first man to have a team that played before a million people in one season. In one year, he had crowds of over 100,000, three times. It's quite an achievement for a man. He went a step further, he was the first man in modern day football to sign a Negro, and then came Jackie Robinson and opened the door to everything. It's really a great pleasure for me to introduce a man that has this kind of stature and I'd like to present to you now, Dan Reeves.
I can't, I kind of feel that it wouldn't be nice if Bob Waterfield felt that way years ago when we were talking contract, but it's still appreciated. I think they have the wrong man here. There's a football player down at Dallas by the name of Dan Reeves, so I think this is a mistake, but I’m very happy and grateful for it. And I'm also grateful for another thing - to go into the Hall of Fame with Bobby Layne, because when Dick McCann locks us up at night we’ll be swinging. Thank you.