Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve Its History, Promote Its Values & Celebrate Excellence Everywhere
(Dartmouth)...6'0'', 207...Edward Francis Healey, Jr. . .Three-year end at Dartmouth. . .Left coaching job to seek tryout with Rock Island in new league, 1920. . . Converted to tackle as pro. . .Sold to Bears for $100, 1922 - first player sale in NFL. . .Became perennial All-Pro with Bears. . . Rugged, two-way star. . .Called "most versatile tackle ever" by Halas. . .Starred in Bears' long barnstorming tour after 1925 season. . . Born December 28, 1894, in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. . .Died December 9, 1978, at age of 83.
When Ed Healey, who had only average success as an end at Dartmouth College, heard of a new football league being formed in 1920, he took an overnight train to Rock Island, Illinois, to try out with the Independents. He faced the Chicago Tigers in his first game and played well enough that the management asked to join the team on a permanent basis.
In 1922, while playing against George Halas, the player-coach of the Chicago Bears, Healey dominated his opponent so thoroughly Halas decided he had to have this player on his team. After the game, he bought Healey for $100. Healey was elated to get a raise to $100 a game but was most excited that the Bears had a clubhouse. ''At Rock Island," Ed explained, "we had no showers and seldom a trainer. At Wrigley Field, we had a nice warm place to dress and nice warm showers."
Throughout his NFL career, Healey was a true warrior. Halas often called him "the most versatile tackle in history." He was an all-league pick five times during his eight-year NFL career. Blessed with good speed for a tackle, Healey was involved in at least two unforgettable plays as a Bear. In 1924, "Big Ed" ran more than 30 yards to nail his own teammate, who had run the wrong way with an intercepted pass, just short of the wrong goal line.
Two years later during the Bears' long barnstorming tour that featured the famous Red Grange, Healey made a touchdown-saving play before 60,000 fans, a play he called his greatest pro football thrill. Los Angeles All-Stars running ace George Wilson broke through the Bears line and into the open, but Healey hurdled several of his own teammates and caught Wilson from behind after a long chase.
Full Name: Edward Francis Healey, Jr.
Birthdate: December 28, 1894
Birthplace: Indian Orchard, Massachusetts
High School: Springfield Classical (Mass.)
Died: December 9, 1978
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: September 6, 1964
Presenter: Harry Stuhldreher, Member of Notre Dame's four horsemen
Other Members of Class of 1964: Jimmy Conzelman, Clarke Hinkle, Link Lyman, Mike Michalske, Art Rooney, George Trafton
Pro Career: 8 seasons, 89 games
Drafted: Healey played prior to the NFL draft being implemented
Uniform Number: 16
Ed Healey Enshrinement Speech 1964
Presenter: Mr. Harry Stuhldreher
Thank you very much Ken. Distinguished dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen all of you. As all of you football fans back in this country know, there is nothing more American than a game of football. It is my rare privilege to be able to introduce to you an All-American from Dartmouth, later played with the Rock Island team, and Chicago Bears and for many years now has resided in the Notre Dame area. And Notre Dame wouldn't miss any tricks, so they invited him to be a voluntary coach to the various staffs over these many years’ past. More recently he has been inducted into the Notre Dame Monogram Club as an honorary member, which is a distinction for his long, long service. I present to you a great All-American in every respect, Dartmouth, Rock Island, Chicago Bears - Ed Healey.
Thank you, Harry. Folks, dignitaries. It's surely a pleasure and an honor to be here today. I’d like very much to thank the citizenry of Canton that made this great edifice possible. I'd like to thank also the Board of Selectors that chose me to be honored on this particular occasion. I deeply appreciate this honor, and I want to thank you one and all.