Les Richter Enshrinement speech
Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium
August 6, 2011
START OF PRESENTER VIDEO
In 1952, Les Richter was the second player chosen overall in the NFL draft by the New York Yanks. But within a week the franchise folded and Richter's rights were sold to the Dallas Texans, who then traded him to the Los Angeles Rams, for eleven players still the largest trade for one player in league history. After serving two years in the Army, Richter began playing for the Rams in 1954.
Jon Richter (presenter):
He was a big man in his era, 6-3, 240; he was not one to pump his chest. He was more concerned with playing the game right and making sure the fans got what they payed for. He thought about the game and didn't just go through the motions. Just a real desire to play hard every play, and do the best to help the team win every game possible.
Richter also played a significant amount on the offensive line for the Rams and was the team's placekicker for five seasons twice leading the team in scoring. As a linebacker he went to the Pro Bowl in eight of his nine seasons in the league.
His responsibility was to plug up the middle and block on offense and you know get on the field for special teams. He believed you had to play with a little hurt and his job was to play football and worry about the injury later.
Not even an equipment malfunction could force Richter out of the game.
He was on the Coliseum floor and something wasn't right with his shirt or his pants so he dropped them down just below his rear end and fixed whatever he had to fix and he didn't even think twice of what he was doing. It was just I gotta fix it and I'll fix it right here.
Despite his physically punishing style of play Richter never missed a game due to injury in his entire 112 game career.
When he first started with the Rams there was no facemasks. You know the first facemasks were a one inch strip of plastic. He believed that desire was about 80 percent of your ability and if you had the desire then you could overcome the other things.
After football Richter developed a second career operating Riverside International Raceway. He went on to become one of the most influential people in auto racing.
I grew up with a father that was a celebrity, recognized everywhere we went both from football and later auto racing. He led by example, his love for what he did and his work ethic were great teaching tools. He was a pretty imposing figure when I was young and then he was a friend and confidant as I got older. My father was pretty humble. A lot things weren't about him and so this is my opportunity to brag on his behalf. We lost him in June of last year. I think my father is looking down he knows he's in the Hall of Fame and he's very honored and happy. It's a great end to his career, he deserved it, earned it, and we're very proud, all of us, my mom, my sister and I. I'm honored to accept, on behalf of my father Les Richter, his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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