Mel Hein Enshrinement speech

Mel Hein Enshrinement Speech 1963

Presenter: Frank T. Bow

It's a high honor and a great privilege for me to be able to present a great American, distinguished athlete, and a wonderful gentleman, Mel Hein. He established an all-time endurance record for lineman which remains indelibly defiant after more than a quarter of a century. Fifteen seasons in the National Football League. He was not a part time specialized employment. Game after game, year after year, he played both offense and defense. At center he had a shared blocking and grinding attack. As a linebacker he was a pioneer in the pass defense patrol. In almost two hundred games Hein required only one time out in 1941 for a concussion and a broken nose, his only injury in twenty-five years of school and pro ball.

In his final season, age thirty-six, he played sixty-minute games. During the reign at center the Giants won seven Eastern and two World Championships. Hein was named eight straight years as all-pro. He didn't have such a permanent job at Washington State College, he was so versatile that he was named on three All-Americans at three different positions - tackle, guard, and center. The immortal Grantland Rice created the position for him, utility lineman. Mel Hein is now coach at Southern California and lives in Pasadena. I'm delighted to present Mel Hein.

Mel Hein

Thank you very much Congressman Bow. It's an honor for me to be introduced by you. I want to thank the National Football Hall of Fame and you people here in Canton behind the Hall of Fame for having my wife, Florence, and me back here from Los Angeles. We looked forward to it for quite a while and we're really having a lot of fun here. It's an honor for me to be with this selected group, these gentlemen who have been coming up here. Most of us got in last night and most of us got together for a little while last night to compare notes and talk over old times. I've knocked heads against most of these fellows and you should have heard some of the stories that were told last night, and if any of you people doubt that we’re not great you should have been there. That's the way with football whether you 're high school, college, or professional man, the longer you 're away from the sport the greater you become and it thrills me to death to think how great I'll be when I'm a hundred years old. Now I want to thank my coaches and the players of the New York Football Giants for making this honor possible for me. Thank you very much.