Colts Hall of Famers
The Colts have some of the biggest names out there in terms of players who have made it into the NFL’s Hall of Fame. Making it to the Hall of Fame is the largest honor for any retired player in the game, and one that only the best of the best will ever accomplish. As far as the Colts go, they have a total of ten players who have made it into the NFL Hall of Fame. While some of the players out of these ten may be a bit unknown to the younger generation of football fan, there are quite a few names that stick out of this list as well. We are going to take a look at each player and explain a bit more in-depth about their accomplishments, and talk about why they made it into the Hall of Fame. The players will be in order of when they were inducted into the Hall of Fame, with the earliest player being listed first.
Art Donovan- Defensive Tackle, Inducted in 1968
Art Donovan earned his nickname “The Bulldog” thanks to his incredibly strong defensive playing style. Donovan’s career began playing for three teams who each went out of business after one season. The first season was with the Baltimore Colts, and after three seasons, he ended up back with the Colts which is where he went to five consecutive Pro-Bowls between 1953 and 1957. He also helped his Baltimore team win back to back Championships in 1958 and 1959, and was a four-time All-Pro selection. Donovan’s number 70 jersey was retired, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1968.
Gino Marchetti- Defensive End, Inducted in 1972
Marchetti was widely considered to be one of the best defensive ends to ever play the game. He was also a huge part of the Colts back to back Championship wins in 1958 and 1959, and impressed both fans and coaches with his ability to rush the passer and defend the run. Marchetti was actually moved to offensive tackle early in his career for one season, but was soon switched back to defensive end. He had an incredible run of 11 straight Pro-Bowl appearances from 1954 to 1964, and was a nine-time First-team All-Pro selection from 1956 to 1964. Marchetti’s number 89 jersey was retired, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
Jim Parker- Offensive Tackle/Offensive Guard, Inducted in 1973
Parker was a first round selection by the Baltimore Colts, and was an incredibly important part of the protection of quarterback Johnny Unitas. He played offensive tackle from 1957 to 1962, and moved to offensive guard in 1963. As a tackle, he made it to five Pro-Bowls, and as a guard he made it to three Pro-Bowls. Parker was widely considered to be one of the best lineman in the NFL at protecting the quarterback, and he was awarded a selection into the Hall of Fame in 1973; which was the first year that he was eligible. On top of his eight Pro-Bowls, and two Super Bowls in 1958 and 1959, Parker was also a ten-time All-Pro selection and his number 77 jersey is retired today.
Raymond Berry- Wide Receiver, Inducted in 1973
Raymond Berry was a great story of a player who had to fight to get catches through his college career, as he played during a time where the majority of the play calls were running plays. He was a 20th round selection in the 1954 Draft, and was the Baltimore Colts starting wide receiver by his second year in the NFL. Berry led the NFL in receptions three times, and had one of the most impressive stats to ever be put out on any wide receiver: Berry had dropped a total of only TWO passes in his entire career. He was a six-time Pro-Bowl selection, and a six-time All-Pro selection, but most important was his major role in both of the Colts’ NFL Championships in 1958 and 1959. Berry also fumbled only one time in his entire career, one of the many other reasons why his number 82 jersey was retired, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973.
Lenny Moore- Running Back, Inducted in 1975
Moore was an incredible combo running back, who could both run the ball incredibly well, and also catch the ball out of the back field. In his first season in the NFL, he won the NFL Rookie of the Year award with the Colts, and fans knew that this was the start of something special. Moore had 40+ catches in five consecutive years, and helped lead his Colts team to back to back NFL Championships in 1958 and 1959. He was both a seven-time Pro-Bowler, and a seven-time All-Pro selection; which helped lead to his number 24 jersey being retired, and his induction into the football Hall of Fame in 1973. Moore is also the only player to have at least 40 rushing and 40 receiving touchdowns.
Weeb Ewbank- Head Coach, Inducted in 1978
Weeb Ewbank was the coach who led those two huge Baltimore Colts NFL Championships in 1958 and 1959. While NFL Head Coaches don’t post many statistics, he was the AP NFL Coach of the Year in 1958, and he coached the Colts from 1954 to 1962. After his impressive stretch with the Colts, he moved on to coach the New York Jets, and also won a Super Bowl with them as well. Throughout all of his years in the NFL Ewbank posted a 134-130-7 overall record, and had a very strong 4-1 postseason record. Ewbank was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.
Johnny Unitas- Quarterback, Inducted in 1979
Johnny Unitas, who was also known as “Johnny U” and “The Golden Arm”, was widely considered to be one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. He won the MVP award three times, in 1959, 1964, and 1967, and currently holds the record of throwing a touchdown pass in 47 games in a row. Unitas was the leader of the Colts back to back Championship wins in 1958 and 1959, and was a ten-time Pro Bowl selection in his career. He also won Super Bowl V in 1970, and was a six time First-team All-Pro selection as well. Unitas’s career began with quite a few doubters, but when he was given a shot at with a tryout by the Colts; he earned his spot on the team. Today, Johnny U’s number 19 jersey is retired, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.
Ted Hendricks- Linebacker, Inducted in 1990
Ted Hendricks was one of the best linebackers to play in the NFL, and he played for three different teams during his career. Hendricks was a second round pick by the Baltimore Colts in 1969, and was originally a defensive end, but was converted to linebacker by coach Don Shula. He was an eight-time Pro-Bowl selection, and was a large part in the Colts’ 1970 Super Bowl winning season. During this season, the Colts defense allowed only two rushing touchdowns throughout the entire season, which was tied for first in the NFL. Hendricks was a four time First-team All-Pro selection, and was traded to the Green Bay Packers after five seasons with the Colts. He went on to win four total Super Bowls, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.
John Mackey- Tight End, Inducted in 1992
John Mackey was the go to tight end for the Baltimore Colts and Johnny Unitas during Unitas’s final seasons. Mackey was different than most tight ends who caught mainly short touchdowns, as six of his nine touchdowns in 1966 were for more than 50 yards. Throughout his entire career, he averaged 15.8 yards per reception, which is incredibly high for the tight end position. Mackey was so quick for a tight end, that he was even used as a kick returner for one season. He was a part of the Colts Super Bowl V victory, and was a five time Pro-Bowl selection. Mackey was also a three time All-Pro selection, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.
Eric Dickerson- Running Back, Inducted in 1999
Eric Dickerson is currently the seventh leading rusher all time, and while he spent his career with four different teams; he made an impact with each team that he played for. Dickerson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts from the Los Angeles Rams in a huge three team deal. He instantly made an impact with the Colts, and led them to their first playoff berth in ten years. In his second season with the Colts he led the league in rushing. Dickerson’s final years with the Colts were up and down, and had a major contract dispute which led to him leaving the Colts after the 1991 season. Dickerson was a six-time Pro-Bowl selection, and a five-time First-team All-Pro selection. He also broke the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single season with 2,105 total rushing yards. Dickerson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.