Ex-Eagle Pihos in football 'Hall'
''''' Ex-Eagle Pihos in football 'Hall' CANTON, Ohio, (AP)-Hugh McElhenny, Tom Fears, Pete Pihos and Jack Christiansen, four stars of the 1950s, have been elected to the Professional Football Hall of Fame. Dick Gallagher, director of the Hall of Fame, announced Monday the result of the voting by a board of selectors from pro football cities who met in New Orleans the day after the Super Bowl. The four new members will be inducted formally in ceremonies Aug. 8 in Canton after which the New Orleans Saints, coached by Fears, will play the Minnesota Vikings in the annual Hall of Game preseason game. The new men will bring the total membership to 63 pro grid greats, retired at least five years. McELHENNY, known as "The King," was a running back. Christiansen was a defensive back and both Fears and Pihos were ends. After starring at the University of Washington, McElhenny was the No. 1 draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers and took the National Football League by storm in his rookie year, 1952. A 13-year pro veteran McElhenny played with San Francisco, Minnesota, New York and Detroit in a career stretching through the 1964 sea son. His 10.69-yard average on combined attempts-rushing, re ceiving, returns and intercep tions made in 1952 still stands second in the all time NFL manual. He now handles the color for the 49ers' radio broadcasts and lives in Los Altos, Calif. Christiansen, graduate of Col orado State University, played for the Detroit Lions from 1951 through 1958 and was the leader of a defensive backfield unit that helped the Lions win four divisional titles and three league championships. He also was an outstanding punt return r I Ih-jj"- Pete Pihos Hugh McElhenny Saints when they were organized in 1967 after spending eight years as an assistant. Pihos, a product of the University of Indiana, spent his entire pro career with the Philadelphia Eagles for whom he played from 1947 through 1955. He joined the Eagles as a two-way end in 1947 and starred for the 1948 and 1949 championship teams, earning all-NFL honors as both a defensive specialist in 1952 and as an offensive player in his last - j three years. Pihos now lives in "'it i Richmond. Va.. where hp is a McELHENNY said he was "very excited" about his election to the Hall of Fame and added, "This is the ultimate for , ; , a pro football player. This is it. There are no more touchdowns : to be made." He added, "It goes to prove to me that football was awful good to me. This honor bestowed on me relates tq all the fine ball players I played with from high school on up to the pros." Christiansen said, "I think everybody that plays would like to think he has an opportunity to get into the Hall of Fame. I'm proud and honored that people thought enough of me to nominate me and I'm grateful to the sportswriters who voted for me." Jack Christiansen specialist and still holds the single season record average of 21.47 yards in 1952. A head coach of the 49ers for five years, Christiansen is on the coaching staff at Stanford. FEARS played for the Los Angeles Rams for nine years and led the league in pass receiving in his first three seasons. His 84 catches in 1950 still Tom Fears is second high for a single season in the NFL and his 18 catches against Green Bay in the same year still is the record. Fears teamed up with Norm Van Brocklin on a 73- yard bomb that gave Los An geles its only league title in 1951. He was one of the princi pals in the Rams' famed three-jend offense which started a new i trend and became coach of the IN Richmond, Pihos said "It was such a shock, but it made me feel wonderful." Told who was going into the Hall of Fame with him, he said "Hey, that's some kind of group. Christiansen. Fears and McElhennv were three really great football players. Pihos said. "I nlaved to win. and when I came up from the Eagles, most of the euvs on the club really wanted to be great." He said if he had it to do over again, he would "never play defense again."