Sunday, December 9, 2018

RIP - Tim Rossovich

Tim Rossovich, who played defensive end and middle linebacker for the Eagles from 1968-1971, passed away on December 6, 2018 at age 72.

Rossovich was the Eagles' #1 pick in 1968 from USC. (The Birds also selected his USC teammate Adrian Young in the 3rd round that year.) Tim was immediately installed as the starting left end and remained there until the 2nd month of 1970, when he was moved to middle linebacker. He also made the Pro Bowl in 1969.

After the 1971 season, he was traded to the Chargers for a #1 draft pick (TE Charlie Young). After 2 seasons he returned to Philadelphia as a member of the WFL's Philadelphia Bell from 1974-75.

After a final season (1976) back in the NFL with the Oilers, Tim retired and became a movie and TV actor.

Besides football and acting, Rosso was known for stunts like eating glass and setting his hair on fire.

Philadelphia Eagles obituary

Washington Post obituary

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Mel Tom - DE

Mel Tom was a defensive end who played 7 seasons for the Eagles, 5+ as a starter.

He was their 6th-round pick in 1966, but saw his first action in 1967. (I assume he was on the taxi-squad in '66.)

Early in his career he was listed as a linebacker (see 2nd photo below), which may explain why he wore #58 for his first 3 seasons, rather than a number in the 80's. (In 1970 he switched to the more high-profile #99.)

After starting 5 games in 1967, Mel became the full-time regular right defensive end for the next 5 seasons, starting all but 1 game from 1968 to 1972. His steady presence at RDE for those 5 years was in stark contrast to the revolving lineup elsewhere on the D-line, especially the two left-side positions.

In 1969 Mel led the NFL in safeties (one!)

After starting the first 4 games of the 1973 season, Tom was dealt to the Bears for a 5th round pick in 1974, which became DT Jim Cagle.

Mel started 8 games for the Bears in '73, and started 7 of his 14 games the following year. He retired in 1975 after playing 6 games.

He passed away in 2006 at age 64.

Here is Mel Tom's lone Eagles' card, from 1973. He also had a card in 1975, as a Bear.

Where's Waldo Mel?

Friday, November 30, 2018

Mark Nordquist - G

Mark Nordquist played guard for the Eagles for 7 seasons - 5 as a starter. What can I say about him? If he were a baseball pitcher, the phrase "he eats innings" would be apropos.

Nordquist was drafted by the Eagles in the 5th round of the 1968 draft, after their earlier picks of Tim Rossovich, Cyril Pinder, Adrian Young, and Mike Dirks. (Mark was taken 6 picks ahead of guard Blaine Nye, drafted by the Cowboys.)

With incumbent right guard Jim Skaggs missing all of 1968 with injuries, Nordquist started all 14 games for the Birds as a rookie.

After spending '69 and '70 on the bench (behind Skaggs), Nordquist took over the starting right guard spot for all of 1971-74, starting 14, 13, 14, and 10 games in that 4-year span.

In April 1975 he was traded to the Bears for 2 draft picks, one of which became fullback Mike Hogan. Nordquist started 1 season for the Bears, then played only 1 game in 1976 before retiring.

These are Nordquist's three Eagles cards ('72, '73, '74). He was the Eagles' starting right guard from 1971-74, but Topps has incorrectly listed him as a center on his first 2 cards. (Although he was also the team's backup center in 1971 and for parts of '69 and '72.)

Where's Waldo Mark?

Friday, November 16, 2018

King Hill - QB/P

King Hill was the Eagles' backup quarterback for 8 seasons (1961-68) but only started more than 4 games once (6 in 1963), He was also their punter from 1961-63, and shared the punting with Sam Baker after that.

When we Philadelphia-area kids were playing backyard football in the late 1960s, someone always wanted to be King Hill. Why? I guess because no one liked Eagles' starting QB Norm Snead, and "King Hill" was a cool name, so... yeah...

Hill was the #1 overall draft pick in 1958 (by the Chicago Cardinals). How did he become a career backup (for the 1960s' Eagles, no less)?

After riding the bench in 1958 behind veteran Lamar McHan and fellow rookie QB M.C. Reynolds in '58, Hill started 10 games for the Cards in 1959, but returned to the bench for all but 1 game in 1960.

After the retirement of starting QB Norm Van Brocklin, the Eagles traded a first-round pick to acquire Hill before the 1961 season.  Sonny Jurgensen would be the starting QB for the next 3 seasons, relegating Hill to punting chores only (and a rare 6 starts at QB in 1963).

Jurgensen was swapped for Norm Snead after 1963, but Hill would remain the team's #2 quarterback for the rest of his Eagles' career.

Midway through the 1968 season, he was traded to the Vikings for a 3rd-round pick that would become safety Bill Bradley. Hill didn't see any QB action with the Vikings, but took over the punting chores from tight end Billy Martin.

King returned to the Cardinals for the 1969 season (as a punter only, since they had Charley Johnson and Jim Hart in the house) then retired after the season.

He was later a coach for the Oilers and Saints, and a scout for the Eagles.

Hill passed away in 2012 at age 75.

Here are King Hill's 1962 and 1964 cards, and also 3 custom cards that I purchased from RetroCards ('63, '65, '66).

Where's Waldo King?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Timmy Brown - HB

Timmy Brown played for the Eagles for 8 seasons (1960-67) and was their starting halfback for 5 seasons. He also was a kick returner from 1960-67, and punt returner from 1960-64.

He was signed as a free agent before the 1960 season, after being cut by the Packers after his rookie season.

Brown was quite prolific as a kick returner, leading the NFL twice in returns, return yards, and return touchdowns. In 1961 one of his TDs was a 105-yard return, longest in the NFL.

In 1963 he also attempted 3 passes, completing 1 for an 11-yard touchdown.

Timmy made the Pro Bowl in '62, '63, and '65.

In his final season with the Birds (1967), Brown only started 4 of his 7 games, and missed 7 games due to injury. After the season he was traded to the Colts for cornerback Alvin Haymond.

I have all 4 of Brown's Philly Gum cards (1964-67).

After football, Brown became an actor, and appeared in the M*A*S*H movie and a few of the early TV episodes. On the TV show, he played "Spearchucker Jones", the role played by Fred "The Hammer" Williamson in the movie.

Where's Waldo Tim?

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Ben Hawkins - WR

Ben Hawkins was the Eagles' 3rd-round pick in 1966, and played 8 seasons with the Birds. He was a starting wideout in all but his last season, and played every game during those first 7 seasons.

In 1967, Ben led the NFL with 1265 receiving yards. In 1968 he set a team record with a 92-yard touchdown reception.

In his final season with Philly (1973) he started the first 4 games, then missed the remainder of the season with a broken leg.

Hawkins wrapped up his NFL career with the Browns in 1974, and played with the WFL's Philadelphia Bell in 1975.

He passed away last year at age 73.

Here are all of Ben's cards ('70, '73, '74)

When I was a teen, I had a poster of Hawkins in my room. (I don't remember if it was this one, but here is what I found on the web). He was famous for always playing with his chinstrap unbuckled.

Ben Hawkins story

Where's Waldo Ben?

Monday, October 29, 2018

Bill Bradley - S

Bill Bradley was the Eagles' free safety for the first half of the 1970s.

He was their 3rd pick in the 1969 draft, and as a rookie he led the team in kick returns and punt returns (while being the only punt returner of significance), and also took over the punting chores from long-time veteran Sam Baker, who focused only on kicking in his final season (1969).

1970 was his only season with the Eagles where he had neither kick or punt returns, and was only the team's punter and backup safety. He punted in 12 of the 14 games (missing 2 games with injuries).

In 1971 Bradley became the Eagles' full-time free safety. He made the Pro Bowl for the next 3 seasons, and was voted 1st team All-Pro in '71 and '72. Bill led the NFL in interceptions in 1971 and 1972, and also led the league in yards after interceptions in 1971. Oh, he also resumed his role as primary punt returner, leading the team in that category from 1971-74.

When did he get a break? On 4th downs! After 1970, he no longer punted, except during 1972 and for part of 1973.

Here are his '72, '73, '74, and '75 cards.

Bradley played every game from 1971-76, and started all 14 games each of those years except in '75 and '76, when he started 10 and 12 games.

Bill remained the team's starting free safety through the end of the 1976 season, then was traded to the Vikings in June 1977. He ended up playing 4 games for the Cardinals in '77, his final season.

Where's Waldo Bill?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Dave Lloyd - MLB

Dave Lloyd played for the Eagles from 1963 to 1970. (Earlier, he also played for the Browns and Lions.)

Lloyd was the Eagles' starting middle linebacker for the first 7 of his 8 seasons with the team. He played in 93 games over his first 7 seasons with the Birds, starting every one of them.

He also started the first 5 games in his 8th season, then was relegated to the bench in favor of Tim Rossovich, who was moved from defensive end to middle linebacker. To earn his keep, Lloyd played on special teams for the remainder of his final season - specifically, he was the kicker on the kickoff team (but not for field goals or extra points).

Lloyd made the Pro Bowl in 1969, his last as a full-time player.

Here are all of Dave's football cards ('65, '67, '68, '69, '70). In 1968 Topps resumed issuing NFL cards for the first time since 1963. All the NFL players in the first series are shown in old photographs (in Lloyd's case, with the Lions). AFL players, and NFL players in series 2 have more recent photos.

Where's Waldo Dave?

Friday, September 28, 2018

RIP - Tommy McDonald

Eagles' HOF flanker Tommy McDonald passed away on September 24, 2018 at age 84.

McDonald was the Birds' #3 pick in the 1957 draft. He was the starting flanker from 1959-1963, making the Pro Bowl in 4 of those 5 seasons.

He also made the Pro Bowl in 1958, having led the NFL with 9 touchdowns while playing in 10 games, but only starting 3 times. McDonald led the NFL in yards (1144) and TDs (13) in 1961.

McDonald and Sonny Jurgensen were both traded away following the 1963 season.

McDonald was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

NBC Sports obituary

New York Times obituary

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Tom Woodeshick - FB

Tom Woodeshick played fullback for the Eagles for 9 seasons, but (surprising to me now) he was the primary starter for only 3 of those seasons.

Woody was drafted by the Eagles in the 8th round in 1963, and played behind others for 4 seasons (Clarence Peaks in '63, Earl Gros from 1964-66). He did start 4 games in 1966, in place of Gros (who would be traded to the Steelers after the season for Gary Ballman).

Tom started 13, 14, and 12 games from 1967-69, and made the Pro Bowl in 1968. (It's amazing that ANY Eagles made the Pro Bowl in 1968, having started off the season 0-12!) He also led the Eagles in rushing each of those 3 seasons (670, 947, 831 yards).

I see now that he played only 6 games in 1970, and started all 6. So I can infer that he missed the other 8 games due to injury, and otherwise would have been the starter all season. (At least he was owed that, having led the team in rushing for 3 seasons.)

Woodeshick returned in 1971 to play 11 games, but started only 5 of them (with 1970's rookie starter Lee Bouggess starting 7 games at fullback in '71).

Tom was cut at the end of training camp in 1972, and was signed by the Cardinals in late-September. After playing 4 games, St. Louis cut him in late-October, ending his 10-year career.

In 1970, he appeared in the movie "M*A*S*H" in the football game scene.

Woodeshick had cards in the '69, '70, and '71 sets. RetroCards also makes a 1966-style card for him (shown above).

I have collected all the 1966 Eagles cards sold by RetroCards:
King Hill - QB
Tom Woodeshick - RB
Ollie Matson - RB
Jim Skaggs - G
Lane Howell - T
Don Hultz - DE
Mike Morgan - LB
Fred Whittingham - LB
Team Leaders (Norm Snead photo)

I also have 2 other King Hill cards they made ('63, '65).

Where's Waldo Tom?