Joe Perry cried when he was put into the Hall of Fame. Very humble man - great player.
Apr 30th, 2011, 07:36 PM
Thanks for posting this article. Really interesting stuff:
In Perry’s time, fullbacks were some of the game’s biggest stars. They were every-down players who were required to run, catch and block. Like many of the great runners, Perry had excellent vision and balance. He could run inside or outside and had outstanding speed and acceleration. He was also tough and competitive, as exemplified in this story related by Paul Zimmerman in “The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football” (1984):
The best series I ever saw a runner have came in a game between the 49ers and the old AAFC Buffalo Bills in 1949, Joe Perry’s second year with the Niners. Perry had been tackled, and after the play Rocco Pirro, a player as mean as his name, walked by and casually gave Perry a little kick in the head. It took three guys to hold him back, and Frankie Albert, clever little devil that he was, gave Perry the ball eight straight times, and I’ve never seen such uncontrolled violence in a runner.
Perry was part of an important group of players who helped integrate pro football in the post-war period. It wasn’t easy, on the field or off. As he told Piascik: “You had two or three bigots on every team so you heard stuff just about every game.” Lou Spadia, the 49ers general manager during this period, told Michael MacCambridge for “America’s Game” (2004):
When Joe Perry joined us, I couldn’t get a cab for him in Baltimore… He couldn’t stay with us, which he understood. And I was assigned the job of getting him out to this black doctor’s home. And we were standing outside the Lord Baltimore Hotel and I’d wave for a cab to come, and the cab would come by, and we’d start to get in and the cab driver would say, ‘I’ll take you, but not the —-.’ Finally, I had to call the doctor, and he came down and got him.
Condolences to his family naturally.
And a big :hatoff: to Perry. Shame the NFL never saw fit to take care of these players and give them proper pensions, lasting health care and benefits. A real shame... :tape: