Jim Parker (American football)

Jim Parker (American football)

Infobox NFLretired
name=Jim Parker

position=Offensive Lineman
birthdate=birth date|1934|4|3
Macon, Georgia
deathdate=death date and age|2005|7|18|1934|4|3
Columbia, Maryland
college=Ohio State
* Baltimore Colts (1957-1967)
stat1label=Games played
stat3label=Fumble Recoveries
* 8x Pro Bowl selection (1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965)
* 10x All-Pro selection (1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966)
* NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
* NFL 1950s All-Decade Team
* 1956 Outland Trophy
* Baltimore Colts #77 Retired

James Thomas "Jim" Parker (April 3, 1934 - July 18, 2005) was a college and professional American football player in the 1950s and '60s. He is a member of the College and Professional Football Halls of Fame.

College career

Parker was a guard for the Ohio State University Buckeyes from 1954 to 1956, playing on both the offensive and defensive lines. Parker was known for his size, strength and quickness, and these talents, used for clearing a path for running backs, helped demonstrate the feasibility of head coach Woody Hayes' three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense -- an offensive philosophy that had been questioned as suitable for big-time college football. Due in part to Parker, Hayes won his first national championship in 1954.

The next year, Parker opened holes to help Hopalong Cassady win the Heisman Trophy, and Parker was named as an All American by the Football Writers Association of America. In 1956, Parker was a unanimous All America selection and won the Outland Trophy. That year Parker himself finished eighth in the Heisman vote.

Parker was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974, and was a charter inductee in Ohio State's own Varsity O Hall of Fame in 1977. In 1999 Parker was selected as a first-team offensive guard on the "Sports Illustrated" college-football All-Century team.

NFL career

Parker was selected by the Baltimore Colts in the first round of the 1957 NFL draft, and the eighth player selected overall. The Colts, with quarterback Johnny Unitas, relied on a passing offense very different from the running offense of Ohio State. Nevertheless, Parker soon came to be known as the premier pass blocker in the game.

From 1957 until 1962, Parker played as an offensive tackle. He was selected to five Pro Bowl teams in those six years. In 1963 Parker moved to the offensive guard position, as a favor to his college coach Woody Hayes, to make room for another former Buckeye, Bob Vogel. Parker was selected to three more Pro Bowls from the guard position.

Many consider Parker to be the greatest lineman to ever play pro football. Parker was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973, his first year of eligibility. He was the first full-time offensive lineman so inducted. In 1994, Parker was selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. In 1999, he was ranked number 24 on "The Sporting News"' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, second among guards behind John Hannah, and third among offensive linemen behind Hannah and Anthony Munoz, both of whom began their careers well after Parker retired.

External links

* [http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.jsp?player_id=173 Pro Football Hall of Fame bio]
* [http://ohiostatebuckeyes.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/archive/greats/osu-m-footbl-parker.html College football career summary] from the Ohio State University website
* [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/centurys_best/news/1999/10/06/cfb_allcentury_team/ Sports Illustrated All-Century Team]
* [http://www.footballcardgallery.com/player/Jim+Parker Football cards]

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