Former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 77th annual Dapper Dan Dinner & Sports Auction on Wednesday night.
Ward, who retired from the Steelers after the 2011 season, was honored for his 14-year career with the team which included a wealth of accomplishments both on and off the field.
“It's such a big honor for me,” said Ward. “It represents all that I have been through in my life and all the hard work I put into football and in achieving my dreams and goals. I am so grateful to the Steelers, the City of Pittsburgh, and Dapper Dan Charities for recognizing me in this way. It's very humbling.”
Ward, who was presented the award by former Coach Bill Cowher, finished his career breaking Steelers’ team records with 1,000 receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns. Ward also holds the team record for most career 100-yard games with 29.
“It's been amazing,” said Ward, the Steelers’ third round draft pick in 1999 who went on to become the MVP of Super Bowl XL. “Considering the way my career started and how it ended with 1,000 catches. I walked away from the game with my head held up high, proudly, because nothing was given to me. Everything I earned, I worked my butt off for. I got everything I wanted out of the NFL.”
Jimmie Sacco, Heinz Field’s Director of Stadium Management, was also honored at the dinner and received the Dr. Freddie Fu Sports Leadership Award. Sacco has managed Heinz Field since it opened in 2001, and previously managed Three Rivers Stadium and the Civic Arena.
“As a kid growing up in Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood to now be honored in this city with this award is beyond the wildest dreams I ever had,” said Sacco. “It’s an honor to receive it for something I love doing, in a city I love and organizations I love working for. To be receiving the award at an event with some of the states premiere athletes and sports figures, I am honored.”
The dinner benefitted Dapper Dan Charities, with proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania among other local charities.
Jimmie Sacco and Steve Stepanian
Mike Tomlin, Clint Hurdle, Jamie Dixon and Dan Bylsma
Antonio Brown and Dapper Dan Man of the Year Andrew McCutchen