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Jack Butler

Jack Butler
  • Hall of Fame 2012
  • Hall of Honor 2017
  • Pro Bowl 1955
  • Pro Bowl 1956
  • Pro Bowl 1957
  • Pro Bowl 1958

Jack Butler began his Hall of Fame speech as only Jack Butler could – by telling the Steelers faithful on hand that were chanting, "Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go," time and time again, "That's enough."

After waiting for as long as he did to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, 53 years, he had every right to say whatever he wanted.

Butler, a Pittsburgh native, joined the Steelers in 1951 as a free agent out of St. Bonaventure. He played in 103 games at cornerback in his nine seasons, recording 52 interceptions that helped earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame as one of the Senior Committee nominees.

Butler was selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1950 and when he retired he was second on the NFL's all-time list with 52 interceptions. Butler had four interception returns for a touchdown and had one fumble recovery for a touchdown. He returned his first career interception 52 yards for a touchdown.

"He was the perfect guy for a defensive back in those days," said former teammate Ted Marchibroda. "He did not have the greatest speed, but he had good speed, good, good size, good hands and his instincts were tremendous. Jack worked at his profession in those days; most guys didn't work as hard as he did."

After his retirement from the Steelers, Butler went on to a career in scouting, and served as the executive director for BLESTO.

But it was that day in Canton that was among the best in Butler's life.

"I never envisioned being here in Canton," said Butler. "This induction is the highest honor I have achieved in my professional career. I have always been grateful and happy to have played, having a 56-year career doing the things I always loved, being involved in professional football – as a player, coach, scout and administrator. I am honored to be included with the great players who preceded me here.

"I am grateful and proud to be a part of this great Class of 2012 and I congratulate the five tremendous men who join me here. I am thankful to God for all I have been given throughout my life. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends. I am thankful for my brother and sister who are here to witness this, my wife, my children and grandchildren.

"I am thankful I'm here."

Less than a year after his induction, Butler died at the age of 85.

"Jack was a tremendous player who ranked among the best in league history with his 52 interceptions while only playing in 12 games a year," said Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney. "He was a versatile player who was also used as a wide receiver, but his career ended unfortunately too soon with a bad knee injury. He was an excellent person both on and off the field, and he played an integral role in the BLESTO scouting program and our entire draft process before his retirement. His family was very close to the entire Rooney family, and he will be missed."