This Day in Steelers History
*February 17, 1983 *Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham retired
The Steelers selected Jack Ham in the second round of the 1971 NFL Draft and the consistent, steady linebacker played his entire 12-year career in the black and gold.
Ham earned a starting job right out of the gate at left outside linebacker as a rookie after picking off three passes in the preseason finale that year. He held onto the starting role through his entire career, showing his durability by missing only four games in his first 10 seasons.
Ham was named the Football News Defensive Player of the Year in 1975, and was selected to eight straight Pro Bowls. He was named All-Pro six times and All-AFC seven times.
He retired after the 1982 season with 25 sacks, 21 fumble recoveries and 32 interceptions to his credit. The combined 53 takeaways are the most ever by a non-defensive back. He was also named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team, the NFL All-Time Team, the Steelers 75th Anniversary Team and the NFL’s Team of the Decade for the 1970s. Ham also earned a spot on the coveted Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary Team alongside linebacker Lawrence Taylor.
Ham was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988.