Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mel Hein's All-Time NFL Team

by John Turney

In 1969 Prentice Hall published Bob Curren's book Pro Footballs Rag Days and it is quite a good read with lots of interviews from the star players from the NFL's first few decades such as Whizzer White, Cliff Battles, Benny Friedman with about a dozen others.

In the chapter about Mel Hein he is asked to name his own All-Star team and in reviewing, it is one of the better ones that can be found, regardless if the selector was a player or a media panel. Hein left himself off of the team, which is usually the custom when one player is asked to pick his team, but Turner was considered the best center in the NFL (based on All-Pro selections) after Hein's career ended.

Hein, colorization by John Turney
Hein's selections:
Center—Bulldog Turner
GuardDanny Fortmann
Guard—Mike Michalske
Tackle—Turk Edwards
Tackle—Cal Hubbard
End—Don Hutson
End—Bill Hewitt
QB—Sammy Baugh
HB—Dutch Clark
HB—Cliff Battles
FB—Bronko Nagurski


  1. "Pro Football's Rag Days" is one of the hidden gems of old pro football related books.

    One of my favorites, and the author himself had quite the impressive life.

    The Hein chapter is my favorite. You could probably 'unofficially' add Ace Parker as an "Honorable Mention" selection since he was mentioned in the lead-up to Hein listing his 'All-Time' Team.

    Bonus info: Hein was a legendary High School football player from the Great State of Washington, playing for the Burlington Tigers. In late 1999 he was selected by the Seattle Times as the First-Team Center on the Washington State High School Football "Team Of The Century"

  2. ...since these men went both ways, but listed on offense....just a note that both hein & turner almost always played right linebacker(outside); both mobile and excellent tacklers, they both were just outstanding as pass defenders.