Del Shofner, The most brilliant Professional football go receivers of his time, who combined with Y.A. Tittle to help propel the Big apple Giants to a few consecutive league championship online games within the early sixties, died on Wednesday in L. a.. He was 85.
His death was announced by his daughter Laurie Shofner Corwin, who didn't specify the lead to. Shofner lived in Bradbury, Calif., but was for many of his lifestyle a resident of San Marino, nearby.
A tall, trim Texas native who could outrun and outmaneuver most any defensive back again, Shofner revived his vocation in Ny soon after The l. a. Rams experienced given up on him when he was only 26 a long time old. He was a 5-time Pro Bowl player and went on to get named by the professional Soccer Corridor of Fame into the N.F.L’s all-10 years crew with the sixties.
“We known as him ‘Trim’ or ‘Blade,’ and when I consider him I consider Clint Eastwood,” Sam Huff, the Giants’ Corridor of Fame middle linebacker, recalled in his memoir “Tricky Stuff” (1988). “Lean and indicate out on that field, good velocity and far better moves, with legs robust ample to break tackles and leap into the air.”
As Claude Crabb, a Washington Redskins defensive back again, once put it: “If he features a sample of any sort, it’s his weaving movement. It drives you nuts looking at him dip in and dip out as he moves downfield. He’s so rapid that in case you make the incorrect go you can’t Get well.”
The Giants attained Shofner and Tittle, his fellow Texan, two months aside. They received Tittle, the San Francisco 49ers’ star quarterback with the nineteen fifties, in mid-August 1961 when he was 34, sending the lineman Lou Cordileone to San Francisco in what grew to become a single of pro soccer’s most a person-sided offers. They attained Shofner with the Rams for two substantial draft picks following the newly arrived Tittle, whose 49ers experienced routinely confronted the Rams, raved about him for the Giants’ owner, Wellington Mara.
The acquisition of Shofner and Tittle gave the Giants a long-array passing menace within an offense by now featuring Kyle Rote, Alex Webster as well as the aging quarterback Charlie Conerly during the backfield. (Frank Gifford was to return in 1962 from his devastating hit by the Philadelphia Eagles’ Chuck Bednarik in a 1960 activity.) Obtaining won 3 meeting titles and an N.F.L. championship in the 2nd half on the nineteen fifties, the Giants also had a different mentor in Allie Sherman and have been about to embark on Chapter 2 in their glory years.
The Tittle-to-Shofner long-length passing plays thrilled Giants supporters. Shofner, six-foot-three and 185 pounds or so and adept at heading up about the outstretched arms of defenders, caught 68 passes, one-year Giants history at the time, in 1961. When Tittle threw 7 touchdown passes in opposition to the Redskins within an Oct 1962 game, Shofner, who snared one of these, experienced eleven receptions, tying Gifford’s one-recreation club mark, and he amassed 269 yards on move receptions, nevertheless a Giants document.
He was the 1st Giant to achieve at least 1,000 yards in receptions within cheap baseball jerseys a time, exceeding that milestone in each of his initial a few a long time While using the crew.
The Giants went towards the N.F.L. championship recreation in 1961, ’sixty two and ’63, but shed 2 times towards the Green Bay Packers and then into the Chicago Bears. Shofner caught 32 touchdown passes whilst racking up much more than 3,400 yards in that span.
“I was awfully sad to go,” he reported of his trade within the Rams towards the Giants, as quoted by Jim Baker and Bernard M. Corbett within their oral historical past “Probably the most Memorable Games in Giants Historical past” (2010). “It took me most likely a few months before I spotted how Blessed I was.”
Delbert Martin Shofner was born on Dec. 11, 1934, in Heart, Texas. He performed halfback at Baylor, starred being a sprinter and was named most precious player in the 1957 Sugar Bowl match for his fifty four-yard operate that set up a touchdown within a thirteen-7 upset of unbeaten Tennessee.
The Rams selected Shofner in the primary spherical of the 1957 draft. Immediately after enjoying at defensive back again, he was switched to split conclusion in 1958 and gained a league-leading one,097 yards in go receptions. He experienced Yet another good period in 1959 but caught only 12 passes in 1960, when he battled ulcers and also a leg damage, prompting the Rams to ship him for the Giants.
Wonderful as it had been, the Tittle-to-Shofner mix thrived For under a few seasons. Tittle, whose leveling by a Pittsburgh Steelers lineman inside a 1964 match was captured inside a unforgettable photo, retired following that period. Shofner’s ulcers and leg injuries confined his Engage in in his final four many years as an enormous. He retired adhering to the 1967 period with 349 vocation receptions for fifty one touchdowns and practically 6,500 yards.
He afterwards owned a business providing ingredients for animal feed.
Shofner lived in San Marino for in excess of fifty a long time. His spouse, Carol Shofner, died in 2015.
Besides Ms. Corwin, he is survived by A further daughter, Stacey Shofner Gates; a son, David; and five grandchildren.
Tittle turned a celeb in Big apple — the balding, normally-battered Click for more warrior who uncovered a next life in football and was later on elected to the professional Soccer Hall of Fame. Shofner couldn't match Tittle’s charisma.
But the Texan known as Slender, along with his teammate Conerly, graced billboards and Journals through the region. They have been Among the many figures selected to design as that American advertising and marketing icon in their day, the Marlboro Man.
Michael Levenson contributed reporting.