Pre-Lombardi star safety Bobby Dillon heads to Hall of Fame

NFL

In this October 2012 photo provided by Karen Gooch, former Green Bay Packers football player Bobby Dillon is shown flanked by his grandsons Dillon Gooch, left and Weston Gooch during ceremonies at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc. Dillon passed away at age 89 in August 2019, five months before he was selected for the Hall of Fame as part of the centennial class. (Karen Gooch via AP)

GREEN BAY, Wisc (AP) -Of the 26 men who entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame as Packers and preceded Bobby Dillon into the shrine, nearly all won an NFL championship in Green Bay. Dillon never got the chance. Dillon was one of the best defensive players in the league during his eight superb seasons with the storied franchise. But the Packers were an NFL weakling at the time, going 33-61-2 while Dillon was playing safety. He made four All-Pro teams and intercepted 52 passes — second overall when he retired to Emlen Tunnell. And he did it with one eye.

This 1950s era photo provided by the Green Bay Packers shows Bobby Dillon. Dillon initially planned to retire after the ’58 season for the simple reason he could make more money working for Wilsonart, a countertop company for which he eventually became the CEO. But Vince Lombardi took charge as Packers coach in 1959 and asked Dillon to return, calling him the NFL’s best defensive back. Dillon passed away at age 89 in August 2019, five months before he was selected for the Hall of Fame as part of the centennial class. (Green Bay Packers via AP)
In this October 2012 photo provided by Karen Gooch, former Green Bay Packers football player Bobby Dillon and his grandson, Weston Gooch are shown in a suite at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc. He left with an outstanding resume, but also with the ugly remnants of a series of concussions from playing football. Of the 26 men who entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame as Packers and preceded Bobby Dillon into the shrine, nearly all won an NFL championship in Green Bay. Dillon never got the chance. (Karen Gooch via AP)

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