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NFL – Men Who Played The Game – Baltimore Colts OT Jim Parker


James Thomas “Jim” Parker (April 3, 1934 – July 18, 2005) was an American football player.  He played college football at Ohio State University from 1954 to 1956….in the National Football League (NFL) with the Baltimore Colts from 1957 to 1967…..was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973….and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974. Parker was selected by the Baltimore Colts in the first round of the 1957 NFL Draft….as the eighth player selected overall. The Colts, with quarterback Johnny Unitas, relied on a passing offense very different from the running offense of Ohio State. Nevertheless, Parker soon came to be known as the premier pass blocker in the game.  From 1957 until 1962, Parker played as an offensive tackle….and he was selected to five Pro Bowl teams in those six years.  In 1963 Parker moved to the offensive guard position….as a favor to his college coach Woody Hayes….to make room for another former Buckeye, Bob Vogel….as Parker was selected to three more Pro Bowls from the guard position.

Many consider Parker to be the greatest lineman to ever play pro football. Parker was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973….in his first year of eligibility.  He was the first full-time offensive lineman so inducted.  In 1994, Parker was selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. In 1999, he was ranked number 24 on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players….second among guards behind John Hannah….and third among offensive linemen behind Hannah and Anthony Munoz,….both of whom began their careers well after Parker retired.


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