Del Shofner, one of the most excellent Professional football go receivers of his time, who coupled with Y.A. Tittle to help propel the Ny Giants to three consecutive league championship video games while in the early 1960s, died on Wednesday in L. a.. He was eighty five.
His Demise was announced by his daughter Laurie Shofner Corwin, who did not specify the induce. Shofner lived in Bradbury, Calif., but was for many of his everyday living a resident of San Marino, close by.
A tall, slender Texas native who could outrun and outmaneuver most any defensive back again, Shofner revived his career in New York right after The l. a. Rams experienced supplied up on him when he was only 26 yrs outdated. He was a five-time Pro Bowl participant and went on being named by the Pro Football Corridor of Fame on the N.F.L’s all-ten years staff for your sixties.
“We termed him ‘Trim’ or ‘Blade,’ and After i think about him I think about Clint Eastwood,” Sam Huff, the Giants’ Hall of Fame Center linebacker, recalled in his memoir “Hard Things” (1988). “Lean and necessarily mean out on that area, excellent pace and much better moves, with legs solid sufficient to break tackles and leap in the air.”
As Claude Crabb, a Washington Redskins defensive back, after set it: “If he has a sample of any type, it’s his weaving movement. It drives you crazy watching him dip in and dip out as he moves downfield. He’s so quickly that when you make the incorrect move you can’t Get better.”
The Giants received Shofner and Tittle, his fellow Texan, two weeks aside. They obtained Tittle, the San Francisco 49ers’ star quarterback in the 1950s, in mid-August 1961 when he was 34, sending the lineman Lou Cordileone to San Francisco in what grew to become one of pro football’s most 1-sided bargains. They acquired Shofner with the Rams for 2 superior draft picks following the authentic cheap jerseys newly arrived Tittle, whose 49ers had regularly confronted the Rams, raved about him into the Giants’ operator, Wellington Mara.
The acquisition of Shofner and Tittle gave the Giants a protracted-assortment passing menace within an offense currently featuring Kyle Rote, Alex Webster along with the getting older quarterback Charlie Conerly during the backfield. (Frank Gifford was to return in 1962 from his devastating hit with the Philadelphia Eagles’ Chuck Bednarik in the 1960 game.) Having gained a few convention titles and an N.File.L. championship in the next fifty percent with the nineteen fifties, the Giants also experienced a whole new coach in Allie Sherman and had been going to embark on Chapter 2 of their glory years.
The Tittle-to-Shofner very long-distance passing performs thrilled Giants followers. Shofner, 6-foot-3 and 185 lbs . or so and adept at heading up over the outstretched arms of defenders, caught sixty eight passes, one-time Giants document at time, in 1961. When Tittle threw 7 touchdown passes against the Redskins within an Oct 1962 activity, Shofner, who snared one of them, experienced eleven receptions, tying Gifford’s single-recreation club mark, and he amassed 269 yards on pass receptions, still a Giants file.
He was the main Large to gain no less than 1,000 yards in receptions inside of a time, exceeding that milestone in Each and every of his initial a few decades While using the team.
The Giants went into the N.File.L. championship video game in 1961, ’sixty two and ’sixty three, but missing twice to your Environmentally friendly Bay Packers and then on the Chicago Bears. Shofner caught 32 touchdown passes when racking up greater than three,400 yards in that span.
“I was awfully sad to go,” he mentioned of his trade from the Rams to the Giants, as quoted by Jim Baker and Bernard M. Corbett of their oral record “Essentially the most Memorable Games in Giants Historical past” (2010). “It took me probably several months in advance of I spotted how Fortunate I had been.”
Delbert Martin Shofner was born on Dec. eleven, 1934, in Centre, Texas. He performed halfback at Baylor, starred for a sprinter and was named most beneficial player from the 1957 Sugar Bowl recreation for his fifty four-lawn run that setup a touchdown in the thirteen-7 upset of unbeaten Tennessee.
The Rams picked Shofner in the initial round of your 1957 draft. Right after participating in at defensive again, he was switched to split close in 1958 and obtained a league-primary one,097 yards in pass receptions. He experienced A different great period in 1959 but caught only twelve passes in 1960, when he battled ulcers and also a leg personal injury, prompting the Rams to ship him for the Giants.
Great as it absolutely was, the Tittle-to-Shofner combination thrived For under 3 seasons. Tittle, whose leveling by a Pittsburgh Steelers lineman in the 1964 game was captured inside a unforgettable photo, retired following that season. Shofner’s ulcers and leg injuries limited his play in his previous 4 decades as a large. He retired next the 1967 year with 349 job receptions for 51 touchdowns and almost six,five hundred yards.
He afterwards owned a business providing elements for animal feed.
Shofner lived in San Marino for a lot more than fifty years. His spouse, Carol Shofner, died in 2015.
Together with Ms. Corwin, He's survived by An additional daughter, Stacey Shofner Gates; a son, David; and five grandchildren.
Tittle turned a celebrity in Big apple — the balding, often-battered warrior who found a 2nd life in soccer and was afterwards elected to the professional Soccer Hall of Fame. Shofner couldn't match Tittle’s charisma.
Although the Texan often known as Slim, coupled with his teammate Conerly, graced billboards and Journals all over the country. They were among the figures picked out to product as that American promoting icon of their working day, the Marlboro Male.
Michael Levenson contributed reporting.