Sonny Jurgensen and Bobby Mitchell, teammates on the Washington Redskins from 1964 to 1968, were voted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame today and will be inducted in ceremonies in Canton, Ohio, this summer.
A committee of 28 media members representing each of the NFL's franchise cities voted in a secret session from among 15 finalists selected in preliminary balloting. Former Redskin Charley Taylor, the all-time leading pass-catcher in NFL history, was one of the finalists, but did not make the Hall in this, the first year he was eligible.
The inductees will be announced later this week in Honolulu during the Pro Bowl. The other inductees could not be determined.
Mitchell, whose career began when the Cleveland Browns drafted him out of Illinois on the eighth round in 1958, was the first black player on the Redskins, a daring, darting runner and receiver and one of the fastest, most elusive players of his time.
He came to Washington in 1962 in a trade for a No. 1 draft choice. At Cleveland, he played 48 straight games at halfback beside Hall of Famer Jim Brown. In Washington, he was switched to receiver and still holds club records for most passes caught in a season (72 in 1962), most yards in a season (1,436 in 1963), and most yards gained receiving in one game (218 against Pittsburgh in 1963. He scored 91 touchdowns, fifth on the all-time NFL list, and retired in 1968.
Mitchell is an assistant general manager with the Redskins, and is regarded among his peers as an astute judge of talent and personnel.
Jurgensen had a long (18 years) and distinguished NFL career, starting in Philadelphia in 1957 and joining the Redskins in a trade that sent Norman Snead to Philadelphia in 1964.
Jurgensen filled the air with footballs in his years in Washington, and was regarded as perhaps the best pure passer of his era, despite his potbelly and penchant for occasionally breaking curfew and training rules.
In his later years before he was pushed into retirement in 1974 by Coach George Allen, Jurgensen battled his friend Billy Kilmer for the starting quarterback spot. He suffered several serious injuries, including a torn Achilles' tendon that kept him from playing in the 1973 Super Bowl.
Jurgensen, now a sportscaster with WDVM Television and WMAL Radio, holds 10 Redskins club passing records and ranks only behind Johnny Unitas and Fran Tarkenton in passes completed, touchdown passes and passing yards.