Reporting Dave Crawley
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Heads were rolling at Heinz History Center Monday morning as carts bearing bronze busts of Steelers Hall of Famers were pushed into a new display area.
Packed in boxes, fresh from Canton, Ohio, busts of 22 Steelers are making a whistle stop at the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibit: “Gridiron Glory.”
“Twenty-three thousand men have played professional football,” says History Center President Andy Masich, “273 made the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And 46 of them have a Pittsburgh connection. Twenty-two of those are Steelers.”
Walt Kiesling. Bobby Layne. Ernie Stautner. Mean Joe Greene. A roll call of legends, cast in bronze. Fifteen to 20 pounds apiece. Worth their weight in gold.
“People make pilgrimages to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, just to see these busts,” says Masich. “And to have their pictures taken with them. This is the first time ever you can see all these Steelers in one place, and have your pictures taken with them all.”
Eighty years of Steelers history. The “Immaculate Reception” of Franco Harris, 40 years ago, neatly divides the good and the bad.
The 22 busts place the Steelers third, behind the Bears and Packers, at Canton. Slowly but surely, the recent 40 years of glory are replacing the initial 40 years of futility.
As Steelers great Jack Lambert said, during his induction to Canton: “If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player. And you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler.”
The display of Steelers busts continues through Monday.
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