Saturday • July 20
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Gino Marchetti
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This week, we spend the hour with one the game’s greatest and most feared defensive ends to play pro football - Colts legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Gino Marchetti.
Episode Segments:
 
Sports and Torts: Hall of Famer Gino Marchetti

Veteran coach Sid Gillman called Marchetti "the most valuable man ever to play his position." He was voted All-Pro seven times and played in 10 Pro Bowls (the broken leg kept him out of an 11th). In 1969, he was selected as the best defensive end in the NFL's first 50 years, and in 1972, he joined the ranks of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has some wonderful stories to tell in this hour-long conversation.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Gino Marchetti
Marchetti enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating high school in Antioch, California and fought in the Battle of the Bulge as a machine gunner during World War II. Upon returning home after the war, he attended Modesto Junior College (Calif.) for a year before joining the football program at the University of San Francisco, where his team enjoyed an undefeated season in 1951. He was drafted in the second round with the 14th overall pick by the New York Yanks in 1952. In 2004, Marchetti was voted to the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame. During his rookie season, the Yanks became the Dallas Texans, which became the Baltimore Colts in 1953. Marchetti played 13 seasons with the Colts and helped them win NFL Championships in 1958 and 1959. During his career, he was noted for being effective against the run and a relentless pass-rusher. He was voted "the greatest defensive end in pro football history" by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972. He moved to left offensive tackle in 1954, a position Marchetti hated, but admitted that it taught him how to beat a blocker. He returned to defensive end in 1955 and made his first Pro Bowl. He made a big play in the 1958 NFL Championship Game when he prevented the New York Giants from gaining a first down by tackling the running back just a yard before the first down mark. He fractured his ankle on that same play but, as a team captain, insisted on watching the rest of the historic overtime contest from the sideline with his teammates rather than seeking immediate medical attention in the locker room. The injury forced him to miss the Pro Bowl that year and ended his string of nine consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. Marchetti was First-team All-Pro nine times and a Second-team selection once. He was enshrined in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. He is also a member of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.

Gino at the Pro Football Hall of Fame