New Arrival: Mac Speedie, End, Cleveland Browns 1946-1955

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Card: 1964 Topps

Mac Speedie it a tough autograph to find, so I was lucky to run into this signed card.  I actually missed out on a nice signed index card of his…but considering I already have one, and this card is $40 cheaper, I took this one.

Speedie was a great player, and probably should be in the Hall of Fame.  The reason that he is not in is pretty stupid:  he and Paul Brown, the head coach of the Browns, had a falling out.  Speedie was, I guess, an independent thinker, which did not mesh well the Browns militaristic coaching style.  Brown apparently rode Speedie pretty hard, and by 1952 Speedie was getting pretty fed up with it.  In 1953 Speedie left the Browns to play for a new football league in Canada–for double the pay.  Brown never forgave him, swearing that he would get even with Speedie for jumping his contract.

By the time Speedie retired in 1955 he was, but any measure, one of the great receivers that game had every seen.  He would be selected to two Pro-Bowl teams, six First Team All-Pro, two first team  All-WIFU (CFL) Western Conference teams, lead the league in receptions four times, lead the league in receiving yards twice, retire with 800 average receiving yards per season (a record that would not get broken for 20 years), and 49.9 average per game (25 years to have that record broken).

Many think that Paul Brown is the reason that Speedie is not in the Hall, and based on his numbers that is just about the only logical reason that I can think of.

 

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