Name: George Preston Marshall
Pro Career: 1932-1969
Team Affiliation(s): Boston Braves, Boston Redskins, Washington Redskins
Induction Class: 1963 – Charter Member
Brief Bio: Some of the aspects of today’s football games that we take for granted can be attributed to George Preston Marshall. The former laundry owner helped to create one of the league’s great franchises (originally the Boston Braves in 1932, renamed the Boston Redskins in 1933, and moved to Washington in 1937) in the nation’s capital, enjoying a decade of dominance from 1936-1945 in which his team won 2 NFL and six divisional championships. Marshall’s legacy, however, will forever be what he pioneered off the field. A man with a dynamic personality, Marshall created the first team marching band, introduced cheerleaders, and organized the first gala halftime shows the NFL had ever seen. He also changed the game away from his home stadium by creating a radio network that broadcast games all across the south and organized great fan pilgrimages into rival cities. Beyond the hype that has now become the norm (consider the media frenzy that is today’s Super Bowl), Marshall also pioneered many changes within the structure of the NFL. He sponsored the decision to split the NFL into two divisions, with a playoff to determine a league champion. Marshall also pushed for league rule changes that would open the game up and make it more crowd-pleasing, including his acceptance of the forward pass, which greatly benefitted Slingin’ Sammy Baugh of his Redskins team. From day one of his involvement with the NFL until his death in 1969, Marshall helped to shape the game of football we know and love today.
Featured Card: Once again, I am showcasing an official Pro Football Hall of Fame 8×10 portrait. Similar to other franchise founders and owners, Marshall simply does not have many cards. If you do not like the portraits, you can always go with 1990 Swell Greats (a great junk wax era set). Trivial Beckett value of that card would be $0.10 while most eBay prices fall into the $1-$2 range. One thing to keep in mind for cards like this is shipping costs. If a seller is offering free shipping on a card of little fiscal value like this, you might want to give it more consideration than another seller who passes along those shipping fees. Why pay 2-3x as much in shipping fees as you are for the actual card?
NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.