BACK, LEONARD P., Elected as a Builder, November 25, 1971. A head injury in 1919 curtailed his playing to two seasons with the Hamilton Tiger Juniors but he returned to become manager of that team in 1920. Back became synonymous with Hamilton football clubs managing Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Pro teams in his native Hamilton.
BALLARD, HAROLD E., Elected as a Builder, May 2, 1987. The President and majority shareholder of Maple Leaf Gardens Limited purchased the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1978, keeping the strong tradition of pro football in that City. Under his leadership the Tiger-Cats won the Grey Cup in 1986. Is also a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
BARROW, JOHN, Elected as a Player August 5, 1976. In 14 years with the Tiger-Cats he earned All-Star status 16 times because for four consecutive years (1957-8-9-60) he was an All-Star Tackle on offence and defence. He helped Hamilton to nine Grey Cup Games and in 1962 he was selected as the CFL’s top lineman.
BENNETT, PAUL, Elected as a Player September, 2002. Began his CFL career in 1977 as a protected draft choice of the Toronto Argonauts. In his rookie season he was a starter at defensive back and was awarded both Eastern All-Star and CFL All-Star honours. He also set a new CFL record in 1977 for punt return yards (965). Played four seasons (1984-87) with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, earning All-Eastern and All-Canadian honours in 1985.
BROCK, RALPH DIETER, Elected as a Player, June 18, 1995. Always known for his strong arm, this quarterback led the CFL in passing for four years. He was selected All-Western three times, All-Canadian twice, Most Outstanding Player in the West twice, and Most Outstanding Player in the CFL twice.
BROWNE, LESS, Elected as a Player, September, 2003. Played five seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, winning a Grey Cup in 1986. Set a CFL record for most interception return yards in a season with 259 in 1992 with Ottawa. Browne closed out his CFL career as a B.C. Lion where he played from 1993 to 1994 setting even more CFL records. Browne still holds the records for most interceptions all-time, regular season with 87 and most interception return yards, all-time regular season with 1,508.
CASEY, TOM (CITATION), Elected as a Player, November 26, 1964. Enjoyed a splendid CFL career, with the Hamilton Wildcats (1940) and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1950-55), earning All-Western All-Star honours at Running Back three times and Defensive Back three times.
CLEMENTS, TOM, Elected as a Player, March 1994. Had a career total 2,807 completions out of 4,657 attempts for 39,041 years, 252 touchdowns and a 60.3% completion rate while quarterbacking for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1975-78, then with the Western 'Riders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in '79. He played in the NFL in 1980 and returned to the 'Cats in '81 until being traded to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1983, retiring in 1987. Played on the Grey Cup winning teams in 1976 and 1984 and in both games, was named the Outstanding Offensive Player. He was a divisional all-star seven times and a CFL all-star twice. Was the League’s Rookie of the Year in 1975, Most Outstanding Player in 1987 and runner-up as the MVP in 1981.
COFFEY, TOMMY JOE, Elected as a Player, June 25, 1977. Seven times an All-Canadian All-Star, four times an Eastern All-Star and three times a Western All-Star, the Pass Receiver-Kicker finished with 10,320 yards on pass receptions and 971 points. After two seasons with Edmonton, T.J. left football in 1961 but returned to shine for the Eskimos (1962-66), Hamilton (1967-72) and Toronto (1973) before retiring in 1973.
COOPER, RALPH W., Elected as a Builder, October 24, 1992. The Hamilton native was responsible for merging the Hamilton Tigers and the Hamilton Wildcats into the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He served as Club President, was a member of the Board of Directors and served on the team’s Board of Governors. Was a member of the committee responsible for recommending a draft system for university players. Helped devise the interlocking schedule which still stands today.
COVINGTON, GROVER, Elected as a Player, 2000. Began his CFL career in 1981 when he joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. For eleven years he played the defensive end position and was named CFL sack leader in 1988 with 25 sacks. Covington still holds the CFL’s all-time quarterback sack record with 157 sacks. Covington was named CFL All-Star four times, Eastern All-Star seven times, Schenley Most Outsanding Defensive Player and was the James McCaffrey Trophy winner. Grover Covington played in four Grey Cup games, winning in 1986.
COX, ERNEST, Elected as a Player, June 19, 1963. Many regarded him as the greatest Snapback (Centre) in the late 1920s. He was the first winner of the Jeff Russell Memorial Trophy and a member of the Hamilton Tigers’ Grey Cup squads in 1928, 1929 and 1932.
CRAIG, ROSS, Elected as a Player, November 26, 1964. A powerful lineman who scored consistently as a ball carrier he played from 1906 to 1920 beginning in his native Peterborough and on to Dundas, Hamilton Rowing Club, Hamilton Alerts and Hamilton Tigers. He scored 15 points in the 1913 Grey Cup Game.
CUSTIS, BERNARD, Elected as a Builder, February 24, 1998. Began his coaching career in the 1950’s with the Oakville Black Knights. From there he went on to guide the Burlington Braves of the CJFL from 1965-1972. Was hired by Sheridan College in 1973 and remained there until 1981 when he took over the McMaster Marauders. He guided the Marauder program to a 31-23-2 record during his 8-year CIAU career and was named as the CIAU Coach-of-the-Year in 1982.
DIPIETRO, ROCKY, Elected as a player, September 20, 1997. Rocky DiPietro played his entire professional football career with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1978 to 1991 as a slotback and wide receiver. He became the CFL’s all-time pass reception leader in 1989 and had a career total 706 receptions for 9,762 yards and 45 touchdowns. He holds Tiger-Cat team records for most career pass receptions and reception yards. He has been awarded the All-Eastern All-Star title four times in 1981, 1982, 1986, and 1989, the All-Canadian All-Star title in 1986 and 1989. He was named the Most Outstanding Canadian in 1982 and 1989 and was the Lew Hayman Trophy winner in 1982, 1986, and 1989. DiPietro played in four Grey Cup games and won the Championship in 1986.
DUMOULIN, SEPPI, Elected as a Builder, June 19, 1963. As a Backfielder for the Hamilton Tigers (1894 to 1906) and later Coach of Hamilton and Winnipeg teams he went on to serve football for close to 70 years. It was, he said, for the love of football that he gave the sport so much of his life.
EVANSHEN, TERRY, Elected as a Player, March 16, 1984. This sure-handed Wide Receiver, Split End and Flanker spent 14 seasons with Montreal, Calgary, Hamilton and Toronto, catching 600 passes for 9,697 yards and 80 touchdowns. He twice won the Schenley as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian, earned All-Conference All-Star honours six times and All-Canadian selection once.
FALONEY, BERNIE, Elected as a Player, May 6, 1974. His CFL career began in 1954 when he and Jackie Parker quarterbacked Edmonton to the Grey Cup victory. From 1957 to 1964 he led Hamilton to seven Grey Cup finals, winning the Schenley as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 1961. Faloney moved to Montreal in 1965 and ended his career two years later with B.C.
FEAR, A.H. (CAP), Elected as a Player, November 30, 1967. Another all-round athlete, this Outside Wing earned All-Star honours six times in a standout career with the Argos (1919 to 1926), Montreal (1926 to 1928) and Hamilton (1928 to 1932).
GABRIEL, TONY PETER, Elected as a Player, August 18, 1984. His remarkable 11-year career ended in 1981 with eight All-Canadian and All-Eastern honours to his credit. He ranks fourth in pass receptions and pass reception yardage. This determined Tight End with Hamilton and Ottawa was a Schenley winner as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 1978 and four times he won the Schenley as Most Outstanding Canadian.
GEORGE, ED, Was elected as a Player in 2005. Ed George won a Grey Cup in 1970, his first year with the Montreal Alouettes, and in 1974, his last season with the Alouettes. In each of those five seasons he was named an Eastern Football Conference All-Star, as a tackle in 1970-1972 and as a guard in 1973-1974. After being named to the CFL’s All Star team in 1971 and 1972, he switched from left tackle to left guard and was again named to the League’s All-Star team in 1973 and 1974. He became a free agent in 1975 and spent four seasons in the NFL before returning to the CFL in 1978 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Through two seasons with the Tiger-Cats he played 34 games, and advanced to the 1980 Grey Cup game before his seven-year career ended.
GAUDAUR, JACOB GILL JAKE, Elected as a Builder, March 16, 1984. For almost 50 years, he has given a lot too Canadian football at the Senior and Professional levels. 16 years as Commissioner of the CFL after a long association as player and executive with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He was also one of the key figures in the founding of The Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum.
GEORGE, ED, played two seasons (1979-80) with the Tiger-Cats and played in the 1980 Grey Cup for Hamilton
GIBSON, FRANK. M, Elected in the Builders category on April 15, 1996. Began his involvement in Hamilton football in 1950 when he became a member of the Board of Directors for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats acting as the Secretary-Treasurer, a post he held until 1977. A trophy, bearing his name, was instituted by the CFL in 1977 recognizing the Outstanding Rookie in the Eastern Division.
GRANT, TOMMY, Elected as a Player, June 18, 1995. The former Schenley Award winner had a career total 54 touchdowns for 324 points and caught 329 passes for 6,542 yards. He and five other CFL players are tied for all-time Grey Cup appearances with nine, earning victories in 1957, 1963, 1965, and 1967.
HENLEY, GARNEY, Elected as a Player, June 30, 1979. For 16 seasons until retiring in 1975, he starred with the Tiger-Cats first as a Defensive Back and later as a Wide Receiver. After nine consecutive seasons as an All-Canadian Defensive Back, Henley became an All-Canadian Wide Receiver truly indicative of one of the CFL’s All-Time most versatile stars.
ISBISTER, BOB SR., Elected as a Player, November 25, 1965. From 1905 to 1919 he was a solid performer for the Hamilton Tigers and renowned for his all-round ability, defensive qualities and sportsmanship. Following his playing days he became a Referee in the Interprovincial and Intercollegiate Unions, President of the Big Four and later a member of the Board of Governors for Hamilton in 1933
KEELING, JERRY, Elected as a Player, June 3, 1989. Played 15 consecutive seasons in the CFL and 229 games as a Defensive Back and Quarterback with Calgary (1961-72), Ottawa (1973-75) and Hamilton (1975). Was a CFL All-Star at Defensive Back in 1964, 1965 and 1967 and a Western All-Star from 1964 to 1968. Led his club to four Grey Cups, winning two (1971, 1973) and losing the others (1968, 1970). Combined with fellow Hall of Famer, Terry Evanshen, to tie the CFL record for the longest completed pass, 109 yards, at Winnipeg, in 1968.
KELLY, ELLISON, Elected as a Player on October 24, 1992. He joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the 1960 season. He was an All-Eastern All-Star from 1961 to '64 and was selected All-Canadian guard in 1964. He also received All-Star honours at tackle from 1968 to '71, earning All-Canadian honours in 1969 and '70. The Tiger-Cats won 3 Grey Cup Championships during his tenure in Hamilton. During his 13-year career, he never missed a game, playing in 175 consecutive regular season games.
KROL, JOE, Elected as a Player, November 27, 1963. One of Canada’s greatest players in a career which went from 1932 to 1953. Joe King Krol to Royal Copeland became a well-known one-two punch often referred to as the Gold Dust Twins, Krol, a precision pivot starred in high school and university ball. He joined the Argos in 1945 and played on five Grey Cup winners to go along with one in 1943 with Hamilton.
LEADLAY, FRANK R. PEP, Elected as a Player, June 19, 1963. He captained Queen’s and the Hamilton Tigers in a dynamic career which brought this back fielder joy with five Intercollegiate championships and three successive Grey Cups with Queen’s plus two more Grey Cups with the Tigers, the last of which came in 1929.
MOSCA, ANGELO, Elected as a Player, May 2, 1987. He played 15 CFL seasons, including nine times in the Grey Cup Game (emerging a winner five times). A CFL All-Star in 1963 and 1970, he was an Eastern All-Star Defensive Tackle five times.
NETTLES, RAY, Elected as player in 2005. Ray Nettles joined the B.C. Lions at the beginning of the 1972 season. He was named to the Western Football Conference’s All-Star teams each of his first three years with B.C., making the CFL All-Star squad in 1972 and 1973. In 1973 he also won the Schenley Award as the CFL’s outstanding lineman. Nettles was traded to the Toronto Argonauts in 1977. In addition to being named Toronto’s outstanding defensive player he was an Eastern Football Conference All-Star in 1977. Nettles completed his 122-game career with a series of one-year stints with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1978), Ottawa Rough Riders (1979) and Calgary Stampeders (1980).
NEUMANN, PETER, Elected as a Player, June 30, 1979. His career with Hamilton began in 1951 and ended in 1964. This masterful Defensive End was nine times named an All-Eastern All-Star including a stretch of seven years in a row. He was also an All- Canadian in 1964.
PATTERSON, HAL, Elected as a Player, November 25, 1971. Prince Hal possessed a lot of charisma and provided 14 unbelievable seasons for CFL fans. After playing with Montreal from 1953 to 1960, he was traded to last-place Hamilton and the gifted receiver helped put them into the Grey Cup Game in 1961-62-63-64-65. He scored 75 touchdowns in his splendid career.
RODDEN, MICHAEL J., Elected as a Player, November 26, 1964. A player of All-Star ability at the University of Ottawa and Queen’s plus the Argos, he became a superb Coach with future Hall of Famers Conacher, Batstone, Breen, Timmis, Cox, Leadlay, Reeve, Fear, Welch and Sprague among his protégés. Coached Hamilton to Grey Cup wins in 1928 and 1929.
SAZIO, RALPH, Elected as a Builder on March 5, 1988. Joined Hamilton as a player in 1950. Was Head Coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1963-67 and during his tenure registered a 49-20-1 record, four Eastern Conference Championships (1963-64- 65-67) and three Grey Cup victories (1963-65-67). Became General Manager in 1968 and President in 1972, a year in which Hamilton hosted and won the Grey Cup. Became President of the Argonauts on August 6, 1981. His teams had first-place Eastern Division finishes in 1982-83-84-86-88 and Grey Cup appearances in 1982-83-87, winning in 1983.
SCOTT, VINCE, Elected as a Player on May 28, 1982. Scott debuted with the Hamilton Wild Cats in 1949. After the amalgamation of the Tigers and Wild Cats prior to the 1950 he went on to star for the newly formed Tiger-Cats for the next 13 seasons, retiring in 1962. He was selected an Eastern All-Star at guard 10 times and was a member of two Grey Cup championship teams. He was also voted to Hamilton’s Fabulous Fifties Team and played in the first four CFL All-Star games.
SIMPSON, BENJAMIN L., Elected as a Player, November 27, 1963. An outstanding Kicker who played with the Hamilton Tigers from 1904 to 1910. He later served as President of the Big Four and President of the Tiger Football Club. Member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
SIMPSON, JIMMY, Elected as a Builder August 17, 1985. A genuine builder of the game, Simpson appeared in approximately 19 Grey Cup Games, six as a player with the Hamilton Tigers and Wildcats, three as an official and 10 as a trainer of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. His career in Canadian football began in 1928. Simpson’s four touchdowns in Grey Cup Games ranks second to the all-time record of five by fellow Hall of Famer, Hal Patterson.
SPRAGUE, DAVID S., Elected as a Player, June 19, 1963. A perennial All-Star in his 15-year career with Hamilton and Ottawa he ran to fame in a sport he truly loved. Like so many others of his day, he played despite injuries.
SUTHERIN, DON, Elected as a Player on October 24, 1992. He joined the Tiger-Cats in 1958 and left the following year for the NFL. He returned to the Tiger-Cats in 1960 and remained with the Club until 1966 when he joined the Ottawa Rough Riders. He was an All-Eastern defensive back six times, and was All-Canadian on three occasions. He led the Eastern Conference in scoring four times and in interceptions twice. He participated in eight Grey Cup games, winning two with Hamilton and two with Ottawa.
TIMMIS, BRIAN, Elected as a Player, June 19, 1963. He often sacrificed his body to make the big play for Hamilton. He played helmetless and he played with determination. Three times he helped the Hamilton Tigers to Grey Cup wins (1928, 1929 and 1932). He made a comeback at age 38 for a playoff game in Ottawa and played 58 minutes despite a bad shoulder. Member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
WELCH, HAWLEY HUCK, Elected as a Player, November 26, 1964. A great kicking Halfback, he played on Grey Cup winners with the Hamilton Tigers (1928 and 1929) and the Montreal Winged Wheelers in 1931. He won the Jeff Russell Trophy in 1933 and made All-Star five times.
ZAMBIASI, BEN, Elected as a Player, October 2, 2004. Joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a Linebacker midway through the 1978 season. Zambiasi’s first season with the Tiger-Cats was exceptional. He was named the Most Outstanding Rookie in the Eastern Division in 1978, and also received Eastern All-Star and CFL All-Star honours. Throughout his playing career, he made 25 interceptions for 441 yards, and made 69 defensive tackles. He was named CFL All-Star six times, Eastern All-Star eight times and won the Schenley Award for Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award in 1979.
CANADIAN FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
The Canadian Football Hall of Fame, tracing more than 100 years of football history in this country, is located at 58 Jackson Street West in downtown Hamilton, L8P 1L4.