Jack Butler never even played football until he got to college and after four years snuck into the NFL as an undrafted player just hoping to make the roster of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Now more than 60 years later Butler won’t have to hope his way into NFL history, as he joined the 2012 class of inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with running back Curtis Martin and linemen Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy and Willie Roaf.
During his nine-year career in the 1950s Butler was a dominant cornerback, the Associated Press reported. He finished his career as the second-leading interceptor, and could have made a run at the No. 1 spot had his career not been shortened by a leg injury.
Jack Butler was introduced by his son John, and after waiting 51 years to be enshrined, Butler appeared to relish the occasion and the large contingent of Steelers fans in the crowd, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
“I never envisioned being here in Canton,” Butler said after John had finished his introduction. “This induction is the highest honor I’ve achieved in my professional career. I am truly honored to be included with all these great players here.”
For Butler, the path to the NFL was anything but conventional, NFL.com reported. Instead of playing high school football he spent his youth in a monastery, planning to become a priest.
Jack Butler knew how to play to the Steelers fans, telling the largely black-and-yellow crowd, “I was fortunate enough to play in the great city of champions.”