Hall of Fame NFL Legend Dies at 93


Gino Marchetti, a Hall of Fame defensive end who helped the Baltimore Colts win consecutive NFL championships in the late 1950s, has died.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame said Marchetti was 93.

Marchetti was named to the Pro Bowl during 11 of his 14 NFL seasons.

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Though undersized for the position by today’s standards — 6 feet 4, 244 pounds — Marchetti effectively tracked down quarterbacks and stuffed the run.

Gino John Marchetti was born in 1927 in Smithers, West Virginia.

He served in the Army and fought the Nazis during World War II.

Marchetti broke into the NFL as an offensive lineman in 1952 with the Dallas Texans, who became the Colts in 1953.

After being moved to the other side of the line, Marchetti became a star.

With Marchetti charging from the left side, the Colts were NFL champions in 1958 and 1959.

He broke his leg in the fourth quarter of the “Greatest Game Ever Played” — the sudden-death duel between the Colts and New York Giants in 1958 — but refused to be taken to the locker room. He watched from the sideline until Baltimore secured the victory.

In 1957, Marchetti opened a hamburger restaurant in Dundalk, Maryland, that became famous for its double-decker Gino Giant. Gino’s became a nationwide chain that had 469 restaurants by 1982, when it was sold to Marriott International, The Baltimore Sun reported.

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The chain reemerged in 2010.

Marchetti was remembered fondly by fans in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Ravens paid tribute to Marchetti in a statement Tuesday.

“A giant of a man with a giant heart who helped many in need, Gino Marchetti is at or near the top of the greats in Baltimore athletic and football history,” the team said. “Beloved in Baltimore, this Pro Football Hall of Famer loved our community and the fans who were so special to him.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Joan, and the Marchetti family. We appreciate the kindness and respect Gino showed the Ravens over the last 23 years.”

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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