Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Vince "Bananas" Banonis

Vince "Bananas" Banonis


  • Position: Center
  • School: Detroit
  • High School: Redford, MI (Catholic Central HS)
  • Years: 1939-1941
  • Inducted: 1986
  • Place of Birth: Detroit, MI
  • Date of Birth: Apr 09, 1921
  • Place of Death: Southfield. MI
  • Date of Death: Oct 23, 2010
  • Jersey Number: 1
  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 208

Member Biography

An outstanding lineman who won All-City recognition at Detroit's Catholic Central High School, Vince Banonis started playing football centering a helmet because his high school had only two footballs. Staying in his hometown he went to the University of Detroit where he was named a 1941 All- American by Grantland Rice, the Associated Press, United Press and others. During his three years in college his teams went 19-7-1. In a game against Villanova he made seven consecutive tackles. His greatest play of all was against Oklahoma State. Banonis centered the ball, ran down-field, took a lateral pass from a teammate, then threw a lateral pass himself, and blocked out two men so another teammate could score a touchdown. After his collegiate career ended in 1941 he was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals. In 1943 Banonis won all-service All-American honors at Iowa Pre-Flight before spending two years in the Navy. A versatile athlete, during his college days he was the school's handball champion as well as the right fielder for the Titan baseball team. In a ten-season professional career, Banonis played on three world championship teams, first with the 1947 Chicago Cardinals and later with the 1952 and 1953 Detroit Lions.