Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Pudge "Pudge" Heffelfinger

Pudge "Pudge" Heffelfinger


  • Position: Guard
  • School: Yale
  • High School: Minneapolis, MN (Central HS)
  • Years: 1888-1891
  • Inducted: 1951
  • Place of Birth: Minneapolis, MN
  • Date of Birth: Dec 20, 1867
  • Place of Death: Blessing, TX
  • Date of Death: Apr 02, 1954
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 195

Member Biography

William W. "Pudge" Heffelfinger played guard for Yale at 6-3, 195-pounds, and was the greatest lineman of his time. All- America selections originated in 1889, and Pudge was on the team. He repeated in 1890-91, his last two seasons at Yale. Heffelfinger continued playing for independent teams and on November 12, 1892, received $500 to help the Allegheny Athletic Association beat the Pittsburgh Athletic Club 6-0. This made Pudge the first professional player in the game. In 1893, he coached the University of California to a 5-1-1 record. Pudge launched a business career and published an annual booklet, "Heffelfinger's Football Facts." Pudge was famous for his durability. In 1916, at age 49, he scrimmaged against the Yale varsity. In 1920, age 53, he played 50 minutes for the East All-Stars against the Ohio State All-Stars at Columbus, Ohio. In 1930, age 63, he made his final appearance in a football uniform in an all-star game at Minneapolis. He produced the first sports quiz show on radio and the first spy show, "Secret Agent K-7." He was a charter member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Born December 20, 1867, Minneapolis; died April 2, 1954, Blessing, TX.