Buddy Dial

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Buddy Dial
Date of birth (1937-01-17)January 17, 1937
Place of birth Ponca City, Oklahoma, United States
Date of death February 29, 2008(2008-02-29) (aged 71)
Place of death Houston, Texas, United States
Career information
Position(s) Wide receiver
College Rice
NFL draft 1959 / Round: 2 / Pick: 22
(By the New York Giants)
Career history
As player
1959–1963 Pittsburgh Steelers
1964–1966 Dallas Cowboys
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls 2
Career stats

Gilbert Leroy "Buddy" Dial (January 17, 1937 – February 29, 2008) was an American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys.

Early years[edit]

Dial was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, but grew up in Magnolia, Texas. He played high school football at Magnolia High School.

At 6–1 and 185 pounds, he played as a two-way end at Rice University. In 1956 he had 21 receptions, averaged 17 yards on each, made five touchdowns, and was selected sophomore lineman of the year in the Southwest Conference.

In 1957 he had 21 receptions (24 yards avg.) and was named All-SWC. He helped Rice to the conference championship in the Cotton Bowl, and was named to the All-Bowl All-Star team.

In 1958 he caught 19 passes (14 yards avg.). He was the team’s co-captain and Most Valuable Player. Dial also received consensus All-American and the Columbus Touchdown Club Lineman of the Year honors.

For his career at Rice he had 13 touchdowns, tying the school record set by another Hall of Fame end, James "Froggie" Williams (1946–1949).

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

Professional career[edit]

New York Giants[edit]

Dial was drafted in the second round of the 1959 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but was cut by the team before the season started.[1]

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he became a star, after being teamed with quarterback Bobby Layne. He held the team record for touchdown receptions in a season (12) and was an All-Pro three times.

One of Dial's most famous moments was when he scored a touchdown against the Cowboys in 1962. As he ran into the endzone, a loud explosive charge was set off right in front of him, heavily startling him; a moment that has been remembered as one of the NFL's greatest follies.

While playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dial recorded an album of inspirational songs called Buddy Dial Sings on Word Records.

In 1964 the Pittsburgh Steelers traded him to the Dallas Cowboys, in exchange for the rights of their first round draft choice Scott Appleton. However, Appleton ended up siging with the Houston Oilers of the AFL, who had also drafted him in the first round.[2] The shenanigans both teams used in the attempt to sign Appleton was one of Myron Cope's favorite stories and the transaction became known as the "Buddy Dial for Nothing" trade.[3]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

His three-year career with the Dallas Cowboys was a disappointment, where injuries and addictions to prescription drugs, limited his playing time.

In 1966, while still assigned to the Dallas Cowboys, Buddy Dial recorded a single with Challenge Records 59352, called Baby/Back In The Old Days. Baby became a huge hit in various regional areas, topping the Dallas KLIF radio charts in late 1966/early 1967, but failed to make the national charts.

Dial finished his career with 261 receptions for 5,436 yards (20.8 yards per rec. avg.), and 44 touchdowns, and 14 yards on four rushes (3.5 yards per rush avg.). He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice, in 1961 and 1963.

Personal life[edit]

Injuries during his NFL career led to significant health problems brought on by the abuse of painkilling drugs, before receiving treatment in the late 1980s. He died on February 29, 2008 at the age of 71, because of complications with cancer and pneumonia.


External links[edit]