Jack Crabtree

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Jack Crabtree
Career information
Position(s) QB
College University of Oregon
NFL draft 1958 / Round: 12 / 136
Career history
As player
1958 Philadelphia Eagles
1960 Denver Broncos (AFL)
1960 Los Angeles Chargers (AFL)
Awards 1958 Rose Bowl MVP

Jack Crabtree is a former American football quarterback who was the most valuable player of the 1958 Rose Bowl, despite the fact that his team lost the game.

Early life[edit]

Crabtree grew up in Lakewood, California and attended Excelsior High School in nearby Norwalk where he starred at quarterback.[1] He attended San Bernardino Junior College before attending the University of Oregon and became the starting quarterback for the Oregon Ducks football team in his senior season of 1957.[2]

Rose Bowl[edit]

In 1957, Crabtree led the Ducks to a tie for the Pacific Coast Conference championship with Oregon State. Since Oregon State had gone to the Rose Bowl the previous year, the unranked Ducks earned a berth in the 1958 Rose Bowl against heavily favored and top-ranked Ohio State.[3] In the game, Crabtree completed 10 of 17 passes for 135 yards—huge numbers for those days—and the Ducks nearly pulled off a major upset, tying the game 7-7 in the second quarter and holding the score until the fourth quarter when a Buckeye field goal put Ohio State ahead for good, 10-7.[3][4]

For his heroics in a losing effort, Crabtree was named Rose Bowl MVP, one of only two players from a losing Rose Bowl team to win the award outright.[5][6] Crabtree was named to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1998.[7]

Pro career and retirement[edit]

Crabtree was drafted in the 12th round of the 1958 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles before spending two years in the United States Army. In 1960, he played briefly with the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers of the American Football League.[2] Following his retirement from football, he worked for the Champion sportswear company, becoming manager of its west coast sales force.[3] He now lives in Eugene.[8]


Crabtree was named to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981[9] and the University of Oregon Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.


  1. ^ "UCLA tackles Oregon". Long Beach Press-Telegram. October 5, 1956. 
  2. ^ a b "Jack Crabtree". GoDucks.com. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  3. ^ a b c Bellamy, Ron (December 23, 2007). "Mighty Oregon honor: Fifty years ago, the Ducks fought No. 1 Ohio State to a near draw in the 1958 Rose Bowl". Register-Guard. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  4. ^ "Rose Bowl Timeline". Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Archived from the original on 2008-05-22. 
  5. ^ Cal's Benny Lom, who tackled teammate "Wrong Way" Riegels in the 1929 Rose Bowl, is the other; several players from losing teams have shared the award with players from the winning school.
  6. ^ "Rose Bowl History". RoseBowlHistory.org. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  7. ^ "Rose Bowl Hall of Fame". Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Archived from the original on 2008-03-11. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  8. ^ Maves, Norm (December 25, 2009). "Good or bad, Ducks and Buckeyes got their kicks in 1958". The Oregonian. Retrieved December 30, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Hall of Fame Roll of Honor Members". Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2011.