Jack Hinkle

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Jack Hinkle
Date of birth October 31, 1917
Place of birth Milton, Pennsylvania
Date of death November 17, 2006(2006-11-17) (aged 89)
Place of death Norristown, Pennsylvania
Career information
Position(s) Halfback
College Syracuse
Career history
As player
1940 Jersey City Giants
1940 New York Giants
1941 New York Americans
1941 Philadelphia Eagles
1943 Phil-Pitt Steagles
1944–1947 Philadelphia Eagles
Career stats

John M. Hinkle (October 31, 1917 – November 17, 2006) was a professional football player in the National Football League. During his career, he played for the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and the "Steagles".

Professional career[edit]

Prior to joining the New York Giants, Hinkle played for the Giants' American Association team, the Jersey City Giants. Upon joining the New York Giants, Hinkle was cut from the team after just three games due to an argument with Giants coach Steve Owen. When asked what the argument was about, Hinkle said "something asinine".[attribution needed] He later signed with the New York Americans of the third American Football League in 1941. The Americans 1941 season ended just in time for Hinkle to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles for their last game of the season, against the Washington Redskins. That final game was held on December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan, thrusting the United States into World War II.

"When [Hinkle] gets in a game, he's a slambang player"

Greasy Neale

After a brief stint in the army in 1942, Hinkle was re-signed by the Eagles by coach Greasy Neale. Hinkle enjoyed his best season though in 1943, when a league-wide manning shortage, brought on by World War II, caused the Eagles to temporarily merge with the cross-state Pittsburgh Steelers. The merged team was called the "Steagles" by the media. With the Steagles, Hinkle rushed for a team-leading 571 yards and 3 touchdowns, while also intercepting four passes as a defensive back. He lost the 1943 NFL rushing title to the Giants' Bill Paschal by one yard. However it was in a game against the Giants that Hinkle was not given credit for a 37-yard run. Instead, due to a mix-up by official statistician Ross Kaufman, that run was credited to teammate John Butler. But Hinkle did not complain about not winning the NFL rushing crown; he figured with a war going on there were better things to cry about.[citation needed]

He finished his NFL career in 1947 with 1,067 yards, five touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Military service[edit]

Outside of football, Hinkle's name is located on the World War II honor roll located at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The NFL honor roll is a listing of the over 1,000 NFL personnel who served in the military during the war. He spent the 1942 season in the U.S. Army. However, he was later discharged from the service after a year due to stomach ulcers.


Prior to his professional career, Hinkle was standout for Syracuse University's football team in the late-1930s. However, during his time at Syracuse, he rarely carried the ball. However, he was still a three-time lettermen at Syracuse in 1937, 1938 and 1939.


In 1944, Jack married Joane Haggerty. During his time with the Steagles, Joane would cheer on Jack by loudly shouting "Let's Go Honey". This caused the other players on the team to give Jack the nickname "Honey". He was also a cousin of Clarke Hinkle a Hall of Fame fullback with the Green Bay Packers. Hinkle died at his home in Norristown, Pennsylvania from natural causes on November 17, 2006, at the age of 89. He was survived by his wife, his children and grandchildren.