The NFL announced its special 10 member senior class for the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame. As part of the group of players who have been retired for more than 25 years, former Steelers’ safety and four-time Super Bowl champion Donnie Shell will finally take his rightful place in Canton.
Shell has put up Hall-of-Fame-worthy numbers over his career. In his 14 seasons, Shell was a part of the Steelers’ four Super Bowl wins. Undrafted after the famous 1974 draft for the Steelers, Shell played collegiately for South Carolina State before signing with Pittsburgh. He earned five Pro Bowl selections as well as three first-team All-Pro awards. Known for being able to handle the physicality around the line of scrimmage as well as coverage in the secondary, Shell finished his NFL career with 51 interceptions and 19 fumble recoveries. Shell is on a very short list of players who played their entire NFL career in one city for 14 seasons or more and recorded an interception every year in which he played.
Shell joins several other Steelers in the Pro football Hall of Fame who won four Super Bowl‘s in the 70s: Head coach Chuck Noll, Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, Mike Webster, Lynn Swann, and John Stallworth. It is believed by many the only reason Shell has been held out of Canton for so long is because the number of players already enshrined from the Steelers 70s dynasty. Finally, the NFL has righted this wrong as Shell will now receive his gold jacket this August.
Shell is now the fifth player for the Steelers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame whose first season in the NFL was 1974.
Shells’ phone call where he was informed he was a Hall of Famer can be heard here:
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