The Pittsburgh Steelers had a special announcement on Tuesday by team president Art Rooney II where they announced the team will be retiring the number 32 jersey of Steelers running back Franco Harris. The ceremony to retire the number will be during halftime of the Steelers matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Eve when they will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception.
Franco Harris will be only the third player in Steelers history to have their number retired by the team. The first number retired was that of defensive tackle Ernie Stautner in 1964, five years before he was elected to the pro football Hall of Fame. The other member the Pittsburgh Steelers to have their number retired was defensive tackle Joe Greene when he was bestowed the honor in 2014.
The Steelers first-round pick in the 1972 NFL draft out of Penn State, Franco Harris played 12 years in Pittsburgh where he was selected to nine Pro Bowls and one First Team All-Pro in 1977. Harris also was the 1972 Offense of Rookie of the Year as well as 1976 NFL Man of the Year, now named the Walter Payton Man of the Year. In 12 seasons in Pittsburgh, Harris had eight years in which he rushed for more than 1,000 yards with his top yardage coming in 1975 with 1,246 yards. In all, Harris had 91 rushing touchdowns and nine receiving touchdowns in his regular season career with Pittsburgh as well as 16 rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown in the postseason.
The retirement ceremony during halftime of the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Las Vegas Raiders on December 24, 2022, will be the final event of several planned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception. Per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, there will also be a special ceremony held at the exact location and the exact time of the reception on Friday, December 23.
As part of the celebration, the Steelers will hold a ceremony the day before the 12/24 game at a marker that sits outside Acrisure Stadium commemorating the exact spot where Harris caught the deflected pass. The ceremony will be held at 3:29 p.m., the exact time Harris scored.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) September 6, 2022
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