It was on January 29th, 1963 that the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its first class of inductees in 1963.  There were 17 players that made up the charter class including:

  • Sammy Baugh
  • Red Grange
  • George Halas
  • "Curly" Lambeau
  • Bronco Nagurski
  • Jim Thorpe, plus 11 more.

A pretty impressive list.

There's a total of 310 inductees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Each new class of between four and eight players, coaches, owners or others involved in the game are announced during the week leading up to the Super Bowl.

Among that total of 310 are 12 individuals who had a connection with the Buffalo Bills:

  • Joe DeLamielleure
  • Jim Kelly
  • Marv Levy
  • James Lofton
  • Bill Polian
  • Andre Reed
  • Jim Ringo
  • Billy Shaw
  • O.J. Simpson
  • Bruce Smith
  • Thurman Thomas
  • Ralph Wilson

Although the Pro Football Hall of Fame isn't officially associated with the NFL all of the inductees played, coaches or had significant contributions in the National Football League....all but one.  Buffalo Bills guard Billy Shaw played his entire career in the American Football League.

He was drafted both by the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL and the Bills of the AFL, but chose to play with the Bills.  He won two AFL championships and was named to eight AFL All-Star games.  He played from 1961 to 1969 and retired from the game after the 1969 season.  The AFL merged with the NFL to form one league to begin play with the 1970 season.