Two all-time Eagles greats are one step closer to being immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee named 31 semifinalists for the Class of 2024 on Wednesday, including offensive/defensive tackle Al Wistert and linebacker Maxie Baughan, who both won championships in Philadelphia. Both players are already in the Eagles Hall of Fame.
The Pro Football Hall’s 12-person Seniors Committee will now vote again to whittle this list down to 12. Those results will be announced on July 27. The committee will then meet again on Aug. 23 and can select up to three Seniors for final consideration for the Class of 2024. The expansion for the Seniors pool was approved for 2023, 2024 and 2025.
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(In addition to the 31 Seniors, the Hall of Fame also announced 29 Semifinalists in the Coach/Contributor category.)
Both Wistert and Baughan are certainly deserving of consideration to become Pro Football Hall of Famers.
Wistert’s career lasted from 1943-1951 and he was named a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1940s. Wistert was a two-way player but really shined on the offensive side of the ball. He’s one of the greatest offensive linemen in Eagles history.
Nicknamed the “Big Ox,” Wistert led the Eagles to two NFL Championships in 1948 and 1949 and was an All-Pro for four consecutive seasons from 1944-47. He was also named to the inaugural Pro Bowl in 1951.
Wistert, a Chicago native, was drafted in the fifth round out of Michigan in 1943 and played his entire career in Philadelphia. Wistert was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1968.
The Eagles retired Wistert’s No. 70 in 1952 and he was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2009. Wistert died in 2016 at the age of 95.
Baughan began his career in Philadelphia in 1960 as the No. 20 overall pick out of Georgia Tech. And the Forlkand, Alabama, native helped the Eagles win the NFL Championship in his rookie season. He played for the Eagles through the 1965 season before finishing his career with the Rams and Washington.
In total, Baughan was a nine-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in 1964. Five of his Pro Bowls came as a member of the Eagles over a six-season stint. In his career, Baughan played in 147 games and had 18 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries.
Baughan, 84, was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2015.