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Gino Marchetti
Defensive end
Jersey #(s)
76, 89
Born January 2, 1927 (1927-01-02) (age 83)
Smithers, West Virginia
Career information
Year(s) 19521966
NFL Draft 1952 / Round: 2 / Pick: 14
College San Francisco
Professional teams
Career stats
Interceptions 1
Fumble recoveries 13
Touchdowns 2
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Gino John Marchetti (born January 2, 1927, Smithers, West Virginia) is a former professional American football player in the National Football League. A defensive end, he played in 1952 for the Dallas Texans and from 1953 to 1966 for the Baltimore Colts.


Early years

Marchetti enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating high school in Antioch, California and fought in the Battle of the Bulge as a machine gunner during World War II. Upon returning home after the war, he attended Modesto Junior College (Calif.) for a year before joining the football program at the University of San Francisco, where his team enjoyed an undefeated season in 1951. He was drafted in the second round with the 14th overall pick by the New York Yanks in 1952. In 2004, Marchetti was voted to the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame.[1]

Pro football career

During his rookie season, the Yanks became the Dallas Texans, which became the Baltimore Colts in 1953. Marchetti played 13 seasons with the Colts and helped them win NFL Championships in 1958 and 1959. During his career, he was noted for being effective against the run and a relentless pass-rusher. Voted "the greatest defensive end in pro football history," as selected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969.[2]

Moved to left offensive tackle in 1954, a position Marchetti hated, but admitted that it taught him how to beat a blocker. Returned to defensive end in 1955 and made his first Pro Bowl.

He made a big play in the 1958 NFL Championship Game when he prevented the New York Giants from gaining a first down. Unfortunately for him, he fractured his ankle on that same play but, as a team captain, insisted on watching the rest of the historic overtime contest from the sideline with his teammates rather than seeking immediate medical attention in the locker room. The injury forced him to miss the Pro Bowl that year and ended his string of nine consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. Gino was First-team All-Pro nine times and a Second-team selection once. Called by Sid Gillman, the Los Angeles Rams head coach, "(T)he greatest player in football. It's a waste of time to run around this guy's end. It's a lost play. You don't bother to try it."[3]

Enshrined in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.[4] Also a member of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.


In 1959, Marchetti joined with several of his teammates, including Alan Ameche, and opened a fast food restaurant. The business grew, began to franchise, and would eventually become known as Gino's Hamburgers. It was a successful East Coast regional fast food chain and had 313 company-owned locations when they were sold to Marriott International in 1982 who abandoned the name in favor of their Roy Rogers restaurants.

Awards and honors

  • Pro Bowl Selection (1955-1965)
  • All-NFL Selection (1956-1964)
  • NFL 50th Anniversary Team ([1969)
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame (1972)
  • Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame (1985)
  • NFL 75th Anniversary Team (1994)
  • All-Madden All-Millennium Team (2000)
  • NFL All-Time Team (2000)
  • In 1999, he was ranked number 15 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the second-highest-ranking defensive end behind Deacon Jones.
  • National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame


External links



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