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Jackie Parker

Jackie Parker holding the 1954 Grey Cup Championship trophy following the game
Place of birth: Knoxville, Tennessee
Date of death: November 7, 2006 (aged 74)
Place of death: Edmonton, Alberta
Career information
Position(s): QB, RB, DB, K
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
College: Mississippi State
NFL Draft: 1953 / Round: 27 / Pick: 325
Drafted by: Detroit Lions
Hand: Right
Organizations
 As player:
1954-1962
1963-1965
1966-1968
Edmonton Eskimos
Toronto Argonauts
BC Lions
Career highlights and awards
Awards: 1954 Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy
1956 Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy
1957 CFL MOP
1957 Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy
1958 CFL MOP
1958 Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy
1959 Dave Dryburgh Memorial Trophy
1959 Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy
1960 CFL MOP
1960 Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy
1961 Dave Dryburgh Memorial Trophy
1961 Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy
Honors: 1983 - Edmonton Eskimos Wall of Honour
Canadian Football Hall of Fame, 1971
College Football Hall of Fame

John Dickerson "Jackie" Parker (died November 7, 2006) was an American football player who became an All-American in college football and an outstanding professional football player in the Canadian Football League at the running back, quarterback, and defensive back positions. He is primarily known for his play with the Edmonton Eskimos. Later in his career, he played for the Toronto Argonauts and the BC Lions, and coached the Eskimos and Lions after his playing career ended.

Parker was named a member of the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971, and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1976. In November, 2006, Parker was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#3) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.[1]

Contents

College career

Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Parker played college football for Jones County Junior College in 1950-51 then two seasons as a member of the Bulldogs at Mississippi State University where he was named to the All-Conference and College Football All-America Teams.

Professional playing career

In 1954, Parker signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Western Interprovincial Football Union (which became part of the Canadian Football League in 1958). Nicknamed "Ol' Spaghetti Legs", Parker became one of the most important parts of the Eskimos dynasty of the mid-1950s. Parker played both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball, a practice not so uncommon in his day as it is today; however, his main strength was offence, where he was both a strong runner and an excellent quarterback. This is shown by his Western All-Star selections; as a running back in 1954, 1957 and 1959, and as a quarterback in 1955, 1956, 1958, 1960 and 1961. Parker won six consecutive Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophies as the West's most outstanding player from 1956 to 1961, and seven in total. He was awarded the Schenley Award as Canadian football's most outstanding player in 1957, 1958 and 1960 and was the runner-up in 1956 and 1961.

During the first three years of his career (1954-1957), the Eskimos won consecutive Grey Cups. In the 1954 Grey Cup, Parker made one of the most famous plays in Grey Cup history when, in the fourth quarter, Ted Tully hit Montreal Alouettes running back Chuck Hunsinger and forced a fumble. Parker recovered the ball and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown, giving the Eskimos, who were a large underdog in the game, a surprise victory. Parker's 90-yard fumble return remains a Grey Cup record to this day.

Following the 1962 season, the Eskimos traded Parker to the Toronto Argonauts for five players and $15,000. Parker played in Toronto from 1963 to 1965.

Parker finished his playing career with the BC Lions in 1968 when, as an assistant coach, he helped the team out of a difficult mid-season situation by donning the pads for one last go round as quarterback. At the time of his retirement, Parker, who also kicked extra points and field goals, had scored a then CFL record 750 points.

Coaching and post-football career

After his playing days ended, Parker moved into coaching. Parker coached the BC Lions for part of the 1969 season and all of 1970, before moving on to the front office as general manager the next year. He stayed as general manager until being fired in 1975.

Parker coached the Eskimos from 1983 until resigning for health reasons two games into the 1987 CFL season.

After leaving football, Parker was an executive with the Interprovincial Steel & Pipe Corporation, Ltd.

On November 7, 2006, Parker died in the early morning hours at a local Edmonton hospital at age 74 due to throat cancer.[2].

Parker's awards and honours

Parker's jersey #91 currently hangs on the Wall of Honour at the Eskimos' Commonwealth Stadium. "Jackie Parker Park" in Edmonton, Alberta was named in his honor.

Jackie Parker was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1971, the Mississippi State University Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1972, the College Football Hall of Fame in 1976, and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1987. In November 2006, Parker was voted one of the CFL's top 50 players (#3) in a poll conducted by Canadian sports network TSN.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b "TSN Top 50 CFL Players". TSN.ca. 2006-11-28. http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/feature/?fid=10867. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  2. ^ Arrowsmith, Lisa (2006-11-07). "Jackie Parker: 1932-2006". CFL.ca (originally appeared in The Canadian Press). http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func=display&nid=13370. Retrieved 2007-05-05. 

External sources

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Hal Patterson
CFL's Most Outstanding Player
1957–1958
Succeeded by
Johnny Bright
Preceded by
Johnny Bright
CFL's Most Outstanding Player
1960
Succeeded by
Bernie Faloney
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Pete Kettela
Edmonton Eskimos Head Coaches
1983–1987
Succeeded by
Joe Faragalli
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