Played one year at Notre Dame before enlisting for World War II, joining the US Marines and saw intense and fierce combat on the Pacific front.
Returned and finished out his college time at Boston College.
Selected in the 1947 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but didn’t play pro football until 1950 with the original Baltimore Colts.
After the Colts went out of business in 1950, experienced the blues of the sport with both the Yanks (1951) and the Texans (1952), also closing up shop after one season each.
It’d be in 1953 that Art joined the second iteration of the Baltimore Colts.
He’d go on to become one of the greatest defensive linemen of that era playing in 138 games, through 1961.
With a personality larger than life, Donovan made frequent appearances on late night television with Johnny Carson and David Letterman spinning tales of old.
He also did radio and owned a country club.
Pro Football Hall of Fame (1968)
Pro Bowl (1953-57)
First Team All-Pro (1954-57)
Second Team All-Pro (1958, 1960)
Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honor
Indianapolis Colts #70 Retired
NFL 1950s All-Decade Team
I remember vividly seeing Art on David Letterman during the 80s when I was a kid. I wasn’t interested in football and I had no idea why or how I was up that late, but I recall that he was very, very funny and I enjoyed his self deprecating humor and stories.
Art Donovan passed away in 2013 at the age of 89 due to respiratory disease.
Had a marvelous journey as a quarterback playing through 18 seasons for 3 leagues and 8 teams from 1952-69.
Played for Kentucky from 1949-51.
In an era not renown for passing, threw for 1627 yards (114/203) and 23 TDs to 12 INT in 1950.
4th pick of the 1952 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers.
Joined CFL Ottawa Rough Riders in 1954, playing there through 55, and also again in 59.
Returned to NFL for a one year stint with the Browns in 56.
Again, played for Packers in 57 and 58.
After one year stint with the CFL again in 59, played for the Oakland Raiders in 1960.
After middling success with Oakland, was traded as part of a blockbuster deal to the Boston Patriots.
Played for the Patriots from 1961-67.
At time of departure from Boston, owned all the franchise’s passing records and many AFL ones as well.
Retired after winning Super Bowl III as Joe Namath‘s backup in Super Bowl III.
Had extensive coaching career.
Passed away in 2017 at the age of 87 after a battle with cancer.
In an age of more sexy names, I really hadn’t considered the legacy of Babe, compared to guys like Tom Brady (of course), or even Drew Bledsoe or Steve Grogan for that matter. -That being said Babe paved the way for those guys.
Well, true to form Bob made me wait almost two years between two returns. When I opened up the Panini Classics pack and found this patch inside, I thought it’d make a great canvas on which to get his autograph. I was not disappointed.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.