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Cookie Gilchrist

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Title: Cookie Gilchrist  
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Subject: American Football League, Booker Edgerson, Joe Auer, History of the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Bills
Collection: 1935 Births, 2011 Deaths, African-American Players of Canadian Football, American Football League All-Star Players, American Football League All-Time Team, American Football League Champions, American Football League Most Valuable Players, American Football League Rushing Leaders, American Football Running Backs, Buffalo Bills (Afl) Players, Canadian Football Running Backs, Cancer Deaths in Pennsylvania, Deaths from Esophageal Cancer, Denver Broncos (Afl) Players, Grey Cup Champions, Hamilton Tiger-Cats Players, Miami Dolphins (Afl) Players, Ontario Rugby Football Union Players, People from Brackenridge, Pennsylvania, Players of American Football from Pennsylvania, Sarnia Imperials Players, Saskatchewan Roughriders Players, Toronto Argonauts Players
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Cookie Gilchrist

Cookie Gilchrist
Date of birth (1935-05-25)May 25, 1935
Place of birth Brackenridge, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Date of death January 10, 2011(2011-01-10) (aged 75)
Place of death Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Career information
Position(s) Fullback
Uniform number 21, 34, 2, 30
College None
Career history
As player
1954 ORFU Sarnia Imperials
1955 ORFU Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen
1956–57 CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats
1958 CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders
1959–61 CFL Toronto Argonauts
1962–64 AFL Buffalo Bills
1965, 1967 AFL Denver Broncos
1966 AFL Miami Dolphins
Career highlights and awards
AFL All-Star 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965
CFL All-Star 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960
Awards 1960 Runner Up CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award
1962 AP, UPI AFL MVP,
AFL Rushing champion (1962, 1964)
Honors Grey Cup Champion 1957
American Football League Champion, 1964
All-Time All-AFL Fullback
Records Most rushing touchdowns,
season, 13 (1962)
Career stats
  • Playing stats at DatabaseFootball.com

Carlton Chester "Cookie" Gilchrist (May 25, 1935 – January 10, 2011) was a gridiron football player in the American Football League and Canadian Football League.

Contents

  • Career 1
  • Career regular season statistics 2
  • After football 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Honors 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Career

A star player at Har-Brack High School (Natrona Heights, Pa), in 1953 he led the team to the W.P.I.A.L. co-championship with Donora. As a junior, he was talked into signing a professional football contract with the NFL's Cleveland Browns by Paul Brown. The signing was against NFL rules and likely illegal, and when Brown reneged on his promise that Gilchrist would make the team, Gilchrist left training camp at Hiram College, in Hiram, Ohio, and went to Canada to play. There, in the Ontario Rugby Football Union (ORFU), he received the Jim Shanks (Team MVP) Trophy for the Sarnia Imperials in 1954, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen's Team MVP Award in 1955.

In 1956, he joined the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, helping lead them to a 1957 Grey Cup victory. He spent one season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, rushing for 1,254 yards. He then was traded to the Toronto Argonauts for Tex Schwierer, and played three years in Toronto.[1] In his six years in the CFL, Gilchrist was a divisional All-Star at running back five consecutive years from 1956 to 1960 (there were no All-Canadians selected in those years) and was also an Eastern All-Star at linebacker in 1960. Additionally, in 1960 he was runner up for the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award. In his CFL career, Gilchrist recorded 4,911 rushing yards, 1,068 receiving yards and 12 interceptions.

Gilchrist then joined the roster of the Buffalo Bills of the fledgling American Football League. Incidentally, Gilchrist was Buffalo's backup plan: they had actually drafted Ernie Davis to be the team's franchise running back in 1962. Davis instead chose the NFL, but died of leukemia before ever playing a down of professional football. The Bills instead signed Gilchrist as a free agent. While with Buffalo, Gilchrist played fullback and kicked, though he insisted he could have played both ways. He was the first 1,000-yard American Football League rusher, with 1,096 yards in a 14-game schedule in 1962. That year he set the all-time AFL record for touchdowns with 13, and he earned AFL MVP honors. Gilchrist rushed for a professional football record 243 yards and five touchdowns in a single game against the New York Jets in 1963. Though he was with the Bills for only three years (1962–1964), he remains the team's ninth-leading rusher all-time,[2] and led the league in scoring in each of his three years as a Bill. Gilchrist ran for 122 yards in the Bills' 1964 American Football League championship defeat of the San Diego Chargers, 20-7. His 4.5 yard/rush average is second as a Bill only to O.J. Simpson.

In an early civil rights victory for black athletes, Gilchrist led a successful boycott of New Orleans as the site of the 1965 American Football League All-Star game. He is the only athlete to turn down being enshrined into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum, because of what he described as racism and exploitation by management. Gilchrist frequently was at odds with team management. He told a reporter from the London Free Press that most of the problems he encountered were a result of his standing up for principles at a time when black athletes were expected to remain silent.

Gilchrist also played for the Denver Broncos in 1965 and 1967, and for the Miami Dolphins in 1966. He was sent to the man who started his career, Paul Brown in the Cincinnati Bengals expansion draft in 1968, but retired because of knee problems. He was an American Football League All-Star in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965, making him one of only a few professional football players who made their league's All-Star team for 10 consecutive years (six in the CFL, and four in the AFL). Gilchrist was selected as the fullback of the All-Time American Football League Team.

Career regular season statistics

Team Rushing Receiving Field Goals & Converts Interceptions
Year Team GP Rushes Yards Ave. Lg TD Rec Yards Ave Lg TD FG Made Ave. S Con Good Int Yds Ave Lg TD
1956 Hamilton Tiger-Cats - 130 832 6.4 70 2 18 297 15.5 40 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 7 3.5 6 0
1957 Hamilton Tiger-Cats - 204 958 4.7 57 7 8 82 10.3 19 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 65 21.7 55 2
1958 Saskatchewan Roughriders - 235 1254 5.3 73 5 15 144 9.6 41 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1959 Toronto Argonauts - 87 496 5.7 69 4 5 70 14.0 38 1 14 9 64.3 0 24 16 4 66 16.5 32 0
1960 Toronto Argonauts 14 88 662 7.5 74 6 25 346 13.8 42 2 18 5 27.8 0 48 43 1 16 16.0 16 0
1961 Toronto Argonauts 12 105 709 6.8 67 3 15 147 9.8 24 0 9 5 55.6 3 11 5 2 41 20.5 35 0
1962 Buffalo Bills 14 214 1096 5.1 44 13 24 319 13.3 76 2 20 8 40 0 17 14 0 0 0 0 0
1963 Buffalo Bills 14 232 979 4.2 32 12 24 211 8.8 42 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1964 Buffalo Bills 14 230 981 4.3 67 6 30 345 11.5 37 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1965 Denver Broncos 14 252 954 3.8 44 6 18 154 8.6 29 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1966 Miami Dolphins 8 72 262 3.6 22 0 13 110 8.5 22 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1967 Denver Broncos 1 10 21 2.1 6 0 1 -4 -4.0 -4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CFL Totals - 849 4911 5.8 74 28 86 1068 12.4 42 5 41 19 46.3 4 83 64 12 195 16.3 55 2
AFL Totals 65 1010 4293 4.3 67 37 110 1135 10.3 76 6 20 8 40.0 0 17 14 0 0 0 0 0
Career Totals - 1859 9204 5.0 74 65 196 2203 11.2 76 11 61 27 44.3 4 100 78 12 195 16.3 55 2

After football

Gilchrist had numerous feuds with the people he worked with during his football career. He refused entry into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame on account that he did not believe he was paid well enough for his service.[3][4] He also refused to accept enshrinement on the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame because he wanted payment for appearing; Van Miller eventually convinced Gilchrist to change his mind, but Gilchrist was not inducted prior to his death.[5] Gilchrist was posthumously inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.[6] Gilchrist did accept induction onto the Bills' Wall of Honor, the predecessor to the Wall of Fame that had been set up at War Memorial Stadium in 1970, but none of the honorees on that wall were carried over to Ralph Wilson Stadium when it was built in 1973.[7]

In an article in The Buffalo News on March 18, 2007, Gilchrist, then 71, announced that he was being treated for throat cancer. At the time, he lived in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania.

On January 10, 2011, Gilchrist died at an assisted living facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[3][8] Gilchrist was posthumously diagnosed with stage four chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which may explain, in part, some of his behavioural difficulties.[4] Gilchrist was aware of the possibility that he had the disease when writing his autobiography, The Cookie That Did Not Crumble, along with Chris Garbarino. Consequently, he donated his brain to the Canadian Sports Concussion Project for use in their study of CTE.

Personal life

In 1969, Gilchrist dated Jessica Cleaves of The Friends of Distinction.[9]

Honors

  • First American Football League player to gain over 1,000 yards in a season (14 games, 1,096 yards in 1962)
  • Previously held the American professional football record for most yards rushing in a game, 243 yards vs. the New York Jets, on December 8, 1963.
  • His number 34 has been unofficially set aside by the Buffalo Bills, to honor both him and Thurman Thomas, who also wore the number.[10]
  • Honored by the Professional Football Researchers Association's “Hall of Very Good,” a collection of outstanding professional football players not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as part of its 2013 class.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ Toronto Star, Thursday 28 July 1960, page 15.
  2. ^ http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/buf/career-rushing.htm
  3. ^ a b Graham, Tim (2011-01-11). Cookie Gilchrist rumbled right until the end. ESPN.com. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  4. ^ a b Gaughan, Mark (November 6, 2011). Gilchrist had severe damage to brain. The Buffalo News. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  5. ^ Van Miller on the passing of Bills RB Cookie Gilchrist. WIVB-TV. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  6. ^ Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame 2011. WIVB-TV. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
  7. ^ Sullivan, Jerry (June 29, 2015). "Door may be ajar to honor Bills greats Saban, Gilchrist". The Buffalo News. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  8. ^ Although the obituary published on January 10, 2011 in the New York Times and on January 10, 2011 in the Buffalo News both say he died in Pittsburgh.
  9. ^ . “Jessica Cleaves blogspot”.
  10. ^ Brown, Chris (2011-06-17). The untouchable numbers. BuffaloBills.com. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  11. ^ http://www.profootballresearchers.org/HOVG.htm

External links

  • Cookie Gilchrist's Official Website Maintained By The Gilchrist Family
  • Pittsburgh Post-GazetteObituary from the
  • Cookie Gilchrist's CFL statistics
  • Cookie Gilchrist at Pro-Football-Reference.com
Preceded by
George Blanda
American Football League MVP
1962
with Len Dawson
Succeeded by
Lance Alworth, Clem Daniels, & Tobin Rote
Preceded by
Billy Cannon
American Football League Rushing Leader
1962 (14 games)
1,096 yds, 5.1 yds/att
Succeeded by
Clem Daniels
Preceded by
Clem Daniels
American Football League Rushing Leader
1964 (14 games)
981 yds, 4.3 yds/att
Succeeded by
Paul Lowe
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