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Ray Abruzzese

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Ray Abruzzese

Ray Abruzzese
No. 46, 25
Position: Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1937-10-27)October 27, 1937
Place of birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of death: August 22, 2011(2011-08-22) (aged 73)
Place of death: =Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Career information
College: Alabama
NFL draft: 1962 / Round: 16 / Pick: 219
(By the Baltimore Colts)
AFL draft: 1962 / Round: 23 / Pick: 180
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 61
Games started: 2
Interceptions: 9
Stats at NFL.com

Raymond Lewis Abruzzese, Jr. (October 27, 1937 – August 22, 2011) was an American college and professional football player.

Abruzzese was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A defensive back, he played college football at the University of Alabama, and played professionally in the American Football League for the Buffalo Bills from 1962 through 1964, when the Bills won the AFL Championship game, 20–7, over the defending AFL champion San Diego Chargers. He also played for the AFL's New York Jets in 1965 and 1966.

Though it is little-known by today's Professional Football fans, Abruzzese had a major impact on the growth of modern professional football. While they were at Alabama, he and Joe Namath roomed together. When Namath was deciding between signing with the NFL's Cardinals and the AFL's Jets, he told Jets owner Sonny Werblin that he would lean toward the Jets if they would acquire Abruzzese, who was then playing with Buffalo. Bills owner Ralph Wilson cooperated and, for the good of the league, traded Abruzzese to the Jets, who under Namath's leadership went on to defeat the NFL's Baltimore Colts in the third AFL-NFL World Championship game.

Abruzzese died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, aged 73.

See also

External links

  • Abruzzese's 1963 Fleer football card


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