The Giants Guys

Giants’ Ring of Honor: Who Should Be the Next Inductees?

Since the New York Giants unveiled their Ring of Honor in 2010, 42 figures throughout the team’s 93-year history have seen their names added to the list of immortals which includes owners, executives, coaches, trainers and players.

Here are the current Ring members:

Owners: Tim Mara, Jack Mara, Wellington Mara, Bob Tisch; Executives: George Young, Ernie Accorsi; Coaches: Steve Owen, Jim Lee Howell, Bill Parcells, Tom Coughlin; Training staff: John Johnson

Pre-1970 Merger Players: Frank Gifford, Sam Huff, Y.A. Tittle, Ken Strong, Andy Robistelli, Tuffy Leemans, Al Blozis, Mel Hein, Roosevelt Brown, Emlen Tunnell, Charlie Conerly, Dick Lynch, Joe Morrison, Alex Webster, Pete Gogolak, Jack Lummus

Post-Merger Players: Harry Carson, Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms, George Martin, Michael Strahan, Jesse Armstead, Amani Toomer, Tiki Barber, Brad Van Pelt, Carl Banks, Mark Bavaro, Dave Jennings, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Snee, Justin Tuck

And here is our list of nominees for the next class of names the franchise should seek to induct:

RB Ottis Anderson is a borderline Hall of Famer who was already a star in the league when the Giants added him via a trade in 1986. With the Cardinals, he was a two-time All-Pro and the 1979 Offensive Rookie of the Year. With the Giants, he was an integral part of two championship teams and was the MVP of Super Bowl XXV. These days, O.J. continues to be around the club and is a great ambassador for Giants Football.

DB Carl “Spider” Lockhart was a 13th round pick out of North Texas in 1965 and played for Big Blue through 1975. He played in two Pro Bowls is second in franchise history in fumble recoveries and third in interceptions. Lockhart passed away in 1986 at age 43, which was ironically his uniform number. To those of us who grew up watching the Giants in the 60s and 70s, Spider is one of our all-time favorite Giants.

RB Joe Morris may have been only 5’7” but he was 190 pounds of tough elusiveness. A second round pick in the 1982 NFL Draft out of Syracuse, Morris was the driving force behind Bill Parcells’ and Ron Erhardt’s offense of the 1980s. Morris was two-time Pro Bowler who rushed for 1.336 yards and 21 TD in 1985. The next season, Morris ran for 1,516 yards and 14 TD, capping the season off with 313 yards in three playoff games including a 159-yard, two touchdown performance against the 49ers and a TD in Super Bowl XXI vs Denver.

Jimmy Patton played safety for the Giants in the Tom Landry days of the late 1950s and retired in 1967. He was known as a fierce competitor and was a five-time All-Pro. His 11 INT in 1958 were the most in the NFL that season. His 53 INT are second in franchise history behind Emlen Tunnell’s 74. Patton died in an auto accident in 1972. His name is rarely mentioned among the great Giants of that era. It is time that he is recognized.

RB Rodney Hampton was the Giants’ first round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft out of Georgia and missed out on the Super Bowl tun that year due to a late-season injury. Hampton played his entire eight-year career with Big Blue, rushing for over 1,000 yards in five straight seasons from 1991-95 and was named to the Pro Bowl twice. He is second in franchise history in rushing yards (6,897) and third in rushing TD with 49.

LB Brian Kelley was a staple on the Giants’ defenses of the 1970s. Ole number 55 played 143 games between 1973 and 1983. He amassed 15 INT and 11 fumble recoveries in his career and was a charter member of the Giants’ LB crew known as The Crunch Bunch along with Brad Van Pelt, Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor which is considered one of the best units in NFL history.

RB Brandon Jacobs epitomized the Giants’ size and toughness on offense in the early 2000s. At 6’4” and 265 pounds, Jacobs instilled fear into defenders with his size and his grit. His 60 rushing TDs are the most in Giants history and he was a key cog in the franchises’s Super Bowl XLII and XLVI winning teams. He remains a fan favorite and remains active in the community after his retirement in 2013.

DE Leonard Marshall will always be known as the guy who ended the 49ers’ “Three-Peat” when he blasted Joe Montana right out of Candlestick Park (and eventually out of San Francisco) in the 1990 NFL Championship Game. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion, two-time Pro Bowler and a two-time second-team All-Pro. Marshall’s 79.5 sacks rank him third in franchise history in that stat behind Michael Strahan and Lawrence Taylor.

Doug Van Horn played 172 games for the forgettable Giants teams of the late 60s and 1970s. Form 1969-73 he lined up at RG, then shifted to RT the new next three seasons. From 1977-79, Van Horn played LG. Since the Giants only had one winning season in Van Horn’s tenure, he went largely unnoticed around the league but was known here in New York as a solid, versatile offensive lineman.

Jim Katcavage was a defensive lineman who played 13 seasons for the Giants from 1956-68. He was a two-time All-Pro and a three-time Pro Bowler. Katcavage played in 165 games for Big Blue, is unofficially credited with 96.5 sacks and hold the franchise record for fumble recoveries with 19. He passed away in 1995 at age 60.

WR David Tyree was a special teams demon who would go on to achieve sports immortality with his acrobatic “helmet catch” in Super Bowl XLII. The facts are that Tyree was a solid player for Big Blue way before that moment. A sixth round pick out of Syracuse in 2003, Tyree was named to the NFL All-Rookie team that year and then to the Pro Bowl in 2005. In addition to his miraculous grab in the Super Bowl, Tyree also had a five-yard TD reception in that game. He currently works for the Giants as their Director of Player Development.

TE Howard Cross has the distinction of been the “bridge” player between the Bill Parcells Giants and the new millennium Giants as his career with the club spanned from 1989-2001. Over that period, Cross played in 207 games for Big Blue which is the third most all-time behind Eli Manning and Michael Strahan. Cross was mainly used as a blocker during his career but did manage to catch 201 passes for 2,194 yards and 17 TDs. He currently works as a sideline reporter during Giants radio broadcasts.

Greg Larsen was an offensive lineman who played 179 games for the Giants between 1961-73, mainly at center. He was a mainstay on those dreadful Giant teams of the 1960s but managed to get noticed through all the obscurity and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1968. Larson played his entire 14-year career for the Giants and should get some type of recognition for his service, but the guess is here that he won’t.

DL Keith Hamilton was a fourth-round pick out of Pitt in the 1992 NFL Draft who would go to play 173 games for the Giants through 2003. Hamilton racked up 63 sacks in his career in which he played both DE and DT. He recorded 11.5 sacks in 1993 and 10 in 2000. His off-the-field troubles, which included several arrests will likely keep him out of the Ring for awhile but he proved to be a durable and reliable player during his 12-year Giant career.

David Diehl was a massive offensive lineman out of Illinois taken by the Giants in fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He played in 164 games from 2003-2013 for Blue at both left and right tackle and both guard positions, including 127 straight at one point. He was part of the record-setting offensive line that included Chris Snee, Kareem McKenzie, Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert. Diehl was a two-time Super Bowl champion in which he started at LT both games. He was named a second-team All-Pro in 2008 and selected to the Pro Bowl in 2009. He currently works as a color analyst for several outlets.

WR Victor Cruz had a short, but illustrious career as Giant. A local product from Paterson High School, Cruz was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Giants in 2010. Cruz only played 70 games over seven seasons with Big Blue but made quite and impact with his penchant for big plays and his signature salsa touchdown celebration. His 99-yard TD reception vs the Jets in 2011 tied him with 12 others for the longest TD catch in NFL history. Cruz’ 1,536 yards receiving that season are the most ever by a Giant. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and caught a TD pass in Super Bowl XLVI.

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