Don Maynard hall of fame career is loaded with fantastic accomplishments, and connections to some of the greatest moments in professional football history. He started at Rice University and finished at Texas-El Paso, and then drafted by the New York Giants in the ninth round of the 1957 NFL draft. He played one season with the Giants before heading north to spend 1959 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. After the AFL was formed, head coach Sammy Baugh made Don Maynard the first player that he signed to the New York Titans. Maynard, first a Titan and later a Jet, stayed in New York through the 1972 season. He played his last two games as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, before wrapping up his football career in 1973.
Take just a moment, and think about the league-changing experiences of which Don Maynard was a part:
- As a member of the Giants, he played in the famed 1958 NFL Championship Game against the Baltimore Colts, arguably the most important game in league history.
- He was a charter member of the New York Titans.
- Don Maynard was with the club when Sonny Werblin purchased the Titans and quickly turned them into the Jets.
- He was there for Joe Namath’s signing, and quickly became Namath’s go-to receiver.
- Maynard played in Super Bowl III, which is also, arguably, the most important game in league history.
- As a 10-year AFL player, Don Maynard was around for the league’s inception, as well as the merger in 1970.
As if having these experiences alone were not enough, Don Maynard was a dynamic receiver who earned his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. Some of the other accomplishments and accolades that he earned along the way include:
- Four AFL All-Star selections
- 633 receptions for 11,834 yards and 88 touchdowns
- An 18.7-yards-per-catch average over his career
- AFL All-Time First Team member
I had a chance to speak with Don Maynard over the phone recently, and he recalled his days in the AFL, and our discussion can be found below.