As an average Steelers fan, I’m compelled to compare players from different eras. Dave Bryan was kind enough to publish my original List of Top 500 All-Time Pittsburgh Steelers in January 2017. My last update came at the end of the 2021 NFL season: Top 500 Steelers (2021 Edition).
This seventh edition of the Top 500 All-Time Pittsburgh Steelers incorporates on the field service, recognition, and accomplishments of the 2022 Steelers. Former Steelers rankings may change due to changes to Steelers All-Time individual leaders in select categories, adjusted information in the Pro Football Reference (one of my main resources), or recognition for their play such as the Hall of Honor or Hall of Fame.
Minkah Fitzpatrick First Team All-Pro
Neither Hines Ward nor James Harrison received enough votes to be a Hall of Fame finalist this year. So, I just waited to see which Steelers the Associated Press named first-team All-Pros. Minkah Fitzpatrick made All-Pro for the third time. That achievement bumped him into the top-100 Steelers after four seasons with Pittsburgh.
Kenny Pickett and George Pickens missed the top 500 in their first year. They’ll easily break into the top 500 after next season. This year, wide receiver Charles Davenport is Mr. 500. The very last to make the all-time list. Previous Mr. 500’s includes Ricardo Colclough, Dick Arndt, David Woodley, Pete Ladygo, Lou Tepe, and Chris Carter.
Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt are near the top at number 24 and 26 respectively. There was only one change in the top 23 positions as two players swapped places.
PLAYERS DROPPED OFF THIS EDITION
As players ascend into the top 500; inevitably Newton’s third law of motion forces other players out. Here are the players who fell from last year’s list along with their new ranking:
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Here are some details on these Steelers of yore:
The Steelers drafted Bingham out of Syracuse with a sixth-round pick acquired from New Orleans in 1982 for Dennis “Dirt” Winston. Bingham did not play organized football until his senior year at Stamford High School in Connecticut. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, he moved to the USA with his family when 12, and soccer was his first sport. He is reportedly the first Jamaican to play in the NFL.
A versatile linebacker, he played both outside and inside as the Steelers converted to a 3-4 defense. He made the roster with veterans like Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Robin Cole, and Loren Toews. And competing with fellow rookies Mike Merriweather, Brian Hinkle, and first-year player David Little. Bingham played mainly on special teams and was a reserve linebacker.
A well-conditioned athlete, Bingham thrived running the stadium steps while others complained exhaustively. For one summer workout defensive coordinator, Woody Widenhofer exclaimed, “We’ve got only one linebacker out there who’s busting his butt, Craig Bingham.” But he suffered knee injuries in his first two seasons. In the 1983 playoff loss to the Oakland Raiders, his knee buckled twice. In the offseason, he had three arthroscopic surgeries. Very new at the time. His wife Lynn said, “… if in training camp you start to get bummed out and are feeling terrible just be thankful you have the chance to be there.” By July, he completed the 12-minute endurance run and was near his top 40-yard dash speed with a brace.
Injuries Take their Toll.
But he dislocated his finger in a preseason game against the Eagles. That landed him on injured reserve. In 1984, Jack Lambert was struggling to play with his injured toe. Bingham scheduled for his first start in place of injured Bryan Hinkle against the Houston Oilers. Unfortunately, he was knocked out of the hard-hitting game with a concussion in the third quarter. A 23-20 loss.
In 1985 he was among the final cuts as Chuck Noll opted to go with younger players despite a strong finish in his final two preseason games while recovering from a sprained shoulder. The San Diego Chargers signed him, and he played eight games there. He did not make their team in 1986. Bingham came back to play for the Steelers and started three games during the player’s strike. But he was waived following the settlement.
Craig retains his ties to Pittsburgh. I’ve seen him at many games. Here Bingham talks about training camp under Chuck Noll. Most recently, his daughter Margot Bingham, sang the National Anthem before the 50th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception game.
In 1975, the Steelers quarterback room included Terry Bradshaw, Terry Hanratty, and Joe Gilliam. Pittsburgh drafted Boston College quarterback Mike Kruczek with the second of their three second-round picks in 1976. Not a surprise since Gilliam requested a trade following the Steelers’ Super Bowl win. But Chuck Noll surprised people when he decided to gamble and carry just two quarterbacks on the roster going into the season. He kept Kruczek and released Hanratty.
That decision was second-guessed in the fifth game of the season when Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Joe “Turkey” Jones pile-drove Terry Bradshaw into the turf headfirst. Rookie Kruczek came in late and did score a 22-yard rushing touchdown with 1:15 to play to come within 18-16. The two-time defending Super Bowl champions fell to 1-4 with just a rookie quarterback to lead the way.
Kruczek started the next three games including the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers began a historic run with Chuck Noll calling the plays for the rookie. The Steelers held a narrow 3-0 lead over the San Diego Chargers when Kruczek suffered a neck sprain in his third start. With 10 minutes to play, Bradshaw entered the game to lead Pittsburgh to a 23-0 rout.
Bradshaw started the next two games winning both. But against Miami, Bradshaw hit as he passed the ball, and Kruczek was called back in. He led two scoring drives. One 86-yard drive propelled by two key completions capped by a Franco Harris run. On the second, he hit Frank Lewis for a 64-yard passing play that ended at the one. The Steelers scored for a 14-3 win that saw Kruczek throw just four completions.
With Bradshaw’s swollen wrist in a cast. The Steelers had to win all four of their remaining games to reach the playoffs. And Cincinnati had to lose two of their four games. Kruczek started the next three. First Houston went down 32-16. The critical game was played in Cincinnati. Kruczek completed 10 of 15 passes for 163 yards including a key third-quarter 14-yard completion to Lynn Swann in his first game since the season opener. Franco Harris scored two plays later to pull ahead for a 7-3 win. Pittsburgh routed Tampa Bay in Kruczek’s sixth start. Terry Bradshaw played the second half and started the final game against Houston. Pittsburgh won nine games in a row and Cincinnati lost to Oakland to land the Steelers in the playoffs. Kruczek mopped up in the first playoff completing five of six passes in a 40-14 victory.
Kruczek performed as a game manager. The Steelers won in his six straight starts as a rookie, then an NFL record. In those six starts: Kruczek threw no touchdown passes. The Steel Curtain held opponents to 25 points in those six games. Kruczek passed 72 times completing 43 for 477 yards. Compared to Chuck Noll calling 290 running plays that gained 1171 yards. And that’s excluding quarterback scrambles. In his other 23 games played for the Steelers, he totaled 28 completions, 51 attempts for 499 yards. But Chuck Noll, his teammates including Bradshaw gushed over his calmness and clutch throws under extreme pressure. In 2004 a Pittsburgh quarterback again claimed the consecutive rookie wins record when 22-year-old Steelers rookie Ben Roethlisberger won 13 games to begin his career.
Kruczek would only start one more NFL game as a Washington Redskins in 1980. The Steelers traded him for a midround draft choice after selecting Mark Malone in the first round. Following the NFL, Kruczek coached quarterbacks at Florida State and USFL Jacksonville Bulls. Then became the offensive coordinator and then head coach of the University of Central Florida. Buoyed by Daunte Culpepper Kruczek had a 36-30 record. He was Arizona Cardinals QB coach from 2004-06 and then Dennis Green named him Offensive coordinator in midseason 2006. Afterward, he coached in semipro leagues and since 2013 has been head coach of Trinity Prep of Winter Park Florida.
Kiesling first established his reputation as a player in the early days of the NFL. He played for six different teams for 13 seasons. He started out with the Duluth Eskimos in 1926-27. Then went to the Pottsville Maroons for a year with his Duluth teammate and friend Johnny “Blood” McNally. Kiesling then played for the Chicago Cardinals from 1929-33 where he was NFL all-league guard three times and first-team all-pro in 1930. Kiesling helped the Chicago Bears reach the NFL championship in 1934. In 1935 he rejoined with his pal Johnny Blood in Green Bay for two seasons winning a championship in 1936. Kiesling followed Blood to Pittsburgh as a player-coach in 1937-38. When he retired from playing in 1938; Kiesling’s 13 NFL seasons was the second-longest playing career up to that time. Second only to Johnny Blood who retired in 1938 with 14 seasons. A record that would stand until 1945.
Three Stints as Steelers Head coach
Art Rooney named Kiesling had coach three games into the 1939 season when the mercurial Blood quit after three losses. The Steelers finished 1-6-1 under Kiesling. In 1940, the team fared a little better going 2-7-2. After Art Rooney sold the team and Bert Bell became co-owner, Kiesling was relegated to line coach until Bert Bell and then Aldo Donelli combined for a 0-7 record.
Kiesling began his second stint going 1-2-1 in the final four games. In 1942, Kiesling led the Steelers to their first-ever winning season going 7-4. But World War II intervened taking away most of the players. Kiesling co-coached the 5-4-1 Steagles in 1943 and the hapless 0-10 Card-Pitts in 1944. He left the Steelers in 1945 when Bert Bell made it clear they were going for Jock Sutherland. Kiesling was a line coach for the Packers under Curly Lambeau.
Following Sutherland’s untimely death in 1948, Kiesling returned to Pittsburgh as an assistant. When Joe Bach resigned in the 1954 preseason, Kiesling began his third stint as Steelers head coach despite ill health. He went 14-22 from 1954 to 1956. He stayed on the Steelers staff until his death in 1962 at age 58. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966 and is a member of the NFL 1920s All-Decade team. More details of this fascinating Steelers personality here.
John “Cap” Oehler a captain on the undefeated 1932 Purdue team that ranked fourth in the nation. Cap and three of his Purdue teammates joined the Pittsburgh Pirates (Steelers) in their very first season in the NFL. Pittsburgh opened their inaugural season against the New York Giants. The interior line of Oehler, and his college teammates held their own as the Steelers went into the third quarter down 7-0. Oehler burst through the line and blocked a Giants punt that went out of the end zone for a safety. The Steelers’ first-ever points. But the Steelers wilted in the fourth quarter succumbing 23-2. In his second game, Oehler recovered a fumble at the Cardinals’ 20 in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh exploited Cap’s takeaway for a touchdown and a come-from-behind 14-13 victory. Pittsburgh’s very first win.
The NFL did not pay very much so many players were lured away by better-paying jobs. Cap turned down an assistant coach job at Washington University of St Louis to remain with Pittsburgh in 1934. Oehler started all 23 games Pittsburgh played in their first two seasons. And was team captain in 1934. During his two seasons, newspaper accounts credit Oehler with multiple takeaways including two interceptions in one game and numerous fumble recoveries. Unfortunately, the NFL did not record statistics very meticulously in those days. So, he does not get credit for them in the NFL record books. The Chicago Daily News named him second-team All-Pro in 1934. Oehler announced he was leaving football after the 1934 season to join a business concern in New York. Art Rooney released his signing rights to the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1935 in the second match-up, Oehler collided with Pittsburgh center Cecil “Brute” Mulleneaux and both stretchered off the field. An anchor at center, with Mulleneaux out the Steelers drop their last three games. He played there for two seasons before hanging up his cleats for good.
Oehler married a Pittsburgh girl in 1937. Cap served in the Navy for three years during World War II working at the Neville Island Shipyard. After the war, he worked for Dravo Corporation a shipbuilding company and lived in the Pittsburgh area until 1976. He was a season ticket holder and returned to Pittsburgh to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the team at a 1982 reunion. He died the following May at age 72.
The Miami Dolphins drafted Woodley from LSU in 1980. With the Dolphins, Woodley was the youngest quarterback at 24 to start a Super Bowl back in 1982. The following year Dan Marino supplanted him. The Steelers traded a third-round draft pick and an undisclosed 1985 pick to acquire Woodley as one of a succession of replacements for Terry Bradshaw who retired after the 1983 season. He started 13 games by splitting starts with Mark Malone in two seasons with the Steelers and by 1986 was out of the league. Heavy drinking led to a liver transplant and unfortunately, he passed away at 44 due to liver and kidney failure in 2003.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected three offensive linemen including Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley ahead of Tyrone McGriff in the 1980 draft. McGriff was Mr. Irrelevant as he was the 333rd player selected at the bottom of the 12th round. But the standout guard from Florida A&M did not come to Pittsburgh and signed with the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the CFL instead. However, a few weeks later, he was the final cut. The Steelers contacted his agent and signed him. In his agent’s words, “They (the Steelers) took the high road. They could have taken the low road and said, ‘To heck with him, let him sink or swim.’ But they were fair to him.” Art Rooney Jr. head of the personnel department said, “That wouldn’t of have been the mature thing to do.” The Steelers signed McGriff with more than the minimum $22 thousand salary and kicked in a signing bonus.
Not only did he make the team. But McGriff started 10 games as his rookie season. He saw his first action in the season opener when Ray Pinney concussed. McGriff alternated snaps with Craig Wolfley. McGriff first started at right guard versus Oakland for injured Steve Courson and continued until the end of the year with ten starts. Out of six Pittsburgh draft picks who made the roster. Tyrone McGriff, Mr. Irrelevant, the only one to make the NFL PFWA All-rookie team. Courson returned in 1981, so McGriff played behind Craig Wolfley at left guard often alternating snaps. But he dislocated his wrist in the fourth game missing four games. The strike-shortened 1982 his last season in Pittsburgh. McGriff worked as a security guard at the Pittsburgh Press building and construction during the strike.
NFL free agency rules at the time were very restrictive. The collective bargaining agreement that ended the strike established a new compensation plan for teams losing a free agent. Anywhere from right of first refusal to up to two first-round draft picks depending on the player’s credited seasons and offer over the length of the new contract. But the new USFL gave free agents a new option. McGriff along with Ray Pinney and wide receiver Steve Smith jumped to the USFL where he started for three seasons. In 1985, the Steelers negotiated to re-sign him, but McGriff could not pass his physical.
McGriff coached high school and college football up to 1999. Unfortunately, he died from a heart attack in 2000 at age 41. He was with the Vero Beach public school system at the time. Gregg Bingham an opposing linebacker said of McGriff, “Tyrone may have been the last draft choice. And he may have been cut by the Canadian Football League. But he is a good football player.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Mason Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 draft. A standout quarterback at Oklahoma State, he won the 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the most outstanding senior college quarterback in the nation.
His first opportunity to play came in his second season when Ben Roethlisberger was injured and lost for the season during the second game. In his third start against the Ravens, Rudolph completed 13 of 20 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. But a late hit concussed him knocking him out of the game. He came back after missing a week and Pittsburgh won four of the next five games he started. However, Mike Tomlin replaced him with Duck Hodges due to ineffectiveness. This was a week after Cleveland Browns Myles Garrett clobbered Rudolph in the head with his own helmet in a 21-7 loss. In the next to last game, Tomlin replaced Duck Hodges with Rudolph against the New York Jets and he led two scoring drives to tie the game 10-10. But his shoulder hurt in the third quarter ending his season on injured reserve.
Rudolph started two more games. One, the last game of the 2020 season a 24-22 loss to the Browns. The second was a 2021 midseason 16-16 tie with the Detroit Lions that saw two overtime fumbles by Steelers receivers that cost them a chance at a playoff spot later in the season. Rudolph inactive for the entire 2022 season. The Steelers are unlikely to retain his services for 2023.
Joe Gilliam grew up with football. His father, Joseph Gilliam Sr. was the longtime defensive coordinator at Tennessee State. As a quarterback at Tennessee State Jefferson Street Joe led to two straight wins in the Grantland Rice Bowl and were named Black College national champions in 1970 and 1971. The Steelers drafted Gilliam in the 11th round of the 1972 draft. Gilliam appeared in seven games in his first two years including a start against the Miami Dolphins in 1973. He earned the start by completing 12 of 29 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown while relieving an injured Terry Bradshaw in a 21-16 loss to Cleveland. His first start did not go well. He was 0-7 with three interceptions and Bradshaw came back with the Steelers losing to Miami 20-0. The final result was still a 30-26 loss. But Gilliam got into two more games that season with Bradshaw and Terry Hanratty ahead of him.
In 1974, a threatened strike brought veterans late to camp. Chuck Noll opened up competition between the three quarterbacks. And Joe Gilliam outperformed Bradshaw and Hanratty in preseason games. Gilliam started the first six games with the Steelers 4-1-1. He threw 50 passes in 35-35 ties with Denver. During this run, Gilliam completed 91 of 198 passes for 1205 yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions. In his last start he went 5 for 18 for 78 yards. The team relying on 165 rushing yards to beat Cleveland 20-16. Noll returned the starting job to Bradshaw after that. The Steelers went on to beat the Minnesota Vikings in Pittsburgh’s first Super Bowl win.
Gilliam Faced Racism
I don’t think Joe ever recovered from that decision. Gilliam was very popular with the fans during his six-game stint as the starting quarterback. However, a segment of the fan base demonstrated overt hostility and racism. Pittsburgh Press article mention “…the guy who called the Steeler office the other day and threatened to blow up Three Rivers Stadium if Joe Gilliam isn’t replaced.” He played in seven more games in 1974 and 75. Noll demoted Gilliam to third string at the end of the 1975 season citing missed meetings and curfew violations. Gilliam left the team after the second Super Bowl win and the Steelers said all messages to his parents’ home went unanswered. Gilliam returned to Pittsburgh and asked Chuck Noll to trade him. This likely led to the Steelers drafting Mike Kruczek when they were unable to find a trading partner and released Joe later in the preseason.
Gilliam appeared on the Saints roster in 1976 and 77 but did not make the final roster. He played some semi-pro football afterward. But was in and out of trouble with the law. Gilliam did attend the final game played at Three Rivers Stadium on December 16, 2000, with 50 other former Steelers. He spent time with Kordell Stewart and Tee Martin. Kordell considered Gilliam a pioneer as one of the first starting black quarterbacks. Martin wore the same number as Gilliam. Number 17. His life had been hard following football. He reportedly lived under an overpass using a cardboard box for shelter for an extended period. He hawked his two Super Bowl rings. But fans and friends recovered the rings and entrusted them to his father who was holding them for the right time to return them. Just two weeks later, Gilliam passed away while watching a football game at age 49.
The Steelers signed Randy Fuller after Rod Woodson injured his knee at the start of the 1995 season. The Broncos fourth-round pick in 1994, he played special teams and in nickel defense before Denver waived him during his second summer camp. Fuller played in 39 games with four starts in three seasons with the Steelers. He also played in seven playoff games in the Black and Gold. His highlight moment was in the 1995 playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, he knocked away the Hail Mary pass that clinched the 20-16 victory and a trip to Super Bowl XXX. His reward was Bill Cowher replacing him in dime packages for the big game with Rod Woodson coming back from his knee injury.
In 1997, he strip-sacked Houston’s Steve McNair. Greg Lloyd recovered the fumble but lost it himself before Jason Gildon picked the bouncing ball up and scored the defensive touchdown in a 37-24 win. Randy started three games in 1997 after Carnell Lake was injured. But Fuller injured his groin which hampered him for the rest of the season. Fuller signed with Atlanta following the 1997 season. He finished his NFL career in 1999 with Seattle. Following football, Randy Fuller worked full-time at a residential treatment center helping people with mental health issues.
The Steelers drafted Ricardo Colclough in the second round of the 2004 draft out of Tusculum. He played in 36 games over four seasons with the Steelers. Unfortunately, he is most remembered for a muffed punt early in the 2006 season. With Pittsburgh ahead of Cincinnati 17-14, Colclough signaled for a fair catch on a fourth-down punt. He muffed the catch and the Bengals recovered, scoring on the ensuing drive to take the lead and eventually win 28-20. Had the Steelers won this game and gone 9-7, they owned the tiebreaker with Kansas City and could have secured a wildcard berth into the playoffs following their Super Bowl XL win.
Do you remember these players? If you have an interesting anecdote about any of them, please give us your story in the comment section.
NEWCOMERS TO THE TOP 500
Here are the new additions to the list:
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Nine of ten ascending players were on the 2022 roster. The Steelers drafted five of the current players between 2019-2021. James Pierre a 2020 undrafted free agent. Derek Watt originally drafted by San Diego as a free agent. JC Hassenauer signed as a free agent after playing for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football in 2019. Chris Wormley acquired from Baltimore in a trade. You’re familiar with the current players. Johnny Clement reappears after dropping off the last edition. Here is some gouge on Johnny Zero.
As a sophomore, played for SMU against Jock Sutherland’s Pitt team in 1938 noted for his passing. As a senior, he started at left halfback versus Pitt which ended in a 7-7 tie. The Chicago Cardinals drafted Clement in the fourth round of the 1941 draft. He started four of nine games. He came into the game late and threw two TD passes in a 21-14 loss to the Eagles. A few days later he received orders to report for military duty from the draft board. A pilot he also played for the Maxwell Field Marauders along with his regular military duties.
In 1946, the signing rights to Clement was part of a trade between the Steelers and Cardinals. He played behind Bullet Bill Dudley in 1946 but would sub in all 11 games. Sutherland often sent his second team to start the second half. He had nerve damage in his left shoulder that he played with all seasons. Clement adopted the number 0 which he wore on service teams. He became known as “Johnny Zero.”
A private pilot, he flew from Texas to Pittsburgh in his own plane to meet with Jock Sutherland to discuss his contract in the 1948 off-season. Even landing in a cornfield on one of his stops, “I wanted to see friends in Loudonville …. So, I took a chance, flew over and landed in a cornfield. It was a bit rough but so are those Bears and Giants.” Clement said he delayed signing to see if Dudley would return. “One of the reasons I delayed signing for 1947 was to see what Dudley was going to do. I like football too much to waste my time on the sidelines. Since I have the chance to be a regular left half-back now, I’m not going to muff it.”
Seen as the replacement for Bill Dudley, Clement started out strong among the league leaders in both rushing, passing, and scoring. But then a dislocated elbow against the Chicago Bears in the tenth game sidelined him on the opening drive. The Bears demolished the Steelers 49-7 without Clement in the lineup. He missed the rematch with the Eagles, a 21-0 Steelers loss after being instrumental in the victory in the first game. That’s where he scored two touchdowns on the ground and threw two more. The Steelers averaged 24 points a game in the first nine games. Without Clement, they only scored 24 points in their last three games. Clement set a then-franchise record of 1004 passing yards despite missing two games and most of a third game. He also finished second in the league for rushing. Good enough for second-team All-Pro.
In the playoff against the Eagles. Clement led all runners with 59 yards on 14 carries compared to 18 rushes for 45 yards by the Eagles’ Steve Van Buren (a college teammate that blocked for him in 1941). But Clement got off the mark in passing. The Eagles used the T-formation and former Steeler Tommy Thompson completed 11 of 17 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns. But Clement completed four of 16 passes for 52 yards from the single wing. The Steelers lost the rubber match 21-0.
In 1948, the Steelers stunned by legendary Jock Sutherland’s sudden death in April. John Michelosen took over as coach. Clement injured his ribs in the preseason. The team doctor gave him shots of Novocain before the season opener against Washington. But then separated his shoulder after gaining 127 rushing yards and passing for 81 more in a 17-14 loss. Michelosen wanted to rest Clement but instead, he played the entire next game throwing two touchdown passes including a fourth-quarter toss that put the Steelers in the lead for a 24-14 come-from-behind victory. Clement led the NFL with 223 rushing yards after three games. He reinjured himself in game five, a 34-27 loss to the Giants. He would dress one more time that season but as a tribute not to play.
Clement hoped to return in 1949 but needed medical clearance. Steelers cut salaries and 14 players held out in a salary dispute. Clement did not show for Steeler’s camp. Instead, newspapers reported Clement working out with the Chicago Hornets of the All-America Conference. Steelers general manager John Holahan revealed that salary negotiations had broken down as Clement signed with the Hornets. “Naturally, we ‘cut Clement’s salary,’ We cut all the salaries and he had to go along with the rest. We saw we were getting nowhere with him. We told him he was free to dicker with any club in football.”
The Steelers also lost John Mastrangelo to the AAC. Art Rooney provided his perspective: “All our troubles are supposed to have started with salary cuts. No player likes to be cut down but there weren’t that many to worry about. For example, Clement made $7000 ($90773 today) with us in 1947. We raised him to $10,000 in 1948. He played only half the season, not even that, but received his pay just the same. This year, we weren’t sure he’d play at all but sent him a contract of $7000 which I thought was very fair.”
The Steelers improved to 6-5-1 without the services of Clement or Mastrangelo. Clement played 12 games for the Hornets in 1949. Then Clement rejoined the military during the Korean war as a B-36 bomber pilot. After the war, he went into construction and then an air taxi service. He would meet the Steelers teams at the airport whenever they flew to Dallas. Tragically, he died in December 1969 while piloting an aircraft. It crashed near Mountain City, Tennessee but the wreckage was not found until January 29, 1970. He was just 50. So, he never got to see the Steelers win a playoff game.
24 players played a regular season game in Steelers uniforms for the first time in 2022. There are now 1,601 players who have worn the Black and Gold in at least one regular season game since the team entered the league in 1933.
Many of you may dispute where I rank different players. That’s okay by me. I use a matrix, so once I crunch the numbers players end up where they do. I wish some of my favorite players ranked higher. Conversely, there are some jagoffs that I wish came in lower on the rankings. It is what it is. Here we go.
The full list of Top-500 Steelers is just below your music selection.
YOUR MUSIC SELECTION
I always like to include some music. A lot of these Steelers are no longer with us. But to my mind, they’re still with us as the Black and Gold. Don’t you wish they were here? Here is Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.
The Top 500 Steelers (2022 Edition):
*Hall of Fame! Hall of Honor