I’m very fortunate in my current job, I occasionally have the chance to go on some interesting web surfing tangents, which often lead me to finding out random information about things that I never knew about things & people that interest me.

1982 Topps Pat McInally

1982 Topps Pat McInally

Today, my surfing led me to the Wikipedia page for Pat McInally, who played for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1975 to 1985.  The reason his name jumped out at me when I saw it on another Wiki page (I believe I was looking at the 1975 draft), was that when I was younger, McInally’s cards would always fascinate me–I’d heard of guys playing multiple positions, but how often do you see a guy that split time between wide receiver and punter?  And later in his career, a punter wearing #87 on his jersey?

(And yes, I know Danny White was often listed as QB-P–but for some reason, that never seemed quite as unusual to me).

Beyond the oddity of his WR/P position, I had never looked much into McInally’s career–what I found was actually kind of interesting:

  • He attended Harvard University, and led the nation in receiving in 1973.
  • He suffered a broken leg in the 1976 College All-Star Game, which forced him to miss his rookie season, and was part of the reason the College All-Star Game was cancelled after the ’76 edition
  • Prior to the 1975 draft, McInally scored what is the only verified perfect score on the Wonderlic Test, which is given to draft prospects at the combine
  • In the 1981 season, McInally became the first NFL player from Harvard to play in the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl (as a punter).  He was also named to the All-Pro team that season.

Perhaps the biggest thing that I didn’t realize about McInally, though, was that he was actually responsible for conceiving the Starting Lineup action figures–precursor’s to today’s popular McFarlane figurines.

After seeing action figures like GI Joe at a toy store, and not seeing any sports related figures, he took his idea to Kenner, and helped them secure the licensing rights to create figures for the NFL, MLB and NBA, and they took off from there.

And this is why, in 1997 (over 10 years after he retired), there was a Pat McInally Starting Lineup figure produced.

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