Thursday, September 29, 2016

1959 Topps Nick Pietrosante


Again in 1959 UPI and The Sporting News had differing opinions on the Rookie of the Year. Earlier I made  a Card That Never Was of UPI Rookie of the Year, Boyd Dowler. Dowler was drafted out of Colorado and his rookie year was also the first year Vince Lombardi coached the Packers. His 549 receiving yards and 4 TDs helped the Pack improve from 1-10-1 in 1958 to 7-5 in 1959.
The Sporting News ROY was a fullback out of Notre Dame that was the Lions first round draft pick. Nick Pietrosante led the league in rushing yards per carry with 5.9 his rookie season. He was also a receiving target out of the backfield and finished his first year with 587 all-purpose yards. 

Pietrosante was a two-time Pro Bowler and when he left the team after the 1965 season he was the Lions all-time leading rusher with 3933 yards. In 1966 he was signed by the Cleveland Browns to help fill the gaping hole left by the loss of Jim Brown. Pietrosante, however, saw limited action as Ernie Green moved from halfback to fullback and return specialist Leroy Kelly took over at halfback. Pietrosante retired after the 1967 season.

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