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"Today it is Bob Waterfield's honor and it's my privilege. He's a young man who led his UCLA team to the Rose Bowl, and as a rookie quarterback took the Cleveland Rams to a championship ... Not only has he become now a member of the Hall of Fame of football, but long before that he was a family man Hall of Fame [member]. That's the type of young man he is and it's with great pride and with great joy that I ... present to him the award and greet him as one of the great members of the great, great football Hall of Fame."
Actor Pat O'Brien, Introducing 1965 Hall of Fame Inductee Bob Waterfield
"I would just like to take time now to say thank you to everyone that has been responsible for this. All the people in the Hall of Fame, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and for my family and myself I want to thank the people from this wonderful town of Canton. It's been a beautiful experience and really one of the highlights of my life. Thank you once again."
Bob Waterfield, Delivering His 1965 Hall of Fame Speech
On September 12, 1965, Bob Waterfield was inducted into Canton as part of the elite third-ever Hall of Fame Class, along with Guy Chamberlin, Paddy Driscoll, Dan Fortmann, Otto Graham, Sid Luckman and Steve Van Buren. This is the actual Hall of Fame bust presented to Waterfield that day—as shown in the photo seen here, which also appears on Waterfield's enshrinement page of the HOF website. (In fact, the key to the direct photo match is the underside, where the plaster composition comes to an identical central point.) At 19" tall and 19 pounds, the sculpture immediately captures viewers' attention with its imposing, dramatic visuals—not to mention the sheer knowledge that no other Waterfield Hall of Fame bust exists outside of its bronze brother in Canton. And then, of course, there's the eye-catching element of Waterfield's movie-star good looks.
About 95% of the surface of the bust itself seems as smooth as the day of manufacture, yet contact marks are located here and there, such as a small blemish on the tip of the nose and nape of the neck, plus a few inexplicable vertical hairlines on the left and right sides. Shades of greenish-hued toning and other unobtrusive general handling wear are also present. As for the base, it exhibits considerable chipping to all four sides of the bottom edges, which our consignor tells us resulted from earthquake damage in Waterfield's California home. Engraved on the reverse are the initials "JW" for none other than the renowned sculptor Jack Worthington, who is credited with an astounding 144 of Canton's Hall of Fame busts. LOA from the Waterfield family.
Bob Waterfield 1965 NFL Hall of Fame Bust
Click above for larger image.