Chargers by the (Jersey) Numbers: #38

 If any of you out there are raising your sons to be pro football players, have them wear #38 and play for the Chargers.  That way, even with a mediocre season, they’re bound for immortality.

Actually, there is one guy who stands above the other 38ers, but his name is so far removed from any of our minds that I’ll be surprised if more than 5 of you have even heard of him.

 

The Winner

 Jacque_mackinnon_medium

Jacque MacKinnon, TE

MacKinnon is testament to perseverance and longevity.  In 9 seasons with the team, he never put up great numbers.  Only one season of more than 30 receptions, one season of more than 600 yards, and only twice did he score as many as 6 TDs in a season.  (But that’s more a testament to how little used the Tight End was in the Charger offense of the 60s.)

 

The fact is the Chargers didn’t know what to do with MacKinnon.  After the Eagles passed on him in 1961, the Bolts "drafted" him in 1962 and tried to make him a ball-carrying fullback.  When that met with limited success, he was switched to Tight End where he toiled behind the likes Howard Clark, Dave Kocourek and Willie Frazier for 7 of his 9 seasons.  But by sticking it out, he would finally get his chance to start, and in those two seasons he made it to the AFL All Star game.

 

Sadly, MacKinnon died in 1975 at age 36.  It’s a shame that he never got to see how important the Tight End position became to the Chargers.  I don’t think he would have minded waiting behind the likes of Winslow and Gates for his shot.

The Rest

Ed Berry, CB

Lou Brock, CB

Leon Burns, RB

Mike Dumas, DB

David Hendrix, S

Robert Holmes, RB

George Layne, FB

Roland Moss, TE

Tommy Thompson, RB

Lee White, RB

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