Sports Outside the Beltway

Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Dudley dead at age 88

He was league MVP in 1946. RIP.

Bill Dudley, a Hall of Fame player who in 1946 with the Pittsburgh Steelers led the NFL in rushing, punt returns and interceptions, has died. He was 88.

He had a stroke Saturday and was admitted to Lynchburg General Hospital, son Jim Dudley said Thursday. He said his father had not been ill before the stroke and died in his wife’s arms.

“Bullet” Bill Dudley was a runner, passer, punter, kicker and defensive back during his nine-year NFL career, highlighted by his 1946 season in which he was the league’s Most Valuable Player. While with the Washington Redskins, he shared an apartment with NFL great Sammy Baugh. Dudley later served in the Virginia Legislature.

“He lived to a high standard,” Jim Dudley told The Associated Press. “He was devoted to service and having a positive effect on those people he associated with, and he did. If that’s the measure of greatness, he was a great man.”

Dudley starred in college at Virginia and was the No. 1 overall draft choice of the Steelers in 1942. He played three seasons with Pittsburgh, a stay interrupted in 1943 and 1944 because of Army service during World War II. He later played three years with the Detroit Lions and three with the Redskins, ending with his retirement in 1953.

The year after his MVP season, Dudley scored 11 touchdowns — on seven receptions, two rushes, a punt return and an interception return.

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