Heffelfinger, William

Heffelfinger, (William Walter) “Pudge”

(1867–1954) football player; born in Minneapolis, Minn. A four-year starting guard for Yale (1888–91), he was named to the first three All-America teams. He enabled Yale to defeat Princeton's famous "flying wedge" by leaping over the blockers and landing on the runner. In 1892, he accepted $500 from the Allegheny Athletic Association to play a game in Pittsburgh, Pa., and thus became the first professional player.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.