David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, prepares for the unveiling of the 11 Player Pylons at Centennial Plaza. The pylons were shown for the first time publicly at halftime of the game Thursday night between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals.

Canton, Pro Football Hall of Fame showoff ’excellence’ to nationwide TV audience on NFL centennial

Story by Steve Doerschuk (CantonRep.com)

CANTON On the big anniversary, the big boss thought back to the downtown doings in Canton that Friday a century ago.

“I have often wondered if those guys knew where they were going with this,” said DavidBaker, executive director at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Baker seems large enough to smash a golf ball from the roof of The Canton Repository, overBender’s Tavern, and into the cradle. It would be a heck of a drive, but then, “those guys”kicked off a whale of a ride.

On Friday Sept. 17, 1920, at Ralph Hay’s Hupmobile agency at 201 Cleveland Ave. SW, heads of pro teams from four states huddled and formed the NFL. If you go by history acknowledged at the tavern, the meeting moved across the street for drinks at Bender’s, making it twin “cradles.”

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