|No. 83, 84, 26|
|Born:||January 17, 1937|
Ponca City, Oklahoma
|Died:||February 29, 2008 (aged 71)|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||194 lb (88 kg)|
|High school:||Magnolia (TX)|
|NFL Draft:||1959 / Round: 2 / Pick: 22|
(By the New York Giants)
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Gilbert Leroy "Buddy" Dial (January 17, 1937 – February 29, 2008) was an American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Rice University.
Dial was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, but grew up in Magnolia, Texas. He attended Magnolia High School, where he played six-man football, while being a three-time All-District End and linebacker. He helped his team achieve district titles in his junior and senior years, although they lost the class B regional championship to Sugar Land High School in 1953 and to Barbers Hill High School in 1954.
In 2002, he was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame.
Dial attended Rice University and played as a two-way end on the football team. In 1956, he had 21 receptions for 357 yards, five touchdowns, and was selected sophomore lineman of the year in the Southwest Conference. In 1957, he made 21 receptions (which led the Southwest Conference) for 508 yards, four touchdowns, and was named All-Southwest Conference. He contributed to Rice winning the conference championship in the Cotton Bowl Classic, and was named to the All-Bowl All-Star team. In 1958, he caught 19 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns. He was the team's co-captain and Most Valuable Player. He also received consensus All-American and the Columbus Touchdown Club Lineman of the Year honors.
In 1971, he was inducted into the Rice Athletics Hall of Fame. In 1993, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
New York Giants
On September 24, 1959, Dial was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Steelers, teaming him with quarterback Bobby Layne. In 1960, Dial set a team record by having a 24.3-yard average per reception. He tallied 40 receptions for 972 yards and nine touchdowns.
In 1961, Dial registered 53 receptions (tied for eighth in the league) for 1,047 yards (fifth in the league), a 19.8-yard average (third in the league), and 12 touchdowns (second in the league and a Steelers franchise record). He became the first player in team history to gain 1,000 receiving yards and also set a team record with 235 receiving yards in the sixth game against the Cleveland Browns, including the longest pass play in Steelers history (88 yards). He set a franchise record by scoring at least one touchdown in 11 consecutive games.
In 1962, he recorded 50 receptions for 981 and six touchdowns. After scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys, a loud cannon charge was set off in front of him (a Steelers tradition) as he ran into the endzone; this was memorialized by NFL Films as one of the league's greatest follies. The team made the Playoff Bowl, losing 10-17 against the Detroit Lions.
In 1963, he collected 60 receptions (fifth in the league) for 1,295 yards (second in the league and breaking his club record), a 21.6-yard average (led the league) and 9 touchdowns (tied for seventh in the league).
On January 1, 1964, with the team looking to shore up its defense, Dial was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for first-round draft choice Scott Appleton, who was selected by the Cowboys after previously agreeing to the deal with the Steelers. Appleton ended up signing with the Houston Oilers of the American Football League, who had also drafted him in the first round. The persistence both teams showed in their attempts to sign Appleton became known as the "Buddy Dial for Nothing" trade.
Dial left with team records of 229 receptions for 4,723 receiving yards, 42 touchdown receptions, single-season touchdown receptions (12), single-game receiving yards (235), single-season receiving yards (1,295), career yard-per-reception average (21.6) and single-season yards-per-reception (24.3). He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
In 2018, he was inducted into the Steelers Hall of Honor.
In 1964, Dial started in one game, after being limited with a thigh injury he suffered in training camp that required surgery. He registered 11 receptions for 178 yards and one touchdown. His best game came against the Steelers, in which he tallied five receptions for 100 yards.
In 1966, he was a backup behind Gent, starting in three games, while making 14 receptions for 252 yards and one touchdown. In 1967, he was placed on the injured reserve list after having back surgery. He announced his retirement in 1968. Dial finished his career with 261 receptions for 5,436 yards, a 20.8-yard average (second in league history), 44 touchdowns, and four carries for 14 yards.
Dial started Christian devotional services with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. While playing for the Steelers, he recorded an album of inspirational songs called "Buddy Dial Sings on Word Records." In 1966, he recorded a single with Challenge Records 59352, "Baby" b/w "Back in the Old Days". It became a hit in various regional areas, topping the Dallas KLIF radio charts in late 1966 and early 1967, but failed to make the national charts.
Injuries during his NFL career led to significant health problems brought on by the abuse of painkilling drugs (eventually losing a kidney), before receiving treatment in the late 1980s. On February 29, 2008, he died at the age of 71, of complications from prostate cancer and pneumonia.
- "Giants Cut Buddy Dial". Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "Steelers Take Dial of Giants". Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "Obituary: Buddy Dial / Steelers end only 5 years but high in record books". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. March 4, 2008. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "Team's male squad had a blast, briefly". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. October 2, 2007. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "1964 draft left lasting impact on Dallas Cowboys, NFL". NFL.com. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "Houston Oilers Sign Appleton". Star-News, via Google News. Wilmington, North Carolina. United Press International. February 2, 1964. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "Roamin' Around". Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- "How Steelers Choked On Scott Appleton". Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "Steelers 2018 Hall of Honor Class revealed". Pittsburgh Steelers. July 28, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- "Bettis case rekindles painkiller debate in NFL". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved February 3, 2019.