NFL

Two players selected by Hall of Fame Seniors Committee

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Linebackers Chris Hanburger, a nine-time Pro Bowler for the Washington Redskins, and Les Richter, who was voted to eight Pro Bowls during his nine-year career with the Los Angeles Rams, have been named by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee as finalists for election with the Class of 2011.

Hanburger and Ricther will join 15 still-to-be-named modern-era finalists from which the Hall of Fame Class will be selected. The selection meeting will be held February 5, the day before Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium. To be considered a senior nominee, a player must have completed his active football career by at least 25 years. And to be elected, the former linebackers each must receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists.

Hanburger played 14 seasons with the Redskins, who drafted him the 18th round of the 1965 NFL Draft. An integral part of the dominant Redskin teams of the 1970s, he earned first-team All-NFL acclaim four times in a five-year period from 1972-76. He was also named All-Eastern Conference in 1968 and 1969 and All-NFC six times in seven seasons from 1970-76.

Hanburger played 187 career games and intercepted 19 passes, two of which he returned for touchdowns, over nine NFL seasons. In addition, he also scored three times on fumble returns.

“I’m thrilled to death, and I appreciate it very, very much,” Hanburger said Wednesday when contacted by Hall of Fame officials following the meeting by the Seniors Committee members.

Richter recorded 16 interceptions in his 112-game career that ended with his retirement after the 1962 season. Richter, who also handled the placekicking duties for the Rams early in his career, totaled 193 points on 106 extra points and 29 field goals.

The Rams dealt 11 players in 1952 to acquire the rights to Richter. After serving two years in the military, he joined the Rams in 1954 and quickly turned into one of the most dominant linebackers of his era. In addition to his eight Pro Bowls, Ricther also earned first or second-team All-NFL honors every season from 1955-60.

Richter passed away June 12, 2010 at age 79.

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