CANTON, Ohio — As relaxed as if he had no one to block, Jonathan Ogden became the first Baltimore Raven enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He was followed moments later by former Packers linebacker Dave Robinson.
Ogden was the leadoff inductee Saturday night in his seven-member class, just as he was the first player drafted by the Ravens after the franchise moved from Cleveland in 1996 and was renamed. The man who made that selection, fellow Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome, now Baltimore’s general manager, presented the massive offensive tackle.
Newsome was one of more than 120 hall members, a record, who returned to Fawcett Stadium for the festivities as the hall celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Joining Ogden and Robinson in the current induction class are Larry Allen, an offensive lineman who played 12 of his 14 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys; Cris Carter, who spent 12 of his 16 seasons as a wide receiver with the Minnesota Vikings; defensive tackle Curley Culp, who had seven-season stints with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Oilers; linebacker Warren Sapp, who played nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; and Bill Parcells, who coaches the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys.
A former college shot putter at UCLA, at 6-foot-9, 345 pounds, Ogden was an imposing presence at tackle for a dozen seasons in Baltimore, winning the 2000 NFL championship. Six months after the Ravens won their second Super Bowl, Ogden gave a smooth, humor-laden speech, always in control — just like he was when neutralizing even the best opponents.
“He is part of the foundation of this franchise, part of the reason we have two Super Bowl championships,” Newsome said.
Ogden, who was given a 2013 Super Bowl ring by the team, made the hall in his first year of eligibility. He was a six-time All-Pro, made the Pro Bowl 11 times and was the main blocker when Jamal Lewis rushed for 2.066 yards in 2003.
“Talent isn’t enough,” Ogden said. “A lot of people have talent, they don’t always live up to it. For me it is about maximizing, striving for perfection.
“I am so proud to be the Baltimore Ravens’ first Hall of Fame inductee.”
Robinson became the 12th inductee from the vintage Packers coached by Vince Lombardi to be enshrined. Robinson was a prototype outside linebacker who could rush the quarterback, cover tight ends or running backs on pass plays, and stop the run. He made the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1960s and won three NFL titles, including the first two Super Bowls.
“This is the biggest day of the 21st century for the Robinson family,” he said, adding that he “lives 25 miles from here but it took me 38 years to get here.”
Not quite: Robinson served on the Hall of Fame’s board of directors for 27 years. Now, he has a bust in the museum.
“I never dreamt about the Hall of Fame” when he was at Penn State, he joked. “There wasn’t even a Hall of Fame when I broke in to the NFL.”
Indeed, Robinson’s rookie season was the year the hall was created, 1963.
“Now, I am immortalized.”
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