He grew up in a coal mining town in a home with no running water or electricity.
Sam Huff later became a college football star in his home state of West Virginia and eventually the player for whom Tom Landry created the groundbreaking 4-3 defense.
He was first rookie middle linebacker to start a championship game, the subject of a groundbreaking pro football documentary narrated by Walter Cronkite, a six-time first or second team All-Pro, a long-time broadcaster, a business executive, a breeder of thoroughbred horses…and, not surprisingly, a great storyteller.
Sam Huff’s remarkable life came to an end two years ago at age 87 and now, memorabilia from his life and career are about to be auctioned.
Virginia-based Damewood Auctioneers has Huff’s collection, including his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring, multiple Hall of Fame jackets, game-worn jerseys, awards, photos and other memorabilia.
Huff’s coin collection is also being sold in the auction.
A first team All-American at West Virginia in the 1950s, Huff nearly quit football until he was moved to middle linebacker in the New York Giants by defensive coordinator Tom Landry. He helped the Giants to multiple championship games including a title in 1956, and was later to traded to Washington. After retiring in 1968, Huff was convinced to return for one final season by new coach Vince Lombardi.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982.
After his career, Huff spent many years as a color commentator on football broadcasts and was an executive for the Marriott hotel chain.
His daughter and auctioneer Brian Damewood spoke with WUSA-TV about one of pro football’s most memorable names:
The auction is open for bidding now and will close with a live segment March 10.