November 28, 2011

MVP Profile: Ace Parker, 1940

Tailback, Brooklyn Dodgers

Age: 28
4th season in pro football & with Dodgers
College: Duke
Height: 6’0” Weight: 168

Chosen by the Dodgers in the second round of the 1937 NFL draft, Parker first tried his hand at baseball as well as pro football. In two seasons as a shortstop for the Philadelphia Athletics, he hit .137, but was much more successful with football. The multi-talented Parker saw limited action as a rookie but was a consensus first-team All-Pro in 1938 as the best player on a weak team. Small but an outstanding playmaker, he excelled on both offense and defense. A new head coach, Jock Sutherland, took over in ’40, which set the stage for improvement, although a broken ankle sustained while playing minor league baseball had Parker starting the season wearing a brace on the injured leg.

1940 Season Summary
Appeared in all 11 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 111 [7]
Completions – 49 [5]
Yards – 817 [6]
Completion percentage – 44.1 [5]
Yards per attempt – 7.4 [3]
TD passes – 10 [2]
Most TD passes, game – 2 at Washington 9/15, vs. Clev. Rams 11/17, at NY Giants 12/1
Interceptions – 7 [11, tied with Cotton Price, Eddie Miller & Arnie Herber]
Passer rating – 73.3 [2]

Attempts – 89 [9]
Yards – 306 [13]
Yards per attempt – 3.4
TDs – 2 [13, tied with eleven others]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 3
Yards – 139
Yards per catch – 46.3
TDs – 2 [12, tied with thirteen others]

PATs – 19 [1]
PAT attempts – 22 [1]

Punts – 49 [3]
Yards – 1875 [3]
Average – 38.3 [13]
Punts blocked – 0
Longest punt – 59 yards

Interceptions – 6 [1, tied with Don Hutson & Kent Ryan]
Return yards – 146 [1]
TDs – 1

TDs – 5 [7, tied with four others]
PATs - 19
Points – 49 [4]

Awards & Honors:
NFL MVP: Joe F. Carr Trophy
1st team All-NFL: League, AP, UPI, INS, Chicago Herald-American, Collyers, NY Daily News

Dodgers went 8-3 to finish second in the Eastern Division, the club’s best record since entering the NFL in 1930.

Parker had another good season in 1941 as the Dodgers again finished in second place. After missing the next three years due to World War II service in the navy, he returned to the NFL with the Boston Yanks (the Dodgers having folded in the meantime). After a season of limited action in Boston, he moved on to the New York Yankees of the new AAFC and shared the tailback duties with Spec Sanders. Parker was the team’s primary passer while Sanders was more of a runner and the Yankees won the Eastern Division, losing to the Browns in the AAFC Championship game – his final pro football appearance. He returned to minor league baseball as a player and manager. Parker was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1972.


MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself).

[Updated 2/11/14]