June 29, 2014

Highlighted Year: Ben Agajanian, 1947

Placekicker, Los Angeles Dons

Age: 28
6th season in pro football, 1st in AAFC & with Dons
College: New Mexico
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 210

Agajanian suffered the loss of four toes on his right (kicking) foot in a workplace accident while in college, but went on to have a long career as a pioneering placekicking specialist. After gaining honorable mention All-American honors as a college senior, he played minor league pro football with the Hollywood Bears of the Pacific Coast Professional Football League in 1942 and, while enlisted in the military, was stationed in California and thus able to play with teams in the PCPFL and (minor-league) AFL in 1943 and ’44. He also played end during this time in addition to kicking. In 1945 he joined the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL who in turn dealt him to the Steelers after two games and, while still considered an end, he suffered a broken arm with Pittsburgh that caused him to become a placekicker exclusively. He was successful in all four of his field goal attempts in ’45 but returned to the PCPFL in 1946.

1947 Season Summary
Appeared in 13 of 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Field goals – 15 [1]
Most field goals, game – 3 at Brooklyn 11/23
Field goal attempts – 24 [1]
Field goal percentage – 62.5 [1]
PATs – 39 [2, tied with Lou Groza]
PAT attempts – 40 [4]
Longest field goal – 53 yards at Baltimore 10/19

Field Goals – 15
PATs – 39
Points – 84 [2]

Dons went 7-7 to finish third in the AAFC Western Division.

Agajanian had a lesser year with the Dons in 1948, succeeding on just 5 of 15 field goal tries, but then returned to the NFL and the New York Giants in ’49, where he was good on 8 of 13 attempts for a league-leading percentage of 61.5. He retired to tend to his business interests but came back with the Los Angeles Rams in 1953 and then to the Giants for four seasons (1954 to ’57) where he kicked 38 field goals in 71 attempts (53.5 %) and was part of the 1956 NFL Championship team. Sitting out the next two seasons, he again returned to pro football with the Los Angeles Chargers of the new AFL in 1960 and booted 13 field goals in 24 attempts. He moved on to the Dallas Texans for three games in 1961 and finished out the year back in the NFL with the Packers. Stints with the Raiders in 1962 and Chargers in ’64 closed out his career at age 45, having been one of two players to see action in the AAFC, NFL, and AFL (the other was LB Hardy Brown). Overall in those three leagues, Agajanian kicked 104 field goals in 204 attempts (51.0 %) and converted 343 of 351 extra point tries to compile 655 points . He went on to become kicking coach for the Dallas Cowboys and also mentored many placekickers at all levels over the ensuing years.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970