Wally Triplett’s Big Day

January 23rd, 2011  |  Published in Record Holders  |  2 Comments

Wally Triplett 1950 Bowman football cardHere’s another amazing record I found on the nfl.com individual records page: On October 29, 1950, against the Los Angeles Rams, Detroit’s Wally Triplett returned 4 kickoffs for an average of 73.5 yards per return! I found the box score for the game at pro-football-reference.com, and I was surprised to see that only one of the returns was for a touchdown. Searching further, I found an account of the game in an article about Triplett on the Pro Football Researchers web site. According to the article, the returns were for 81, 97, 74, and 42 yards, and the 97-yarder was for the touchdown.

Unfortunately, the rest of the Lions didn’t play as well as Triplett that day. The Rams scored 41 points in the third quarter, and they beat the Lions 65-24. The 41 points in a quarter tied a record, too–a record that the Packers had set 5 years earlier, also against the Lions.

Triplett had a short NFL career: two seasons with the Lions and two with the Cardinals, with two years in the Army between. The card pictured here is Triplett’s only card, a 1950 Bowman. You can find a summary of Wally Triplett’s career at pro-football-reference.com.

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  1. Fred Goodwin says:

    January 23rd, 2011 at 1:46 PM (#)

    Wally is on FB:


    I told him about this article.

  2. Steve Liskey says:

    January 24th, 2011 at 7:46 AM (#)

    Great stuff! Why is it that the Lions always seem to have records set against them? Oh, I know…they are the Lions.