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Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

270204211

Tingelhoff moves one step closer to realizing Hall of Fame dream

Posted by: Mark Craig Updated August 20th at 9:38pm 272041231

Mick Tingelhoff, the overlooked and undrafted center who went on to play 17 seasons without missing a game for the Vikings, has moved one step closer to reaching the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A five-time first-team All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowler from 1962 to 1978, Tingelhoff was chosen this afternoon as the Hall of Fame Senior Committee’s lone nominee for enshrinement vote by the full committee in 2015.

“It’s unbelievable,” Tingelhoff said by phone from South Dakota, where he’s vacationing with his  family. “I’m honored. But I’ll be a lot happier if they put me in next Februrary.”

Although the Senior Committee carries tremendous weight, Tingelhoff still must receive at least 80 percent of the vote from the full board of selectors. They will meet and vote on the Saturday before Super Bowl 49 in February.

Vikings Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, a longtime roommate and friend of Tingelhoff’s, grabbed the phone from his secretary when told the news.

“It’s about [darn] time I got a call like this on Mick Tingelhoff,” he said. “He played 17 years. He came to us as an undrafted free agent from Nebraska. I remember his first day. I was going into my second year.

“He started out as a middle linebacker. We needed a center. He moved over there and became as great a center that’s ever played.”

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