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Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers: #61

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One of the least-worn numbers in the history of the team

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

In the history of the Minnesota Vikings, the number 61 has only been worn by six different players. None of them have been especially prominent, but there have been a few solid contributors that have had the number on their back in their time with the team.

One of the first men to wear the number was guard Larry Bowie, who wore it from 1962 to 1968. Bowie came to the team in 1962, and started every game at right guard for the Vikings from 1963 to 1965. After losing the starting job to Jim Vellone in 1966, he became the starter again in 1967 and 1968, but his career in the NFL came to an end when he had a blood clot removed from his brain during that 1968 season.

The number wasn’t picked up again until 1976, when it was worn by guard Wes Hamilton. Hamilton took over the starting right guard spot in 1978, and missed just five starts from 1978 to 1983 at the right guard spot. He played in just four games in 1984, starting only one, and then was out of the National Football League.

Most recently, the number has been worn by Joe Berger. Berger came to the Vikings as a free agent before the 2011 season, and has proven to be a vital member of the offensive line, seeing time at center as well as both guard spots. He took over the starting center job in 2015 after John Sullivan’s back injury, and has been the starter at that spot for the past two seasons.

Vikings that have worn the number 61:

  • Larry Bowie (1962 - 1968)
  • Wes Hamilton (1976 - 1984)
  • Mike Turner (1987)
  • Everett Lindsay (1993 - 1998)
  • Lewis Kelly (2001 - 2003)
  • Joe Berger (2011 - present)

That’s about all for the numer 61, folks. We will wrap up our run through the 60s tomorrow!

Poll

Who is the greatest Viking to wear the number 61?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Joe Berger (2011 - present)
    (379 votes)
  • 7%
    Larry Bowie (1962 - 1968)
    (42 votes)
  • 24%
    Wes Hamilton (1976 - 1984)
    (133 votes)
554 votes total Vote Now