We finish off the 60s in today’s installment of Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers. Most people, for good reason, generally associate numbers in the 60s with offensive linemen, but the greatest player to wear the #60 for the Vikings made his home on the defensive side of the ball, and specifically at the linebacker position.
Roy Winston came to the Vikings in 1962 after being selected in the fourth round of that year’s draft out of Louisiana State. Winston played on both sides of the ball for LSU, but became an integral part of Minnesota’s defense in short order. He became a starter at linebacker in 1963, and was a starter at the position until 1975. He started 158 of 184 regular season games over that stretch.
Though he obviously made a number of huge plays during his time with the Vikings, there’s one hit in particular that he’s remembered for, and it came in a 1972 contest against the Miami Dolphins. Running back Larry Csonka had gone out to catch a pass, and Winston hit him just as he caught the football. Winston hit Csonka so hard that he literally had to crawl off of the field, and after the game told reporters that he thought Winston had broken his back with that hit.
Strangely, after that, Csonka and Winston remained close friends, so much so that when Csonka was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he invited Winston and his family to attend.
Winston is one of the few players that played in all of Minnesota’s Super Bowl appearances, and was named one of the 50 Greatest Vikings of All Time. Winston spent his entire NFL career with the Vikings, and nobody that’s worn the number 60 since he hung it up in 1976 has made quite the impact that he had.
Vikings that have worn the number 60:
- Roy Winston (1962 - 1976)
- Matt Hernandez (1984)
- Ron Selesky (1987)
- Dan McQuaid (1988)
- Al Baker (1988)
- Mark Rodenhauser (1989)
- Adam Schreiber (1990 - 1993)
- Reggie McElroy (1994)
- Cory Withrow (2000 - 2005)
- Conrad Bolston (2007)
- Jeff Baca (2013)
- Carter Bykowski (2016)
That wraps up the 60s in our series, folks. We will get the 50s underway starting tomorrow!