On this day in 1892, the world of sports changed, some might say for the worse, when the very first professional football player was signed to play for Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Athletic Association against their cross-town rivals, the Athletic Club. Pudge Heffelfinger was paid the princely sum of $500 for his services as a “ringer” for the AAA.
While players had previously been paid expense money or trinkets that could be sold, Heffelfinger was the first football player to be paid cash outright for his services.
The payment was not publicized, and Pudge himself never acknowledged his brief foray into professional football.
He later went into insurance sales and became a congressman from Minnesota.
You can go here to find out more about Pudge Heffelfinger.