New Orleans Saints History: Dave Whitsell Becomes First Pro Bowl Selection

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On this day in Saints history, January 21st, 1968...

Exactly 46 years ago the Saints sent their first player to the NFL Pro Bowl. Following their inaugural season in the NFL, cornerback Dave Whitsell represented the Saints as the club's first Pro Bowl selection.

Whitsell was originally drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 24th round (289th overall) of the 1958 NFL Draft after playing college football at Indiana University. He joined the Saints in 1967 after three years with the Lions and six years with the Bears.

His best season by far was that first year with the Saints in 1967 when he logged a career-high 10 interceptions and 2 touchdown returns, earning him his only Pro Bowl nod.

The Pro Bowl was played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum that year as the NFL's eighteenth annual all-star game. Whitsell was a member of the East squad, coached by Otto Graham. The final score was West 38, East 20. Gale Sayers was named the back of the game and Dave Robinson received the lineman of the game honors.

Dave Whitsell died on October 7, 1999 in Kenner, LA at age 63.

This was obviously well before my time so I encourage any members who were around back then to share their story.

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