Born: September 19, 1937 (Denton, TX)
College: North Texas
Drafted: By Raiders, 1960 / 1st Rd
- AFL All-Star game, 1961-62, 1964
- All-AFL, 1960-62, 1964
- AFL Player of the Year, 1960
- Chiefs Hall of Fame Inductee, 1991
As the crowd was filing out of the Cotton Bowl after a Dallas Texans’ game one day, the public address announcer said, “As you leave, please drive carefully. The life you save may be Abner Haynes.” The charismatic native of nearby Denton wasn’t merely the first star of the Dallas Texans, he was the dynamic emblem of the early days of the American Football League – a fast, elusive runner and receiver who transformed games and electrified crowds. In Hank Stram’s words, “he was a franchise player before they talked about franchise players.” Haynes led the AFL in rushing with 875 yards in 1960, and won the league’s rookie of the year and player of the year honors. During the Texans’ championship season of 1962, he scored 19 touchdowns (13 on the ground), then a professional football record. “Everybody would ask me why I didn’t go NFL,” he once said. “They said I’d have a lot more prestige. I’d just tell them I wanted to play right away, and that I couldn’t put prestige on my dinner table and eat it.” Though he never matched his all-league accomplishments of his first three seasons, Haynes retired as the AFL’s career leader in all-purpose yardage with 12,065.