A legendary Philadelphia Eagle has passed.
"Tommy McDonald lived life like he played the game of football," Pro Football Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker said in a statement. "He was charismatic, passionate and had fun. He was such a character. Heaven is a happier place today.
Tommy's legacy will forever live in Canton, Ohio through his bronzed bust that is a symbol of his many great accomplishments. His impact on the Game serves as inspiration to generations of fans."
Drafted by Philadelphia in the third round of the 1957 draft out of Oklahoma, the Maxwell Award winner made six Pro Bowls and spent seven of his 12 professional seasons with the Eagles. All but one of his Pro Bowl selections came during his time in Philadelphia, with the other coming after the 1965 season, McDonald's first with the Los Angeles Rams. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
McDonald made a career out of finding the endzone, scoring 84 touchdowns for an impressive trip to paydirt once every 5.9 receptions. His 35-yard touchdown catch (on a pass thrown by Norm Van Brocklin) in the 1960 NFL Championship Game still holds a prominent place in Eagles lore -- even grabbing multiple references in the 2006 film Invincible -- in what was the franchise's third and final pre-merger NFL title before the team won Super Bowl LII.
"Tommy McDonald played the game with a passion and energy that was second to none," Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement released by the team. "He will be remembered as one of the most exciting players ever to play his position, but what really separated him and made him so unique was the infectious personality and charisma that he brought to his everyday life.
"He had a genuine love for this team, for the Philadelphia community, for the fans, and of course his family. He was a man of character, both on and off the field, who exemplified all the qualities that we hope to represent as an organization. He was a champion, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, and one of the most genuine individuals I have ever met. On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the entire McDonald family."
The wideout also ran a reception streak of at least one catch per game to an incredible 93 straight contests. He ranked sixth all-time in receptions (495), fourth in receiving yards (8,410) and second in touchdown catches (84) when he retired after the 1968 season.
McDonald still owns Philadelphia's single-game receiving record: seven receptions for 237 yards and two touchdowns, achieved in 1961.
McDonald played for Philadelphia from 1957-1963, and also made stops in Dallas (1964), Los Angeles (1965-1966), Atlanta (1967) and Cleveland (1968). He was fondly known for his exuberance among fellow Hall of Famers, open to bumping chests and never taking the annual gathering of Gold Jackets for granted.