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Pete Dawkins
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It Also Makes A Nice Hat Rack

1958 Heisman winner Pete Dawkins

After football at Army, Pete Dawkins went on to become a Rhodes scholar, a U.S. Army brigadier general, a senatorial candidate and a captain of finance. But at one point he was just an ambitious second lieutenant, shortly out of West Point, and his modest military housing was not the proper home for the 1958 Heisman Trophy. So the award stayed with Dawkins' parents at their home in Michigan, where it was put to a most practical use. Namely, it served as a hat rack for Dawkins' kid brother, Michael. "He had four or five baseball caps hanging on it," Pete recalled. Some 15 years later, Pete and his wife, Judi, and their children were visiting the Dawkins family home. They were getting ready to leave when they found a cardboard box sitting outside the car's trunk. "What's in there?" Pete asked his dad. "The trophy," he was told. "It's time you have it." He's kept it since. And even in a life of grand and diverse accomplishments, Dawkins has found that being a Heisman Trophy winner is almost always the best conversation starter. "I've spent time in the Far East, the Middle East, Europe," he said. "And time and again, much more frequently than you would have thought, in a social setting people know about the Heisman Trophy. People had a very exalted notion of it, a very respectful notion. Somehow it has come to be a symbol of excellence to people who have had only the vaguest connection to American football. It is quite a unique and special award, extending beyond the confines of America and football, and even beyond the bounds of sport itself." And, if need be, it can also be a serviceable hat rack.
-- Pat Forde


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