The Greatest Bears by Number (60-64)

As we enter the 60s we'll be looking at more and more linemen, with a few linebackers in there too. We are quickly reaching the end of the many retired numbers by our great team. We'll have one each in the 60s, one in the 70s and that'll be all. So once again let's see who landed where for 60-64!

60 - Wally Chambers, DT (1973-77): Tough for me to say how good he was in an era before tackling and sack stats existed, however he was a three-time Pro-Bowler and a one-time First-Team All-Pro. He collected Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in '73. I imagine he must have been the Tommie Harris of his day but his stats don't seem to say he missed a lot of games (except in '77) but he played two years with Tampa after leaving Chicago,

61 - Bill George, LB (1952-65): Largely credited as inventing the middle linebacker position, George has his number 61 retired. He was elected to eight Pro-Bowls (consecutive) and was an eight-time First Team All-Pro selection. He landed in the Hall of Fame in 1974. He had 18 career INTs and 17 fumble recoveries. He began his career playing "middle guard" on the then-standard five man defensive front until he began dropping into coverage to better play the pass, this ultimately led to the creation of the 4-3 defense.

62 - Mark Bortz, OG (1983-94): Bortz was a staple of the great offensive lines of the '80s. He started 155 games for the Bears and was twice a Pro-Bowler in '88 and '90. He was a starter every year but his rookie season. He played his entire career in Chicago.

63 - Jay Hilgenberg, C (1981-91): Probably considered the greatest Bears center he was elected to seven consecutive Pro-Bowls and twice a First-Team All-Pro selection. Hilgenberg and Bortz both played at Iowa, continuing the tradition of great lineman from the Big 10 and specifically Iowa. Hilgenberg has gotten Hall of Fame talk from Bears fans but it's unlikely he will ever get serious consideration from voters. Hilgenberg played in 163 games with 130 starts.

64 - Ted Albrecht, LT (1977-81): Albrecht started 75 of his 77 Bears games at left tackle. He spent his entire career in Chicago but was never elected to any Pro-Bowls or All-Pro teams.

The rest of the series:

Numbers 00-4           Numbers 25-29     Numbers 50-54

Numbers 5-9             Numbers 30-34     Numbers 55-59

Numbers 10-14        Numbers 35-39

Numbers 15-19        Numbers 40-44

Numbers 20-24        Numbers 45-49

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