Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mike Ditka Number 89

It's kind of interesting that Mike Ditka  played with the Bears from 1961-1966 and them moved on to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1967-1968 and finished his career with the Dallas Cowboys from 1969-1972. When  you look at the Bears team photographs during the Ditka years,  the old number 89 seemed to take up a lot of space. Even in photographs, he was larger than life.

I was wondering, who took Ditka's number on the 1967 Bears.  It was Terry Stoepel, a 6-foot-4 235 pound lineman who took Ditka's  number.  Stoepel didn't see a lot of action for the Bears.  He was gone in 1968 and then showed up with the Houston Oilers in 1970 for a single season.  From Houston he was traded to the New Orleans Saints and disappeared from their roster.  

No one for the Bears will be wearing number 89 again, it was retired in 2013 to honor Ditka.  Stoepel was happy that Ditka was so honored.