Many Hall of Fame candidates watch their push for the Hall build and build. This doesn’t seem to be the case for Lester Hayes who was a finalist in his first four years of eligibility, but has only been a semi finalist the last six years.
Lester Hayes is best known for two things. The first was in 1980 where he had 13 picks and won the Defensive Player of the Year award. The year after the “Lester Hayes” rules was put into effect banning players from the use of “stickum”, an adhesive that Hayes was using to get a better grip on the ball.
Hayes’ 1980 campaign was so good that it overshadowed many of the good seasons he had after. Had he had another monster year, perhaps he would not be seeing his chances diminish as appears to be happening now.
The Bullet Points:
Country of Origin:
Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
5th Round, 126th Overall in 1977
Major Accolades and Awards:
NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1) (1980)
Pro Bowl Selections (5) (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 & 1984)
First Team All Pro Selection (1) (1980)
Second Team All Pro Selection (5) (1979, 1981, 1982, 1983 & 1984)
NFL 1980’s All Decade Team
Most Interceptions (1) (1980)
Most Yards Returned from Interceptions (1) (1980)
Super Bowl Ring (2) (Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, Super Bowl XV & XVII)
Other Points of Note:
Top Ten Finishes: Interceptions (2) (1979 & 1980)
Notable All Time Rankings:
81. Interceptions: 39
100. Yards Returned From Interceptions: 572
Years Nominated for the Hall of Fame:
Finalist: 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004
Semi Finalist: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010