STEVE AND THE GEORGIA SPORTS HALL OF FAME
On September 28, 2006, The Georgia Sports Hall Of Fame's Honor Court chose its class of 2007 for induction into this prestigious body. Induction of the nine select athletes, coaches, and contributors took place on May 19th and among the honorees was Atlanta Falcon great Steve Bartkowski. Beloved by Falcons fans and the entire Atlanta area public, Steve Bartkowski came out of Buchser High School in Santa Clara, California as a highly recruited quarterback known for his superb passing ability. He headed for the University Of California At Berkeley whose football program was featuring wide-open offense under Head Coach Ray Willsey. When Mike White took over the head coaching position in 1972, his quarterback-friendly offense allowed Bartkowski to showcase his talents even more. Battling quarterback rival Vince Ferragamo, Bartkowski won the job and Ferragamo transferred to Nebraska. By the time Bartkowski's All American senior season was over, he was the toast of the Bay area, having thrown for 2580 yards his final year and a collegiate total of 4434 yards and twenty touchdowns. A fine athlete who played as a catcher and first-baseman on the Bears' baseball team, Bartkowski was the NFL's first overall draft pick, going to the Atlanta Falcons for the 1975 season where he didn't disappoint, winning Rookie Of The Year honors on the strength of his 1662 passing yards and fifteen touchdown throws.
By the conclusion of his twelve-year pro career in 1985, eleven of those seasons spent with the Falcons and the final one with the Rams, his statistics were staggering: 1932 completions for 24,124 yards, a 1983 Interception Ratio that stands as the second lowest in NFL history, three seasons with 3000 yards or more passing, two Pro Bowl berths, and named as the NFL MVP in 1980. A clutch performer, he was the heart and soul of the Atlanta Falcons for more than a decade, leading them to their first playoff participation in 1978, and the team's first Division title in 1980. His Falcon totals of 154 touchdown passes and passing yardage of 23,468 remain club records. Today, Steve Bartkowski, a success in every way, sits on the Falcons Board Of Directors and continues to serve as a role model for the community.
Within the trophy case housing some of the memorabilia that
highlights the career of Bartkowski sits his red Atlanta home jersey bearing
the familiar number 10, and a beautiful red Falcon Riddell TK helmet with a
two-bar mask, a reproduction of the headgear worn by Bartkowski during his
early playing days. The helmet, donated by Helmet Hut, is the perfect
complement to and representation of a fantastic career of one of the era's
best quarterbacks. Special thanks to Chris Demos and Bob Snow of the