This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Pete Retzlaff" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Pete Retzlaff
No. 25, 44
Position:Halfback / split end / tight end
Personal information
Born:(1931-08-21)August 21, 1931
Ellendale, North Dakota
Died:April 10, 2020(2020-04-10) (aged 88)
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Career information
High school:Ellendale (ND)
College:South Dakota State
NFL Draft:1953 / Round: 22 / Pick: 265
Career history
As a player:
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As an executive:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:7,412
Player stats at · PFR

Palmer Edward Retzlaff (August 21, 1931 – April 10, 2020), known as Pete Retzlaff and nicknamed "Pistol Pete" and "The Baron", was a professional American football player and general manager.

Early life

Retzlaff played football at Ellendale High School in Ellendale, North Dakota, and starred in track and field and football at South Dakota State College. In 1952, he rushed for 1,016 yards.

Pro-football career

Retzlaff was selected in the 1953 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions of the National Football League but he did not make the team. After two years in the U.S. Army he was sold to the Philadelphia Eagles, where he played running back, wide receiver and tight end for 11 seasons. In 1958, despite having never caught a pass in college, he led the NFL with 56 pass receptions. He went to the Pro Bowl five times, and he won the Bert Bell Award for NFL player of the year in 1965, when he caught 66 passes including ten touchdowns. He was president of the NFL Players Association. In 2005, he was named to the Professional Football Researchers Association Hall of Very Good in the association's third HOVG class.[1]

From 1969 to 1972, he was the Eagles' vice president and general manager. In 1973 and 1974, he worked as a color analyst for NFL coverage on CBS television.

Retzlaff's number 44 jersey has been retired by the Eagles.

Retzlaff died on April 10, 2020, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, at the age of 88.[2]


  1. ^ "Hall of Very Good". Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  2. ^ McPherson, Chris (April 10, 2020). "Eagles mourn the passing of Hall of Famer Pete Retzlaff". Philadelphia Eagles. Retrieved April 10, 2020.