VIDEO: Melbourne High Football Standout Kim Hammond Legendary QB At Florida State
By SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME // February 13, 2014
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: Former Melbourne High football standout Kim Hammond will always be a hero for Florida State football fans.
KIM HAMMOND – 2013 INDUCTEE
STANDOUT AT MELBOURNE HIGH SCHOOL
Former Melbourne High football standout Kim Hammond will always be a hero for Florida State football fans.
He was the first Seminoles quarterback to guide Florida State to a victory at Florida Field in Gainesville, and, based on his phenomenal performance during that magical season of 1967, he was a lock for selection into the Class of 2013 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
Hammond matriculated at FSU in an era when college freshmen weren’t eligible to play varsity football. He was a redshirt as a sophomore during the 1964 season, played only sparingly during the 1965 and 1966 seasons.
As occurs frequently in sport, it was someone else’s misfortune that afforded Hammond the opportunity to shine. Entering his redshirt senior season, Hammond wasn’t even supposed to be the starting quarterback.
Gary Pajcic was the starting quarterback, and he was coming off a fine 1966 season. When Pajcic injured his arm in an opening game loss to the University of Houston, Hammond stepped in and started FSU’s second game of the 1967 season.
It was his first career start, and, as luck would have it, the opponent was the Alabama Crimson Tide led by legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and future NFL All-Pro quarterback Ken Stabler.
HEISMAN TROPHY FINALIST
The Crimson Tide had not lost in their previous 21 games, were favored by 21 points and the game was scheduled for Legion Field in Birmingham, but instead of being dominated, they embarrassed Bear Bryant by scoring more points than Alabama had allowed the entire previous season.
The final score was 37-37, but the tie was probably the most impressive game the Seminoles had ever played. Hammond completed 23 of 40 passes for 280 yards, impressing “The Bear,” who said of the FSU QB, “He picked us apart like he was picking a chicken.”
As surprising as the Alabama outcome was to many, then almost as surprising, the Seminoles lost to North Carolina State at home, 20-10. So, after three games, the team stood 0-2-1, but they didn’t lose again in 1967.
After reeling off six consecutive wins under Head Coach Bill Peterson, the Garnet and Gold traveled to Gainesville to face the University of Florida at Florida Field in the last game of the season. It was widely assumed that an invitation to the Gator Bowl would be extended to the winner.
On the strength of Hammond’s arm and legs, FSU built an early lead, but, in the second quarter, Hammond was knocked out after being tackled by the facemask. The Seminole offense struggled without Hammond, and by the time he was able to shake the cobwebs clear in the fourth quarter, the Gators had gained the momentum of the game.
In the Gator Bowl, Ken Hammond set or tied six Gator Bowl records and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player as FSU rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit to tie powerhouse Penn State 17-17. He also put in a stellar passing performance in the 1968 Senior Bowl and was awarded another Most Valuable Player award.
In the fourth quarter, Hammond came to the rescue. In three plays Hammond took the Seminoles the length of the field for a touchdown and a 21-9 lead. FSU won, 21-16, and, soon thereafter, got the bid to the Gator Bowl.
During the 1967 regular season, Hammond completed 140 of 241 passes for 1,991 yards and 15 touchdowns, and added 83 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 56 carries. He was second nationally in total yards and finished fifth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy.
In the Gator Bowl, he set or tied six Gator Bowl records and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player as FSU rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit to tie powerhouse Penn State 17-17. He also put in a stellar passing performance in the 1968 Senior Bowl and was awarded another Most Valuable Player award.
PRO FOOTBALL, CHIEF JUDGE
Hammond’s play and leadership in the1967 season resulted in his selection to the AP and UPI All-American second team.
In addition, he received, from his coaches and teammates, the coveted Crenshaw Award, which is sponsored by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club and given in memory of a special Seminole football player whose courage and fighting spirit was an inspiration to others.
After being drafted by the Miami Dolphins, Hammond played three seasons with the Dolphins and Patriots. During those years he was already preparing himself for his life’s calling by studying law at FSU. After earning his J.D., Hammond practiced law in Daytona Beach for several years.
In 1979, the Flagler Beach resident became a judge, and later the Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit. He was an administrative judge in Flagler County when he retired on Jan. 3, 2011.
We are honored to induct Ken Hammond, star athlete, distinguished adjudicator and member of the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame, into the 2013 class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
FOR INFORMATION about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Induction call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com