Looking back at an Argo great – Dick Shatto

As an Argo Admiral, I get to wear a jersey honouring my favourite Argo. It is Dick Shatto, #22.

I wore the jersey to a recent game (admittedly in Hamilton), and I was amazed that none of the many Argo fans in our section (and none of the TiCat fans either for that matter) seemed to know who Dick Shatto was. So, for those unfamiliar with my favourite Argo of all time, let me introduce you to CFL legend, Dick Shatto.

Argos recruited Shatto following only his sophomore year at the University of Kentucky in 1954. He never wore another jersey, and retired as an Argo in 1965. He was a running back, slotback and wide receiver. He also played some defence, and ran back kicks. He won the hearts of Argo fans with his preppy good looks and classy personality.

On the field, he was dominant. Playing during perhaps the driest drought in Argo history (no Grey Cup appearances from 1953 to 1970), he was the one player who kept our hopes alive. He was equally effective catching the ball as he was rushing. He set Argo records for most career TD’s (91), most career rushing yards (6,958), most 100 yard rushing games (16), most times as an Eastern All Star (9), and most nominations for MOP (7). Those records still stand today.

When I played my high school football, I still remember sifting through our jerseys to see if we had a #22. We did. I grabbed it. I became #22 for Belleville Collegiate. (My play, however, did little to enhance his legacy.)

Following his induction into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1975, Shatto served for three years as Argo GM. He eventually moved back to the US becoming Director of Golf at the prestigious Innisbrook Resort in Florida. He died of cancer at the relatively young age of 70 in 2003. Dick Shatto remains today one of only four Argos who have had their jerseys retired.

-Mike Mallory-

2 Comments on Looking back at an Argo great – Dick Shatto

  1. “He never wore another jersey.” If you mean that he was an Argonaut for his entire career in professional football, you’re right. However, he did wear the number 88 during his first six seasons with the Argos. The CFL moved from 80s and 90s as numbers for backfield players to numbers below 40 after 1959. I personally thought they should have retired both numbers.


  2. Joe:
    Thanks for the clarification. I agree it would be quite unique to have two numbers retired for one player. I think it would enhance interest in the CFL if they would make jerseys available honouring some of the great players from other eras. I love having the opportunity of telling Argo fans about Dick Shatto.


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