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Sunday, October 20
Unitas inducted into Ravens' Ring of Honor

Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- A 13-foot statue of Johnny Unitas was unveiled at the main entrance of the Baltimore Ravens' stadium Sunday, and he was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor.

The grandchildren of Johnny Unitas pose with the statue of the Hall of Fame quarterback on Sunday.
The Hall of Fame quarterback, who died at 69 on Sept. 11, starred for 17 seasons with the Baltimore Colts and was one of the city's best and most popular football players.

The statue, located at the Gate A entrance within the newly named Unitas Plaza, was unveiled by his widow, Sandra, and grandchildren at halftime of the Ravens' game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"John would have enjoyed the day,'' Sandra Unitas said.

The bronze statue depicts the quarterback cocking his arm, poised to throw. Underneath is written: "Johnny Unitas. The Golden Arm.''

As the Ravens' band spelled "Unitas'' in script on the field, the ceremony concluded with Unitas and seven former Baltimore Colts entering the Ring of Honor -- displayed on the facade of the upper deck.

Unitas, Lenny Moore, Art Donovan, Jim Parker, Raymond Berry, Gino Marchetti, John Mackey and Ted Hendricks were honored with a banner that includes their numbers and the words, "Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts.''

"We came here with an understanding that the Baltimore Colts built the foundation of football support here,'' Ravens owner Art Modell said. "They didn't view themselves as Indianapolis Colts, and they weren't Ravens, but we wanted them to know that we understood what they had accomplished for themselves and Baltimore.''

It was the second time this year that the Ravens honored Unitas, who attended most of the team's home games after their arrival from Cleveland in 1996.

On Sept. 15, a white No. 19 jersey was painted on the sideline where Unitas used to stand to the left of the Ravens' bench. The replica jersey will remain there all season.

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