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Jul. 7—Throughout a career that gained him induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and earned him recognition as one of the top 100 players in NFL history, Lenny Moore remained humble.

The humility was on display Tuesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium when “The Reading Rocket,” who became a two-time All-American at Penn State, made a rare return trip home to be honored by the Reading Fightin Phils.

Fans received bobbleheads with Lenny Moore’s likeness in his No. 17 Reading High uniform. The 87-year-old Moore signed autographs for the fans and threw out a ceremonial first pitch.

“It’s a pleasure that they think so much of me to do that,” Moore said. “It’s beautiful and I welcome that. I’m glad to be able to meet some of them.”

Before Moore, a 1952 Reading High graduate, was honored on the field, fans were treated to an NFL highlight reel of some of the greatest plays that defined his career.

Moore helped the Baltimore Colts win back-to-back NFL titles in 1958 and ’59 and was voted the league’s MVP and Comeback Player of the Year in 1964.

“I never look on the outcomes of what happened,” said Moore, who lives in the Baltimore area. “There were people opening up holes for me, there were people blocking out there to open the situations for me to do whatever I did.

“It wasn’t just me even though they gave me the credit. What if they didn’t do what they did?”

Moore played with some of the greats in the game, including quarterback Johnny Unitas, receiver Raymond Berry and defensive lineman Gino Marchetti, just to name a few.

“They were all highly professional ballplayers,” Moore said. “I can’t stop thanking my teammates because that’s what it was all about.”

Moore had even bigger praise for who he said made his success on the football field possible.

“I knew throughout my entire career in high school, college and professional football the Master was in charge,” Moore said. “The bottom line is I thank God for opening up the gate for me. I was wise enough to thank Him for all He did for me throughout my entire career.”

Moore, who also was known as The Reading Rambler, Sputnik and Spats, was one of the first players to have his high-top shoes taped from the outside.

In addition, he said he had a miniature Bible taped inside his left thigh pad.

“Any time something happened I patted it and let the Man know that I’m thanking Him and praising Him for helping me out here,” Moore said.

In 1964, two seasons after suffering a knee injury, Moore returned to have one of his best seasons. He scored 20 touchdowns to help the Colts go 12-2 and reach the NFL championship game.

“I did a lot of patting,” Moore quipped.

Playing both halfback and flanker for the Colts, Moore had plenty of reasons to be grateful. He scored 40 touchdowns from at least 50 yards out during his NFL career.

Moore said it all started when he was a junior high student at Reading and was thinking about trying out for the football team.

“When I started in junior high school football my thinking was am I good enough, can I make the team?” Moore asked. “The Master took me by the hand and took me up through junior high school and high school.

Following his high school career, Moore accepted a scholarship to attend Penn State. In three seasons with the Nittany Lions, Moore scored 24 touchdowns in 27 games, rushing for 100 yards or more 12 times. He amassed 2.380 rushing yards and 3,543 all-purpose yards in his career, including what was then a school single-season record 1,486 all-purpose yards in 1954.

Moore’s talents were obvious to NFL scouts. He was selected by the Colts in the first round with the ninth overall pick in the 1956 draft. Moore quickly made his mark in the NFL, rushing for 649 yards and eight touchdowns and catching 11 passes for 102 yards and a TD to earn 1956 NFL Rookie of the Year honors.

Moore spent his entire 12-year NFL career with the Colts, rushing for 5,174 yards and 63 touchdowns and catching 363 passes for 6,039 yards and 48 touchdowns.

He was inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame in 1975. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time NFL first-team All-Pro.

“I don’t have to remind myself of all the things that have happened throughout my career,” Moore said. “The bottom line is the Master’s plan was in order and that’s what it was about.

“Me, yeah, I got the credit and appreciated that. But I knew how to carry it. It came from the Master.”