FOXBOROUGH, MASS. – The night before his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame, fan favorite and Patriots all-time leading rusher Sam "Bam" Cunningham will return to Gillette Stadium to participate in the Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon Speaker Series. On Wednesday, Aug. 11, doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for guests to tour the facility with Cunningham speaking in the Raytheon Theater at 6:30 p.m.
A consensus All-America running back who helped Southern Cal win a national championship in 1972, Cunningham was drafted 11th overall by the Patriots in 1973. The 6-foot-2, 233-pound fullback led the team and set a rookie rushing record for the Patriots that year with 516 yards and four touchdowns. Cunningham was selected as the team's MVP the following year, despite missing the final four games of the season due to injury. In 1976, he lead the Patriots to one of the greatest turnarounds in NFL history, as the team rebounded from a 3-11 finish in 1975 to qualify for the playoffs with an 11-3 record the following year. Cunningham had his best statistical season in 1977 when he became just the second player in franchise history to rush for over 1,000 yards (1,015). With 42 receptions for a career-high 370 yards, he also led the team in receiving that season. The following year, Cunningham led a quartet of rushers who powered the Patriots to a combined team rushing record of 3,165 yards, an NFL record that still stands 32 years later. Cunningham led the team in rushing in six of his first seven seasons and became the franchise's all-time leading rusher in 1981. Twenty-nine years later, he remains the franchise's all-time leading rusher with 5,543 yards on 1,385 carries and ranks second with 43 career rushing touchdowns.
On Thursday, Aug. 12, prior to the Patriots' 2010 preseason debut against the New Orleans Saints, Cunningham will be officially inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in a public ceremony held outside The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon. The event is free and Patriots fans are encouraged to attend.
Tickets for the Speaker Series event featuring Sam Cunningham are $25 per person and include admission to The Hall and an autograph opportunity. Tickets are limited and can be purchased online at www.TheHallatPatriotPlace.com or at The Hall ticket window, located at Patriot Place in Foxborough, Mass.
ABOUT THE HALL AT PATRIOT PLACE PRESENTED BY RAYTHEON
The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon is the crown jewel of Patriot Place and the only sports and education experience of its kind. Through a dazzling array of interactive multimedia exhibits and artifacts never before viewable by the public, The Hall showcases the tradition of the New England Patriots, explores the history of football in New England, and promotes math and science education for thousands of schoolchildren each year. In 2009, The Hall received a Gold MUSE Award from the American Association of Museums and The Hall's signature film, "Patriots Way," won a CINE Golden Eagle Award. The Hall was named to Boston Globe Magazine's Best of the New, and was a Yankee magazine Editor's Choice recommendation.