Former Chiefs offensive lineman and future Hall of Famer Will Shields was honored Wednesday night as part of the “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame” exhibit at Union Station.
Shields had the opportunity to tour the exhibit, which was compiled through a partnership between the Hall of Fame and the Chiefs.
The exhibit honors Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt and includes team memorabilia. Hall of Famers Bobby Bell and Jan Stenerud, as well as former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, were also in attendance.
For Shields, it was a symbolic tour of the history of an organization that he in part helped write.
“You’ve always been a part of the history,” Shields said of his impact on the Chiefs. “It’s just the simple fact of being able to say you’re part of the community that’s gonna branch out sooner or later. It’s surreal still.”
Shields was with the Chiefs for 14 seasons, playing in every game during that span.
His influence on the Chiefs and the city isn’t lost on Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have somebody who’s truly a Chief, from start to finish, going into the Hall of Fame,” Hunt said.
“You can tell he’s excited to become a part of Chiefs history in another way.”
The event was one of the many steps in the celebration leading up to Shields’ Hall of Fame induction in August in Canton, Ohio. He has already been fitted for his ring, he said.
As for his speech, Shields joked that he’s already had three years to work on it, but he plans on finalizing it within the next two weeks.
Shields said his goal was never to reach the Hall of Fame; rather it was always to get to the next level and be the best he could be.
“This is sort of the icing on the cake, being able to say you were one of the best at what you did,” Shields said.
“You just sort of played to try to get to that next ring of where you’re trying to go.”
Shields is part of the 2015 Hall of Fame Class that includes Junior Seau, Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Tim Brown, Mick Tingelhoff, Ron Wolf and Bill Polian.
The exhibition at Union Station is open until Sept. 6.
To reach Chris Bumbaca, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.