Born: May 5, 1927
Died: December 26, 1995
Albert John DeRogatis was born May 5, 1927 in Newark. Quick and powerful, Al grew to 6’4” during his football career at Newark’s Central High, garnering All-State honors and distinguishing himself as one of the most sought-after prep linemen in the country. He accepted a scholarship from Duke University, where he excelled as a center during his sophomore. A knee injury as a junior prompted a switch to tackle the following year and he earned All-America status at that position in 1948.
The New York Giants took Al in the second round of the 1949 NFL draft and installed him at defensive tackle. He lined up between Ray Krouse and Ray Poole on the right side and was equally good at rushing the passer or stopping the run. Arnie Weinmeister played defensive tackle on the left side.
Al’s is work on the team’s defensive line created the foundation for the great New York team of the 1950s. Unfortunately, Al was not around for the glory of that era. After earning All-Pro status in 1950 and 1951, he reinjured his knee in 1952 and quit football in 1953 to pursue a career in the insurance industry. He also did a little scouting for the Giants on the side.
Al officially returned to football in 1960 as a radio announcer for Giants games, working alongside the legendary Marty Glickman. In the mid-1960s, Al became a color analyst on NBC football broadcasts of pro and college games. He partnered with Curt Gowdy on the network’s prime AFL and AFC games. Football fans regarded Al as one of the most knowledgeable radio and TV voices of his era. Though he lacked the smoothness of of most football announcers, his gentle manner and understanding of interior line play gave him an aura of authenticity that many of his peers lacked. When a play worked, he explained why; when it didn’t, Al
Al left the booth in 1977. He was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He lost a battle with cancer and passed away in 1995 at the age of 68.