GINA “CHIRPIE” CHASE
Booker Edgerson (born July 5, 1939 in Baxter, Arkansas) was an American college and professional football player. This graduate of Western Illinois University was a cornerstone of the American Football League Buffalo Bills‘ defense in the mid- 1960s, at left cornerback.
A four-year letterman (football, baseball, wrestling, track & field); in 1959 and 1960, he led the WIU football team to the only consecutive undefeated seasons in school history, and is in the WIU Hall of Fame.
Booker signed as a free agent with the Bills in 1962 and stepped into a starting role at left cornerback. He made a career-high six interceptions (including two in his first game, against Hall of Famer George Blanda), and was named to the AFL All-Rookie team.
Edgerson’s college background as a sprinter and long jumper served him well in the demanding role of man-to-man pass coverage. The AFL featured many dangerous receivers at that time including San Diego’s Lance Alworth. But Edgerson became one of the key components of the league’s best defense, and he was the only man ever to catch Alworth from behind in a game.
Edgerson appeared in playoffs four conecutive years, and in three straight AFL Championship games. The Bills beat the San Diego Chargers in 1964 and again in 1965, when Edgerson was selected as an American Football League All-Star.
Edgerson had 23 interceptions in his eight-year career in Buffalo, and scored on two, including one against Joe Namath. He also forced and returned a fumble for the deciding score in a 1969 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, played in blizzard conditions.
Edgerson retired to Buffalo, where he has been involved in numerous charitable endeavors through the Bills Alumni, and was the 1993 recipient of the Ralph C. Wilson Award. Booker Edgerson is a member of the American Football League Hall of Fame.