Former Running Back Sam Cunningham Honored by Election to Patriots Hall of Fame

Former fullback Sam "Bam" Cunningham has been elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame, the team announced Monday.

"I've been very, very blessed to have a lot of good things happen to me," Cunningham said. "Hall of Fames are very, very special because that means that you've done well, that you've played with very, very good people and played with very, very good coaches. It's one way to be remembered and to keep the legacy alive for what we were at that time."

Cunningham spent his entire 10-year career (1973-82) with the Patriots, and he is the organization's all-time leading rusher with 5,453 yards. He also caught 210 passes for 1,905 yards, and he scored 49 career touchdowns.

Cunningham's induction ceremony will be held prior to New England's 2010 preseason opener against the Saints on Aug. 12. The induction will take place outside The Hall at Patriot Place, and it's free to attend.

Cunningham was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame in 2001, and it was announced last month he was named as part of the 2010 class for the College Football Hall of Fame. Clearly, it's been a good run.

"I would play football in a parking lot for nothing if necessary because that’s just what I enjoy doing," Cunningham said. "To get the opportunity to be a professional football player was special because I had never ever dreamed about being one until maybe my junior year at USC when I saw other teammates of mine playing."

Cunningham, who is the 15th member of the Patriots Hall of Fame, earned the honor by winning a fan vote against two other finalists, defensive tackle Houston Antwine and center Jon Morris. It's the fourth year the fans have voted for the winner, and Cunningham said that makes it that much more special.

"In my mind, New England has some of the greatest fans in the world because they turned in 100-degree weather and minus-degree weather, whether we were winning, whether we were losing," Cunningham said. "They came, and they supported us and kept us going. To be remembered by them is wonderful because at the end of the day, that’s all you've got is how people remembered what you did.

"To be remembered by the fans, to be remembered by anybody is wonderful. I'm just happy that I can come and be a part of something and leave those memories there."