The Washington Commanders will induct former cornerback and Washington Legend Mike Bass, who started in 104 consecutive games (including playoffs) with the organization, into the Ring of Fame during the team's Week 1 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 11, placing him in an exclusive group of Washington Legends to have their name displayed in the stadium bowl at FedExField.
Bass, who signed with Washington as a free agent in 1969, recorded 30 interceptions -- the fourth-most in franchise history -- in his seven seasons with the team, three of which were returned for touchdowns. He scored Washington's only touchdown in Super Bowl VII against the Miami Dolphins -- a 49-yard fumble return in the fourth quarter after a blocked field goal -- and he is a member of the team's inaugural 70 greatest players.
"Mike Bass is the epitome of what it means to represent the Burgundy & Gold on and off the field," said Co-CEO and Co-Owner Tanya Snyder. "As a key member of the first Washington team to play in a Super Bowl, Mike is part of an era that laid the foundation of excellence for this franchise for years to come. On behalf of the entire Commanders organization, Dan and I are honored to add Mike to our franchise's storied Ring of Fame."
Bass grew up in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He received a scholarship and graduated from the University of Michigan, where he was listed as a halfback but primarily played defense.
After being drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 12th round of the 1967 draft and spending time on the Detroit Lions' practice squad, Bass rejoined Vince Lombardi, the coach that drafted him, in Washington and immediately became one of the best defensive backs in franchise history.
Bass recorded at least three interceptions in every season with Washington. In 1971, he led the team with eight picks, including one that was returned 38 yards for a touchdown in Washington's 20-13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 11. Bass' interceptions were third in the NFL and most among cornerbacks that season.
Bass scored two more regular season touchdowns: one in 1973 when he returned an interception 68 yards against the St. Louis Cardinals, and another against the New York Giants -- a 28-yard return -- in 1974. These impressive accolades led him to receive All-Pro selection, All-NFC First Team by UPI, AP, and Sporting News and All-NFL 2nd Team by AP, per Pro Football Reference.
"I am very appreciative and humbled by this induction. It is the crowning moment of my career to date," Bass said. "It is an extreme honor to be recognized as one of the greatest players in Washington's history. I am forever indebted to my coaches, Coach Vince Lombardi and Coach George Allen, for giving me the opportunity and preparing me to contribute to the success of my team. I was part of a great defensive backfield, including Ken Houston, Brig Owens, and Pat Fischer, all of whom I admire greatly, having played together in the same backfield for so many years."