Nearly every boy who holds a football in their hand has at one time or another the kind of dream Jim Gallery lived.
Growing up in Morton and graduating from Morton High School in 1980, Gallery was a standout athlete who excelled in football.
“Some of the best times of my life were during my years in Morton,” said Gallery. “I remember we were always outside playing sports with the other kids in town.”
After high school, Gallery went to the University of Minnesota on a football scholarship where he spent four years as the team’s kicker.
“I played quarterback in Morton,” said Gallery, adding he also did the kicking, punting and played defense. “I was recruited as a defensive back, kicker and punter for the Gophers.”
After graduating from college, Gallery’s football career continued when he was drafted into the NFL.
Gallery was drafted in the 10th round of the 1984 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and soon after he was traded to the Buffalo Bills.
While he did not make that team, he was picked up in 1987 by the St. Louis Cardinals, and over the years played for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Minnesota Vikings.
He also did a stint in the World Football League. It was in the early 90s when Gallery opted to hang up his cleats and put his business degree to work.
“It’s hard to explain what it is like to play in the NFL,” he said. “Unless you have done it, it is really hard to understand. It is an experience I am always going to remember, though.”
Gallery went on to manage a sports bar in Florida where he currently lives, and today he is a marketing representative for Cambria – which is a Minnesota company.
Galley said he has many fond memories of playing football, including the year the Gophers beat the Iowa Hawkeyes 12-10 with Gallery kicking four field goals for all of the Gophers points.
He also said the time he spent in the WFL was great, because as part of the team he was able to travel throughout Europe to play in places such as London and Barcelona.
Gallery said he is grateful for the education he received, both in the classroom and on the football field, basketball court and baseball field in Morton. He said there were so many teachers and coaches who have had a positive influence on his life. Gallery, who has lived in Sarasota for the past 18 years, said he likes to get back to Minnesota as often as possible, and he is looking forward to coming back for the Hall of Fame induction.
Page 2 of 2 - “This really is an honor,” he said.
Gallery said he loves to tell people he is from Morton, and said the lessons he learned growing up in the small Minnesota community are things he is going to take with him for the rest of his life.