I love the history of pro football. I love the CFL, and I love special teams. So looking back at the career of Paul Osbaldiston was inevitable eventually.
Back in the Spring/Summer of this year CFL special teams were often on my mind. It was all because of an excellent series that had been running right here on Ninety-Nine Yards.
A colleague ran a series titled ‘Sunday Morning Special Teams’. That series featured some iconic and truly classic NFL special teams players. As well as a look at Special Teams skill sets.
People who know me know how much I love special teams. Because of that it seemed only natural that with my CFL fan hat on this series got me thinking about some of the great special teams players who have played North of the Border.
That series looked at a couple of return men, Michael “Pinball” Clemons and Henry ‘Gizmo’ Williams. We also featured a range of kickers. It started with Lui Passaglia, and moved on to Bob Cameron before latterly looking at Dave Cutler.
Well now we are running a series looking back at the Grey Cups of years gone past. In looking back to the 1989 game I couldn’t help but notice the career of Paul Osbaldiston.
It seemed such an oversight not have had him in the mix for that series that I thought we should put that right here.
Third Time a Charm
Osbaldiston started out in the CFL during the 1986 season. He may have started out with the BC Lions for 3 games and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for 5 games but he found his true home with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Although he played for three teams, he is a Tiger-Cat through and through. His 18 year CFL career was dominated by his time in Hamilton.
In fact such is the dominance of Ozzie as a Ti-Cat that he scored over 1700 more points than Bernie Ruoff (the teams’ second all time point scorer) during his tenure.
At the time of his retirement Osbaldiston had appeared in 296 games spread over 18 seasons with the team. Both are team records.
The franchise records for most points career (2856) and single season (233 in 1989), both belong to Osbaldiston.
So dominant is his point scoring in fact that he owns the 3 highest scoring seasons as a Tiger-Cat (1989, 1990 & 1999) as well as 5th and 6th places too (1992 & 1994).
Other franchise records include career converts, career field goals (655), single season field goals (54), single season punts (165) and career punts (2,127) and career punting yardage (88,542).
He is first in most career kick-offs (1,223), most career kickoff yards (69,777) and most kickoff single points with 17 as a Ti-Cat too.
The 669 career Field Goals rank 4th all time in CFL history. 8 Field goals scored in a game in 1996 are a CFL record shared with 2 other kickers.
Complete career punts and punting yardage 2,142 for 89,093 yards see Osbaldiston ranked third and fourth all-time respectively.
Osbaldiston was named a CFL East Division All-Star five times as a kicker, in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 & 2001. In addition to the nominations as a kicker, Osbaldiston was also named East All Star as a punter in 1996.
All-Canadian honours came his way as a punter in 1996, and as a kicker in 1998 & 2001.
Two Grey Cup winners rings were collected in 1986 & 1999. that first Grey Cup also saw Osbaldiston collect the Dick Suderman trophy as Most Valuable Canadian in the game.
In 1990 he collected the Lew Hayman trophy after being named the Outstanding player in the Eastern Division.
In 2011 he was inducted into the Ti-Cats Wall of Honour.
Banner image from cfl.ca