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Vikings great Mick Tingelhoff dies at 81

The Hall of Fame center anchored the Vikings offensive line in the early years of the franchise.

Former Minnesota Vikings center and Pro Football Hall of Famer Mick Tingelhoff died on Saturday at the age of 81.

Tingelhoff came to the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 1962 and quickly became an anchor of the offensive line. He made 240 consecutive starts at center and one of 11 players to be a part of all four Vikings teams that went to the Super Bowl.

The streak was the second-longest in franchise history behind teammate Jim Marshall's 270 straight starts and was the most by a center in NFL history.

During his 17 year career, Tingelhoff was a six-time Pro Bowler and a five-time All-Pro selection. He was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor in 2001 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. His No. 53 jersey is also retired by the Vikings.

"Mick Tingelhoff was the anchor of the great Vikings teams during an amazing era that included four Super Bowls," the Wilf family said in a statement. "A humble but strong leader, he defined toughness. Mick's legacy will live on as a Hall of Famer, on the field and off the field. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Teammates and friends also took to social media to mourn the loss of Tingelhoff.

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