Alphonse “Tuffy” Leemans was a notable product of the great Giants teams of the 1930s and 1940s under the leadership of head coach Steve Owen. From 1936-43, Leemans gave the Giants plenty of help throughout his career. His first season saw him rush for 830 yards, a staggering number for a fullback in those days.
In 1938, Leemans had 463 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He would add another touchdown to his total in that year’s NFL Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers, which the Giants would end up winning 23-17.
The team would make two more championship appearances during Leemans’ time there but failed to win each time. In just seven seasons and 70 games, Leemans reached 3,000 yards rushing. As it was normal at that time, Leemans was called on to pass the ball. He totaled 2,318 passing yards with 25 touchdowns and 32 interceptions.
Once Leemans retired, he left the Giants as the team’s all-time leading rusher in their short history at that point with 3,132 yards. He is currently 11th on the all-time list. In 1978, Leemans was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.