Ernie Pitts

Inducted: 1986

Member of Canadian Football Hall of Fame (Inducted 2019)

Wide receiver, defensive back: 1957-69

Division All-Star: 1957, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968

Ernie ‘Zazu’ Pitts came to the Bombers in 1957 after Bud Grant received a tip from a scout. He spent 13 years in Winnipeg and retired as the team’s all time leading receiver with 337 receptions for 5,525 yards and 54 touchdowns while winning four Grey Cups. He had 16 touchdowns in 1959, the fourth-highest total in club history. A member of the Winnipeg Football Club’s Hall of Fame, Pitts wasn’t just a solid receiver – he was a three-time West Division all-star – in 1965 he switched to defensive back and was, again, a three-time all-star.

Pitts led the Bombers in receiving in 1957, 1959, 1960, 1962 and 1964 and then led the team in interceptions in 1968 and 1969. He moved to the B.C. Lions in 1970, but his career was cut short by when he was shot and killed by his estranged wife.