Joiner's bust was destroyed in wildfires
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Charlie Joiner received a replica bronze bust from the Pro Football Hall of Fame to replace the one that was destroyed when his home burned in a wildfire in 2007.
Joiner received the bust and other memorabilia Sunday night when he was honored as the Junior Seau Foundation's Legend of the Year.
"They did a good job of hiding that from me. I was happy to see the bust. I love the bust," said Joiner, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996. "That's the symbol of the Hall of Fame."
The Hall of Fame has two busts made for each new member. One remains on display in Canton and a replica is given to the inductee.
Joiner, a wide receiver for Houston, Cincinnati and San Diego, said the bust and all the other memorabilia from his NFL career was destroyed when his house in Rancho Bernardo burned in October 2007. At the time, he was Kansas City's wide receivers coach, a position he now holds with the Chargers.
The Joiners are rebuilding, with help from the surprise gift.
"We've got something to start the new house off with. I love that," Joiner said.
Stephen A. Perry, the Hall of Fame's president and executive director, said he learned about a year ago that Joiner's memorabilia had been destroyed.
"He didn't ask for any of them to be replaced," Perry said. "He was just lamenting the fact he had lost all these things that were really irreplaceable."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press