Damon Allen, Derrell ‘Mookie’ Mitchell named All-Time Argos as part of 150th anniversary celebration

Graphic courtesy: 3DownNation (Photos: Tororonto Argonauts | Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com)

The Toronto Argonauts will be adding two CFL legends to the list of All-Time Argos as part of the team’s 150th-anniversary celebration.

Quarterback Damon Allen and receiver Derrell ‘Mookie’ Mitchell will officially be enshrined as part of the prestigious program on Monday, July 3rd when the Argos host the B.C. Lions. It will mark the first induction since Doug Flutie was added in 2017, bringing the total number of All-Time Argos to 24.

“With due reverence and adulation to those who came before them, this year’s inductees may be the best ever,” Argos’ general manager Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons said in a statement.

“The first, Derrell Mitchell is one of only three players in league history to gain 2,000 receiving yards in a single season. Elevating his excellence, he did it while catching a world record 160 passes, incomparable! Today, he stands beside four-time Grey Cup champion Damon Allen. Damon is the CFL’s third all-time leading rusher just shy of 12,000 yards and only trails football legends Mike Pringle and George Reed. Almost unbelievably, this is only a footnote in his story, as he threw for over 70,000 yards in his stellar career. Derrell and Damon may very well represent the best year and best career in CFL history.”

Allen spent five seasons in Toronto after coming over from the B.C. Lions in 2003, leading the team to their 15th Grey Cup championship the very next season. He threw for 299 yards and one touchdown while rushing for two more to earn Most Valuable Player in the victory.

The Cal-State Fullerton product was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2005 after throwing for 5,082 and 33 touchdowns, becoming the second-ever Argo to cross the 5,000-yard mark. The 23-year CFL veteran retired as the all-time leading passer in league history and remains third all-time in for the Toronto franchise with 13,974 passing yards in double blue. Allen was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

Mitchell began his career with the Argos in 1997, winning the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie award after tallying 77 receptions for 1,457 yards and 17 touchdowns. The following year he set the CFL single-season record for receptions with 160 while becoming one of just three players to reach 2,000 receiving yards in a season. The Argos won a Grey Cup at the end of each campaign.

The Texas Tech alum spent seven seasons in Toronto before returning for an eighth in 2007, establishing himself as the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 9,047 and receiving touchdowns with 74. Mitchell was a three-time CFL All-Star and five-time East All-Star while with the Argos and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

The pair will be honoured by Toronto as part of the organization’s 150th-anniversary celebrations, which were announced on Friday alongside a new celebratory logo.

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

Officially founded on October 4, 1873, by the Argonauts Rowing Club, the Argos are the oldest professional sports team in North America still using its original name and the winningest club in CFL history with 18 Grey Cup championships.

The team will honour their latest title victory by raising the 109th Grey Cup banner during their home opener against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on June 18. The first 15,000 fans in attendance will receive a replica Grey Cup championship ring.

The team will also be counting down the 150 greatest moments in franchise history throughout the season and have earmarked $150,000 for donations to community programs in honour of the milestone. A full celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, October 4, with more details to be shared at a later date.

“This season will be a special reminder to us all that this Toronto Argonauts Anniversary is not just about football history, it also represents the history of this city and our country,” Clemons said as part of the announcement.

“This franchise changed my life, and I know from speaking to so many other players and fans over the years that it has changed the lives of thousands of other people for the better in similar ways. We look forward to celebrating that impact and the fact that this team has brought us together for so many years.”