Joe Horrigan, the vice president of communications/exhibits for the Hall was at the Vikings' Winter Park facilities on Thursday to accept the jersey and pants Peterson wore on Nov. 4 during his 296-yard rushing performance against the San Diego Chargers.
"The rest of the pro football world also appreciates that a record of that magnitude, that what Adrian did on that day is really, really amazing," Horrigan said. "You think about the fact that he's a young rookie and what that means for the future for where he will be for years to come."
Peterson wore his number 28 practice jersey and his signature smile while standing at the podium discussing what it means to him that he has become a part of the Hall of Fame's display already in his rookie year.
"It's a blessing," Peterson said. "It's a great honor to have my jersey in the Hall of Fame. It's crazy when I think about it, being in my rookie year and having something put in the Hall of Fame, where some of the greatest players are mentioned. It's crazy, but I'm very excited."
Horrigan said that single-game records are more unusual occurrences than career records, especially when it comes to the Hall of Fame's displays. The fact that Peterson accomplished it as a rookie makes it even more unusual, he said.
Horrigan will leave the Twin Cities on Thursday and said as long as his flight isn't delayed the jersey and pants will be on display tomorrow in Canton. He will keep the jersey in his personal possession from the time it was presented to him around noon on Thursday until it is hanging in the Hall's display on Friday. It will remain on display for years to come, maybe decades or longer.
"As long as this man keeps running, we're happy to have it on display," Horrigan said while standing next to Peterson. "Truthfully, if somebody breaks the record, this was (still) used to set a record. He established a record, it was a rookie record on top of that. It will always remain something you can reflect back on. Generations to come, as fathers are talking to sons and can say, ‘I remember when …' – that's what we do. We capture moments in time."
Up until this time, the Vikings' equipment personnel had the jersey in their possession, and Peterson joked that might have been kept in a safe somewhere. In return, Horrigan presented Peterson with a Pro Football Hall of Fame hat and shirt, but even Horrigan admitted that the more important part in the exchange was what he received.
"We like to present (football history) to the public in exciting fashion. One of the ways in which we do that is obviously the reliving of milestone events of the actual artifacts that were part of that event. We're also very, very happy when we have a player like Adrian, who is willing to separate himself from that uniform that he used on that milestone day," Horrigan said.
The Hall will continue to display Jamal Lewis' jersey from his Sept. 14, 2003 game in which he rushed for 295 yards. The jersey that Corey Dillon wore on Oct. 22, 2000 from the previous record has been used in a traveling exhibit, Horrigan said. Before that, Walter Payton held the record for 23 years.
Peterson has other pieces of equipment, like the shoes and gloves he wore during that historic day, at his house.
"(The Hall has) the jersey and the pants, but I guess I'll have a little display with my shoes and gloves and maybe I can throw the Chicago jersey in there just to balance it out," Peterson said, referring to his previous single-game franchise record, when he rushed for 224 yards against the Bears on Oct. 14.
Horrigan joked that he hoped the Hall of Fame display would attract more visitors than Peterson gets at his house.
"I hope we have more people going through our showcase than he has going through his family room. We're going to get good use out of our artifacts," he said.
Peterson said he has never been to the Hall of Fame, but, "Gods' will, maybe I'll be in the Hall."
ALL PETERSON, ALL DAY
"The team goal, the ultimate goal, is to get to the Super Bowl. That's my biggest goal," he said.
He said he doesn't want to rush back, but he'll trust the trainers and his body to talk to him and let him know when he's ready to return, but he reiterated what the Vikings said on Monday, that he will play again this season.