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Sports Then and Now


Archive for the ‘Vintage Athletes’


Larry Nelson: From Vietnam to Victory 2

Posted on August 02, 2015 by Dean Hybl

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the rare professional golfer who did not take up the game as a youth. However, despite not starting to play until he was 21-years-old and a Vietnam War veteran, Larry Nelson still went on to win three golf majors and 10 tournaments during his career. Read the rest of this entry →

Maureen Connolly: Little Mo 5

Posted on July 03, 2015 by Dean Hybl
Maureen Connolly

Maureen Connolly

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the most dominating women’s tennis player of her career before a tragic accident ended her career while she was still a teenager.

Maureen “Little Mo” Connelly won the final nine majors in which she competed, which is quite impressive given how challenging Serena Williams is currently finding it to win four straight majors for the second time in her career. Read the rest of this entry →

Al Kaline: From Kid Star to Hall of Famer 5

Posted on May 31, 2015 by Dean Hybl
Al Kaline

Al Kaline

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was only 20 years old in 1955 when he collected a league-leading 200 hits and won the American League batting title with a .340 batting title.

Much like the young stars of today, Al Kaline took the baseball world by storm in the 1950s when he made his major league debut at 18 and just two years later finished second in the MVP voting. In making his first All-Star team in 1955, Kaline not only won the only batting title of his career, but he also hit 27 home runs, scored 121 runs and drove home 102 runs. Read the rest of this entry →

Horton Smith: First Masters Champion 2

Posted on April 03, 2015 by Dean Hybl
Horton Smith

Horton Smith

In 1934, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month became the first winner of what is now considered among the most prestigious of all golf tournament championships.

Horton Smith made his professional golf debut in 1926, in 1929 he won eight tournaments and in 1930 finished third in the U.S. Open and tied for fourth at the British Open. However, he entered the first-ever Masters (then known as the Augusta National Invitational) in 1934 without having previously won any of the tournaments that would eventually be considered the “majors”. Read the rest of this entry →

Nate Thurmond: Dominating Defender 5

Posted on February 14, 2015 by Dean Hybl

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a seven-time NBA All-Star and is still recognized as one of the best defensive centers in NBA history.

During a time when Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell were the dominant centers, Thurmond joined them as an elite scorer, defender and rebounder from the center position. Read the rest of this entry →

Fiesty Football Legend Clarke Hinkle 8

Posted on January 04, 2015 by Dean Hybl

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete is an all-time football great who was the NFL’s career rushing leader at the time of his retirement.

Considering that the NFL career rushing yardage record today stands at 18,355 yards, it might seem strange to know that when Clarke Hinkle retired in 1941 he was top runner in NFL history with 3,860 yards. Read the rest of this entry →

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