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Sports Then and Now



Rafer Johnson 2

Posted on August 02, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Rafer Johnson

Rafer Johnson

In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the 1984 Summer Olympics, we are honoring as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week the person who received the prestigious honor of lighting the Olympic Flame at the opening ceremonies of those games.

Because success in the decathlon requires high-level performances in 10 significantly different events, decathlon champions have traditionally been considered to be the best athletes in the world. Few have ever been better than Rafer Johnson.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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