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Sports Then and Now



Remembering Sports Greats Lost in 2013 2

Posted on December 31, 2013 by Dean Hybl
Baseball legend Stan Musial passed away in 2013 at age 92.

Baseball legend Stan Musial passed away in 2013 at age 92.

Unfortunately, one of the inevitable aspects of every year is that we must say goodbye to some memorable greats from the sports world who passed away during that year.

2013 was no different as the sports world lost a number of all-time greats along with many others who may not have ended their careers in a sports Hall of Fame, but who left their own marks on the history of sports.

During the year we reflected on the passing of several athletes at the time of their death including Stan Musial, Pat Summerall, Earl Weaver, Deacon Jones, Art Donovan, Bum Phillips and Ed Herrmann. You can remember the legacies of these sports stars by clicking on their name to read the original articles.

In addition to these seven, there were many other well-known figures from the sports world that we lost in 2013. Below are brief remembrances of some of those greats.

Miller Barber – Professional Golfer – 82 years old
After winning 11 PGA Tour tournaments, but never finishing better than fourth in any Major, Barber was one of the early stars of the Senior Tour. He won 24 Senior Tour tournaments, including the Senior PGA Championship in 1981 and three Senior U.S. Open Championships in a four-year period.

Walt Bellamy – NBA Hall of Famer – 74 years old
The first pick of the 1961 NBA Draft, Bellamy averaged 31.6 points per game as a rookie, but still finished nearly 19 points per game behind NBA scoring champion Wilt Chamberlain (who averaged 50.4 ppg). He went on to average 20.1 points and 13.7 rebounds per game during a 14 year career in which he played for five different franchises.

Paul Blair – Major League Baseball Outfielder – 69 years old
An eight time Gold Glove winner, Blair was a key member of two World Series Champion teams with the Baltimore Orioles. He also won two World Series as a member of the New York Yankees during his 17 year career. Read the rest of this entry →

Art Donovan Was Both a Football and an American Hero (VIDEO) 8

Posted on August 05, 2013 by Dean Hybl
Art Donovan was one of the great characters in NFL history.

Art Donovan was one of the great characters in NFL history.

The sports world lost one of the great characters of all-time with the passing on Sunday of football Hall of Fame defensive lineman Art Donovan at the age of 89. Not only was Donovan a Hall of Fame football player, but he was also an American Hero as he served with distinction during World War II.

The son of Hall of Fame boxing referee Art Donovan Sr., Art Jr. originally attended Notre Dame for one semester before leaving school in 1942 to enlist in the Marines. Stationed in the Pacific, he served as an anti-aircraft gunner on the USS San Jacinto during the assault on Leyte in the Philippines.

He later volunteered for the Fleet Marine Force, which landed him in the middle of combat on Okinawa. His citations, which included the Asiatic Pacific Area Ribbon and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, are a major reason he was the first pro football player selected for the U.S. Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame.

After the war, Donovan played college football at Boston College before being drafted by the New York Giants as the 204th pick of the 1947 NFL Draft.

He did not actually make his NFL debut until 1950 playing for the original Baltimore Colts. After the team, which also included future Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Title folded, he then spent the next two seasons playing for the New York Yanks and the Dallas Texans. As luck would have it, both of those teams also failed and in 1953 he returned to Baltimore with the reincarnated Baltimore Colts.

With the new Colts, Donovan emerged as one of the top defensive linemen in the league. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 1953 and from 1954-57 was a first team All-Pro each season. He was a member of the championship teams for the Colts in 1958 and 1959.

Donovan remained with the Colts through the 1961 season and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968.

On the field Donovan was just another faceless lineman performing the grunt work in the trenches. But after his retirement, Donovan was anything but quiet and anonymous. His book Fatso was a best seller and he made many appearances on late night television with Johnny Carson and David Letterman. He was also featured one year in ESPN football ads and was prominent in some great NFL Films programs that remembered football in the 1950s and 1960s.

Below are a few of the great video clips featuring this American original. Enjoy!

 

Read the rest of this entry →

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