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Willie McCovey 0

Posted on July 14, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Willie McCovey

Willie McCovey

Each week Sports Then and Now will recognize a Vintage Athlete of the Week. The purpose of this weekly post will be to celebrate and re-visit the accomplishments of notable athletes from past generations.

In honor of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, our first Athlete of the Week is a baseball great who was the hero of the Midsummer Classic 40 years ago.

Despite his immense stature (6-foot-4, 210 pounds), Willie McCovey was often overshadowed by more flamboyant teammates. He truly epitomized the concept of speaking softly and carrying a big stick as McCovey blasted 521 home runs during his 22-year major league career.

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      The Vintage Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was the key weapon behind the most important upset in pro football history.

      While Joe Namath was the face of the 1968 New York Jets and Super Bowl III, Matt Snell was the backbone of the New York offense and primary weapon during the shocking victory.

      In many ways, the foundation for the 1968 championship squad started to be built in the 1964 AFL Draft when the Jets selected Snell, a star at Ohio State, with the third pick in the first round. Occurring at the height of the AFL-NFL player war, Snell was also drafted by the New York Giants in the 4th round of the NFL Draft (49th overall pick).

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