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Sports Then and Now



Remembering Larry Wilson – Creator of the Safety Blitz 0

Posted on September 19, 2020 by Dean Hybl

The NFL lost a pioneering innovator this week with the passing of Hall of Fame defensive back Larry Wilson at the age of 82.

Though only 6-foot-0, 180 pounds, Wilson developed into one of the most feared defenders of his era as the first safety to regularly rush the quarterback in a play that became known as the safety blitz.

A two-way starter at the University of Utah, Wilson was selected by the Chicago Cardinals in the seventh round of the 1960 draft (which was conducted in November 1959). The team moved to St. Louis prior to the 1960 season and Wilson soon became a defensive pioneer.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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