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Sports Then and Now



Mark Belanger: A Fielding Aficionado 13

Posted on April 15, 2012 by Dean Hybl
Mark Belanger

Mark Belanger

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week for April is a former Major League shortstop who was never known for his offensive production, but was one of the best ever at fielding his position and was a key reason that his team was baseball’s best during his era.

Mark Belanger was such a valuable player for the Baltimore Orioles in the late 1960s and 1970s that he knocked a future Hall of Famer out of the Baltimore lineup and twice finished in the top 30 in the American League MVP despite hitting below .230 for the season.
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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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