Friday, December 27, 2002
Obits of 2002
ESPN.com news services
Ted Williams and Johnny Unitas were the most famous athletes who passed away in 2002. Here are some other notable deaths from the sports world this year:
Roone Arledge, TV sports visionary who made "Monday Night Football" into a prime-time staple. Arledge also popularized "Wide World of Sports," the Olympics and "Nightline."
Buck Baker, a two-time Winston Cup champion who was included on NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers list.
Jay Berwanger, the winner of the first Heisman Trophy in 1935 as a halfback for the University of Chicago.
Joe Black, the 1952 National League Rookie of the Year with the Brooklyn Dodgers who was the first black pitcher to win a World Series game.
Jack Buck, owner of one of the most distinct voices in broadcasting and a St. Louis institution. He began calling Cardinals games on radio in 1954,
teaming first with Harry Caray. Buck also called Super Bowls and World for CBS, ABC and NBC. His signature call after Cardinals victories: "That's a winner!"
Len Casanova, football coach at Oregon from 1951-1966 and member of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.
Richard Cleveland, a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame who set four world and 10 American records in the 1950s.
Al Cowens, major leaguer outfielder who won a Gold Glove and finished second in the voting for 1977 American League MVP.
Frank Crosetti, who played shortstop 17 years with the New York Yankees alongside teammates including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio. Crosetti played on eight World Series teams and later coached for 15 more for the Yankees.
John Cunniff, former New Jersey Devils head coach and longtime assistant on various U.S. national teams, including the Salt Lake Olympic team.
Dave Dalby, center who played on three Super Bowl champions with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders.
Willie Davenport, who won the gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles in the 1968 Olympics and a bronze in the 1976 Olympics. He also competed in the 1964 and '72 Olympics and in the 1980 Olympics as a member of the bobsled team.
Dan Devine, who coached 22 seasons at Notre Dame, Missouri and Arizona State and had just one losing season. He coached Notre Dame to the national title by beating Texas in the 1978 Cotton Bowl. Devine also coached the Green Bay Packers for four seasons.
Glenn Dobbs, an All-America tailback at Tulsa in the 1940s and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Dobbs also coached Tulsa for eight seasons.
Benjamin Eastman, track star known as "Blazin' Ben" who set world records in the 440-yard, 400-meter, 800-yard, 800-meter, 500-yard and 600-yard dashes while running for Stanford. He won a silver medal in the 1932 Olympics.
Manfred Ewald, director of East Germany's powerful Olympic program from 1961 to 1988. Following German reunification in 1990, Ewald and other officials were accused of giving performance-enhancing drugs to their athletes and Ewald was convicted in a Berlin court in 2000 of causing bodily harm to dozens of female athletes.
Paul Giel, two-sport start at the University of Minnesota who finished second in the 1953 Heisman voting and pitched for four different major league teams. He later became the school's athletics director for 18 years.
Pete Gray, who played one season in the major leagues with the St. Louis Browns in 1944 even though he was missing his right arm. He hit .218 in 77 games.
Alex Hannum, Hall of Fame basketball coach who won titles in the ABA and NBA.
Mel Harder, a four-time All-Star with the Cleveland Indians who won 223 games in his career. Only Bob Feller won more games for Cleveland.
Leon Hart, winner of the 1949 Heisman Trophy as a two-way end with Notre Dame. He won three national championships with the Irish and three NFL titles with the Detroit Lions.
Bob Hayes, Olympic champion and All-Pro wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. Hayes won the 100 meters the 1964 Olympics and then joined the Cowboys, becoming the only athlete with a gold medal and Super Bowl ring. He later battled drug and alcohol problems and spent 10 months in prison, which perhaps kept him out of the NFL Hall of Fame.
Chick Hearn, legendary broadcaster for the Los Angeles Lakers who served 42 years behind the mike and made terms such as "slam dunk" and "air ball" common basketball expressions. Hearn called a record 3,338 consecutive Lakers games starting in 1965 before missing a game because in December 2001.
Jerry Heidenreich, who won two swimming gold medals for the United States at the 1972 Olympics.
Bobby Joe Hill, the leading scorer on the Texas Western basketball team that won the NCAA title in 1966. Texas Western started five black players against Kentucky's all-white squad in a game that had broad social ramifications.
Willis Hudlin, who pitched 16 years in the big leagues and served up Babe Ruth's 500th home run. He won 157 games for the Cleveland Indians and 158 overall.
Ed Jucker, who coached Cincinnati to NCAA titles in 1961-62 and later the NBA's Cincinnati Royals for two years.
Darryl Kile, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals who was 5-4 in 2002 and winner of 133 games in his 11-year career.
Dick "Night Train" Lane, one of the greatest defensive backs in NFL history, known for his ferocious hitting and 68 career interceptions. A seven-time Pro Bowler and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Lane also holds the single-season record of 14 interceptions, which he set in a 12-game season as a rookie with the Detroit Lions.
Abe Lemons, who won 599 games as basketball coach at Texas Pan-American, Oklahoma City and Texas.
Al Lerner, billionaire owner of the Cleveland Browns, he brought the NFL back to Cleveland when he paid $530 million for the expansion franchise in 1998.
Hank Luisetti, a three-time All-America at Stanford who is credited with changing basketball. Luisetti popularized the one-handed jump shot, which he unveiled 1936 and soon replaced the traditional two-handed set shot.
Jim "Jughead" Martin, NFL defensive lineman and kicker who played on four NFL championships teams in the 1950s with Cleveland and Detroit.
Ned Martin, the radio and television voice of the Boston Red Sox for 32 years.
Wahoo McDaniel, former pro football player who became one of pro wrestling's most flamboyant figures in the '60s and '70s.
Dave McNally, a four-time 20-game winner with the Orioles who made his biggest impact off the field. In 1975, McNally and Andy Messersmith filed a grievance that eventually led to the demise of baseball's reserve clause, leading to free agency. McNally won 184 games in his career.
Carl "Bobo" Olson, world middleweight champion in the 1950s.
Ben Plucknett, who set two world records in the discuss in the 1980s. He still holds the American record.
Darrell Porter, All-Star catcher who hit 188 home runs and was MVP of the 1982 World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ken Raffensberger, who won 119 games during a 15-year career in the majors. He twice led the National League in shutouts and was the winning pitcher in the 1944 All-Star Game.
Chuck Rayner, Hall of Fame goaltender who played 10 seasons in the NHL, including eight with the New York Rangers from 1945-53.
John Roseboro, All-Star catcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers who played on three World Series winners but is best known for being on the wrong end of Juan Marichal's bat in one of baseball's most violent episodes.
Kyle Rote, an All-America at SMU and of the most popular players in New York Giants' history, who also became the first president of the NFL Players Association. Rote caught 300 passes and had 48 career touchdowns.
Ed Runge, an American League umpire from 1954 through 1970 and the patriarch of the only three-generation family of major league baseball umpires.
Dick Schaap, longtime sports journalist who wrote more than 30 books and was at the forefront of covering the rise of minorities in professional sports.
Jack Shea, patriarch of the first family with three generations of Olympians and the winner of two
gold medals at the 1932 Winter Games.
Wayne Simmons, starting linebacker on the 1997 Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
Enos Slaughter, baseball Hall of Famer known as "Country." Slaughter finished with 2,383 hits and a .300 career average. He played in 10 consecutive All-Star Games and is remembered for his "Mad Dash" in Game 6 of the 1946 World Series, scoring the winning run in the ninth inning as the St. Louis defeated the Boston Red Sox.
Phil Smith, an All-America guard at San Francisco and NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors in 1975.
Sam Snead, one of golf's all-time greats, winner of seven majors and a record 81 PGA tour victories and 11 in one year. Snead was raised during the Depression in the backwoods of western Virginia and learned how to play in bare feet and with clubs made from tree limbs.
Dick Stuart, brawny first baseman who hit 228 career home runs for six different teams. Known as "Dr. Strangeglove" for his poor fielding, Stuart hit 66 home runs one year in the minors.
Fred Taylor, who coached an Ohio State team that featured Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek and a seldom-used sub named Bobby Knight to the 1960 NCAA championship.
Willie Thrower, the first black quarterback in the Big Ten at Michigan State who became the first black QB in the NFL when he played one game for the Chicago Bears in 1953. It would be 15 years before another black QB played in the pros.
Mamo Waldo, Olympic marathon and 10,000-meter champion in 1968. Despite his fame in his homeland of Ethiopa, Mamo spent the past nine years in prison, accused but not convicted of taking part in the killings of some 2,000 political opponents of former military dictator Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam from 1974-78 when Mamo was a policeman.
Frank Warren, defensive lineman for 13 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, who recorded 52 career sacks.
Harry Watson, hockey Hall of Famer and five-time Stanley Cup champion. Watson won four titles with the Toronto Maple Leafs and one with the Detroit Red Wings during a 14-season NHL career from 1941-57.
Mike Webster, considered one of the NFL's best linemen ever and winner of four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Webster played 17 years in the NFL, but the center had a difficult post-football life that left him living in his truck for a short time and suffered from brain damage caused by all the hits he took during his career.
Wes Westrum, a two-time All-Star catcher with the New York Giants and later manager of the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants.
Byron White, retired Supreme Court Justice and All-America running back at the University of Colorado. White was known for his clear-headed legal thinking and a hardheaded personality that was honed through three decades on the nation's highest court. He served 31 years before retiring in 1993. Nicknamed "Whizzer" (he later grew to hate the moniker) at Colorado, he was second in the 1937 Heisman voting and twice led the NFL in rushing.
Hoyt Wilhelm, knuckleballing pitcher who became the first reliever inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.
Wilhelm was 143-122 with 227 saves and a 2.52 ERA for nine teams. A five-time All-Star, he played mostly for the Giants, Baltimore and the Chicago White Sox.
Curtis Williams, former University of Washington defensive back who was paralyzed in game at Stanford in October 2000.