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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In Memoriam 2013

The Daily Hat Trick would like remember influential people in the sports world who left us during the past year.

Stan Musial (1920-2013)

Baseball Hall of Famer Stan “The Man” Musial died on January 19, 2013 of natural causes. He was 92. Musial was arguably the most beloved St. Louis Cardinals player of all time.

Musial has a .331 lifetime batting average in over 3,000 games played, 475 home runs, 3,630 hits (4th all time), and 1,951 RBIs (6th all time). He was voted a member of MLB All-Century Team. He was a pillar of the St. Louis community. In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded Musial the Presidential Medal of Freedom.   


Jerry Buss (1933-2013)

Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss died on February 18, 2013 of intestinal cancer. He was 80. Buss oversaw the most prosperous era of Lakers basketball in the franchise’s storied history.

Dr. Buss purchased the Lakers in 1979. The birth of the Showtime Lakers commenced immediately with the acquisition of point guard Magic Johnson with the first pick in the 1979 NBA Draft. Other stars playing under Buss included Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy, and former league MVPs and future Hall of Famers Shaquille O’Neal and current Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant. The Lakers won ten NBA Championships during Buss’ ownership.


Mal Moore (1939-2013)

University of Alabama athletic director Mal Moore died on March 30, 2013 of pulmonary problems. He was 73. Moore was a college coach for three decades and an administrator at Bama for nearly 10 years.
As a player, assistant coach and administrator, Moore won 10 national championships at Alabama. Moore directed nearly a quarter-billion dollars of facility improvements at Alabama. He oversaw the hiring of current Head Football Coach Nick Saban, which led to the resurrection of the dominance of the Alabama Crimson Tide football program.


Carl Williams (1959-2013)

Former heavyweight boxer and undisputed heavyweight championship contender Carl “The Truth” Williams died on April 7, 2013 of esophageal cancer. He was 53. Williams fought in several high profile heavyweight title fights, but never winning.

Williams’ most noteworthy fight was a 1989 loss to Mike Tyson in a first round knockout. The undisputed heavyweight championship of the world was at stake. Williams also lost to former heavyweight champions Larry Holmes, the late Tommy Morrison, Frank Bruno, and Trevor Berbick. His career record was 30-10 plus a no contest with 21 knockouts.


Boston Marathon Bombing Victims – April 15, 2013

Three people were killed and nearly 300 more were injured when two pressure cooker bombs exploded at the home stretch of the 2013 Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Two American brothers were the accused assailants and were hunted in the ensuing days. One was killed after being shot by police and run over by his brother in the getaway car. The other was arrested and charged with the crime on April 19, 2013.


Pat Summerall (1930-2013)

Former NFL placekicker and legendary football play-by-play announcer Pat Summerall died on April 16, 2013 of cardiac arrest following hip surgery in Dallas, Texas. He was 82. Summerall and his long-time broadcast partner, John Madden, were among the most (if not the most) premiere in-game sportscasters in American History.

Summerall delivered NFL game commentary for CBS from 1962 until 1994 and for Fox from 1994 until 2002 in addition to some part time announcing assignments after his 2002 retirement from Fox.  Summerall remained active in broadcasting, as recently as 2011 for the Cotton Bowl pregame show.

One of a kind....

Chuck Muncie (1953-2013)

Former New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers running back Harry “Chuck” Muncie died on May 13, 2013 of a heart attack. He was 60. Muncie is probably best remembered for his role with the Chargers “Air Coryell” offense in the early 1980s.

Muncie was a three time Pro Bowl player. He ran for 6,702 yards and 71 touchdowns in his nine year NFL career. He is a member of the San Diego Chargers 40th and 50th Anniversary Teams.


Deacon Jones (1938-2013)

Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end David “Deacon” Jones died June 3, 2013. He was 74. Jones spent most of his NFL career with the Los Angeles Rams.

Jones is remembered as one of the greatest pass rushers of all-time. A member of the Rams “Fearsome Foursome”, Jones is credited for coining the term “sack”. Sacks were not an official statistic during Jones’ time in the NFL, thought Pro Football Weekly estimated that he had 194.5 sacks in his career, including 26 sacks in a 14 game 1967 season, which would place him near the top among all-time sack leaders.


Emile Griffith (1938-2013)

International Boxing Hall of Fame middleweight Emile Griffith died on July 23, 2013, suffering from dementia pugilistica. He was 75. Griffith may be best remember for a 1962 title fight in which his opponent, Benny Paret, died ten days after being knocked out (TKO) by Griffith. Griffith had a career record of 85-24-2 with 23 knockouts plus a fight ending in a no-decision.


Art Donovan (1924-2013)

Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Art Donovan died on August 4, 2013 of respiratory disease. He was 89. Donovan spent most of his career with the Baltimore Colts.

Donovan was a five-time Pro Bowler, a four-time first team All-Pro (1954-1957), and a member of the 1950s All-Decade Team. He was a member of the 1958 and 1959 NFL Champion Baltimore Colts teams. His #70 is retired by the Colts organization.


Tommy Morrison (1969-2013)

Heavyweight boxer Tommy "The Duke" Morrison died on September 1, 2013 of complications of AIDS. He was 44. Morrison was the former WBO heavyweight champion of the world. 

Morrison won the WBO belt by winning over George Foreman by unanimous decision in 1993. He had one successful title defense. Morrison retired from boxing in 1996, announcing that he was diagnosed with HIV. Morrison would fight two more times following his HIV diagnosis, in 2007 and 2008, winning by knockout.

Bum Phillips (1923-2013)

Former NFL Head Coach Oail Andrew "Bum" Philips died on October 18, 2013. He was 90. Phillips was the Head Coach of the Houston Oilers from 1975-1980 and the New Orleans Saints from 1981-1985.

Phillips led the Oilers to consecutive appearances in the AFC Championship Game in the 1978 and 1979 season. He led the Saints to within one win of their first, ever, playoff appearance in 1983 before losing on the last game of the season to the Los Angeles Rams on a Mike Lansford field goal in the final seconds. 

Bud Adams (1923-2013)

Tennessee Titans owner Kenneth "Bud" Adams died on October 21, 2013. He was 90. Adams was among the founding owners of the American Football League.

Adams founded the Houston Oilers who were among eight teams that played in the AFL's inaugural season of 1960. The Oilers won the first two AFL Championships in 1960 and 1961. Adams relocated the team to Tennessee following the 1996 season. 

The franchise changed its name to the Tennessee Titans in 1999, which it is named today. The Titans won the 1999 AFC Championship. They lost to the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV.

Todd Christensen (1956-2013)

Former NFL tight end Todd Christensen died on November 13, 2013 of complications from liver transplant surgery. He was 57. Christensen spend most of his career with the Raiders organization.

Christensen was a five-time Pro Bowl selection. He was a member of the Oakland Raiders Super Bowl XV championship team in the 1980 season and the Los Angeles Raiders Super Bowl XVIII championship team in the 1983 season. 

Paul Blair (1944-2013) 

Former MLB center fielder Paul Blair died on December 26, 2013 of a heart attack. He was 69. Blair spent most of his career with the Baltimore Orioles. He also plead with the New York Yankees.

Blair won eight gold gloves. He made two All-Star Game appearances. Blair was a member of four World Series championship teams - the 1966 and 1970 Baltimore Orioles and the 1977 and 1978 New York Yankees.

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