Notable sports deaths in 2011
Legendary boxer Joe Frazier died after a brief battle with liver cancer at the age of 67 on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011.
Known as Smokin' Joe, Frazier was small for a heavyweight, but rose to fame as the first man to beat Muhammad Ali, in 1970. They would fight twice more, staging three memorable bouts that would elevate both boxers into the sports stratosphere. He was the heavyweight champ for two years.
IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon died from injuries suffered after his car went sailing through the air during a massive 15-car wreck early in the Las Vegas Indy 300 on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. Wheldon was injured when his car flew over another during the wreck on Lap 13. Wheldon was 33.
Wheldon made his debut in 2002 and had 16 career wins. He won the Indianapolis 500 twice, including this year. He was the IndyCar Series champion in 2005 and was the IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year in 2003. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
Al Davis, the legendary owner of the Oakland Raiders, passed away on the morning of Oct. 8, 2011 at the age of 82.
In 1963, the Raiders hired the 33-year-old Davis to be their head coach and GM. After three seasons as the team's head coach, Davis briefly left to become commissioner of the AFL, and his aggressive approach in competing head to head with the NFL was one of the reasons that the NFL's owners agreed to merge with their rival league. Then, Davis settled into a new role as managing general partner of the Raiders, a role he would stay in for the rest of his life. On Davis's watch, the Raiders won Super Bowls XI, XV and XVIII. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992 and is the only person to serve as a personnel assistant, scout, assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner and team owner.
Former collegiate and Olympic basketball coach Dave Gavitt died Sept. 16, 2011 at the age of 73.
After a three-year stint as the head basketball coach at Dartmouth (his alma mater), Gavitt took that same role with Providence in 1969. In his 10 seasons coaching the team, Providence compiled a 209-84 record, advancing to the NCAA tournament five times and the NIT three times during that stretch. In 1973, the school made the Final Four for the first time in program history. He left Providence in 1979 to form the Big East Conference and become its first commissioner, a role he held until 1990. Although Gavitt was selected to be the U.S. Olympic coach for the 1980 Games, the U.S. boycotted those Olympics. He later helped usher in the era of NBA players on Olympic teams as the president of USA Basketball. Gavitt also spent time as the chairman of the Basketball Hall of Fame, into which he was inducted in 2006.
Italian mountain climber Walter Bonatti died Sept. 13, 2011 at the age of 81.
An avid climber in the 1950s and 60s, Bonatti was involved in many famous treks including, in 1965, the first solo winter ascent of the Matterhorn north face. While his role in the first K2 ascent had been shrouded in controversy for many years, in 2008, the Italian Alpine Club recognized Bonatti for his contributions to the feat.
On Sept. 7, 2011, 28 players, two coaches and seven Lokomotiv Yaroslavl staff members were killed when the plane they had chartered to take them to their season-opening Kontinental Hockey League game crashed.
In addition to the seven plane crew members who were killed, here are the names of the Lokomotiv personnel on the flight: Vitaly Anikeenko, Yury Bakhvalov, Mikhail Balandin, Alexander Belyayev, Gennady Churilov, Pavol Demitra, Robert Dietrich, Alexander Galimov, Marat Kalimulin, Alexander Kalyanin, Alexander Karpovtsev, Andrei Kiryukhin, Nikita Klyukin, Igor Korolev, Nikolai Krivonosov, Yevgeny Kunnov, Vyacheslav Kuznetsov, Stefan Liv, Jan Marek, Brad McCrimmon, Sergei Ostapchuk, Vladimir Piskunov, Karel Rachunek, Ruslan Salei, Maxim Shuvalov, Yevgeny Sidorov, Karlis Skrastins, Pavel Snurnitsyn, Daniil Sobchenko, Ivan Tkachenko, Pavel Trakhanov, Yury Urychov, Josef Vasicek, Alexander Vasyunov, Alexander Vyukhin, Artem Yarchuk and Andrei Zimin.
Betty Skelton Erde
Known as the "First Lady of Firsts," former land speed record car driver and acrobatic airplane pilot Betty Skelton Erde died Aug. 31, 2011. She was 85.
A fan of airplanes from a very young age, Erde flew a Taylorcraft airplane was she was just 12 years old and received her pilot's license at 16. She learned her first aerobatic skill in 1945 and embraced the sport, with her most notable trick involving cutting a ribbon strung between two fishing poles all while flying upside down just a few meters off the ground. The U.S. Female Aerobatic Champion from 1948-1950, she retired and moved on to land racing. Throughout her careers, she set 17 aviation and automobile records. In 2008, Erde was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
Former Major League Soccer player and broadcaster Bobby Rhine died Sept. 5, 2011 at the age of 35.
A second-team All-American in 1998 during his senior season at the University of Connecticut, Rhine was drafted sixth overall in the 1999 MLS draft by the Dallas Burn. During his 10-year career with the team, he played defensive, midfield and forward positions, posting more than 12,000 minutes in 212 games while starting 136 times. Rhine retired in 2008, switching to a role in the FC Dallas front office in addition to serving as the team's TV color commentator.
Lee Roy Selmon
Hall of Fame defensive end Lee Roy Selmon died Sept. 4, 2011. He was 56 years old.
After an All-American career at Oklahoma, Selmon was the first overall pick of the 1976 NFL draft, and the first pick in Buccaneers franchise history. He led the team from NFL bottom-dwellers to NFC Central champions and was chosen as a defensive end on six NFC Pro Bowl rosters.
On Sept. 3, 2011, former college football player and coach Don Fambrough died at the age of 88.
After spending two years before World War II playing for the University of Texas and two years after the war with the University of Kansas, Fambrough joined the Kansas program as an assistant directly after graduating. Fambrough held that position at Kansas, East Texas State and Wichita State for various times from 1948-70 before being tasked with head coaching duties at Kansas in 1971. In coaching stints from 1971-74 and again from 1979-82, Fambrough compiled a 37-48-5 record. He either played or coached in five of the nine bowl games in Kansas football history.
Former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan died Aug. 25, 2011. He was 59 years old.
Flanagan was a crafty left-hander who went 167-143 with a 3.90 ERA over 18 seasons with Baltimore and Toronto. He won the Cy Young award in 1979 and was part of the Orioles World Series Championship team in 1983. After retiring, he also served as a front office executive and television broadcaster for the Orioles.
Competitive distance runner John Kelley died Aug. 21, 2011. He was 80 years old.
After finishing first in his first Boston Marathon in 1953 while in college at Boston University, Kelley placed seventh in 1954 and second in 1956 (the first of his five runner-up finishes there) before capturing the win in 1957. His victory came courtesy of a new course record on the remeasured course. Kelley twice was a member of the U.S. Olympic marathon team, won eight consecutive USA National Marathon titles and continued to win marathons around the country before channeling his energy into a career as a high school running coach. One of the students he coached was Amby Burfoot, who went on to win the 1968 Boston Marathon.
Former NFL defensive lineman Norm Willey died Aug. 18, 2011 at the age of 83.
The 170th pick of the 1950 NFL Draft, the Marshall University graduate played his entire eight-year career with the Philadelphia Eagles. During that time, Willey was named a Pro Bowler two times (1955-56). Although sacks were not recorded as official statistics when he played, Willey is reported to have notched 17 sacks in a single game against the New York Giants in 1952. He retired in 1957 and went on to teach in New Jersey.
On Aug. 18, 2011, former NBA and college basketball coach Scotty Robertson died at the age of 81.
After serving as a high school coach for eight years, Robertson was hired as the head coach at Louisiana Tech from 1964 to 1974, compiling a 165-86 record in the process. Robertson took over as the first coach of the New Orleans Jazz but went 1-14 in his short tenure in the 1974-75 season. He later spent time coaching the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons and also served as an assistant with the Phoenix Suns and a scout with the Miami Heat.
College Football and Pro Football Hall of Famer Pete Pihos died Aug. 16, 2011 at the age of 87.
An All-American at Indiana University, Pihos was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round in 1945. Pihos spent the next two years serving in the military before joining the Eagles in 1947; he missed just one game in his subsequent nine seasons. From 1947-1949, Philadelphia won three straight divisional championships and captured NFL titles in 1948 and 1949. After leading the NFL in receiving from 1953-1955, Pihos retired with a total of 373 catches for 6,519 yards and 61 touchdowns. The six-time Pro Bowler was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970.
NHL player Rick Rypien died Aug. 15, 2011. He was 27 years old.
When Rypien made his NHL debut with the Vancouver Canucks on Dec. 21, 2005, he scored his first goal on his very first shot. But his rookie season was cut short by a broken fibula suffered in just his fifth game. Injuries continued to plague Rypien throughout his career, with included a total of 119 games played over six seasons. He totaled nine goals and seven assists during that period of time. Rypien signed a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets for the 2011-12 season but was found dead in the offseason before he could skate for the team.
Former punter and placekicker Don Chandler died Aug. 11, 2011. He was 76.
After a senior season at the University of Florida in which he recorded a league-high average kick of 44.3 yards, Chandler was drafted in the fifth round in the 1956 draft by the New York Giants and won his first NFL championship that same year. He remained with the team for nine seasons before finishing out his pro career with three years with the Green Bay Packers, winning NFL titles each of those final three years (including victories in the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968). In Green Bay's Super Bowl II win, Chandler drilled four field goals, a record that still stands. At the time of his retirement, Chandler had made 94 of 161 field goal attempts, converted 248 of 259 extra point attempts and punted 660 times for 28,678 yards. He was a Pro Bowler in 1967 and was a member of the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team.
Former heavyweight boxer Scott LeDoux was 62 years old when he died of ALS on Aug. 11, 2011.
After earning a knockout victory in his first pro boxing match in 1974, "The Fighting Frenchman" went on to compile a 33-13-4 record, including 22 wins by KO and a draw against Leon Spinks just months before Spinks shocked Muhammad Ali.
On Aug. 9, 2011, former Oklahoma quarterback and NFL player Jimmy Harris died at the age of 76.
The starter for much of Oklahoma's record 47-game winning streak, Harris took over QB duties in 1954. He went on to become just one of six college QBs ever to lead a school to consecutive national championships, capturing titles in 1955 and 1956. Harris finished his college career with 1,237 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns to go along with 745 passing yards and another 10 TDs. Drafted in the fifth round in 1957 by the Philadelphia Eagles, he played one year with them before one-year stints with the Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Texans and Dallas Cowboys. Harris played defensive back in the NFL/AFL.
Jerry Smith, a former NFL player and coach, died Aug. 6, 2011 at the age of 80.
Drafted out of the University of Wisconsin by the San Francisco 49ers in 1952, Smith remained with the team for three seasons before finishing his playing career with one year on the Green Bay Packers. In 1960, Smith began what ultimately would be a 26-year NFL/AFL coaching career, starting as the defensive linemen/linebackers coach for the Boston Patriots and going on to serve other roles with the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers, Baltimore Colts, San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Cardinals. He also spent time with the Denver Broncos, getting hired as the offensive line coach in 1971 and being elevated to the position of interim head coach when Lou Saban resigned that same year. Smith was replaced the next year.
Former NFL player and actor Bubba Smith died Aug. 3, 2011. He was 66 years old.
A two-time All American at Michigan State (and future inductee in the College Football Hall of Fame), Smith was the top pick in the 1967 draft. After spending his first five years in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts -- during which time they won Super Bowl V -- Smith finished his NFL career with two seasons competing for the Oakland Raiders and two for the Houston Oilers before retiring in 1976. He then distinguished himself in the entertainment world, playing notable characters like Moses Hightower in the "Police Academy" movies and appearing on a number of TV shows.
Former pro baseball pitcher Hideki Irabu died at the age of 42 on July 28, 2011.
After a successful career in Japan's Pacific League -- during which he set a league record with a 98 mph fastball and established a reputation as a dominant strikeout pitcher, Irabu's contract was purchased by the San Diego Padres in 1997. Irabu refused to play for the team, and the Yankees traded for the pitcher. From 1997-1999 with New York, Irabu captured two World Series rings but attracted the ire of team owner George Steinbrenner. Irabu was traded to the Expos after the 1999 season and spent two seasons in Montreal before finishing his career with the Texas Rangers in 2002. He compiled a 34-35 record with a 5.15 ERA and 405 strikeouts.
Three-time Olympian and silver medalist Jeret Peterson died July 25, 2011. He was 29 years old.
The 1999 U.S. Junior National champion in aerials, Peterson went on to also take first place in the 2005 World Cup season and become the U.S. National champion in the event in 2006. Nicknamed "Speedy," Peterson competed in the Olympics in 2002, 2006 and finally 2010, the year in which he landed the "Hurricane" move he had been working on for years and captured the silver medal.
Former Kentucky basketball player Desmond Allison was killed July 25, 2011. He was 31 years old.
Despite being recruited by Florida and Ohio State to play football, Allison chose to enroll at Kentucky in 1998 and compete collegiately in basketball. Allison ultimately played just two seasons before violating the team's alcohol policy, getting suspended and ultimately deciding to transfer to Martin Methodist College. Starting much of his sophomore year at Kentucky, Allison averaged 8.9 points and 4.4 rebounds during that season.
On July 23, 2011, boxing promoter and manager Butch Lewis died at the age of 65.
Starting his career in the 1970s, Lewis went on to work with such notables as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Michael and Leon Spinks. Lewis also subsequently expanded his career focus to include music and entertainment promotion as well.
Former NFL offensive lineman Forrest Blue died July 16, 2011 at the age of 65.
After playing both football and baseball at Auburn, Blue was the 15th overall pick in the 1968 NFL draft. Blue competed for the San Francisco 49ers for his first seven years of his career, never missing a game and helping his team earn three straight division titles from 1970-72. Blue was a Pro Bowler each year from 1971-74 before finishing out his career with the Baltimore Colts from 1975-78.
Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams, who led the Oakland A's to two of their three 1970s World Series championships and led the 1967 Red Sox and 1984 Padres to pennants, died of a brain aneurysm at his home in Las Vegas on July 7. He was 82.
In 21 years of managing, Williams won 1571 games to 1451 losses. In addition to his pennant-winning teams he managed the California Angels, the Montreal Expos and the Seattle Mariners. He was fired from his last big league job 56 games into the 1988 season.
NFL Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey died July 7, 2011 at the age of 69.
The No. 2 pick of the 1963, Mackey quickly established himself as a new kind of tight end, averaging more than 20 yards-per-catch playing with Johnny Unitas as a rookie while racking up 726 yards and seven scores. Mackey played in five Pro Bowls and famously caught a deflected 75-yard touchdown in Super Bowl V from Unitas. He also was once the President of the NFLPA.
Former NBA power forward Armon Gilliam died July 6, 2011 at the age of 47. He collapsed while playing basketball.
Gilliam was part of the UNLV Runnin' Rebels team that made a run to the Final Four in 1987. He was then selected as the No. 2 overall pick by the Phoenix Suns. He also played with the then-Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz. Gilliam retired in 2000.
Former World Boxing Council light welterweight champion Billy Costello died June 29, 2011 at the age of 55. He had suffered from lung cancer.
Capping a successful amateur career with a Golden Gloves award, Costello turned pro in 1979. Winning 30 straight pro bouts and compiling a record of 40-2 throughout his 20-year career, Costello captured his lone title in January of 1984 by knocking out Bruce Curry in the 10th round. He then successfully defended that title three times over the next year.
A taxi driver who became CNN's first sports anchor, Nick Charles died June 25, 2011. He was 64.
Charles started his sportscasting career at local TV stations, working in Illinois, D.C. and Maryland (where he won an AP award for investigative journalism) before coming to CNN in 1980. He teamed with Fed Hickman for "Sports Tonight," a show that ran almost 20 years, and later hosted "Page One with Nick Charles" until he left the network in 2001. Charles' other responsibilities included hosting the Goodwill Games in 1986, 1990, 1994 and covering boxing at the event in 1998. In 2001, Charles moved to Showtime, where he hosted "ShoBox: The New Generation," and Versus. He was the recipient of the Boxing Writer's Association 2007 Broadcaster award and the 2008 Sam Taub Award.
Hockey Hall of Famer Harley Hotchkiss, a former part-owner of the Calgary Flames, died July 22, 2011. He was 83 years old.
Part of the group that bought the Atlanta Flames in 1980 and moved the team to Calgary, Hotchkiss was known as a great community leader who focused on improving health and sports development in Canada. Hotchkiss also served as the chairman of the NHL's board of governors from 1995-2007 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.
On June 10, 2011, former linebacker Godfrey Myles died two days after suffering a stroke. He was 42.
A team captain and All-SEC team selection with the University of Florida in his senior year in 1990, Myles was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round in 1991. Used primarily as a backup linebacker and special teams player, during his six seasons in Dallas he recorded 135 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries and earned three Super Bowl rings (XXVII, XXVIII and XXX).
Former NBA All-Star Mike Mitchell died on June 9, 2011 at the age of 55 after a two-year struggle against cancer.
The 15th overall draft pick out of Auburn in 1978, Mitchell played with the Cleveland Cavaliers until 1981 (the year he averaged 24.5 points and was selected as an All-Star) and then was traded to the San Antonio Spurs. He took to the court there from 1981-88 and again in 1990, helping the team reach the Western Conference Finals in 1982 and 1983. Mitchell finished his NBA career averaging 19.8 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Former MLB outfielder Jim Northrup died at the age of 71 on June 8, 2011.
Northrup played with the Detroit Tigers from 1964-74, the Montreal Expos in 1974 and the Baltimore Orioles from 1974-1975. Nicknamed the "Silver Fox" due to his prematurely graying hair, it was with the Tigers in 1968 that he won his World Series ring, leading the team that season in hits (including five Grand Slams) and RBIs. He also hit the game-winning triple off Bob Gibson in Game 7 of the World Series. When he retired, Northrup had a career batting average of .267 with 153 home runs, 610 RBIs, 603 runs, 218 doubles, 42 triples and 39 stolen bases in 1,392 games.
Boxer Genaro Hernandez died of a rare cancer on June 7, 2011. He was 45.
Nicknamed Chicanito ("little Mexican"), Hernandez began his professional boxing career in 1984. He won his first championship in 1991 with a ninth-round knockout of Daniel Londas and held on to that WBA super featherweight title until 1994, when he relinquished that belt to fight Oscar De La Hoya for the lightweight championship (and lost). Hernandez then captured the WBC super featherweight title in 1997 and held it until 1998. He retired due to a small blood clot in his brain after losing the title to Floyd Mayweather and finished with a 38-2-1 record with 17 knockouts.
On June 7, 2011, former MLB player Jose Pagan died at the age of 76.
The Puerto Rico-born Pagan began his major league career with the San Francisco Giants in 1959 and remained with the team until 1965. That season he was traded to Pittsburgh and stayed with the Pirates until 1972 before ending with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1973. The third baseman hit the key double in Game 7 of the 1971 World Series to drive home the winning run and lift Pittsburgh over Baltimore. Pagan had a career .250 batting average with 922 hits and 372 RBIs.
Wrestler Lindsey Durlacher died June 4, 2011. He was 36.
Establishing himself as one of the top wrestlers in Illinois by winning the high school state wrestling championship in 1992 and going on to become a two-time All-American at the University of Illinois, Durlacher made his mark on the international scene with medals at the Pan American Championships in 2003 and 2007. Most notably, he captured the bronze medal for the 121-pound weight class at the 2006 World Championships in China.
John Henry Johnson
Hall of Famer and former NFL fullback John Henry Johnson died June 3, 2011 at the age of 81.
After a year playing in the Canadian Football League, Johnson joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1954. Along with three other future Hall of Famers, Johnson was a member of the "Million Dollar Backfield" until he left the team in 1956, compiling 1,051 yards rushing with 12 TDs and 279 receiving yards during his San Francisco tenure. He went on to play for the Detroit Lions (1957-59), Pittsburgh Steelers (1960-65) and Houston Oilers (1966) before retiring with 6,803 career rushing yards and 1,478 receiving yards and a total of 55 TDs. A four-time Pro Bowler (1954, 1962-64), Johnson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
Pauline Betz Addie
On May 31, 2011, Tennis Hall of Famer Pauline Betz Addie died at the age of 91.
Betz Addie won her first U.S. Open title (then known as the United States Singles Championships) in 1942 and went on to win it three more times (1943, 1944 and 1946). She also captured the Wimbledon title the first and only time she entered the tournament, claiming the championship without losing a single set. The top-ranked U.S. player from 1942-1944 and again in 1946, Betz Addie turned pro in 1947 and retired in 1951. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1965.
Football Hall of Famer Andy Robustelli died May 31, 2011 at the age of 85.
After starting his professional career with the Los Angeles Rams from 1951-55, the defensive end moved to the New York Giants. In 1956, his first year with the team, the Giants won the NFL championship and subsequently claimed conference championship honors five more times during his tenure in New York: 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962 and 1963. He retired in 1964. Robustelli was a seven-time Pro Bowler, was the Maxwell Club award recipient as the NFL's top player in 1962 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
Brandon Everage, a safety on Oklahoma's 2000 national championship team, drowned while swimming in a Texas river May 28. He was 30.
Everage was a reserve on Oklahoma's 2000 national championship team and a starter on the 2003 team that had a shot at the BCS title before losing to LSU in the Sugar Bowl. Everage was a second-team All-American in 2002, when he had 94 tackles, six interceptions and three sacks. As a senior, he had 60 tackles while starting the final 12 games at free safety for the Sooners, including the 21-14 loss to LSU in the Sugar Bowl with the BCS title on the line. He was not drafted and didn't play in the NFL.
WNBA star Margo Dydek died May 27, 2011. She was 37 years old.
At 7-foot-2, Dydek was once known as the tallest professional female basketball player in the world. Drafted by the Utah Starzz with the No. 1 pick in 1998, the Poland-born Dydek also played for San Antonio, Connecticut and Los Angeles before retiring in 2008. She held the record for most blocks in a WNBA career with 877 in 323 games. Dydek suffered a heart attack while pregnant with her third child and was put into a medically induced coma but never regained consciousness.
Paul Splittorff, the winningest pitcher in Kansas City Royals history, died May 25, 2011 at the age of 64 from complications of melanoma.
Drafted by the expansion Royals in the 25th round in 1968, Splittorff ultimately spent his entire 15-year career with the team. When he retired in 1984, he had compiled a club-record 166 victories (with 143 losses) with a 3.81 ERA. Although he no longer played for the team, Splittorff still remainly involved with the organization, joining the Royals' television crew and switching to a career in broadcasting.
Army football great Joe Steffy died May 21, 2011. He was 85 years old.
Steffy began his collegiate football career at the University of Tennessee and played on their Rose Bowl-bound squad in 1944 before moving to West Point. After playing both offense and defense on Army's undefeated teams in 1945 and 1946, Steffy was recognized as the nation's top lineman in 1947, receiving the Outland Trophy. Following the end of his time at Army, he ultimately served in the Korean War and received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Randy "Macho Man" Savage
Legendary professional wrestler and former minor league baseball player Randy "Macho Man" Savage died in a car crash near his home in Tampa, Fla. May 20 at the age of 58. It was also reported that he suffered a heart attack before the crash.
After playing four years of minor league baseball with the Cardinals organization, Savage turned to pro wrestling. His flamboyant style and raspy voice made him a standout immediately, and he went on to become a world champion in both WWE (then WWF) and WCW. He's also known for his time as spokesman for Slim Jim, and he played the role of Bone Saw McGraw in the movie Spiderman.
Harmon Killebrew, the Minnesota Twins slugger known for his tape-measure home runs, died at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. on May 17. He was 74.
The team said Killebrew died peacefully Tuesday morning with his wife, Nita, and their family at his side. He had announced in December that he had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. A week before his death, Killebrew announced that doctors had deemed his cancer incurable and he would no longer fight it. Killebrew hit 573 home runs during his 22-year career, 11th-most in major league history. His eight seasons with 40 or more homers still is tied for second in league history to Babe Ruth.
Kenyan Olympic marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru died in a fall from a balcony after a domestic dispute involving his wife and another woman late Sunday, May 15.
One police official said Wanjiru committed suicide, while another said he jumped to stop his wife from leaving the house after she discovered him with another woman. The 24-year-old runner died after jumping from a balcony at his home in the town of Nyahururu, in the Rift Valley, said John Mbijiwe, the police chief in Kenya's Central Province.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Wanjiru became the first Kenyan to win a gold medal in the marathon, finishing in an Olympic-record 2 hours, 6 minutes, 32 seconds.
NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard died May 13, 2011. He was 28 years old.
The 6-foot-7 Boogaard, nicknamed the "Boogeyman," began his NHL career with the Minnesota Wild in 2005. He quickly established himself as a fighter, and a 2007 survey of NHL players revealed they viewed him as the second-most intimidating player in the entire league. In four and a half seasons in Minnesota, he tallied two goals and recorded 492 penalty minutes. In 2010, Boogaard signed a four-year, $6.5 million deal with the New York Rangers but only appeared in 22 games with the team before concussion and shoulder problems forced him to sit out the rest of the year.
Former Cowboys running back Ron Springs passed away May 12, 2011 at the age of 54, almost four years after slipping into a coma from which he never recovered.
Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys out of Ohio State in 1979, Springs, a running back, became a starter in 1981. He remained with the Cowboys until 1985 before finishing his career with two seasons in Tampa Bay and a total of 2,519 rushing yards, 2,259 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. The father of NFL player Shawn Springs, Ron suffered from diabetes, and when he needed a kidney transplant in 2007 it was former Dallas teammate Everson Walls who stepped up to be the donor. That surgery went well, but a surgery to remove a cyst from his arm in October of that year left Springs in a coma.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas was found dead late Wednesday night, May 11, in Jacksonville, Fla. He was just 21 years old. The cause of death is not yet known.
The former Tennessee starter spent last season at Arizona Western Community College and transferred to play for the Crimson Tide in January. According to his Twitter feed.
Former basketball player Robert "Tractor" Traylor died at the age of 34 on May 11, 2011.
After a McDonald's All-American career in high school, Traylor made an immediate impact at the University of Michigan, standing 6'8'' and weighing over 300 pounds. In 1997, he was named MVP as Michigan won the NIT. In his junior year, he averaged 16.2 points and 10 rebounds a game as Michigan captured the Big Ten championship. But he was implicated in a booster scandal, and the records from the years he played were eliminated from Michigan's record book. Traylor was drafted sixth overall in the 1998 draft by the Dallas Mavericks but was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he played his first two years. His NBA career included playing for three different teams (the Cavs twice) until 2005, when he continued his pro career by playing internationally.
Cartoonist and newspaper columnist Bill Gallo died on May 10, 2011 from complications of pneumonia. He was 88 years old.
After a brief stint right out of high school as a copy boy at the New York Daily News, Gallo served in the Marine Corps during World War II. The GI Bill of Rights helped him attend Columbia and the School of Visual Arts before he returned to the Daily News. He transfered to the sports department in 1960 and began doing sports cartoons and columns. His work earned him an induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame as well as the National Cartoonist Society Lifetime Achievement Award and honors for National Cartoonist Society Sports Cartoon Award 10 different years.
Michael Baze, a 24-year-old jockey who rode 2011 Kentucky Derby second-place finisher Nehro to his only win, was found dead in his car at Churchill Downs on May 10, 2011. Foul play was not suspected.
Baze was a cousin of Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, the all-time leading rider in thoroughbred racing, and son of retired jockey Mike Baze. After getting his jockey's license in 2003, he broke out in a big way in 2006 when he was the leading rider at the Hollywood Park Racetrack during the spring/summer season. He had 238 mounts in 2011 with 34 wins, 41 seconds and 38 third places, and his mounts earned nearly $1.2 million. Over his career, Baze had 6,969 career starts with 918 wins with mounts earning $32 million.
Belgium cyclist Wouter Weylandt died May 9, 2011 when he crashed during a descent in the third stage of the Giro d'Italia. He was 26.
After turning pro in 2005, Weylandt earned his first win at the GP Briek Schotte. He broke out in 2007 with a number of wins and even claimed the yellow jersey for a day in the Tour of Poland. Weylandt's first major win came in 2008 when he won the 17th stage of the Vuelta a Espana, and he claimed his second major victory in the third stage of the 2010 Giro d'Italia. It was in that same stage a year later that he crashed and suffered a fatal skull fracture. He was the first biker killed in a crash in one of cycling's three main tours since 1995 and the fourth racer overall to die at the Italian race.
Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros died of brain cancer on May 7, 2011. He was 54 years old.
With three older brothers and an uncle who became professional golfers, Ballesteros followed them into the career as well, turning pro in 1974 at the age of 16. Just two years later he finished second at the British Open, an event he later would win in 1979, 1984 and 1988. Ballesteros also won The Masters in 1980 and 1983. He was an ardent supporter of the Ryder Cup, scoring 22 1/2 points in 27 matches against the U.S., helping the team win in 1985, 1987, 1989 and 1995 and captaining the winning team in 1997. The six-time European Tour Order of Merit winner, Ballesteros won Tour Player of the Year awards in 1986, 1988 and 1991 and led the Official World Golf Rankings for a total of 61 weeks. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1999.
Heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper died May 1, 2011 at the age of 76.
Cooper is most famous for knocking down Muhammad Ali, who then was known as Cassius Clay, in a 1963 non-title fight. Cooper's primary weapon was a vicious left hook, which earned the nickname "'Enry's 'Ammer" (paying tribute to the boxer's south London accent). Compiling a 40-14-1 record in a career that spanned more than 16 years before his retirement in 1971, Cooper captured the British, European and Commonwealth heavyweight titles but never the world crown. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, Cooper was the first boxer to receive that honor.
Believed to be the oldest living professional baseball player, Emilio "Millito" Navarro died April 30, 2011 at the age of 105.
After playing for a few years in Puerto Rico, Navarro came to the United States in 1928 to join the Cuban Stars in the Negro Leagues. In his two years in the Eastern Colored League, Navarro, a shortstop, hit .337. Unhappy with racial discrimination, he left the U.S. to play in the Dominican Republic and in Venezuela. A founder of the Puerto Rican baseball team "Leones de Ponce," Navarro was elected to the Puero Rico Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Puerto Rican Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
Former college and NFL player Jim Mandich died of cancer on April 26, 2011. He was 62 years old.
A tight end, Mandich excelled at Michigan, earning first-team All-American honors, serving as the team's captain in 1969 and helping them capture a Big Ten co-championship. Mandich was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004. He was drafted in the second round by the Miami Dolphins in 1970 and remained with the team until 1977. During that time, he helped the Dolphins achieve an undefeated season en route to winning the Super Bowl in 1972 and aided their championship repeat the following year. Mandich finished his pro playing career with one season in Pittsburgh, retiring with 121 career receptions and 23 touchdowns. He subsequently worked as a radio color commentator for Miami games.
On April 25, 2011, former NFL star Joe Perry died at the age of 84.
After serving in the military in World War II, Perry enrolled at Compton Junior College and helped the team win back-to-back national championships in 1946 and 1947. He went undrafted in 1948 but was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers. WIth explosive speed earning him the nickname of "The Jet," Perry played 16 seasons, 14 with the 49ers (1948-1960, 1963) and two with the Baltimore Colts (1961-1962). A three-time Pro Bowler, Perry was the 1954 NFL MVP, became the first player with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and retired as the league's career rushing leader with 7,344 yards. He also contributed 50 rushing TDs. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969, his No. 34 jersey was retired by the 49ers in 1971.
Former college football and NFL star Lynn Chandnois died April 19, 2011 at the age of 86.
After a two-year stint in the Naval Air Corps, Chandnois enrolled at Michigan State in 1946 at the age of 21. He became a two-way standout there, ultimately setting a school record with 20 INTs for 410 yards, posting 6.55 yards per carry as a halfback and earning All-American honors in 1949. He was drafted eighth overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1950 and played seven years for the team. During that time, he averaged 29.6 yards on kickoff returns, putting him second in the NFL record books behind only the 30.6 yards averaged by Gale Sayers. Chandnois was a two-time Pro Bowler and was honored with the NFL Player of the Year award in 1952.
Famed marathon runner Grete Waitz died April 19, 2011 after a six-year battle with cancer. She was 57.
Waitz first made her mark as a 1500m runner, setting the European junior record with a time of 4:17 at the age of 17 and competing in the event at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Her 4:00.55 career best, set in 1978, still stands as the Norwegian national record. 1978 also was the year Waitz entered her first New York City Marathon. She not only won the event, but she also shaved two minutes off of the women's world record in the process. It was the first of her nine NYC Marathon wins, during which she lowered the world record by a total of nine minutes. Waitz also won the London Marathon in 1983 and 1986 (in a personal-best time of 2:24:54), the Stockholm Marathon in 1988 and a silver medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
On April 10, 2011, former football player and coach Homer Smith died at the age of 79.
After earning All-Ivy League honors as a fullback at Princeton and graduating in 1954, Smith began his coaching career as an assistant at Stanford in 1958. Throughout his 39-year career, he also worked as an assistant at Air Force, Alabama and Arizona, an offensive coordinator at UCLA and as an assistant with the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL. A head coach as well (with Davidson from 1965-69, Pacific from 1970-71 and Army from 1974-78), Smith compiled a 53-71-1 record as a head coach. Under his tutelage at UCLA, he produced seven future NFL QBs and established himself as one of football's brightest minds. In 1973, UCLA used the wishbone offense to great success, set school records for total yards (470.6 per game) and rushing yards (400.3 per game).
E.J. McGuire, the director of the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, died April 7, 2011 after a battle with cancer.
McGuire spent nearly four decades working in professional hockey. His many roles included assistant coach duties with the Philadelphia Flyers (1984-1988, 2001-2002), Chicago Blackhawks (1988-1991) and Ottawa Senators (1992-1995) as well as head coaching positions with the AHL's Maine Mariner (1991-1992) and OHL's Guelph Storm (1995-1997) and Hartford Wolf Pack (1997-1999). In 2005 he became the director of NHL Central Scouting, where he provided input on ranking young talent.
Former Memphis basketball player and coach Larry Finch died April 2, 2011. He was 60 years old.
After helping Memphis reach the national title game in 1973, his senior season, Larry Finch returned to the team just six years later as an assistant coach (a role he had held with UAB from 1975 to 1979). Finch, who had played professionally in the ABA for two years following graduation, assumed head coaching responsibilities at Memphis in 1986 when the former head coach was found to have violated NCAA regulations. From 1986-1997, Finch compiled a 220-130 record, which included 10 winning seasons, seven 20+-win seasons and six trips to the NCAA tournament. A standout both on the court and the sidelines, Finch had his No. 21 jersey retired and is Memphis' all-time winningest coach.
Former Boston Red Sox general manager Lou Gorman died on April 1, 2011 at the age of 82.
After ending his baseball playing career in the minor leagues, Gorman served eight years of active duty in the U.S. Navy. But he was drawn back to baseball in 1961, starting as the GM of a farm team for the San Francisco Giants. Gorman moved to the Baltimore Orioles organization in 1964 and was the team's director of player development when they won the World Series in 1966. He subsequently worked with the Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners and New York Mets before being named VP of baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox in 1984. During his tenure, he helped construct a team that came within one strike of winning the 1986 World Series. Gorman left the team in 1993.
Former Olympic medalist Claudia Heill died on March 31, 2011 at the age of 29.
A talented competitor in women's judo, Heill won the silver medal in half-middleweight at the 2004 Athens Olympics and finished fifth at the 2008 Games. Heill's accomplishments also included silver medals in the 63 kg weight class at the European Championships in 2001 and 2005 and bronze medals there in 2002, 2003 and 2007.
Jim Seymour, a key member of the 1966 national championship-winning Notre Dame football team, died March 29, 2011. He was 64 years old.
A two-time first-team All-American at Notre Dame (1967, 1968), Seymour finished his college career with 138 catches for 2,113 yards and 16 touchdowns. Eight of those touchdowns came in 1966, when Notre Dame compiled a 9-0-1 record en route to claiming the national title. Also during that season, Seymour caught 13 passes for a school single-game record of 276 yards and three TDs against Purdue in his first collegiate game.
After suffering for years from a degenerative neurological disorder, former Russian gymnast Nikolai Andrianov died March 21, 2011 at the age of 58.
Andrianov burst onto the international scene with two gold medals at the European Championships in 1971. From that year through his retirement in 1980, Andrianov distinguished himself at European Championships (with a total of 10 golds, six silvers and two bronzes) and at World Championships (four golds, eight silvers). Andrianov also was a standout at the Olympics, winning his first gold in 1972 for floor, capturing four golds in 1976 (all-around, floor, rings, vault) and two in 1980 (team and vault). Also winning five Olympic silver medals and three bronzes, his combined total of 15 medals makes him the second-most decorated male athlete in Olympic history (behind Michael Phelps).
Drew Hill, a former wide receiver who spent 14 seasons in the NFL, died March 18, 2011 at the age of 54.
After being drafted in the 12th round out of Georgia Tech by the Los Angeles Rams in 1979, he remained with the team until 1985. Hill then went to the Houston Oilers until 1985, during which time he was a two-time Pro Bowler and part of the team's "Run and Shoot" offense. He finally ended his career with two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. With 60 or more receptions for seven of eight seasons from 1985-1992, Hill ultimately accumulated 634 receptions for 9,831 yards and 60 touchdowns.
Former college football coach Murray Warmath died March 16, 2011. He was 98.
The year after he ended his playing career at Tennessee, Warmath rejoined the team as a line and end coach before serving in the U.S. Army. After more line coach experience, Warmath got his first head coaching job from 1952-53 with Mississippi State and took over in Minnesota in 1954, where he remained until 1971. During that tenure, Warmath was named National Coach of the Year when he led his team to the national title in 1960 and helped the Golden Gophers capture back-to-back Rose Bowl victories in 1961 and 1962. Those seasons marked a major turnaround from 1959, when the team finished last in the Big Ten.
On March 15, 2011, former MLB shortstop and manager Marty Marion passed away. He was 94.
During a 13-year professional baseball career, Marion compiled a .263 batting average with 36 home runs and 624 RBIs. The 1944 NL MVP, Marion was a three-time World Series champion (1942, 1944, 1946) and eight-time All Star with the St. Louis Cardinals. He took over as the team's manager in 1951, then became a player-manager for the St. Louis Browns from 1952-1953 before becoming a full-time manager for the Chicago White Sox from 1954-1956.
A member of the famed "French Connection" line with the Buffalo Sabres, winger Rick Martin died March 13, 2011 at the age of 59.
A Canadian skater selected fifth by the Sabres in the 1971 draft, Martin spent 10 of his 12 NHL seasons with the team (the other two were with the Los Angeles Kings before retiring in 1982). Along with Gilbert Perreault and Rene Robert, the three formed a line called the "French Connection." In addition to scoring a then-NHL record 44 goals as a rookie, Martin scored a total of 384 goals with 317 assists in 685 career NHL games and still holds many Buffalo franchise records. He played in seven straight NHL All-Star Games from 1971-72 through 1977-78.
Former MLB player and coach Mitchell Page died on March 12, 2011. He was 59 years old.
Page finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1977 after batting .307 with 21 HRs and 75 RBIs with the Oakland Athletics. He remained with the team until 1983 before finishing his playing career with a season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. After playing a role in the movie Angels in the Outfield, Page served as a hitting coach with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2002-2004, a minor-league instructor for Washington in 2005 and hitting coach for the Nationals from 2006 until his death.
Wally Kaname Yonamine
Former professional football and baseball player and manager Wally Kaname Yonamine died Feb. 28, 2011 at the age of 85.
After becoming the first pro football player of Japanese ancestry when he competed as a running back for the San Francisco 49ers in 1947, Yonamine became the first American to play pro baseball in Japan after World War II. That distinction earned him the nickname of "Nisei Jackie Robinson." Yonamine helped introduce the more aggressive American-style of baseball to the Nippon Professional Baseball league and earned a career .311 batting average with three batting titles, seven All-Star selections and the 1957 Central League MVP award. Following his retirement, he became a manager and was the first foreign manager to win the Central League title when his Dragon won in 1974. He was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994 and still is the only American admitted to the Hall as a player.
Duke Snider, nicknamed "The Silver Fox" and "The Duke of Flatbush" during his MLB career, died Feb. 27, 2011 at the age of 84.
Snider made his pro debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and remained with the team until 1962, receiving All-Star honors seven of those years and winning two World Series with them: one in Brooklyn in 1955 and one in Los Angeles in 1959. Snider also was an All-Star with the New York Mets in 1963 before ending his career in 1964 with the San Francisco Giants. The center fielder retired with a .295 batting average, 407 home runs and 1,333 RBIs and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.
Former NFL defensive tackle Shawn Lee died Feb. 26, 2011 at the age of 44.
Drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the sixth round of the 1988 draft, Lee went on to play a total of 11 seasons in the NFL. He left the Bucs to go to the Miami Dolphins from 1990-1991, then switched teams again to play with the San Diego Chargers from 1992-1997 and started for the team in Super Bowl XXIX. Lee finally ended his playing career in 1998 with the Chicago Bears.
Former Louisville basketball player and streetball standout Troy Jackson died Feb. 20, 2011 at the age of 35.
Despite weighing in close to 500 pounds in high school and community college, the 6'10'' Troy Jackson excelled at basketball and was given a scholarship offer by the University of Louisville. He played just 20 games for the team from 1996-1998 but gained more popularity after graduating for his streetball skill. Joining the AND1 Tour in 2002, Jackson used the nickname of "Escalade."
Ollie Matson, a former NFL running back and Olympic medalist, died Feb. 19, 2011. He was 80 years old.
After leading the nation in rushing yardage and touchdowns his senior season with the University of San Francisco, Matson was the No. 3 overall pick in the 1952 NFL draft. His first year with the Chicago Cardinals, he shared Rookie of the Year honors. In a 14-year pro career (with the Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles), Matson was named to the Pro Bowl team six times, was the 1956 Pro Bowl MVP and compiled 12,799 career all-purpose yards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972 and the College Footbal Hall of Fame in 1976. Matson also participated in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, taking home a silver medal in the 4x400-meter relay and bronze in the 400m race.
Former NFL safety Dave Duerson died Feb. 17, 2011. He was 50 years old. Before he killed himself, he sent text messages to his family asking that his brain be examined for chronic traumatic encephalopathy due to the hard hits he took during his football-playing days.
A 1983 third-round draft pick out of Notre Dame, Duerson was a key component of the Chicago Bears defense that won Super Bowl XX. A Pro Bowl selection in 1985-1988 as well as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award winner in 1987, Duerson left the Bears after the 1989 season to play with the New York Giants in 1990, the year they won Super Bowl XXV. He finished his NFL career with the Phoenix Cardinals in 1993, ending up with 20 career interceptions and 16 sacks.
Former University of Tulsa offensive tackle Wilson Holloway died Feb. 16, 2011 at the age of 22, three years after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
During his redshirt year with Tulsa, Holloway learned that he had a softball-sized tumor in his chest, but he continued working out with the team while receiving chemotherapy treatments. Declared cancer-free in August of 2008, he played in six games before the cancer returned in October. Although Holloway didn't play any games in 2009 or 2010, he remained on the team's roster and was presented with the Courage Award from the Football Writers Association of America in 2009.
Joe Frazier, a former MLB player and manager, died Feb. 15, 2011 at the age of 88.
An outfielder who compiled a .241 batting average with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs in 217 games, Frazier started his professional career with the Cleveland Indians in 1947 and played with the St. Louis Cardinals (1954-1956) and Cincinnati Redlegs (1956) before ending his time in the majors with the Baltimore Orioles in 1956. Twenty years later, after achieving success as a minor league manager, Frazier was hired as the head coach of the Mets in 1976. New York compuiled an 86-76 record that season but started 15-30 the next year, and Frazier was replaced by Joe Torre.
Former Negro Leagues pitcher Cecil Kaiser died Feb. 14, 2011 at the age of 94.
Although he started his baseball career playing in the outfield with some sandlot teams, the left-handed Kaiser stepped into the role of pitcher after his team suffered some injuries. He earned a complete-game victory his first time out and recorded his best season in winter ball in 1949-50 when he posted a league-leading 1.68 ERA in the Puerto Rican League. A strikeout pitcher with a good fastball and series of off-speed pitched, he was nicknamed "Minute Man" because it took him just a minute to strik out batters. After he left pro baseball, Kaiser spent five years with the FOrd Motor Co. team in the Detroit Industrial League.
Former MLB player and manager Chuck Tanner died on Feb. 11, 2011 at the age of 81.
After an eight-year career as an outfielder ended in 1962, Tanner made his managerial debut with the Chicago White Sox from 1970-1975. After a year with the Oakland Athletics, he moved to the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1977-1985. Under his leadership as a "player's manager," the Pirates won the 1979 World Series after rallying from a 3-1 deficit. When Tanner retired in 1988 after a three-year stint with the Atlanta Braves, he had won 1,352 games.
Tom Carnegie, a broadcaster and the voice of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for 60 years, died Feb. 11, 2011 at the age of 91.
Carnegie became interested in announcing sports after he was stricken with polio in college, and he began his radio career in 1942. In 1946, he was hired by then-Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman and remained in the job until 2006.
The football coach credited with developing the wisbone offense, Emory Bellard, died on Feb. 10, 2011 at the age of 83. He had suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease.
After enjoying success at the high school level in Texas -- winning three state titles -- Bellard landed a job as an assistant coach at Texas. In 1968, he created a formation with three running backs that is now known as the wishbone. The strategy paid off for the Longhorns, who won the 1969 national championship. Bellard later compiled a 48-27 record, including a 1977 Sun Bowl win, in seven years as the head coach at Texas A&M and went 37-42 in seven seasons at Mississippi State.
Fitness guru Jack LaLanne died Jan. 23, 2011 at the age of 96.
As the host of his own hit television workout show in the 1950s, founder of a chain of fitness studios and advocate for the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables, Jack LaLanne dedicated his life to health and exercise. At age 43, he performed more than 1,000 push-ups in 23 minutes on the television show "You Asked For It", and at age 60, swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in Sanfrancisco - handcuffed, shackled and towing a boat. More recently, LaLanne has said that his own daily routine consisted of two hours of weightlifting and an hour in the swimming pool.
College Football Hall of Famer Ed Dyas died on Jan. 23, 2011 at 71.
Former Auburn University fullback, linebacker and kicker Ed Dyas was fourth in the 1960 Heisman Trophy balloting and ended his football career as Auburn's No. 6 leading rusher with 1,298 yards. He was a three-time academic All-American and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
Former Bolton Wanderers captain Nat Lofthouse died at age 85 on Jan. 22, 2011.
Lofthouse spent his entire career with Bolton, scoring 255 goals in 452 appearances between 1946 and 1960. In the 33 appearances Lofthouse made for England, he scored 30 goals.
Roque Napolean Munoz
Former IOC member Roque Napolean Munoz died at age 83 on Jan. 22, 2011.
A citizen of the Dominican Republic, Munoz was president of the Dominican Olympic Committee from 1974 to 1982 and then a member of the International Olympic Committee from 1983 to 2008. Munoz is responsible for the inclusion of baseball as a medal sport beginning in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
27-year-old Miesque, a two-time Eclipse Award Winner, was euthanized due to medical issues stemming from old age on Jan. 20, 2011.
Miesque won the Breeder's Cup Mile in 1987 and 1988 for trainer Francois Boutin, jockey Freddie Head and owner Stavros Niarchos. She won 12 out of 16 lifetime starts and never finished out of the top three. After retiring in 1988, she became a broodmare. Noteable offspring include Kingmambo, who ran in Europe before retirement.
South African cyclist Carla Swart died while training on Jan. 19, 2011.
The winner of 19 individual and team cycling titles with Lees-McRae College in North Carolina, Swart became the first cyclist to win all four U.S. collegiate titles -- road, track, mountain and cyclocross -- in one season. At last year's world championships, Swart finished 10th in the women's road race. She took eighth at the Commonwealth Games in India in October 2010.
On Jan. 6, 2011, former MLB pitcher Ryne Duren died at the age of 81.
Boasting a 100 mph fastball and intimidating presence, Duren made his MLB debut with the Orioles in 1954 and went on to play for eight different teams in his 10-year career. His longest tenure with a team was with the Yankees from 1958-1961, during which time he was named an All-Star in three seasons and helped the team reach the World Series in 1958 and 1960. A reliever, he finished with a 27-44 record, 3.83 ERA, 630 strikeouts and 57 saves.
Soccer player Uche Okafor died on Jan. 6, 2011 at the age of 43.
A member of the 1994 Super Eagles team that won the African Cup of Nations, Okafor went on to compete with the Nigerian national team in the World Cup in 1994 and 1998. In 1996 he joined the Kansas City Wizards, playing 119 regular-season games and seven Major League Soccer playoff games with the team until his retirement before the 2001 season. A talented defender, he helped the Wizards capture their only MLS Cup championship in 2000.
Former British heavyweight champion Gary Mason died on Jan. 6, 2011. He was 48 years old.
In his 38 total fights, he picked up 37 wins, including 34 by knockout. His lone loss came against Lennox Lewis when he challenged for the European title in 1991. Mason earned his British heavyweight championship title in 1989.