Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In Memoriam, 2010

     We Chicago sports fans lost a few of our favorite performers this year. Heading the list were Bears Hall of Famers Stan Jones and George Blanda, Cubs stars Ron Santo and Phil Cavarretta, and the Blackhawks' Ed Litzenberger, captain of the 1961 Stanley Cup champions.
     Each of the aforementioned gentlemen enjoyed a long and acclaimed career in his sport, lived into his old age, and could look back with satisfaction upon heroic feats of the distant past. Regrettably, the same could not be said of Gaines Adams, the Bears defensive end who was struck down without warning at only 26, while his potential was still unrealized.
     Below is a list of notable Chicago sports personalities who passed away in 2010:

Gaines Adams, 26, Bears defensive end 2009, All-American at Clemson 2006 (January 17).

Johnny Bailey, 43, Bears running back and kick returner 1990-1991, previously starred at Texas A&I University, inducted into College Football Hall of Fame 2000 (August 20).

Black Tie Affair, 24, Chicago-based thoroughbred, won Equipoise Mile 1990, won Hawthorne Gold Cup 1990, won Washington Park Handicap 1991, Horse of the Year 1991 (July 1).

George Blanda, 83, Bears quarterback and placekicker 1949-1958, later starred with Oakland Raiders, inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame 1981 (September 27).

Lorn Brown, 71, Bulls broadcaster 1975-1978, White Sox broadcaster 1976-1979 and 1983-1988 (June 24).

Freddie Burdette, 73, Cubs pitcher 1962-1964 (June 1).

Phil Cavarretta, 94, Cubs first baseman/outfielder 1934-1953, Cubs manager 1951-1953, White Sox first baseman 1954-1955, three-time All-Star, played for Cubs in three World Series, National League batting champion and Most Valuable Player 1945 (December 18).

Ray Coleman, 88, White Sox outfielder 1951-1952 (September 19).

Quintin Dailey, 49, Bulls guard 1982-1986 (November 8).

Joe Gates, 55, White Sox second baseman 1978-1979 (March 28).

Billy Hoeft, 77, Cubs pitcher 1965-1966 (March 16).

Ken Holcombe, 91, White Sox pitcher 1950-1952 (March 15).

Lou Jankowski, 78, Blackhawks forward 1953-1955 (March 21).

Stan Jones, 78, Bears offensive guard and defensive tackle 1954-1965, three-time All-Pro, seven-time Pro Bowler, introduced systematic practice of weight training to NFL, member of Bears world champions 1963, inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame 1991 (May 21).

Ed Litzenberger, 78, Blackhawks right wing 1954-1961 and captain 1958-1961, won Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year 1955, captain of Stanley Cup champions 1961 (November 1).

Dick Loepfe, 88, Chicago Cardinals offensive tackle 1948-1949 (October 31).

Bob Probert, 45, Blackhawks left wing 1995-2002 (July 5).

Robin Roberts, 83, Cubs pitcher 1966, better known for his previous tenure with Philadelphia Phillies, inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame 1976 (May 6).

Ron Santo, 70, Cubs third baseman 1960-1973, White Sox second baseman 1974, nine-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove award winner, Cubs broadcaster 1990-2010 (December 3).

Johnny Sellers, 72, jockey 1955-1977, won Washington Park Handicap 1958 and 1960, won Arlington Classic 1960, won American Derby 1960, won Stars & Stripes Handicap 1961, inducted into National Racing Hall of Fame 2007 (July 2).

Bob Shaw, 77, White Sox pitcher 1958-1961, Cubs pitcher 1967, went 18-6 in Sox’ pennant winning-season of 1959, went 1-1 in World Series of same year (September 23).

Solly Sherman, 92, Bears quarterback 1939-1940, passed to Joe Maniaci for one of the Bears’ 73 points (on an extra-point attempt) in legendary 1940 NFL title game victory over Washington Redskins (October 10).

Bobby Thomson, 86, Cubs outfielder 1958-1959, better known for his dramatic pennant-winning home run for New York Giants in 1951 (August 16).

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