Notable sports deaths in 2011
Recent deaths of notable sports figures in 2011.
JOHNNY WILSON, Detroit Red Wings
Johnny Wilson. Wilson, a four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings died at the age of 82. Wilson scored 161 goals and added 171 assists in 688 games with Detroit, Toronto, Chicago and the New York Rangers. Wilson won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955. He was also honored by the NHL in 1960 for a then-record ironman streak that totaled 580 consecutive regular-season games. Read Johnny Wilson's obituary
CHESTER MCGLOCKTON, Raiders
Stanford assistant coach and four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Chester McGlockton died overnight at the age of 42. McGlockton starred at Clemson before being selected 16th overall by the Los Angeles Raiders in 1992. He played 12 seasons in the NFL with the Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and New York Jets. Read Chester McGlockton's obituary.
RON LYLE, boxer
Lyle, a former heavyweight boxer, died on Nov. 26, 2011 at age 70. He fought Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title in 1975. He also fought George Foreman in the 1970s, and later challenged Foreman to a rematch at age 54. Read Ron Lyle's obituary
JOE FRAZIER, boxer
Joe Frazier, former heavyweight champion, died Nov. 7 after a brief final fight with liver cancer. He was 67. Frazier was the first man to beat Muhammad Ali, knocking him down and taking a decision in the so-called Fight of the Century in 1971. He would go on to lose two more fights to Ali, including the epic "Thrilla in Manila" bout. Read Joe Frazier's obituary
BOB FORSCH, St. Louis Cardinals
Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Forsch died on Nov. 3, less than a week after throwing out the first pitch at Game 7 of the World Series. Forsch won 163 games for St. Louis (1974-88), third best in franchise history. He's the only Cardinals pitcher to throw two no-hitters in his career.
Read more about Bob Forsch
MATTY ALOU, San Francisco Giants
Matty Alou, once part of an all-Alou outfield for the San Francisco Giants with brothers Felipe and Jesus, died Nov. 3 of diabetes complications. A two-time All-Star, Alou won the 1966 National League batting title with the Pirates. He was a career .307 hitter with the Giants, Pirates, Cardinals, A's, Padres and Yankees. Read Matty Alou's obituary
DAN WHELDON, IndyCar Driver
Dan Wheldon, who moved to the United States from his native England, died on Oct. 16 after a massive, fiery wreck at the Las Vegas Indy 300. He was 33. Wheldon won the famed Indianapolis 500 twice and was the series champion in 2005. Read Dan Wheldon's obituary here.
AL DAVIS, Oakland Raiders owner
Davis was more than just the owner of an NFL franchise. He was a pioneer and innovator with a willingness to buck the establishment that helped turn the NFL into the most successful sports league in American history.
Read Al Davis' obituary
LEE ROY SELMON, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Selmon was taken first overall in the 1976 draft, the Buccaneers' first ever draft pick. Over nine years, he made six Pro Bowls and was the unanimous winner of the 1979 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. He is now enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Selmon suffered a stroke.
Read Lee Roy Selmon's obituary
MIKE FLANAGAN, Baltimore Orioles
Former Cy Young winner Flanagan, who won 167 games over 18 seasons with Baltimore and the Toronto, was found dead outside his house by police on Aug. 24, 2011 at 59. During his Cy Young season in 1979, 23-9 for the Orioles with a 3.08 ERA.
Read Mike Flanagan's obituary
BUBBA SMITH, Baltimore Colts
Bubba Smith, the standout Michigan State defensive end who was drafted first overall in 1967, was found dead on Aug. 3, 2011 in his Baldwin Hills, Calif. home. Smith went on to win the 1971 Super Bowl with the Baltimore Colts, but found greater fame after his football career as an actor. He was best known for his role as Moses Hightower in the "Police Academy" series. Read Newsday's obituary for Bubba Smith
HIDEKI IRABU, New York Yankees
Hideki Irabu was found dead at a home in Los Angeles of an apparent suicide on July 28, according to police. In 74 games over three seasons with the Yankees (1997-99), Irabu went 29-20 with a 4.80 ERA. Irabu also pitched for the Montreal Expos and the Texas Rangers and finished his six-year career 34-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He was 42. Read Newsday's obituary for Hideki Matsui
JOHN MACKEY, Baltimore Colts
NFL Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey, who grew up in Roosevelt and played at Hempstead High School, died at age 69 on July 7. Mackey had been living in Maryland and suffered from dementia. Mackey was a former president of the NFL players association. Read Newsday's obituary for John Mackey
ARMEN GILLIAM, NBA basketball player
Armen Gilliam spent 13 years in the NBA after being selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the first round of the draft by the Phoenix Suns. Gilliam died on July 5 when he collapsed at an LA Fitness gym outside of Pittsburgh. He was 47. Obituary for Armen Gilliam
LORENZO CHARLES, North Carolina State
This April 4, 1983 file photo shows North Carolina State's Lorenzo Charles (43) dunking the ball in the basket to give N.C. State a 54-52 win over Houston in the NCAA Championship game in Albuquerque, N.M. A tour bus official says the former North Carolina State basketball star , was killed when a bus he was driving crashed in Raleigh on June 27. He was 47. Newsday's obituary for Lorenzo Charles
ANDY ROBUSTELLI, New York Giants
Robustelli, who had a Hall of Fame career with the Giants as a defensive end and also served as the team's general manager, died on Tuesday in Stamford, Conn. He was 85. He played in eight NFL title games and seven Pro Bowls. Robustelli was named All-NFL seven times, two with the Rams and five with the Giants. In 1971, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Obituary for Andy Robustelli (Dec. 11, 1956)
PAUL SPLITTORFF, Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals pitcher Paul Splittorff died May 25 from complications from melanoma at the age of 64. He is the winningest pitcher in the team's history with 166 wins during his 15 year career. He also holds the Royals record for starts (392) and innings pitched (2,554.2). His best season came in 1973 when he won 20 games. Obituary for Paul Splittorff (Oct. 6, 1977)
RANDY "MACHO MAN" SAVAGE, pro wrestler
Popular 1980s wrestling star Randy Savage died on May 21, 2011 when he suffered a massive heart attack and crashed his car in Florida. He was 58 years old. A medical examiner later revealed Savage had suffered from an enlarged heart and advanced coronary disease. Savage (real name Randy Poffo) will forever be remembered by wrestling fans for his over the top personality, colorful ring attire and raspy voice that delivered some of the best promos in wrestling history. The "Macho Man" wrestled the majority of his career for Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment (1985-94) and Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling (1994-2000).
HARMON KILLEBREW, Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins' slugger Harmon Killebrew died May 17 after a battle with esophageal cancer. He was 74. 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. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984. Obituary for Harmon Killebrew
AARON DOUGLAS, University of Alabama football player
Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas was found dead on the second floor balcony of a home in Fernandina Beach, Fla. on May 12, after attending a party, according to police. The junior had transferred to Alabama from Arizona Western College. He started his collegiate career at Tennessee.
RON SPRINGS, Dallas Cowboys
Former Dallas Cowboys running back Ron Springs, who spent the past four years in a coma after losing oxygen during a 2007 operation, died on May 12. He was 54. He ran for 2,519 yards, had 2,259 yards receiving and scored 10 touchdowns in his NFL career. Obituary for Ron Springs
DEREK BOOGAARD, New York Rangers
Boogaard, a 28-year-old enforcer who had just completed the first season of a four-year contract with the Rangers, was found dead in Minneapolis on May 13, the team said. Boogaard, a renowned NHL fighter, played 22 games for the Rangers during the 2010-11 season and a goal, an assist and 45 penalty minutes. He previously spent five seasons with the Minnesota Wild. Obituary for Derek Boogaard
ROBERT TRAYLOR, NBA basketball player
Robert “Tractor” Traylor, 34, was found dead in his apartment on May 11 by police in Puerto Rico. He apparently died from a heart attack. Traylor played college ball at the University of Michigan before playing seven season in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte and New Orleans Hornets. Obituary for Robert Traylor
BILL GALLO, Columnist and cartoonist
Bill Gallo was a cartoonist and columnist for the New York Daily News for over seven decades. He passed away at age 88 from complications of pneumonia on May 10. Among his memorable characters, aside from General Von Steingrabber, were Basement Bertha and Yuchie, who represented devoted Mets fans.
JOE PERRY, San Francisco 49ers
Former NFL fullback Joe Perry, the first player to record back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and nicknamed "The Jet" for his speed, died April 24. He was 84. Obituary for Joe Perry
STAN KELLNER, C.W. Post basketball coach GRETE WAITZ, NYC Marathon winner
Former C.W. Post head basketball coach Stan Kellner, right, who became an ambassador for the sport through his multiple roles as basketball analyst and founder of the successful “Yes I Can” basketball camps died on April 24 in Fort Pierce, Fla. of complications following a stroke. He was 77. (Credit: Getty Images)
Grete Waitz was an elite Norwegian runner who won nine New York City Marathons between 1978 and 1988. She won a silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Waitz died died April 19 after a six-year battle with cancer. She was 57. Obituary for Grete Waitz
GRETE WAITZ, NYC Marathon winner
MARTY MARION, Cardinals
In this April 30, 1952 file photo, Marty Marion makes a big stretch. Marion, the 1944 National League MVP with the Cardinals and a former manager of the Cardinals and St. Louis Browns died at 93 on March 15.
TOM BOISTURE, New York Giants
NY Giants Vice President of Player Personnel Tom Boisture (right), President and Co-Chief Executive Officer Wellington Mara (middle) and Head Coach Jim Fassel (left) talk on the sidelines during training camp on July 30, 1999. Boisture was a key architect in the 1980s and helped the team acquire many of the players who would lead the franchise to four Super Bowl appearances and three championships. He died March 11, 2011 at age 79. Newsday's obituary for Tom Boisture
GARY WICHARD, C.W. Post
C.W. Post quarterback Gary Wichard shows his passing power on Sept. 1, 1971. Wichard, who later became one of the NFL's most prominent player agents, died March 11, 2011. He was 60. Newsday's obituary for Gary Wichard
DUKE SNIDER, Dodgers
Shown in this March 1959 file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' Duke Snider poses for a photo during baseball spring training. Snider was an icon who contributed mightily to the "Golden Age" of New York baseball. He died Feb. 27, 2011 at the age of 84. Newsday's obituary for Duke Snider
TROY JACKSON, University of Louisville
Troy 'Escalade' Jackson, a former University of Louisville basketball player who helped popularize street basketball, died on Feb. 20, 2011. He was 35. Jackson was the younger brother of former NBA and St. John's University guard Mark Jackson. Newsday's obituary for Troy Jackson
DAVE DUERSON, Chicago Bears
In this Aug. 14, 1989, file photo, Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson (22) scrambles for running room after intercepting a pass. He was a member of the 1990 Giants who won the Super Bowl. Duerson was found dead in his home on Feb. 17, 2011 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. He was 50. Obituary for Dave Duerson
RYNE DUREN, Yankees
New York Yankees pitcher Ryne Duren is seen posed for action April 30, 1958, at Yankee Stadium in New York. Duren, an All-Star pitcher known for a 100 mph fastball, occasional wildness and thick glasses, died Jan. 6, 2011, at his winter home in Florida. He was 81. Obituary for Ryne Duren.