Notable sports deaths in 2012
Deaths of notable sports figures in 2012.
Freel, an ex-MLB utility player was found dead in his Florida home on Dec. 22 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Obituary for Freel
Jovan Belcher, an inside linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs and a graduate of West Babylon High School, committed suicide on Dec. 1. He was 25. Police say Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager. Obituary for Jovan Belcher
Marvin Miller, a union leader who created baseball free agency and revolutionized professional sports with multimillion dollar contracts, died Nov. 27. He was 95. Miller had been diagnosed with liver cancer in August. Obituary for Marvin Miller
Former New York Giants first baseman Gail Harris, the last player to hit a home run for the New York Giants before they moved, died at his Gainesville, Va., home on Nov. 14, 2012. He was 81. Obituary for Gail Harris
Former American League President Lee MacPhail died on Nov. 8, 2012 at his home in Delray Beach, Fla. He was 95. Obituary for Lee MacPhail
Carmen Basilio died at a Rochester hospital on Nov. 7, 2012, where he was being treated for pneumonia. He was 85. Basilio won the world middleweight boxing title from Sugar Ray Robinson in 1957. and was among the first class of Hall of Famers in 1990. Obituary for Carmen Basilio
Darrell Royal died of complications from cardiovascular disease on Nov. 7, 2012. He was 88. The former Texas Longhorns football coach won national championships in 1963 and 1969 and a share of a third in 1970. Obituary for Darrell Royal
Pascual Perez was killed in his home in the Dominican Republic during an apparent robbery, police said. He was 55. The pitcher last played in the majors with the Yankees in 1991. He was suspended in 1992 following two positive tests for cocaine. He also earlier stints with the Pirates, Braves and Expos. Obituary for Pascual Perez
Emanuel Steward, shown here in 1991 before a fight between Mark Breland and Julian Samaha in Lake Tahoe, Nev., died on Oct. 25, 2012, at the age of 68. The Hall of Fame boxing trainer worked with Lennox Lewis, Thomas Hearns, Oscar De La Hoya, and Evander Holyfield among others. Read Emanuel Steward's obituary.
Blatnick, who overcame cancer to win a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 1984 Summer Olympics and went on to a career as a sports commentator and motivational speaker, died Oct. 24 at age 55 of heart failure. Obituary for Jeff Blatnick
Alex Karras, the rugged lineman who anchored the Detroit Lions' defense in the 1960s, then went on to an acting career in which he starred in the sitcom “Webster” and famously punched a horse in the 1974 comedy “Blazing Saddles,” died Oct. 10, 2012. He was 77.
Newsday's obituary for Alex Karras
Former Mets coach Eddie Yost died Oct. 16, 2012, but a cause was not released. During his playing days, he was known as "The Walking Man" for his penchant to draw bases on balls. Yost was 86. Read Eddie Yost's obituary
CARROLL "BEANO" COOK
College football commentator Carroll "Beano" Cook, right, died in his sleep on Oct. 10, 2012. He worked for ESPN since 1986 and was the SID at Pittsburgh from 1956-66. Read Beano Cook's obituary.
Lynch, the longtime public address announcer for the Detroit Red Wings, died Oct. 9, 2012, following a brief illness at a Detroit-area rehabilitation center. He was 95. Obituary for Budd Lynch
Economaki, a voice for motorsports across many media outlets, died in Ridgewood, N.J., where he spent most of his childhood. He was 91. Obituary for Chris Economaki
Sabol, the president of NFL Films, died Sept. 18, 2012, from brain cancer, He was diagnosed with a brain tumor 18 months earlier.Newsday's obituary for Steve Sabol
Heyman graduated from Oceanside High School in 1958 and played at Duke, passed away on Aug. 27, 2012. He was the No. 1 pick in the 1963 draft and averaged 15.4 points per game as a rookie with the Knicks.
SIMON P. GOURDINE
Simon Gourdine, who became deputy commissioner of the NBA in 1974 and went on to work for and lead the players' association in the 1990s, died Aug. 20, 2012. He was 72. Read Simon Gourdine's obituary.
Red Sox icon Johnny Pesky died. He was 92. Boston retired his number, 6, in 2008.
Read Pesky's obituary.
GARRETT REID, FOOTBALL COACH
Garrett Reid, the son of Eagles head coach Andy Reid and one of the team's strength and conditioning coaches, was found dead at Eagles training camp. He was 29.
Read Reid's obituary
BILL FARRELL, OLYMPIC WRESTLING COACH
Bill Farrell, the head coach of the 1972 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, died on June 14, 2012. Farrell, seen left in a photo with George Allen of the Washington Redskins, also served as deputy mayor of Centre Island and was a business owner in Ronkonkoma. He was an original “Marlboro Man” in advertisements and appeared on “The Tonight Show.”
Read Farrell's obituary
TEOFILO STEVENSON, BOXING
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Teofilo Stevenson, a Cuban boxer who first made waves with his win over American Duane Bobick in the 1962 Games, died on June 11, 2012. Stevenson was one of only three boxers to win three golds, joined by Hungary's Lazio Papp and fellow Cuban Felix Savon.
Read Stevenson's obituary
PEDRO BORBON< CINCINNATI REDS
Former MLB reliever Pedro Borbon, one of the key players on the Cincinnati Reds' 1975 and '76 World Series-winning teams, died on June 4, 2012, under hospice care. Borbon finished his career with 69 wins, 80 saves and a 3.52 ERA.
Read Borbon's obituary
LEROY ELLIS, NBA
Former St. John's basketball star LeRoy Ellis died on June 3, 2012 of prostate cancer. Ellis spent 14 seasons in the NBA, scoring 10,176 career points in 1,048 games.
Read Ellis' obituary
ORLANDO WOOLRIDGE, NBA
Orlando Woolridge played in the NBA for 13 seasons, scoring 13,623 points for seven different teams. Woolridge, Willis Reed's cousin, also coached in the WNBA. He died on May 31, 2012, under hospice care for a heart condition. Read Woolridge's obituary
JACK TWYMAN, NBA
Twyman (left), 78, played 11 seasons in the NBA. He scored 15,840 career points, and had 5,424 career rebounds. Twyman was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983. He died on May 30, 2012, of complications from blood cancer. Read Twyman's obituary
BILL STEWART, WEST VIRGINIA
Bill Stewart, the former college football coach who replaced Rich Rodriguez as head coach of West Virginia, died May 21, 2012 from an apparent heart attack. Stewart was 59. Read Stewart's obituary
BOB BOOZER, NBA
Bob Boozer, a former NBA star and 1960 Olympic gold medalist, died May 19, 2012. He was 75.Newsday's obituary for Bob Boozer
KEVIN HICKEY, CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Kevin Hickey, a former MLB pitcher who served as the White Sox's pre-game instructor for several years, died on May 16, 2012. He was 56. Click here to read Keivn Hickey's obituary
STACY ROBINSON, New York Giants
Stacy Robinson, a wide receiver on the Giants teams that won Super Bowls XXI and XXV and the director of player development for the NFL Players Association after his retirement, died at 50. Robinson, who played six seasons for the Giants starting in 1985, had been battling multiple myeloma. Click here to read Stacy Robinson's obituary
JUNIOR SEAU, NFL linebacker
Junior Seau, a linebacker for 20 years in the NFL, was found dead at his home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, police said, on May 2, 2012. He was 43. Junior Seau obituary | Junior Seau photos
ALEXANDER DALE OEN, swimmer
Oen, a world champion swimmer and Olympic contender, was found dead in a bathroom in Flagstaff, Ariz. It was ruled Oen died from cardiac arrest. He was 26. Click here to read Dale Oen's obituary.
THOMAS "AMARILLO SLIM" PRESTON JR., Poker player
“Amarillo Slim," an acclaimed professional poker player who fancied himself the “World’s Greatest Gambler,” died of colon cancer at the age of 83. Preston won the 1972 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1992. He also wrote or co-wrote several books about the game and himself. Click here to read Thomas Preston's obituary.
BILL "MOOSE" SKOWRON
Skowron, a first baseman for the Yankees from 1954-62, died April 27, 2012, in Chicago after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 81.
MURRAY ROSE, Olympic swimmer
The Scotland-born Rose won three golds at the 1956 Melbourne Games, becoming a national hero at 17. He won a gold, silver and bronze four years later in Rome. His golds in 1956 came in the 400- and 1,500-meter freestyle events and the 4x-200-meter freestyle relay. In Rome, he won the 400 free, took silver in the 1,500 and bronze in the 4x200 free relay. Rose eventually set 15 world records, including marks in the 400, 800, and 1,500 freestyles. Read Murray Rose's obituary
A bronze medalist in diving for the U.S. in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Lenzi died April 9, 2012. He was 43.
Newsday's obituary for Mark Lenzi
BURT SUGAR, Boxing writer/historian
Bert Sugar, an iconic boxing writer and sports historian died on March 25 at the age of 75. Sugar was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005. According to the hall’s website, Sugar wrote more than 80 books, including “The 100 Greatest Boxers Of All Time.” He also appeared in a handful of films. Read Burt Sugar's obituary.
MEL PARNELL, Red Sox pitcher
Mel Parnell, a Boston Red Sox pitcher in the 1940s and '50s, was masterful at Fenway Park even though he pitched in front of the Green Monster, a home run hitter’s dream at only 310 feet down the left field line. Parnell had a career record of 123-75, but he was 70-30 at Fenway. At the time of his death on March 21, 2012, the 89-year-old still held the club record for left-handed pitchers in games started, innings and victories. Parnell’s victories rank second in team history, behind Cy Young and Roger Clemens, who each had 192 victories.
Read Mel Parnell's obituary
ALEX WEBSTER, Giants all-time great running back
Alex Webster, a running back for the Giants who also served as head coach of the team, died at a hospital in Port St. Lucie on March 3. He was 80. Known as "Big Red," Webster played for the Giants from 1955-64 during their glory years. He ran for two touchdowns in the 1956 NFL Championship Game against the Bears, and his 4,638 career rushing yards rank fifth in franchise history.
Read Alex Webster's obituary
GARY CARTER, Mets Hall of Fame catcher
Gary Carter died Feb. 16 after battling cancer for nearly a year. Carter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor last May. An 11-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, Carter's single in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series started the Mets improbable come-from-behind win. He was 57.
Read Gary Carter's obituary
ANGELO DUNDEE, boxing trainer
Dundee, a trainer who helped groom Muhammad Ali, right, and Sugar Ray Leonard into world champions and became one of boxing's most recognizable figures, died Feb. 1, 2012. He was 90.
DON FULLMER, boxer
Don Fullmer, a former middleweight boxer who fought nine world champions and came within a fight of a world title himself, died in Utah at the age of 72. Fullmer suffered from lymphocytic leukemia for 15 years. Read Don Fullmer's obituary
JOE PATERNO, Penn State football coach
“JoePa,” who built a legacy through 46 celebrated years as head football coach at Penn State only to see it shaken by a child abuse scandal involving a longtime associate, died of complications of lung cancer on Sunday morning, Jan. 22, 2012. He was 85. Read Joe Paterno's obituary | Joe Paterno photos
JIRI RASKA, skier
Czech skiing great Jiri Raska died on Jan. 20, 12. He was the 1968 Olympic ski jumping champion.Read Jiri Raska's obituary