Giants coach Allie Sherman, left, quarterback Fran Tarkenton, center, and receiver...

Giants coach Allie Sherman, left, quarterback Fran Tarkenton, center, and receiver Homer Jones beam at an autographed pigskin at Yankee Stadium in New York, Nov. 12, 1968. Credit: AP

Gianluca Vialli

Gianluca Vialli, the former Italy striker who helped both Sampdoria and Juventus win Serie A and European trophies before becoming a player-manager at Chelsea, died on Jan. 6 at age 58.

Charles White

USC tailback and 1979 Heisman Trophy winner Charles White died of cancer on Jan. 11 at age 64. He is still USC's career rushing leader with 6,245 yards.

Devin Willock

Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock, 20, and recruiting staff member Chandler LeCroy, 24, were killed early Jan. 15 in a car wreck, the school said, just hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their second straight national championship with a parade and ceremony.

Gino Odjick

Longtime NHL enforcer Gino Odjick, who spent parts of three seasons with the Islanders, died on Jan. 15 at age 52.

Frank Thomas

Frank Thomas, an original Met who played for the team from 1962 to 1964 and held the franchise record with 34 home runs for 13 seasons, died on Jan. 16. He was 93.

Chris Ford

Chris Ford, a member of the Boston Celtics' 1981 championship team, a longtime NBA coach and the player credited with scoring the league’s first 3-point basket, died on Jan. 18, his family announced in a statement through the Celtics. He was 74.

Sal Bando

Sal Bando, a three-time World Series champion with the Oakland Athletics and former Milwaukee Brewers executive, died Jan. 20. He was 78.

Billy Packer

Billy Packer, an Emmy award-winning college basketball broadcaster who covered 34 Final Fours for NBC and CBS, died from kidney failure on Jan. 26.

Bobby Hull

Bobby Hull, a Hall of Fame winger and two-time NHL MVP who helped Chicago win the Stanley Cup in 1961, died on Jan. 30. "The Golden Jet" was 84.

John Veitch

John Veitch, who trained Alydar to narrow losses in all three Triple Crown races against rival Affirmed in 1978 during a Hall of Fame career, died on Feb. 14. He was 77.

Tim McCarver

Tim McCarver, a Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster and two-time World Series champion, died at age 81 on Feb. 16.

Jerry Richardson

Jerry Richardson, the Carolina Panthers founder and for years one of the NFL’s most influential owners until a scandal forced him to sell the team, died on March 1. He was 86.

Bud Grant

Bud Grant, the Hall of Fame coach who took the Minnesota Vikings and their mighty Purple People Eaters defense to four Super Bowls in eight years, died on March 11. He was 95.

Dick Fosbury

Dick Fosbury, the lanky leaper who completely revamped the technical discipline of high jump and won an Olympic gold medal with his “Fosbury Flop,” has died on March 12 after a recurrence with lymphoma. He was 76.

Joe Pepitone

Joe Pepitone, whose personality and play made him a Yankees fan favorite, died on March 13. He was 82.

Willis Reed

Willis Reed, who emerged from the locker room minutes before Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals to lift the Knicks to their first championship, died March 21. He was 80.

Dick Groat

Dick Groat went from All-American guard in basketball to a brief stint in the NBA to ultimately an All-Star shortstop and the 1960 National League MVP for the Pirates. He died on April 27 at age 92.

Vida Blue

Vida Blue, a hard-throwing left-hander who became one of baseball’s biggest draws in the early 1970s and helped lead the brash A’s to three straight World Series titles before his career was derailed by drug problems, died May 6, according to the team. He was 73. Oakland did not announce a cause of death.

Don January

Don January, who won the 1967 PGA Championship in a playoff and became the first winner on what is now the PGA Tour Champions, died on May 7. He was 93.

Denny Crum

Denny Crum, who won two NCAA men’s basketball championships and built Louisville into one of the 1980s’ dominant programs during a Hall of Fame coaching career, died on May 9 at age 86.

Gerry Hart

Gerry Hart, a scrappy 5-9, 175-pound defenseman who provided early leadership for the expansion Islanders, died on May 13 at age 75.

Jim Brown

Jim Brown, the Long Island high school sports legend, prodigious NFL running back, first Black action-film star and — in his words, “born activist” — died on May 18. He was 87.

Roger Craig

Roger Craig, the oldest living Met who was a member of the inaugural team in 1962, died on June 4 at age 93.

Homer Jones

Homer Jones, who not only invented the touchdown spike but also etched his name in the Giants’ and NFL’s record books as a wide receiver despite playing a relatively short career in an era when passing still was a secondary offensive strategy, died on June 14 at 82 of lung cancer.

Gil Brandt

Gil Brandt, overshadowed by coach Tom Landry and general manager Tex Schramm as part of the trio that built the Dallas Cowboys into “America’s Team” in the 1970s, died on Aug. 31. The Hall of Famer was 91. 

Brooks Robinson

Brooks Robinson, the Hall of Fame third baseman whose deft glovework and folksy manner made him one of the most beloved and accomplished athletes in Baltimore history, died on Sept. 26. He was 86.

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