~~Deaths in the Local Sports World in 2013

Howard Goldin

Bronx, NY---Articles are usually written in the final days of each calendar year that list the passing of many celebrated persons. This article will discuss some selected sports personalities who died in 2013. It will not include such notables as Nelson Mandela as it focuses only on those from the world of sports. It will also not include such fine human beings and highly accomplished athletes as Stan Musial as it is limited to those whose careers were linked to the New York metropolitan area or were born in New York City. Even with those limitations, the story is not intended to be exhaustive or complete.

Clarence “Ace” Parker, who died at the age of 101, was a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees, but never played in MLB. The 1972 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame played with the Dodgers from 1937-41 and the Yankees in 1946 after distinguished World War II service in the U.S. armed forces. Both popular baseball monikers then were used for pro football clubs also.

Bronx born Art Donovan was a skilled defensive lineman in the NFL for a dozen seasons. He was instrumental in the 1958 and 1959 championship seasons of the Baltimore Colts and elected to the Football HOF.

Two members of the surprising 1969 Super Bowl victors, the New York Jets, Jim Hudson, 70, and George Sauer, 69, passed away in 2013. Sauer caught eight of Joe Namath’s passes in the 16-7 Super Bowl win of the Jets over the Colts.

 Dave Jennings, a victim of Parkinson’s at the age of 61, was as known by the fans of one NFL team as of the other, both on the field and in the broadcast booth. The prolific punter played with the Giants from 1974-84 and then the Jets from 1985-87. He worked in the radio booth of the Jets from 1988-2001 and moved to the Giants broadcast booth in the next season.

A TV broadcaster of football for more than a half century Pat Summerall, began his pro football career as a player with the Giants. The experienced and popular broadcaster announced 16 Super Bowls.

Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, who died at the age of 94, was an original member of the New York Knickerbockers. He scored the team’s first points on November 1, 1946.

Two decades later, Walt Bellamy was the team’s center for four seasons. The Olympics gold medalist in 1960 was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1961. Despite being worthy of Naismith Hall Of Fame election in 1993, his trade from the Knicks brought them Dave DeBusschere and two NBA titles.

To anyone who lost a relative and/or friend in 2013, the year will always have sad memories. Hopefully, happy and meaningful thoughts will in time lessen the pain of loss.
I wish good health and happiness throughout 2014 to all who read this article.