This year, the sporting world lost some legends from both the field and the broadcast booth. The list below, culled from a large list of sporting greats, includes representatives from six sports.
Sir Alec Victor Bedser (1918–2010):
Born on July 4, 1918, in Reading, England, the English cricketer who was one of the all-time greatest English fast-medium bowlers and the mainstay of the England attack during the post-World War II years died on April 4 in Woking.
George Frederick Blanda (1927–2010):
Born on September 17, 1927, in Youngwood, Pennsylvania, the American football star who starred at quarterback and kicker died on September 27. He established records for most seasons played (26), most games played (340; broken in 2004), most points scored (2,002; broken in 2000), most points after touchdowns (943 of 959 attempted), and most field goals (335 of 638; broken in 1983).
Victoria Draves (1924–2010):
Born on December 31, 1924, in San Francisco, California, the American diver who was the first woman to win Olympic gold medals in both springboard and platform diving in the same Olympiad (1948) died on April 11 in Palm Springs, California.
Laurent Fignon (1960–2010):
Born on August 12, 1960, in Paris, the French cyclist and two-time winner of the Tour de France (1983 and 1984) died in Paris on August 31.
Dorothy Kemenshek (1925–2010):
Born on December 21, 1925, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the American baseball star died in Palm Desert, California, on May 17. The exploits of Kamenshek and her teammates inspired the 1992 film A League of Their Own.
Don Meredith (1938–2010):
Born on April 10, 1938, in Mount Vernon, Texas, the American football star and broadcaster died on December 5 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Meredith quarterbacked for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 to 1968 before retiring and stepping into the announcer’s booth and becoming a fixture on Monday Night Football.
Merlin Olsen (1940–2010):
Born on September 15, 1940, in Logan, Utah, the American football player turned announcer and actor who was one of the most extraordinary defensive lineman in NFL history died on March 11 in Duarte, California. Olsen was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1994. He had a recurring role as Jonathan Garvey on Little House on the Prairie.
Greville Michael Starkey (1939–2010):
Born on December 21, 1939, in Lichfield, England, the British jockey who rode some 2,000 in a Thoroughbred career that spanned more than three decades died on April 14 in Kennett, England.
George Steinbrenner (1930–2010):
Born on July 4, 1930, in Rocky River, Ohio, the owner of the New York Yankees (1973-2010), known for his commitment to excellence, exorbitant salaries, and public spats with members of his staff (he fired manager Billy Martin five separate times), died on July 13 in Tampa, Florida.
John Wooden (1910–2010):
Born on October 14, 1910, the Wizard of Westwood who coached UCLA’s men’s basketball team to 10 championships in a 12 year span died on June 4 in Los Angeles. During one span, his team won 88 consecutive games, and he was named NCAA coach of the year six times.