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Sports' Forgotten Heroes is a tribute to the stars who shaped the games we love to watch and the games we love to play. It's not about reliving the careers of superstars we talk about every day like Muhammed Ali, Jim Brown, Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan. Rather, Sports' Forgotten Heroes is about the stars who have faded away with time. Some were elected to their respective Hall of Fame, others might have had one great season, or just one great game that will live in infamy. Guys like Billy Can ...
 
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Gus Dorais is one of college football’s all-time greatest players and coaches. He was the first player in the history of Notre Dame to be named an All-American and was actually given the opportunity to coach the Fighting Irish. However, his best friend and college roommate needed the job and Dorais had another offer. So, Dorais took the other j ...…
 
Archie Moore is the only boxer in history to face Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson AND Muhammed Ali. An absolutely terrific boxer, Moore captured the light heavyweight championship by unanimous decision at the age of 39 over Joey Maxim. Moore held the title for 10-years before he was stripped of the belt for failure to fight as a light heavyweig ...…
 
Joe “The Jet” Perry was once the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, and until 2011 was the all-time leading rusher in the history of the San Francisco 49’ers. But never winning a championship and playing the shadow of the great Jim Brown has certainly affected the legacy of Joe Perry. Perry said no to a larger offer to play for the Los Angeles Rams ...…
 
A star at Cal-Berkley, Joe Kapp led the Bears to a Rose Bowl victory and was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 18th round of the 1959 NFL Draft. However, Washington and Kapp squabbled over terms, and Kapp decided to take his game north to the Canadian Football League and the Calgary Stampeders. After spending two years with Calgary, Kap ...…
 
Duke Slater is not a common name amongst football fans, but it should be. While he played in the NFL prior to what we know it as now, Slater was still one of the greatest to ever play the game, particularly as a lineman. In fact, when the great Red Grange was asked to name the greatest players of all time (up until that point), Grange did not n ...…
 
On July 12, 1910, New York Evening Mail reporter Franklin Pierce Adams filed his article after a game between the Chicago Cubs and New York Giants. Little did he or anyone know it would become one of the most famous pieces of work to ever be written about baseball, a little poem in which he proclaimed, “These are the saddest possible words, Tin ...…
 
Bob Allison was one of the best players for the Minnesota Twins during the 1960s. The Twins moved to Minnesota from Washington, D.C. for the 1961 season. However, before getting to Minnesota, Allison won the Rookie of the Year for Washington (known as the Senators) in 1959 by clubbing 30 Home Runs and knocking in 85 and batting .261. After the ...…
 
Not only is Lefty O’Doul one of baseball’s forgotten heroes, he is actually one of America’s forgotten heroes as well. In fact, General Douglas MacArthur said what O’Doul did after World War II to help ease tensions between the U.S. and Japan was one of the greatest acts of diplomacy in the history of the U.S. O’Doul is one of the greatest hitt ...…
 
Sal “The Barber” Maglie enjoyed a terrific career going 119-62 over 10 years. But from 1950 through 1954 he was as dominant as anyone in the game. Given the nickname “The Barber” because of how he approached hitters and his game-day stubble, Maglie blossomed at the age of 33 after having spent time in the Mexican League and learning under the t ...…
 
Kiki Cuyler was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1968, but so few can recall his career – and what a career it was! Cuyler, whose birth name is Hazen Shirley Cuyler, made it to the big leagues for good in 1924 and hit .354 for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1925, Cuyler upped his average to .357 and set two records that still stand today for ...…
 
Lyman Bostock was a Major League Baseball player on the rise. During the first 3 ½ years of his career with the Minnesota Twins and California Angels, Lyman hit .311 with a high of .336 in 1977. He had just signed a free agent contract with the Angels, a team that was on the rise and hoping to win a championship with Bostock at the center of th ...…
 
Ralph Guldahl joined the PGA TOUR in 1931, walked away from the game in 1934, rejoined the TOUR in 1935, and retired from the game for good in 1940. But in between, he was absolutely phenomenal. During his time on TOUR he won 16 tournaments including three Majors – the 1937 and 1938 U.S. Open and the 1939 Masters. He also won the Western Open i ...…
 
One of the most flamboyant soccer players to ever play here in the U.S. was Giorgio Chinaglia. He was a star on a team filled with some of the world’s best, the New York Cosmos. He played with Pele, Beckenbauer, Alberto and so many others. And while he might not have been as skilled as them, the one thing he did better than anyone was score goa ...…
 
Dolph Schayes played in the NBA for 15 years, and when he retired he was the league’s all-time leading scorer and all-time leading rebounder. Yet, many basketball fans don’t recall Schayes at all, or mistake him for his son, Danny, who spent 20-years in the NBA. Why do so many not recall Dolph? Perhaps it’s because he spent 14 of his 15 years p ...…
 
The story of Gottfried von Cramm is truly remarkable. While most have probably never heard of him, von Cramm was once the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the world. A German, von Cramm played during the time Adolf Hitler was rising to power; and while most Germans knew what Hitler was about and was about to do, the rest of the world had no idea. ...…
 
Urban Shocker was regarded by many as the best pitcher of his time. In fact, Babe Ruth said he was the best pitcher he faced. Other pitchers said that Urban was the best. Writers of the day, such as Damon Runyon, and others called Urban the best too. He started his career with the New York Yankees was traded to the St. Louis Browns and then sev ...…
 
Roberto DeVicenzo won 231 golf tournaments around the world, and that includes the 1967 British Open. But it was his signing of an incorrect scorecard after the 4th round of the 1968 Masters for which he is most remembered. That “little” gaffe cost DeVicenzo an opportunity to win a second straight major, and one of golf’s most cherished tournam ...…
 
Gene Conley did something no other athlete before him or who played after him ever accomplished – win a championship in two of the major four sports we follow (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL). Not Deion Sanders, not Bo Jackson, no one. Conley won the World Series with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and came off the bench to help the Boston Celtics win NBA ch ...…
 
Vic Hadfield was the first man to score 50 goals in a season for the New York Rangers. Named captain of a team that included the likes of Jean Ratelle, Brad park and Rod Gilbert, some say Hadfield just might have also been the heart and soul of the team. When Hadfield was placed on the No. 1 line to protect Ratelle and Gilbert the Rangers took ...…
 
Dave DeBusschere was, simply stated, remarkable. A world class two-sport star who was raised just outside of Detroit, DeBusschere was a stud pitcher and an even better basketball player. Taken by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA’s territorial draft, he was also selected by the Chicago White Sox … and he played professionally for both teams. On th ...…
 
One of just four former Green Bay Packers to be immortalized with a statue, Johnny “Blood” McNally is also a member of the inaugural class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Along with such legends as Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, Jim Thorpe, Sammy Baugh, George Halas, Tim Mara and Don Hutson, Johnny was inducted into the Hall in 1963. One of t ...…
 
1938 marks the 80th anniversary of the improbable … the year in which Don Budge, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, became the first (and just one of two) players to win the Grand Slam of tennis (Australian, French, Wimbledon, U.S.). Budge actually won six straight Grand Slam events to go along with a number of doubles, mixed-doubl ...…
 
Frank Ryan, the last man to lead the Cleveland Browns to an NFL Championship, joins the podcast to talk about his career and the magical year of 1964 when the Browns beat the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts 27-0 to win the title. Ryan was the Browns starter for most of the mid-1960s and Bleacher Report named Ryan as the most underrated player i ...…
 
Every December college football heroes gather in New York City and are on hand for the announcement of the winner of one of the most, if not the most, iconic trophies in all of sport – The Heisman Trophy. Who was the man for whom the trophy is named, and what made him so special? John M. Heisman, the great-nephew of the man for whom the trophy ...…
 
Ernie DiGregorio was the NBA Rookie of the Year for the 1973-74 season. The No. 3 pick out of Providence after leading the Friars to 27-4 mark during his All-America senior season, Ernie was as exciting as they come. Standing just 6-feet tall and weighing all of 180-pounds, he was a magician on the court. If you were open, Ernie would find a wa ...…
 
There was a time when scoring 60 goals in a season in the NHL was rare. Dennis Maruk was one of the first to do it when scored 60 for the Washington Capitals in the 1981-82 season. And that came after scoring 50 the previous year! Yet, Dennis played in relative obscurity as he was a center for the California Golden Seals, the Cleveland Barons a ...…
 
Bob Waterfield holds a very unique distinction. He is the only quarterback in the history of the NFL to lead the Rams franchise to two NFL Championships. First, Waterfield did it as the quarterback of the Cleveland Rams in 1945, and then he followed that by leading the Los Angeles Rams to the NFL Championship in 1951. Waterfield elected into th ...…
 
The Los Angeles Clippers are celebrating their 40th Anniversary on the west coast. But, long before they were the Clippers, they were the Buffalo Braves. And what a legacy they left! In just eight years in Buffalo, three players won Rookie of the Year honors (Bob McAdoo, Ernie DiGregorio, Adrian Dantley), Randy Smith became a fan favorite, coac ...…
 
Justin Fashanu was a star on the rise. Young. Strong. Fast. His goal against Liverpool for little regarded Norwich City was so unexpected, and so spectacular it was named goal of the year. It also catapulted young Justin into another stratosphere and into the world of big-time soccer. His transfer fee of $1-million-pounds was the largest sum ev ...…
 
2017 is the 80th anniversary of the Rams joining the NFL. Most know the Rams are calling Los Angeles home for the second time in their history. However, what few know is that the Rams debuted in 1936 as the Cleveland Rams in the AFL. Yes, Cleveland was the original home for the Rams, but the team always struggled to attract fans; and after winn ...…
 
In 1986, Amos Otis was inducted into the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame. A three-time Gold Glove winner and five-time all-star, Amos Otis played for the Royals from 1970 through the 1983 season and is still top-3 in several all-time offensive categories for the Royals including: hits (3rd, 1977), HR (3rd, 193), runs (2nd, 1074), triples (3rd, ...…
 
He was one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, and had it not been for Benny Friedman there might not be an NFL! That’s how key he was to the development of the game. Friedman turned the pro game from a running game to a passing game. In fact, he was throwing for more touchdown passes in a season than the rest of the league ...…
 
During the three-year stretch of 1944, 45 and 46, Hal Newhouser of the Detroit Tigers put together three of the most dominant seasons any pitcher has ever enjoyed. Overall he went 80-27 with a 1.98 ERA. He completed 83 games and tossed 20 shutouts. He won the MVP Award in 1944 and 1945 (the only pitcher to ever win back-to-back MVP Awards) and ...…
 
Nate Colbert played first base for the San Diego Padres during the early 1970s. Very few fans turned out to see him play. The Padres weren’t that good. In fact, they were one of the worst teams the game has ever seen. But, the few fans that did go out to see Nate Colbert play saw one of the game’s most feared sluggers. In fact, he is still the ...…
 
Willie Anderson is the only golfer in history to win three straight U.S. Open golf championships. In fact, if not for a fourth place finish in 1902, he would have five in a row. Only Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones can match his four victories. Yet, when you mention the name Willie Anderson to most golf fans and most sport’s fans very ...…
 
Dean Chance pitched for the then Los Angeles Angels in the early 1960s. The Angels were a so-so team, but in 1964, Dean turned in one of the most dominant seasons in Angels history. He went 20-9 with a 1.65 ERA for a team that went just 82-80. But that was only half the story. Dean won the Cy Young Award that year to interrupt Sandy Koufax’s st ...…
 
Tony Lema was one of the best golfers in professional golf. In 1964 he won the British Open, and was knocking at the door of the Big 3 of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. He was as tough as the came, as evidenced by his 8-1-2 record in Ryder Cup play. But he was also one of the most fun-loving guys on the PGA TOUR, and the media lo ...…
 
Teofilo Stevenson was one of the most powerful heavyweights of all time. Although he never fought professionally, he is still regarded as one of the best ever. He is the only boxer to ever win three-straight Gold Medals in the Olympics. He did it in 1972, 1976 and 1980. Some think he would have won a fourth straight Gold in 1984, however, this ...…
 
In the early 1900s, Ed Delahanty was the biggest star in baseball. Regarded, by some, as baseball’s first 5-tool player, he hit over .400 three times, and was the game’s most powerful hitter. But he was struggling financially and, essentially, had to pay his team to continue playing. Big Ed was caught up in a battle between the well-established ...…
 
In overtime of game 5 of the 1951 Stanley Cup Finals, Bill Barilko scored to give the Toronto Maple Leafs their 4th Stanley Cup Championship in 5 years. Barilko was the toast of the town. Unfortunately, however, it would be the last goal Barilko would ever score. Shortly afterwards, Barilko went on a fishing trip with his good friend, and denti ...…
 
Bill Barilko was a young hard-hitting defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was called up to the Leafs towards the end of the 1946-47 season and helped Toronto win the Stanley Cup. He helped the Maple Leafs win the Cup again in 1948 and 1949. Toronto became the first team to win the Cup three straight years. After failing to make it to the ...…
 
After leading LSU to a National Championship and winning the Heisman Trophy, Billy Cannon was selected No. 1 in the NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams and then GM Pete Rozelle. But the upstart AFL also had its eyes set on Cannon; and Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams offered Cannon a contract he couldn't refuse. With two contracts in hand, and both ...…
 
Description of Sports' Forgotten Heroes. This summary outlines the fact that a new podcast of Sports' Forgotten Heroes will be released every other Tuesday. Additionally, it details some of the great heroes we will be discussing like Billy Cannon, Bill Barilko, Ed Delahanty, and Dean Chance. Links: www.sportsfh.com www.patreon.com/sportsfh Spor ...…
 
Billy Cannon was a Heisman Trophy winning running back for LSU. He helped lead the Tigers to a National Championship in 1958 and followed that with a stellar career in the AFL and a brief appearance in the NFL. In this two-part series of Sports' Forgotten Heroes, author Charles de Gravelles and Sports Historian Jim Weathersby join Warren Rogan ...…
 
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