Catching Up With ...
Mike Klingaman connects with former Baltimore sports stars.
9:01 AM EDT, March 18, 2015
At 67, Will Hetzel writes poetry, speaks his liberal mind and revels in the psychedelic music of the late Richie Havens and The Jefferson Airplane. That he did the same in 1968, as a Maryland basketball star, caused quite a stir in College Park.
4:33 PM EST, January 18, 2015
The giant spark plug in Johnny Egan's attic is nearly as big as he is. A gift from Bullets fans, the 4-foot trophy depicts the spunky guard's role on Baltimore's NBA team one-half century ago. Then, he'd come off the bench, time after time, to ignite the offense or fire up the defense.
8:58 AM EST, January 9, 2015
Sometimes, looking back, Daryl Johnson wonders if it truly happened. Did he really lead Morgan State's football team to two undefeated seasons and then play in the pros for the Patriots?
8:41 PM EST, January 1, 2015
Make no mistake — a Ravens victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday night would be music to the ears of Freddie Scott, the onetime Baltimore Colts receiver.
3:18 PM EST, December 25, 2014
As an offensive tackle for Maryland's football team, Roger Shoals gouged out holes wide enough to drive a Cadillac through. Now, the former Terp star sells the cars.
11:22 AM EST, December 18, 2014
Down by two points and 80 yards from the end zone, their chances looked bleak. Two minutes remained when the Colts began a drive against the Los Angeles Rams that would stamp their rookie quarterback, No. 19, as a coming star.
5:03 PM EST, December 11, 2014
He wasn't the happiest of Colts, but who's surprised? In college, Roosevelt Leaks rushed for more yards in one game (342) than he did in four of his five years in Baltimore.
6:34 PM EST, November 27, 2014
For a decade, each autumn, Glenn Ressler's Sundays were much the same. The mild-mannered Colts guard would slip into the locker room, remove his glasses, put on his uniform and perform feats of strength. Players called him Clark Kent.
2:05 PM EST, November 20, 2014
He arrived at the Colts' training camp in 1976, a rookie linebacker out to make a name for himself. He was Sanders Shiver, from Carson-Newman College. Or was it the other way around? Folks called him Carson Newman, or Carson Sanders, or Sanders Newman.
5:07 PM EST, November 6, 2014
The blond hair has grayed and Jack Scarbath wears glasses now. Remember the laser arm that Maryland's football team rode to fame more than 60 years ago?
5:08 PM EDT, October 30, 2014
Come autumn, Emerson Boozer's thoughts turn to ... leaves?
6:51 PM EDT, October 23, 2014
Nearly 40 years later, the taunts still haunt Ed Simonini, the Colts' 6-foot middle linebacker.
8:46 AM EDT, October 16, 2014
Two years ago, during a triathlon relay race, Tom Gilburg rode a bicycle 26 miles. He was 73 at the time.
5:24 PM EDT, October 9, 2014
They were 60 pounds lighter, on average, than the behemoths who'll man the trenches for the Ravens on Sunday. But the players who hunkered down on the offensive line for the Colts during Baltimore's halcyon years of the 1970s were a rugged and agile group, most of whom remain good friends, said Robert Pratt, the Colts' starting left guard from 1975 to 1981.
1:25 PM EDT, September 25, 2014
He grew up in East Baltimore during the 1940s, a chunky Polish kid who used to bound down the marble steps of his family's home on Madeira Street and race the one-half block to Patterson Park to play pick-up football games until dark.
6:08 PM EDT, September 18, 2014
Sam Ball has a Super Bowl ring on his finger from Baltimore's 1970 NFL championship and a plaque on his wall naming him the 1990 Kentucky Soybean Association's Man of the Year. Life has been good to the All-American tackle-turned-farmer, who has reaped the rewards of two jobs well done.
5:21 PM EDT, September 4, 2014
Charley Winner doesn't take old age lying down. At 90, the former Baltimore Colts coach plays tennis five times a week, for 90 minutes a day.
1:40 PM EDT, July 3, 2014
12:14 PM EST, January 24, 2014
5:11 PM EST, December 27, 2013
George Kunz should have slowed by now. At 66, the former All-Pro tackle should be golfing or fishing or appearing at autograph shows, a battle-scarred old Colt telling tales about his time in the NFL trenches.
6:58 PM EST, December 19, 2013
He used to do work that rattled one's teeth. Now, Sam Havrilak's job is to care for them.
2:44 PM EST, December 12, 2013
That one of the largest pro football players of his era now owns three restaurants isn't surprising. But how did Roger Brown shed 50 pounds doing it?
6:37 PM EST, December 5, 2013
Chuck Foreman, meet Earl "The Pearl" Monroe.
6:59 PM EST, November 27, 2013
To Maryland football fans he was "The Rifleman," a blond quarterback with a slingshot arm who broke school passing records and led the Terps to signature wins in the 1960s. How hard did Dick Shiner throw? Once, in practice, his peg struck a teammate in the helmet and knocked him out. Another time, in the pros, he broke a receiver's two fingers.
5:58 PM EST, November 21, 2013
The letters keep coming, sometimes 20 a month asking for Dennis Gaubatz's autograph. Sometimes it's a football card that the old Colt receives. More often, it's the cover of one of the three national magazines on which Gaubatz appeared in his five years as the rugged middle linebacker on Baltimore's ballyhooed defense of the 1960s.
7:08 PM EST, November 14, 2013
There's a boogie board in his basement, a mountain bike in the garage and a black lab named Jake at the back door, begging for a five-mile walk. At 69, Elmer Collett doesn't want for things to do.
5:27 PM EST, November 7, 2013
One year, that's all he spent in Baltimore. But looking back, Roy Jefferson wouldn't trade that time with the Colts for anything in his football career.
4:43 PM EDT, October 31, 2013
Big Mo moves a little slow these days. But then, he's almost 85.
4:12 PM EDT, October 24, 2013
His manager, Earl Weaver, called him "the best leadoff man in the game," and who's to argue? In five years with the Orioles, Don Buford batted .270, ran the bases with ferocity and helped the club reach three World Series.
5:08 PM EDT, October 17, 2013
Stop by the Martin's Food Store in Hagerstown and you'll find him at his post. Mike Collier is a night manager, his job for 18 years.
5:22 PM EDT, October 10, 2013
For five years, he played football for the Green Bay Packers and Vince Lombardi, the quintessential tough coach. So how can Tom Brown now run a youth sports camp in Salisbury that's so relaxed the kids fill out the lineups, everyone gets to play and winning doesn't matter?
6:02 PM EDT, October 3, 2013
Remember Ken Mendenhall? Maybe not. The onetime Colts' center toiled in the trenches, seldom screwed up and never pouted or popped off. In truth, Mendenhall was so anonymous that when he retired in 1981, few realized that he had started 118 consecutive games — a franchise mark that stood for a quarter of a century until passed in 2005 by Peyton Manning, then Indianapolis' quarterback.
6:03 PM EDT, September 26, 2013
Ray May doesn't go out much. It's hard to get around when both of your hips are shot, and your legs go numb, and you need a cane, maybe two, to walk.
5:39 PM EDT, September 19, 2013
It was an everyday throw, as touchdowns go — a 12-yard pass in a meaningless game between two hapless teams in a deserted ballpark. Thirty years later, Mike Pagel can't recall the toss he made in the final two minutes of a 20-10 season-ending victory over the Houston Oilers.
2:57 PM EDT, September 13, 2013
Forty-five years later, Dan Sullivan can still hear his Colts teammate's declaration prior to the 1968 NFL championship game in Cleveland.
3:28 PM EDT, July 19, 2013
He's the forgotten Oriole, one who helped the club soar in 1966 and then fell off the radar. Brooks, Frank and Boog were stars in that championship season. But who remembers Russ Snyder?
6:07 PM EDT, June 9, 2013
It has been 45 years since she first ran onto the field at Memorial Stadium, an 11-year-old blonde with a big smile and a straw broom that would win her fame. There, during the fifth-inning break in Orioles games, Linda Warehime would sweep off the bases, the mound and the infielders' shoes. Sometimes, she'd also dust off the shoes of the visitors' third-base coach and give him a peck on the cheek — or a playful swat on the fanny — as the fans whooped it up.
5:00 PM EDT, May 24, 2013
He brought a swagger to lacrosse with his flashy play and endless array of acrobatic shots which, decades later, still rack up views on YouTube. How many different ways could Tom Marechek, onetime star of the Baltimore Bayhawks, score goals? Behind his back. Between his legs. Off the alley-oop pass.
6:18 PM EDT, April 19, 2013
"Gone Ridin' " reads the sign on Joe Aitcheson's door, beneath a wooden silhouette of a horse's head. "Be Back. Maybe."
7:51 PM EST, March 9, 2013
He sits quietly in a wheelchair at a long-term care facility in his native Guelph, Ontario. Aldo Guidolin doesn’t talk — multiple strokes have robbed him of his speech — but his brown eyes follow ice hockey games on TV and the movements of those who call on the aging defenseman.
2:12 AM EST, February 15, 2013
The player who scored the biggest basket in Baltimore Bullets history turned 68 Thursday.
5:21 PM EST, January 31, 2013
He was Baltimore's first football star, an oddly named quarterback on a motley Colts team that boasted his strong arm but little else. For three years, Yelberton Abraham (Y.A.) Tittle led the club, won fans' hearts and even got his face plastered on the wrappers of Koester's Bread.
1:08 PM EST, January 17, 2013
There's a whiff of the past in the Ravens' current playoff run. So said Kim Herring, strong safety on the Super Bowl XXXV championship team.
6:19 PM EST, January 10, 2013
Twelve years later, the play sticks in Jeff Mitchell's mind. The one-time Ravens center can still hear the collision, see the Denver player fold and sense the game turning on one bone-jarring hit.
6:14 PM EST, January 3, 2013
Don't misunderstand. Barry Krauss loved Baltimore — from the crabcakes to the Inner Harbor to the rich provenance of the NFL team that picked him sixth overall in the 1979 draft. But five years later, the Colts' move to Indianapolis proved a godsend for the players, said Krauss, a tough linebacker who played 10 seasons with a horseshoe on his helmet.
4:56 PM EST, December 27, 2012
The chant began the instant the Colts' placekicker set foot on the field. From deep within Memorial Stadium, football fans growled his name in near-ritualistic delight.
4:31 PM EST, December 20, 2012
The black-and-white photo hangs unobtrusively on a back wall in Andy Nelson's barbeque joint in Cockeysville. But the picture, taken 53 years ago, captures a pivotal play in the Colts' second world championship, a 31-16 victory over the Giants at a packed Memorial Stadium in 1959.
5:31 PM EST, December 13, 2012
Baltimore's football teams haven't always lost on last-ditch field goals, as per the past two weeks. Sometimes, they've blocked those kicks.
8:48 PM EST, December 6, 2012
He lined up at fullback, but from the moment he set foot in training camp in 1961, Jerry Hill understood his role with the Colts.
6:31 PM EST, November 29, 2012
It was, Willie Richardson said, the perfect send-off.
7:36 PM EST, November 15, 2012
Years ago, around town, any mention of the Pittsburgh Steelers would have been met with a shrug. Between 1958, when the Colts won their first NFL championship, and 1968, when they won their third, Baltimore played the Steelers just once.
6:53 PM EST, November 8, 2012
The Colts were struggling. Everyone in Memorial Stadium knew it, from the juiced-up Oakland Raiders to the hushed crowd of 56,368 who'd come to watch the first-ever AFC title game in 1971.
5:55 PM EDT, October 25, 2012
He was a gritty 6-foot-3 guard from the Bronx with boundless energy and a long, sweet jumper that seemed to kiss the Civic Center's ceiling before finding its mark.
6:41 PM EDT, October 4, 2012
The kid's name was Chase, and the driver knew he'd be trouble from the second he set foot on the school bus.
7:01 PM EDT, September 20, 2012
Thirty-five years later, the triumph remains one for the ages. Behind by a mile, in a must-win game, the Colts stormed back to defeat New England and take the AFC East title. Trailing, 21-3 in the second half, Baltimore scored four touchdowns — the last on a 99-yard drive — to stun the Patriots, 30-24 in the last regular-season game and make the 1977 playoffs.
6:36 PM EST, December 14, 2011
He had a funny name, a Texas drawl and churning legs that chewed up yardage. Remember Norm Bulaich, the Baltimore Colts' star running back in their 1970 Super Bowl run? He turns 65 on Christmas.
4:24 PM EDT, May 1, 2011
Eddie Watt lives in peaceful anonymity, in a speck of a town in Nebraska, where the talk is of crops and cows and Cornhusker football. The Orioles? Not a word.
December 7, 2007
As a Raven, Ben Cavil was as big as a house. Now, he's selling them.
6:41 PM EDT, September 21, 2012
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