By: John Mignelli
Stan Musial (1920-2013)
Only three players in MLB history have recorded multiple World Series championships and 3,000 hits while playing only for one team; Roberto Clemente, Derek Jeter and Stan Musial. Musial, often regarded as one of the best batters in baseball history, had the same amount of hits both at home and on the road. This doesn’t mean he has a similar number; give or take 10 or 20; he literally had the same amount of hits (1,815) in games played at home and games played away. Only Willie Mays and Hank Aaron had the same amount of All-Star appearances (24). His 3,630 hits are the fourth-most of all time, despite him missing two years to serve the United States in the Navy during World War II.
Bill Sharman (1926-2013)
Bill Sharman won four NBA Championships with the Boston Celtics in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. Sharman also had a successful coaching career, winning an ABA Championship in 1971 with the Utah Stars and an NBA Championship in 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers. The ’72 Lakers are also the holders of the NBA record for consecutive wins, 33. Known as a deadly shooter at a time when accuracy was poor, Sharman was one of only 11 non-centers in the NBA to shoot greater than .450 from the field playing over 25 minutes per game in his era.
Walt Bellamy (1939-2013)
Walt Bellamy was a four-time All-Star and rookie of the year in 1962. Wilt Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history besides Bellamy to average over 30 points and 15 rebounds in their rookie season, but Bellamy did this shooting 52 per cent from the field while Chamberlain shot 46 per cent. Although he never won an NBA championship, Bellamy was part of a blockbuster trade in 1968 that sent Dave Debusschere, one of the greatest defensive forwards ever, to the Knicks where he would be an integral part in their two championships. Bellamy is 10th all-time in total rebounds.
Dr. Jerry Buss (1933-2013)
Dr. Jerry Buss was the majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers from 1979 until his death. Responsible for drafting Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and James Worthy, Buss also employed other legends such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, as well as Jerry West, Pat Riley and Phil Jackson as executives or coaches. The Lakers won 10 championships under Jerry Buss, the most of any owner in any sport. Buss also had a Ph.D. in physical chemistry. He is remembered for transforming the Lakers into basketball royalty and contributing to making the NBA the entertaining product it is today.
Pat Summerall (1930-2013)
Pat Summerall was a former kicker for the Detroit Lions, Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants in an NFL career that lasted from 1952-1961. While he enjoyed a fine playing career, Summerall is revered for becoming one of the first American television superstars. Summerall covered a record 16 Super bowls, 26 Masters Tournament golf events and 21 U.S. Open tennis grand slams. He also announced the 1974 NBA Finals, a post-game feature for the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals, numerous NCAA men’s basketball tournaments and NCAA football bowl games. CBS, FOX and ESPN each employed Summerrall, something not many broadcasters can claim.