Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot … 1956

Famed Sports Celebrities Passed Away During 1956

By OSCAR FRALEY
(United Press Sports Writer)
NEW YORK, Dec. 31 — (UP)

There will be quite a few tears in the cup of happiness tonight.

For when they ring in the new year, too many sporting favorites won’t be on hand. They just didn’t make it all the way with the infant 1956 they helped welcome only a year ago.

But they’ll be in many a mind when the voices rise in the old refrain “should auld acquaintance be forgot?”

Babe Didrikson

Like the Babe. They all knew her and the world mourned when its greatest woman athlete, Mrs. Mildred Didrikson Zaharias, died in September at the age of 42. President Eisenhower summed it up when he said:

“I think that every one of us feels sad that finally she had to lose this last one of all her battles.”

Connie Mack

Gone, too, is the tall, spare man who was a baseball legend. Connie Mack, the seemingly indestructible, struck out at 93. But, then, life hadn’t been the same for him since the heart-breaking morning 15 months earlier when his beloved A’s were sold down the river to Kansas City.

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot?”

Who can forget the “Boston Tar Baby”? He fought the best of them and won the championship of Mexico when he was almost blind. But at 75, Sam Langford finally took the count in a Massachusetts nursing home.

And Bill Cane, the man whose vision “made” the Hambletonian and helped make harness racing a big business. Big Bill, at 81, finally laid down the reins at Miami, Florida, far from the Good Time track at Goshen, N.Y., which he loved so dearly.

Red Strador

It came early for Norman (Red) Strador. The bluff red-head who coached football for St. Mary’s, the San Francisco 49’ers and the erstwhile New York Yankees, was cut down by a heart attack at 53.

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot?”

Racing fans will remember three who took the checkered flag.

You see again, white-toothed Bob Sweikert sitting happily in victory lane at Indianapolis in 1955 and asking his wife jokingly:

“You were worried about me?” He got it against the wall at Salem, Ind. Age 30.

Then there were bushy-browed Jack McGrath, dead in a Phoenix, Ariz., crash at 35.

And little Walt Faulkner, who flipped five times and out at Vallejo, Calif., a passion for speed burning him out at 37.

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot” when you think of the others who bowed out? Like horseman Clifford Mooers, a fabulous personality; Burly Donna Fox, the bobsledder whose passion was golf, and genial, gentle Rud Rennie, a long-time pal from the New York Herald-Tribune.

It can’t be — for the sake of auld lang syne.

The Bridgeport Post (Bridgeport, Connecticut) Dec 31, 1956

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