Today is Thanksgiving in my country, the United States. For those of you fortunate enough to live in the U.S., you should all give thanks for that privilege. Happy Thanksgiving.
No sports-related quick takes today; I'm eating and watching football. But you'll have plenty next week. In fact, next week will be quick takes only, a slug of 'em, so tune in.
Story of the Week
Lenny Moore was a magician. Now you see him, now you don’t. He weaved and twisted his way through NFL defenses for 12 seasons. The speedy rocket from Penn State was an absolute master of deception, whether taking a handoff or catching a pass from his brilliant quarterback, Johnny Unitas. From 1956 to 1967, the elusive Lenny Moore was a vital part of the Baltimore Colts’ offensive arsenal.
At first glance, Moore was an unlikely candidate to cut swaths through anything. He stood 6’-1” and weighed 190, and he carried that weight on very spindly legs. But his body proved to be as durable as the yardage totals he would pile up, either as a flanker or a running back. Interestingly, to this day, I don’t know whether I would refer to Moore as a receiver or a running back, but that statement merely speaks volumes to his versatility.
The secret to Moore’s durability was a shifty running style that kept tacklers from making solid contact. He would catch Unitas passes, make a couple of quick moves, and end up with a huge gain. Or he would go deep with his sprinter speed to catch up with a Unitas bomb. When I think of Lenny Moore, the receiver, I think of him being perfectly parallel to the ground when he catches the ball in mid-air. There’s never been a more acrobatic or exciting receiver than Lenny Moore.
Back to the point of versatility, Moore finished his career with 12,393 combined yards (rushing for 5,174, receiving for 6,039 and returns for 1,180.) He also rang up 678 points and 113 touchdowns. Those 113 scores ranked him second to the great Jim Brown’s 126 for a number of years. It should be noted that the regular NFL season was but 12 games until 1961 when it went to a 14-game schedule. That’s obviously significant because players back then were deprived of establishing the personal records that today’s 16-game regular season schedule permits.
Other career highlights include being named Rookie of the Year in 1956, being named to seven Pro Bowls, and scoring touchdowns in 18 straight games in one stretch from 1963 to 1965. He was also named to the 1950’s All Decade Team.
Number 24, Lenny Moore, is rightfully enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Last Week’s Trivia
He is the only player to get four hits in two different World Series games. The answer is Hall-of-Famer Robin Yount.
Trivia Question of the Week
Only two men have Super Bowl rings as a player, assistant coach and head coach. Who are they? You’ll get one, but you won’t get them both. See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.