It’s been a year of excitement, but not a perfect one. We lost some amazing people in 2017 and we want to ensure they are never forgotten. From tennis champions, World Series winners, broadcasting legends, owners, and those who were just getting started.
1) Yordano Ventura – January 22
The 25 year old was already a World Series Champion, but life was cut short during a car crash in his native Dominican Republic.
2) Andy Marte – January 22
In an eerie coincidence, Andy died on the same day as Yordano in a car crash in the Dominican Republic.
3) Mike Ilitch – February 10
The owner of both the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings was 87. Having founded Little Caesars Pizza, the more I learn about this man, the more impressed I become. He will likely best be known for his charity work around Detroit.
4) Fab Melo – February 11
The former Syracuse star was only 26.
5) Charismatic – February 19
Winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, he fell just short of winning the Triple Crown.
6) George “The Animal” Steele – February 17
The WWE Hall of Famer was 79. Best known for his bald head and literally eating the turnbuckle after a win.
7) Jerry Krause – March 21
The Chicago Bulls General Manager who is the architect of 6 NBA titles. He was 77.
8) Dan Rooney – April 13
The 84 yeard old was the Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Known as one of the most influential men in American sports.
9) Cortez Kennedy – May 23
The Hall of Fame defensive end was 48 years old.
10) Jim Bunning – May 26
Bunning was a transcendent figure in both baseball and politics. Having pitched the first, Perfect Game, in modern baseball history and parlayed his success on the field into becoming a US Senator. He was 85.
11) James Hardy – June 8
Police have ruled the 31 year old’s death a suicide.
12) Anthony Young – June 27
The 51 year old died of a brain tumor. Achieve one of the rarest feats in baseball, he once lost 20 games.
13) Gene Conley – July 5
Winner of a World Series with the Milwaukee Braves and 3 NBA Champions with the Celtics. He was 86.
14) Ara Parseghian – August 2
Brought Notre Dame football back to glory with 2 National Championships. Immortalized in the movie, Rudy. He was 94.
15) Darren Daulton – August 6
Died after a 4 year battle with brain cancer. The former All-Star was 55.
16) Don Baylor – August 7
The 1979 AL MVP and seemingly the manager of every team in baseball. He was 68.
17) Jake LaMotta – September 19
The “Raging Bull” and former Middle Weight Champion was 95.
18) Y.A. Tittle – October 8
The Hall of Famer was 90 years old. Amazingly, he never won a championship at any point in his life.
19) Roy Halladay – November 7
The former Cy Young Winner and 8-time All-Star was 40 years old.
20) Bobby Doerr – November 13
The Hall of Fame second baseman was 99 years old.
21) Jana Novotna – November 19
The Czech star was 49 years old.
22) Terry Glenn – November 20
He was only 43 years old.
23) Dick Enberg – December 21
Legendary broadcaster was 82. Seemingly the voice of so many of my fondest memories in sports.
*) Aaron Hernandez – April 19
Notable, but not worthy. Aaron Hernandez will be known for many things, his athleticism will be the last among them. He committed suicide after receiving life in prison. He was 27.