On This Day

Sports Stars Who Died in 1986

  • Jan 1 Bruce Norris, American Hockey Hall of Fame executive (owner Detroit Red Wings 1952-82), dies at 61
  • Jan 1 Marty Friedman, American Basketball Hall of Fame guard & coach (tied World C'ship series, New York Whirlwinds 1921), dies at 96

Bill Veeck

Jan 2 Bill Veeck, American MLB owner and promoter (Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns), dies of lung cancer at 71

  • Jan 5 Ilmari Salminen, Finnish athlete (Olympic gold 10,000m 1936), dies at 83
  • Jan 15 James H "Jim" Crowley, US football player (Notre Dame), dies at 83
  • Jan 20 Franz Kemser, German 4 man bobsled (Olympic gold 1952), dies at 75
  • Jan 24 Flo Hyman, American volleyball player (Olympic silver 1984), dies of undiagnosed Marfan syndrome at 31
  • Jan 25 Horace Smith, New Zealand cricket fast bowler (1 Test; lone wicket off first ball), dies at 73
  • Feb 17 Red Ruffing, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (6 × MLB All-Star; World Series 1932, 36–39, 41; NY Yankees), dies from stroke related problems at 80

Jacques Plante

Feb 27 Jacques "Jake the Snake" Plante, Canadian Ice Hockey goalie who was the first to wear a goaltender mask, dies of stomach cancer at 57

  • Mar 5 Teddy Hoad, West Indies cricket batsman, captain (4 Tests), dies at 90
  • Mar 6 István Pelle, Hungarian gymnast (Olympic gold pommel horse & floor exercise 1932), dies at 78
  • Apr 5 Colin McCool, Australian cricketer (14 Tests for Australia, 36 wkts), dies at 69
  • Apr 6 Raimundo Orsi, Argentine-born Italian soccer winger (13 caps Argentina, 35 Italy; Independiente, Juventus), dies at 84
  • Apr 23 Jim Laker, English cricket spin bowler (46 Tests; 193 wickets; world best 19-90 4th Test v Australia 1956), dies from complications of gall bladder surgery at 64
  • Apr 24 Bill Edrich, cricketer (39 Tests for England), dies
  • May 2 Henri Toivonen, Finnish rally driver (3 x World Rally C'ship round wins for Talbot, Opel, Porsche, Lancia), dies in a rally accident at 29
  • May 11 Fritz Pollard, American football player, dies at 92
  • May 15 Elio de Angelis, Italian race car driver (b. 1958)
  • Jun 2 Aurel Joliat, Canadian ice hockey player, dies at 84 (b. 1901)
  • Jun 13 Jim Ferrier, Australian golfer (PGA C'ship 1947), dies at 71
  • Jun 15 Keki Tarapore, Indian cricketer (Test for India 1948), killed by motor-scooter at 75
  • Jun 17 Kate Smith, American singer ("God Bless America"; "When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain"), radio star, and NHL Philadelphia Flyers good luck charm, dies of respiratory arrest at 78
  • Jun 19 Len Bias, American basketball player (Boston Celtics pick for 1986 draft) dies of a cocaine-induced seizure at 22
  • Jun 26 Laurie Fishlock, cricketer (4 Tests for England), dies
  • Jun 27 Don Rogers, of Cleveland Browns, dies of cocaine poisoning
  • Jun 27 George Nepia, New Zealand rugby player, dies at 81
  • Jul 2 Peanuts Lowrey, American baseball player, dies at 68
  • Jul 8 Skeeter Webb, American baseball player (b. 1909)
  • Jul 15 Billy Haughton, American harness driver and trainer (Hambletonian x 4; Little Brown Jug x 5; Messenger Stakes x 7), dies from head injuries in fall at Yonkers Raceway at 62
  • Jul 18 Stanley Rous, British soccer official, 6th President of FIFA (1961-74) dies at 91
  • Jul 24 Laurie Nash, Australian cricket fast-bowler (2 Tests, 10 wickets) and VFL player & coach (South Melbourne), dies at 76
  • Jul 25 Ted Lyons, American Baseball HOF pitcher (MLB All-Star 1939; AL wins leader 1925, 27; AL ERA leader 1942; no-hitter 1926; Chicago White Sox) and manager (Chicago WS 1926-28), dies at 85
  • Jul 28 Syd Curnow, South African cricket batsman (7 Tests, HS 47; Transvaal), dies at 78
  • Jul 28 Cliff Melton, American baseball pitcher (MLB All Star 1942; NL saves leader 1937; NY Giants), dies at 74
  • Aug 3 Rupert de Smidt, cricketer (Western Province 1911-13), dies at 102
  • Aug 10 Don McRae, New Zealand cricket medium pace bowler (1 Test; Canterbury CA) and soccer goalkeeper (1 cap; Nomads United FC), dies at 71
  • Aug 30 Ellis Achong, West Indian cricket spin bowler (6 Tests, 8 wickets; Trinidad; 1st of Chinese descent to play a Test match), dies at 82

Hank Greenberg

Sep 4 Hank Greenberg, American Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman (5 × MLB All-Star; World Series 1935, 45; AL MVP 1935, 40; Detroit Tigers), dies of cancer at 75

  • Oct 3 Vince DiMaggio, American baseball center fielder (MLB All Star 1943-44; Pittsburgh Pirates), dies at 74
  • Oct 5 Mike Burgmann, Australian racing driver (b. 1947)
  • Oct 8 Walter Burkemo, American golfer (PGA C'ship 1953), dies at 67
  • Oct 11 Norm Cash, American baseball 1st baseman (5 × MLB All-Star; World Series 1968; AL batting champion 1961; Detroit Tigers), dies from drowning at 51
  • Oct 26 Jackson Scholz, American athlete (Olympic gold 4 x 100m 1920, 200m 1924), dies at 89
  • Nov 10 Francis "King" Clancy, Canadian NHL ice hockey defenseman, 1921-36, 3X Stanley Cup (Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs), referee (1938-49), coach, 1953-56 (Toronto), executive, and trophy namesake, dies of septic shock at 84
  • Nov 10 Gordon Richards, British jockey (winner of 4,870 races), dies at 82
  • Nov 22 Dinny Pails, Australian tennis player (Australian C'ship 1947), dies at 65
  • Dec 1 Bobby Layne, American College and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback (NFL champion 1952-53, 57; 6 x Pro Bowl; Detroit Lions), dies of cardiac arrest at 59
  • Dec 20 Joe DeSa, American baseball player (b. 1959)