The 1980 NL
Rookie of the Year got the final out for the Dodgers when they won the World
Series in '81, but drug use kept the lefthander from reaching his potential.
Seven suspensions cost Howe five seasons in his prime, but he still saved 91
games before he was released by the Yankees in 1996. He died in a pickup truck
accident in Coachella, Calif.; an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine was
found in his system.
His first booth
was a couple of orange soapboxes--you take what you can get when you're calling
at a six-man high school football game on a frigid Wyoming afternoon in
1943--but as his career progressed, Gowdy found himself in press boxes the
world over, providing play-by-play for some of the most memorable sporting
events ever. As the voice of the Red Sox, he described Ted Williams's last at
bat. He called Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th homer for NBC. He was in the
booth for Super Bowl III when the Jets upset the Colts (his most famous game)
and for Franco Harris's Immaculate Reception. Gowdy also worked Olympics, Final
Fours and Rose Bowls, and for more than 20 years was the host of ABC's The
American Sportsman. He had a direct style, never resorting to gimmicks or
catchphrases, and in '70 became the first sportscaster to win a Peabody Award.
Said Gowdy, "I tried to pretend that I was sitting in the stands with a
buddy watching the game, poking him in the ribs when something exciting
A fearsome driver
in stock car racing's rough-and-tumble early days, Smith was the first woman to
compete in NASCAR's top series, in 1949. Against the likes of Lee Petty and
Curtis Turner, the hard-charging Smith mixed it up on (and, if necessary, off)
the track. Smith won 38 races on local short courses and was the first woman
inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, in 1999.
Thanks to a
successful trucking business he started in 1935 with part of his $1,500 major
league signing bonus, Dedeaux reportedly coached USC for $1 a season when his
brief career as a shortstop ended. If that's true, his alma mater never struck
a better deal. The Trojans won 11 national titles during his 45 years, and
Dedeaux turned out 59 big leaguers, including Tom Seaver, Fred Lynn, Mark
McGwire and Randy Johnson.
The third man in
one of the most famous photos in sports-- U.S. sprinters Tommie Smith and John
Carlos's raising their gloved fists on the 200-meter medal stand at the 1968
Mexico City Olympics--played a key role in its origin. Carlos had forgotten his
pair of gloves; Norman, an Australian who won the silver, suggested he wear one
of Smith's. Norman, whose Olympic time (20.06) still stands as the record Down
Under, supported their Black Power statement by wearing a badge during the
medal ceremony, and the three men remained close. Carlos and Smith traveled to
Australia to serve as pallbearers at Norman's funeral.