Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bart and “Big Daddy”

Today we see Packers’ quarterback Bart Starr trying to elude Baltimore’s Eugene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb (#76) during a regular season game on October 25, 1959. Green Bay lost that day, 38-21 on the way to a 7-5-0 record. One thing of note is the plain Packers’ helmet which does not contain the “G” logo. They were not added until the 1961 season.

Lipscombe is one of the dad stories in pro football. Born in Uniontown, Alabama, he never knew his father, and moved to Detroit with his mother at the age of three. When he was 11, his mother was murdered in the neighborhood where they lived and he moved in with his maternal grandparents.

Lipscombe didn't attend college and was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Rams. He played for the Rams for three seasons from 1953-1955. He then played for the Baltimore Colts for five seasons. In two of the seasons he played for the Colts, 1958 and 1959, he earned a spot in the Pro Bowl. He then went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers for two seasons. In his last season, 1962, he earned his third trip to the Pro Bowl. During one game against the Minnesota Vikings, after chasing scrambling Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton and finally tackling him, Lipscomb is reported to have said, "Little man, what you run so much for?"

On May 10, 1963, Eugene Lipscomb's 10 year NFL career and life ended. After a night of drinking and partying with two women, Lipscomb collapsed in a kitchen in Baltimore. He had overdosed on heroin. According to the Sports Illustrated profile, the city's assistant medical examiner, Dr. Rudiger Breitenecker, found enough dope inside him to have killed five men. Lipscomb died in the ambulance at the age of 31.

1 comment:

Grandma Yonka said...

Mr. "Packerville",
You don't know me, but I was surfing the net and happened on your blog. I am originally from Baltimore and remember when "Big Daddy" played for the ZColts. Those were the years it was hard to get tickets to the games. My father, uncle and brother had season tickets to the games, and in 1967 my uncle passed away. My father bought his season ticket for me. In those days also, football players did not make the outrageous salaries they do today and they had to work at a "real" job in the off season. After my older brother married he and his wife went to Fox Chevrolet in Baltimore to buy a car, and who was the salesman??? Bid Daddy. Just thought I pass this on.