Another year is going, third since the pandemic broke out, and with it, multiple figures from the sports world that impacted their respective disciplines.
From the once ‘King’ of home runs in MLB, to boxing, Formula One and NFL legends, here’s our list:
We are filled with the most immense and deep sadness at the passing of Sir Frank Williams
His was a life driven by passion for motorsport; his legacy is immeasurable, and will be forever part of F1
To know him was an inspiration and privilege
He will be deeply, deeply missed pic.twitter.com/48JhruQpLK
– Formula 1 (@ F1) November 28, 2021
Frank Williams, founder of the Williams Racing team, passed away in late November at age 79.
He created Williams F1 in 1977 and became the private team that competed with the big manufacturers. He won nine Constructors ‘and seven drivers’ championships between 1980 and 1997. He was on the grid for more than four decades.
Other deceased: Carlos Reutemann (world runner-up), Al Unser (four-time Indy 500 winner) and Bobby Unser.
The former Lakers player and member of the Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 86.
Baylor was selected to the All-Star Game 11 times and was an All-NBA 10 times during his 14 seasons with the Lakers, from 1958 to 1971.
He was also the 1958-59 Rookie of the Year, as well as the ‘MVP’ of the All-Star Game that year. He averaged a double-double in his career, registering 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds per game.
Baylor made eight NBA Finals appearances but never won a title, losing seven-game series to the Boston Celtics three times.
Other Deceased: Paul Westphal, Terrence Clarke, John Chaney, Mark Eaton, Dusan Ivkovic and Lew Hill.
The member of the Baseball Hall of Fame passed away on the morning of January 22 at the age of 86. He served his entire career with the Milwaukee / Atlanta Braves.
Aaron still holds MLB records for RBIs (2,297), total bases (6,856) and extra-base hits (1,477). In addition, he is among the best in hits (3,771, third of all time); games played (3,298, third) and runs scored (2,174, fourth).
He finished with 755 career home runs, a feat that continued until Barry Bonds broke it in 2007.
The former Los Angeles Dodgers manager also passed away in January at the age of 93.
He suffered a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest at home and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
Lasorda led the Dodgers from 1976 to 1996, winning two World Series titles, four National League pennants and eight division crowns. He was named the National League Manager of the Year twice and won 1,599 career games.
The former Puerto Rican pitcher for the New York Mets died in November at the age of 45.
A left-handed pitcher, Feliciano had his best moments between 2006 and 2010 with the Mets, when he led the National League in appearances between pitchers for three consecutive seasons. It recorded 86, 88 and 92, respectively, from 2008-10.
His 344 appearances between 2007 and 2010 are a record in the majors. In 2008 he featured in 36 consecutive games, usually in left-handed versus left-handed situations. Hence, he earned the nickname ‘Perpetual Pedro’ among the New York media.
The former Dominican player died in mid-November in his native Dominican Republic, due to a heart attack.
Lugo, 45, died while leaving a gym.
He played for the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals in 12 major league seasons.
Other deceased: Pedro Gomez, Juan Pizarro, Héctor Rivera Cruz and Higinio Vélez.
Marvin ‘Marvelous’ Hagler
The legendary former world middleweight champion died in March at age 66.
In 1980, he was crowned WBA and WBC champion by defeating Alan Minter by knockout in three episodes.
In his career he faced Roberto Durán, Juan Domingo Roldán and Tommy Hearns, with whom he starred in one of the most electrifying battles in history.
He fell to Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987 to lose the championship and hang up his gloves. He was never knocked out.
The former world and Olympic champion, who surprises the legendary Muhammad Ali by dethroning him in 1978, died at the age of 67 in February.
Spinks had been battling prostate cancer for years. In the rematch, Ali took revenge and regained his title.
Lee Elder has passed away at the age of 87.
In 1975, I made history as the first African American to compete in the Masters Tournament.
Lee was honored this past April at Augusta National and his legacy will surely live on. pic.twitter.com/1o05rephKt
– PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 29, 2021
A pioneer of golf, he broke the Masters color barrier in 1975 and also became the first African-American player at the Ryder Cup in 1979.
Earlier this year, Elder joined Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player on the first tee at Augusta National after being named an honorary starter.
Other deceased: Jimmy Powell, Bob McCallister, Lonnie Nielsen and Bill Wright.
FC Bayern mourns the loss of Gerd Müller.
Today, the world of FC Bayern stands still. The great German champion and his entire community of fans are dismayed by the loss of Gerd Müller, who died at dawn on Sunday at the age of 75.
🔗 https://t.co/6xy2oEFy5l pic.twitter.com/hu7t2LigTK
– FC Bayern München Spanish (@FCBayernES) August 15, 2021
Nicknamed ‘The Bomber’, he died at the age of 75 in August.
Müller came to Bayern in 1964 and marked an era. As an international for his country, he was champion of Europe three times in a row and one of the World, in 1974.
He held the absolute record for goals in a season (40), until this year he was dethroned by the Pole Robert Lewandowski.
The former player of the 1966 World Cup-winning England team and Tottenham Hotspur died in September at the age of 81.
Considered an England soccer legend, he began his career at Chelsea before joining clubs such as Milan, Spurs and West Ham. He scored 44 goals in 57 appearances for England and 266 in 379 appearances for Tottenham.
The youngest of the Maradona, 52, died in December.
Formed in Argentinos Juniors, he played in teams such as Rapid de Viena, Rayo Vallecano, Deportivo Italia and Avispa Fukuoka, among other clubs.
He also played in Uruguay and Canada, before dedicating himself to the lower categories of Naples. He also trained the Puerto Rico Islanders.
Other deceased: Paul Mariner and Roger Hunt.
John Madden died in December at the age of 85. Madden was a legendary coach for the Oakland Raiders before going on to television. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
Madden had a .759 winning percentage as head coach, the highest by any coach in NFL history (minimum 100 games).
He won 103 games as a coach, all with the Raiders. That’s the most wins in franchise history, 20 more than any other coach. He also won seven division titles with Oakland.
He averaged 10.3 wins per season as a head coach, the fourth most all-time among people to coach more than 10 seasons. Only behind Bill Belichick, Tony Dungy and George Seifert.
Other Deceased: Demaryius Thomas, Vincent Jackson, Bobby Bowden, Steve Smith, Parys Haralson, and Greg Clark.
The former president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), died in August at the age of 79.
Rogge, who replaced the Spanish Juan Antonio Samaranch in 2001, was the eighth president of the IOC. He remained in office until 2013, when German Thomas Bach took over the reins of the international body.
Other deceased: Lee Evans, Agnes Jebet Tirop, Álex Quiñónez and CJ Hunter.
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Sports obituary: the figures that left us in 2021