Giants

Memorial Day Tribute to New York Athletes

Remembering the brave souls who gave their lives to serve the United States of America:

Jack Lummus:

Lummus was a two-sport athlete at Baylor University, a two-way rookie end for the New York Giants, but most importantly, an officer in the United States Marine Corps. During World War II on March 8, 1945, Lieutenant Lummus led his platoon against the Japanese on Iwo Jima and helped knock out three enemies despite being wounded by hand grenades. He lost his life to a land mine in what was described as a “heroic one-man assault.” Before he died, while waiting for a transfer to a hospital, Lummus said to his physician, “Well Doc, the New York Giants lost a mighty good end today.”

 

Awards:

Congressional Medal of Honor

Purple Heart

1937 AP All-American Nominee

1938 AP All-American Honorable mention

Member of the New York Giants Ring of Honor (2015)

 

Al Blozis:

Blozis was a former tackle and track & field star at Georgetown, earning national indoor and outdoor shot put champion honors in 1940-42. He was selected with the 38th overall pick in the 1942 NFL Draft to play OT for the New York Giants. Blozis played two full seasons for the Giants before being drafted into the Army, in addition to three games in his 3rd season while on furlough in 1944. Even with war tensions at their peak, Blozis was deemed “too big” for combat as his large stature made the equipment and uniforms not fit. Yet, his protective instincts from football took over as he could not pass up the opportunity to serve his country. His shot put skills served him well in the service, breaking the Army record for hand-grenade-throwing distance when he tossed an explosive approximately 95 yards. Achieving the rank of second lieutenant, Stationed in France in 1945, Blozis was killed during his first patrol in the Vosges Mountains of Eastern France. When two of his men failed to return from a patrol, Blozis went out to search for them in the snow, alone, refusing to leave any man behind. He never returned and was listed as missing in action for three months before his death was officially confirmed.

 

Awards:

All-Star selection (1942)

All-Pro selection (1943)

NFL 1940s All-Decade Team

New York Giants #32 retired

College Football and USA National Track and Field Hall of Fame Inductee

AAU and NCAA indoor/outdoor Shot Champion (1940-42)

 

Featured Image via Flickr/ mattscoggin

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