Just a day after the Baltimore Ravens had their first ever player elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Jonathan Ogden), the first Baltimore Colts player to ever be elected, Art Donovan, passed away at the age of 89 Sunday due to a respiratory ailment.
Donovan's legacy will not just go down a Hall of Fame football player, but as a Hall of Fame person. He was one of the most hilarious athletes that had ever graced the American public as he routinely made appearances on Johnny Carson and David Letterman's late night shows. His sense of humor, quick wit and all around good natured humor made him one of the most beloved athletes in Baltimore history.
Not only did he bring laughs to millions of people, but he was also one heck of a football player. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1968, becoming the first Colt ever elected. Just like Ogden with the Ravens, Donovan was a member of the original Baltimore Colts' franchise when they drafted him in 1950, after his service in World War II. During his 12-year career, Donovan became one of the premier defenders in the entire NFL. The big defensive tackle was a member of the 1950's NFL All-Decade team, and he was one of the key pieces of the defense during Baltimore’s 1958 and 1959 championship seasons.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti commented on the news of the loss of one of the Ravens' Ring of Honor members:
"We lost a friend, one of the finest men and one of the greatest characters we were fortunate to meet in this community and in this business," Bisciotti said. "Baltimore is now without one of its best and someone who was a foundation for the tremendous popularity of football in our area. The world is not as bright tonight because we lost someone who could make us all smile."
Even if you are of the younger generation that never got to experience the Colts in Baltimore, you have undoubtedly seen, met, or at least heard Donovan and his great story telling. Art will never be forgotten, and as we mentioned earlier, he is and will always be an iconic person in Baltimore. Schlitz and Hot Dogs will forever be known as the Artie meal.
Born: June 5, 1924
Died: August 4, 2013
We will miss you Artie!
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