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mark hollisIt is proper that we look back on those sports figures that we lost in 2015 and whose contributions to their sports brought us so much pleasure. Here are just a notable few.

Ernie Banks, 83: A Hall of Fame player for the Chicago Cubs. Ernie also was referred to as “Mr. Cub” and was a fourteen time All Star and a two-time MVP. He batted 512 home runs and was named to the Major League Baseball All Century team.

Meadowlark Lemon, 83: Played for the Harlem Globetrotters and was crowned the “Clown Prince” of basketball. He was a true ambassador for the game.

Doug Atkins, 85: An eight time Pro Bowler for the Chicago Bears. At six feet, eight inches he anchored the defensive line for the Bears for twelve years.

Bob Foster, 76: Undisputed, Light Heavyweight Champion that challenged and fought both Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. Boxing pundits listed him as the greatest champion in his weight class at the time.

Malvin Whitfield, 91: Former world record holder in the 800 meters who competed in the 1948 and 1952 Olympic games.

Yogi Berra, 90: Hall of Fame catcher with the New York Yankees. He won ten World Series Championships and was a three-time American League MVP.

Moses Malone, 60: NBA Hall of Famer who played for the Philadelphia 76ers and was a three-time MVP.

Darryl Dawkins, 58: Played fifteen seasons in the NBA, including the Philadelphia 76ers. He was also known as “Chocolate Thunder” and was famous for destroying backboards when he dunked.

Frank Gifford, 84: Hall of Fame player for the New York Giants. Frank was an All-Pro player and NFL broadcaster on Monday Night Football.

Ken Stabler, 69: NFL quarterback for the Oakland Raiders and also known as the “Snake”. As the face of the team, Stabler lead the Raiders to winning Super Bowl XI.

Charlie Sanders, 68: Hall of Fame tight end for the Detroit Lions and seven time All-Pro selection.

Calvin Peete, 71: A twelve time winner on the PGA tour and the second African-American to play the Masters.

Chuck Bednarik, 89: Arguably, the toughest man to ever play in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles. He made eight Pro Bowls and was a ten time All-Pro selection.

Charlie Sifford, 92: Broke the color barrier of the Professional Golf Association and won two PGA titles. Charlie was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.

Art Powell, 78: NFL wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders and was a four-time All-Pro selection. Art was also an activist who led a boycott of black players at the AFL All-Star exhibition game in segregated Mobile Alabama. Art was a personal friend of mine.