MONTE IRVIN, 96
Roy Campanella called Irvin "the best all-around player I have ever seen." Willie Mays said he was "like my second father." Like those fellow Negro leagues veterans, Irvin wound up in the Hall of Fame. Once considered the most likely player to break baseball's color barrier, Irvin, a World War II vet, didn't reach the majors until 1949, at age 30, but the outfielder helped the Giants win two pennants and the 1954 World Series, while making one All-Star team. He later spent 17 years working in the commissioner's office.
TED MARCHIBRODA, 84
Marchibroda was more than just a former NFL quarterback with the Steelers and Cardinals and the coach of both the Baltimore Colts and Ravens. In 1990, as the offensive coordinator, he instituted a no-huddle attack that helped the Bills reach the first of four straight Super Bowls. Buffalo lost to a Giants team whose defense was coached by Bill Belichick, whom Marchibroda had given his first NFL job at $25 a week in 1975. Said Belichick last Saturday, "I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Ted Marchibroda."
January 25, 2016
LAWRENCE PHILLIPS, 40
Despite immense talent, the running back repeatedly had off-field issues, culminating in his convictions on felony assault and domestic abuse that earned him a 31-year prison sentence in 2008. After Phillips helped Nebraska win national titles in 1994 and '95, the Rams drafted him No. 6 in '96. He played just three NFL seasons, gaining 1,453 yards. In 2015 he was accused of killing a fellow inmate. Phillips was found dead in his cell of a suspected suicide.
ANDREW SMITH, 25
An Academic All-America and three-year starter, the 6'11" Smith played for the Butler teams that lost in the NCAA championship game in 2010 and '11, and was the Bulldogs' leading rebounder as a senior in '12--13. In January '14 he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma while playing professionally in Lithuania. He nearly died but made what his wife, Samantha, called a miraculous recovery, only to have the cancer return last year. Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who coached Smith at Butler, said, "He was special. He was tough."