JOE GARAGIOLA, 1926--2016
Major leaguer and Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Garagiola died on March 23 in Phoenix at the age of 90. Though he played catcher for the Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs and Giants from 1946 to '54, Garagiola found his true calling behind a microphone rather than behind the plate. He emerged as a TV personality as a part of NBC's baseball broadcasting team from '61 to '88 and was best known among nonbaseball fans for his two separate stints on NBC's Today (from '69 to '73 and '90 to '92). He also served as an occasional guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and hosted multiple game shows. A childhood friend of Yogi Berra's, Garagiola was drafted into the military two months after his 18th birthday in 1944. He served in the Philippines and later cofounded and served as president of the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.), which provides financial help to former players, umpires and team personnel.
JOHAN CRUYFF, 1947--2016
April 4, 2016
Dutch soccer icon Johan Cruyff, 68, died in Barcelona on March 24 from lung cancer. As a player, Cruyff won three Ballon d'Or awards and was the Golden Ball winner in the 1974 World Cup. As a coach, Cruyff championed Total Football—a strategy that allowed players to break free from positions, moving to space as play necessitated—and led Barcelona to four league titles and the club's first European Cup. "I'm ex-player, ex--technical director, ex-coach," Cruyff once said. "[Which] once again shows that everything comes to an end." His influence is a rare exception.
KEN HOWARD, 1944--2016
The White Shadow aired for three seasons, 1978--79 through '80--81, but the show and its star, Ken Howard, who died of a heart attack on March 23 in L.A., made a lasting impression. The 6' 6" Howard was the basketball captain at Amherst. In Shadow, loosely based on his experiences as the only white player on his high school team, Howard portrayed a former NBAer coaching at an inner-city school. The series broke ground with its comedy-drama mix and social conscience. Howard appeared in more than 100 shows and movies, but his best-known role overshadowed them all.
JEFF LUKAS, 1957--2016
Former thoroughbred horse trainer Jeff Lukas, who died on March 23 in Oklahoma of an apparent heart attack at age 58, was the first lieutenant in the wildly successful stable of his father, D. Wayne Lukas, in the 1980s and early '90s. Jeff was the hands-on trainer for '86 Horse of the Year Lady's Secret and '88 Kentucky Derby champion Winning Colors. Lukas suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was run over by a horse in December 1993 and lived in Atoka, Okla., working for a family friend as a bank courier, from 2007 until his death.