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THE FEW, THE PROUD: MARINE ATHLETES

By 11.10.06

In today's quest to link the sporting world to the Marine Corps, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the former Marines who made significant contributions to their respective sports.  And while the list of famous — and infamous — Marines is long (umm, Bea Arthur, Pat Robertson, and John Wayne Bobbitt?), I'm going to focus on the athletes who wore the Eagle, Globe, & Anchor.

Boxing champions Ken Norton and Leon Spinks and golfer Lee Trevino were all Marines. Football Hall of Famers Art Donovan and Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch: also Leathernecks. More recently, former Marine Mike Anderson enjoyed success in the Denver Broncos Running Back Industrial Complex.

But baseball has the deepest rotation of Marines: Roberto Clemente, Rod Carew, Bill Veeck, Gil Hodges (Bronze Star in WWII), Tom Seaver, and Ted Williams. Williams, a known badass, served moslty as a Naval flight instructor during WWII, then served again during the Korean War, taking about five years off of his career in the process.

And, lest we forget, the Marines are skilled at one of the more extreme sports: free climbing sheer rock faces.

They also play a vicious game of chess:


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