Written by Arthur C. Kaminsky Wednesday, 08 May 2013 00:00
Jim Brown – the finest all-around athlete in American history – was acknowledged April 29 by the wonderful Hometown Hall of Famer program sponsored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in legendary Canton, OH along with Allstate, as well as the Manhasset High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Born in 1936, Jim moved to Manhasset at age eight, where he enjoyed an extraordinarily varied and successful scholastic athletic experience, spreading his 13 varsity letters over five sports (football, lacrosse, basketball, track and baseball). He won the 1952 Thorp Award, as the top gridder in Nassau after rushing for 15 yards per carry, set a still-standing county record for hoops scoring average (39.6 p.p.g. in 1952-53) and was offered a professional baseball contract by the New York Yankees post-graduation from Manhasset. Instead, he chose to matriculate at Syracuse University, where he established himself as a dominant figure on the lacrosse field (most valuable player in annual senior All-Star game), became a Gridiron All-American, was the second leading scorer on the Orange basketball team and nearly landed a spot on the U.S. Olympic Decathlon Squad with a fifth place finish at The Trials.
Despite the enormity of these accomplishments, Jim’s career in the National Football League amazingly surpassed what he had done upstate. From 1957 – 1965, he led the NFL in rushing and was 1st team All-Pro eight out of nine seasons, received nine Pro Bowl selections, took home a trio of MVP trophies and won the league championship in 1964. Brown’s 12,312 rushing yards remained the career record for 19 years and surely helped lead to his becoming a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. He is considered the greatest football player in the long history of the country’s most popular game.
In addition, the lacrosse community has long recognized that Jim’s unique and unstoppable skills combined to make him the No. 1 athlete in its sport. Consequently, it can be stated with considerable pleasure and pride that Jim Brown is twice being honored today – as the 76th recipient of the Hometown Hall of Famer plaque and with induction into the Manhasset High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Congratulations, Jim and welcome home.