Tag Archives: Wally

Wally Triplett, one of the first blacks drafted by an NFL team, dies at 92



Wally Triplett, the trailblazing running back who was one of the first African Americans drafted by a National Football League team, died Nov. 8 at 92.
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Wally Triplett, N.F.L. Trailblazer, Is Dead at 92


Wally Triplett, one of the first African-Americans drafted by a National Football League team, died on Thursday. He was 92.

His death was announced by the Detroit Lions, the team that drafted him in 1949. The announcement did not say where he died.

Triplett, a running back, was the third African-American selected in an N.F.L. draft, but he was the first to play in a regular-season game. He played 18 games for the Lions in 1949 and 1950 and, after serving two years in the Army during the Korean War, six games for the Chicago Cardinals in the 1952-53 season.

George Taliaferro, who died in October, was the first black player drafted in the N.F.L. but played instead for a team in a rival league that season. He was chosen in the 13th round, six rounds before Triplett, in 1949.

Triplett was also the…

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Wally Triplett dies at 92; blazed trails at Penn State and in the NFL



Wally Triplett, 92, a trailblazing former Montgomery County resident who became the first African American to start on the Penn State football team and …
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First African-American to be drafted and play in the NFL, Wally Triplett, dies


Wally Triplett, a Detroit Lions legend who was the first African-American player to be drafted and play in the league, died Thursday morning. He was 92.

“Wally is one of the true trailblazers in American sports history,” the Lions said in a statement. “He resides among the great men who helped reshape the game as they faced the challenges of segregation and discrimination.

“Wally’s legacy also reaches beyond breaking color barriers, having served in the United States Army during the Korean War. We fondly reflect on his great achievements and send our heartfelt condolences to the Triplett family.”

Triplett was selected by the Lions in the 19th round of the 1949 NFL Draft, and he was a running back and return specialist for the Lions from 1949 through 1950.

In his second season, he had an…

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Wally Triplett, ‘one of the true trailblazers,’ dies at age 92


Wally Triplett, one of the first African-Americans to be selected in the NFL draft, died Thursday at age 92. Triplett also was the first African-American starter at Penn State.

Triplett was selected in the 19th round of the 1949 draft by the Detroit Lions as a running back and returner. He was one of three black players drafted that year; of those three, he was the first to appear in a game.

In a 2015 story on MLive.com, Triplett described what it was like watching the NFL draft now and how it compares to the year he was drafted.

“When I look at this thing they call the draft now, I laugh at it with tears because to be drafted now means you’re automatically in a group with people that are going to get paid for doing nothing,” Triplett said. “You’re going to get paid before [you] play, and so you…

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Wally Triplett, former Penn State football great and the school’s first African-American starter, dies at 92


Former Penn State football great Wally Triplett has passed away, according to the Detroit Lions. He was 92.

Triplett became the first African-American to start at Penn State back in 1945 and he and end Dennie Hoggard later became the first African-Americans to play in the Cotton Bowl in 1948. Some believe that the school’s famed ‘We Are … Penn State’ chant was inspired by the team saying they would not play in the Cotton Bowl unless Triplett and Hoggard were allowed to play, though that claim has been disputed. 

In the Cotton Bowl game, Triplett recorded a six-yard touchdown catch that ultimately led to a 13-13 final with SMU. 

“This is a tremendous loss for not only our football program, but the Penn State community as a whole,” Penn State head coach James Franklin said in a…

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