"Now, we're just old guys who happened to play," says Moore, who -- like Ordell Braase, Unitas, Donovan, Jim Mutscheller, Art DeCarlo, Andy Nelson, Madison "Buzz" Nutter, Parker, Jack Call and Fred Schubach -- still lives in the area.

"I work in juvenile justice, and I seldom bring up that I was a pro football player, unless it is to make a point about values," Moore says.

A point was made about values last month. The Colts reunion drew 1,600 and raised nearly $250,000 for Johns Hopkins University research in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease. And, at Berry's suggestion, the team stayed for an additional four hours, signing autographs and trading memories.

It was in keeping with their era.

"That game," said linebacker Don Shinnick, in rare revelation of the emotions felt by his teammates and the community, "has meant everything to me."

What it was about

The lasting legacy of the game appears to be the memories it created. Braase says: "That game gave us stories to tell, and it elevated our community pride."

Louis Grasmick, a Baltimore businessman who helped organize the anniversary party, says it "created a cohesiveness among the fans and ballplayers that doesn't exist today."

It was a game that gave Baltimore a joyous moment. City residents can still remember where they were that day when the Colts won the city's first major championship. Men who were boys then can still hear car horns blowing and people cheering.

Nelson Fox, an 11-year-old in 1958, still gets chills when he remembers that night. He, his older brother Michael and his parents watched the game on a small black and white television set in their home on Strathmore Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.

Fox, now 51, remembers how excruciatingly happy they all were when the Colts won. He and his brother had immediately begun making welcome-home posters.

"It was total excitement," says Fox, payroll manager for a human services agency in Dedham, Mass. "We went to the airport. It was freezing cold, and we stood out on the tarmac for about an hour hoping to see them.

"We never actually saw them -- but just being there, it was euphoric. Even as an 11-year-old, I could sense the civic pride everyone felt after that game."

Pub Date: 12/27/98