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The Sun Remembers: This Week in Maryland Sports History for Dec. 23-29

Dec. 28, 2003: The playoff-bound Ravens end the regular season with a 13-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers before a record home crowd of 70,001. Running back Jamal Lewis (114 yards, one touchdown) finishes with 2,066 yards, then second most in NFL history to the Los Angeles Rams’ Eric Dickerson (2,105 yards in 1984).

Dec. 29, 1968: With more than 10,000 raucous fans awaiting the Colts at Friendship Airport after their 34-0 victory over the Cleveland Browns for the NFL championship, the team’s plane lands instead on a far-off runway. The crowd charges through the metal fence and stampedes across the tarmac, singing the Colts’ fight song.

Dec. 24, 1967: Willie Marshall, the Clippers’ high-scoring forward and the No. 2 point man in the American Hockey League, slips on the ice while carrying Christmas gifts and breaks his ankle, sidelining him for two months.

Dec. 23, 1966: The Orioles’ Frank Robinson, the 10th player ever to win baseball’s Triple Crown, will be the first to receive a trophy for doing so. Baltimore owner Jerry Hoffberger announces that his National Brewing Company will present a $2,000 trophy to Robinson (.316, 49 home runs, 122 RBIs) and all future winners.

Dec. 27, 1960: In the NFL draft, the Colts select Ohio State quarterback Tom Matte as their No. 1 pick, followed by Syracuse tackle-punter Tom Gilburg and Wyoming running back Jerry Hill. All three become mainstays for Baltimore.

Dec. 23, 1956: In its first year in the Maryland Scholastic Association, Dunbar’s basketball team opens with a 67-57 upset of Poly. “They [the Poets] hit outside set shots often enough to make anybody sick,” Poly coach Phil Aaronson says of the winners, led by Charlie Moore’s 25 points.

Dec. 28, 1946: Baltimore is awarded a franchise in the All-America Football Conference. Commissioner James Crowley says the team will absorb players from the defunct Miami franchise, including fullback Harry “Hippity” Hopp (Nebraska) and receiver Lamar “Racehorse” Davis of Georgia.

Dec. 27, 1924: The undefeated Navy basketball team makes its first-ever Western trip, opening with a 24-18 win at Minnesota as Ken Craig, Fielder Jones and D.L. Day score six points each. The Midshipmen then defeat both Chicago and Michigan, return home and go 18-5 for the season.

Birthday

Dec. 29, 1933: Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston, a guard who was a sub on the Colts’ 1958 NFL title team before his trade to Green Bay, where his All Pro blocking helped the Packers win two Super Bowls. Thurston died in 2014.

mike.klingaman@baltsun.com

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