Lacrosse HOFer, Baltimore native Avery Blake Jr. dies

National Lacrosse Hall of Famer and Baltimore native Avery F. Blake Jr. died Thursday at age 81, Swarthmore College said in a news release.

 Blake played under his father, Avery Sr., also a Hall of Famer, at Swarthmore, winning four straight Pennsylvania-Delaware League championships from 1950 to 1953.

 "Rarely does a person come along who makes such a significant impact to his sport and community," Swarthmore athletic director Adam Hertz said in a news release. "Avery Blake was just such a person. Not only did he have a profound affect on Swarthmore College, but he worked tirelessly to promote the game near his California home, supporting any child who had an interest in developing as a lacrosse player."

Blake scored in all but two games during his career and is the first lacrosse player from Pennsylvania -- and only Swarthmore lacrosse player -- to receive All-America honors for four years.

After college, Blake served in the Navy. He played box, or indoor, lacrosse with the Swarthmore Indians for a decade before switching to field lacrosse with the Philadelphia Lacrosse Club for six years, Mayland Lacrosse Club for three years and the San Marino (Calif.) Lacrosse Club for three years.

 He was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1979 and into the Swarthmore Athletics Hall of Fame last year as part of its inaugural class.

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