Digest (Dec. 27): Ray Brown, safety and punter on championship Colts teams, dies at 81

Ray Brown set an NFL championship game record with a 51-yard punting average in 1958.

(George C. Cook / Baltimore Sun 1958)

Ray Brown, a former Mississippi football star who played safety and punted for Baltimore Colts championship teams in 1958 and 1959, died Monday in Gautier, Miss. He was 81.

William Wilmoth, manager of O’Bryant O’Keefe Funeral Homes, said Brown died at his home. No information about the cause of his death was immediately released.


A quarterback and defensive back at Ole Miss, Brown was voted Most Valuable Player of the 1958 Sugar Bowl.

Ray Brown's eight interceptions tied for the club lead in 1958, his rookie season.

(Baltimore Sun file photo 1958)

Brown was drafted in the fifth round that year by the Colts and tied for the team lead with eight interceptions in addition to recovering three fumbles. He also punted, and his 51-yard average in the legendary 23-17 sudden-death victory over the New York Giants set an NFL championship game record.


Brown had five interceptions and a fumble recovery the following season as Baltimore repeated as NFL champion. He had knee trouble and lost his starting job in 1960 but remained the team's punter before retiring after the season to pursue a law career.

He attended law school at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and the University of Mississippi and served as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark before practicing law in his native Mississippi. He started his own firm in 1987.

Colts coach Weeb Ewbank, left, with Ray Brown in February 1958, days after the safety and punter was drafted in the fifth round.

(Baltimore Sun file photo)

Laurel Park: No one had all five winners in the 50-cent Late Pick 5 on Tuesday, triggering a carryover of $10,245.41 when Laurel Park begins its fall meet-ending weekend with a nine-race program Friday.

Magnato Go's $42 upset in Tuesday's ninth-race finale left tickets with four of five winners in the Late Pick 5 worth $245.05. There will also be a jackpot carryover of $3,157.87 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6, after going unsolved Tuesday. Tickets with four of six winners returned $50.42.

Friday's Rainbow 6 spans Races 4-9 while the Late Pick 5 covers Races 5-9. A carryover of $785.34 will be available in Friday's opener. First-race post time is 12:30 p.m.

In addition to his punting and defensive duties, Ray Brown, above, became an understudy to quarterback Johnny Unitas in 1959.

(Baltimore Sun file photo/1958)

The father-and-son combination of Steve "Cowboy" Hamilton and Wes Hamilton combined to win four of nine races Tuesday. Steve took the opener aboard Cal Lynch-trained Noregretsfornow ($3.80) and the fourth race with Cobh for trainer Mark Reid, while 10-pound apprentice Wes, 19, won the fifth on Tiz Surprised ($24.80) and the seventh on Ten Carat Diamond ($8).

Trainer Lacey Gaudet and jockey Elvis Trujillo teamed up to win back-to-back races with No More Excuses ($19.20) in the second and Enterprise Value ($8.60) in the third. Laurel's 62-day fall meet concludes Sunday.

The winter-spring meet opens Monday.


Women's college basketball: Mount St.Mary's freshman guard Daly Sullivan was named Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week.

From Sun staff and news services