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Wally Triplett, NFL trailblazer and Army veteran, dead at 92

Wally Triplett, the primary African American participant to be drafted and play in an NFL recreation, died Thursday. He used to be 92.

Triplett, who used to be born in Los angeles Mott, Pa., on April 18, 1926, used to be the 3rd African American to be drafted within the 1949 NFL Draft, however used to be the primary of the ones avid gamers to in fact play on an NFL box. He used to be decided on by way of the Detroit Lions within the 19th spherical, 182nd general out of Penn State.

“As the primary African American to be drafted and to play within the Nationwide Soccer League, Wally is likely one of the true trailblazers in American sports activities historical past,” the Lions stated in a remark. “He is living a few of the tremendous males who helped reshape the sport as they confronted the demanding situations of segregation and discrimination.”

Triplett performed two seasons with the Lions. He performed in 18 video games, speeding for 313 yards and a landing. Certainly one of his biggest achievements got here on Oct. 29, 1950, on particular groups.

Taking part in towards the Los Angeles Rams, Triplett set a single-game report with 294 kick go back yards on 4 kickoff returns — together with a 97-yard landing. His report lasted for 44 years sooner than it used to be damaged in 1994.

Two weeks after his historical efficiency, he used to be drafted into the U.S. Military and assigned to the 594th Box Artillery Battalion.

He served two years all through the Korean Conflict after which performed two extra seasons, with the Chicago Cardinals.

“We fondly replicate on his tremendous achievements and ship our heartfelt condolences to the Triplett circle of relatives,” the Lions stated.

Triplett is survived by way of his 3 youngsters, six grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

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