Another Hank Stram image, though much different than others

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hank stram

A couple of weeks ago I posted a story about my favorite Hank Stram image.  I like that image because of the sense of joy and achievement that it portrays.  I recently found and purchased another Stram wire photo that I also like very much, but for much different reasons.  Mack Lee Hill was a promising, young fullback for the Chiefs in 1964 & 1965 before his career was cut short by his unexpected death following knee surgery.  This new image shows the depth to which Stram cared for his players, and a vulnerability that is not often associated with professional football.

The captions to the image reads as follows:

KANSAS CITY, Mo., December 20, 1965 – COACH CRIES – Hank Stram, coach of the Kansas City Chiefs American Football League team, is overcome by grief for a fallen comrade — Mack Lee Hill — during pre-game ceremonies Sunday.  Hill, 25, died last Thursday of complications following an operation on a knee.  Hill was one of the outstanding fullbacks in teh AFL in his second year of pro ball.  Stram couldn’t hold back the teears and wept openly.

(AP WIREPHOTO)

Todd Tobias (765 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.



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4 Responses to Another Hank Stram image, though much different than others

  1. SO SAD ABOUT MACK LEE HILL—–STRAM WAS ALWAYS A HAM FOR TV WITH HIS PERSONALITY AND TOUPE””””’ DECENT COACH BUT DON’T BELONG WITH THE GREATEST””””””

  2. Howard says:

    Coach Stram was not a top 5 or so coach, but, must rank in discussions of successful all time coaches. He won three AFL titles, appeared in 2 Super Bowls and the Chiefs were the best team over the 10 year AFL period. He was successful after the merger as well. His 1971 team was great.
    I enjoyed his personality, joy, as well as the showmanship that accompanied some great team victories.

  3. Joe Allwood says:

    Stram’s teams won more AFL games than any other franchise in the history of the league. That says enough alone. Far more innovative than other coaches of his era, he created the stack defense and was one of the first to use zone defenses at a professional level. Personality, yes, but also a great coach.

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