Lacrosse and the AFL

I spent 13 hours on the lacrosse field with my three kids this past weekend.  I fell in love with lax during my senior year in high school, and really enjoy coaching the kids in our youth program.

I have long known that Jim Brown was a star lacrosse player at Syracuse, but I had no idea if there were any lacrosse ties to the AFL.  I did a bit of digging, and found that Mike D’Amato, who played for the world champion 1968 New York Jets, played lacrosse for Hofstra University.

The following article mentions several former lacrosse players that also played professional football.


Todd Tobias (790 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.

4 Responses to Lacrosse and the AFL

  1. Tom says:

    Former San Pedro HS, UCLA, 13 year NFL 1959 All Pro vet, all with with the Colts and long time NFL assistant Don Shinnick with Jim Brown were the two most prominent Lax players of their era. I vaguely recall watching two lax exhibitions, both were at halftimes in the LA Coliseum, one during a mid 1960’s Rams pre season game where Shinnick was either mentioned or featured and the other during the 1968 North South High School Shrine All Star game. The match’s were between LA and Orange County, it was a first lax match played for both events and the first and last times I watched lax played in person.

  2. Chris says:

    The GREAT Don Shinnick! Very nice man! A 13 yr. All pro career, 3 Championship games and didn’t have a regular issue card. I’d forgotten this lax part of his life – nice reminder.

    • Tom says:

      Don Shinnick’s older brother by 2 years Dick was a tremendous player as well, but for whatever reason they attended different high schools Dick attended Narbonne . Narbonne’s famous alum is Bo 10 Derek, although she never finished as she got married and moved to Germany.

    • Tom says:

      Don Shinnick was a fine shot-putter, he put 53′ before the technique was changed, so who knows? If todays technique had been used he may have hit 60′.

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