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.