Remembering Sports Legends We Lost in 2015

As a new year begins, let’s look back to some of the sports legends that we lost in 2015.

Ernie BanksBaseball lost a couple of legendary players in Ernie Banks and Yogi Berra.Ernie Banks played for the Chicago Cubs from 1953 through 1971 and entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977. A 14 time All-Star Banks ended his career with 512 home runs and over 1636 runs batted in. He was the National League MVP twice (1958; 1959) and National League home run leader twice (1958; 1960).  Ernie Banks died of a heart attack on January 23rd at the age of 83.

Yogi BerraYogi Berra played for the New York Yankees from 1946-1963. He was also the manager for both the New York Mets (1972-1975) and the Yankees (1964; 1984-1985). Berra an 18 time All-Star and 13 time World Series champion ended his career with 358 home runs and 1430 runs batted in. He was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. Berra died on September 22 at the age of 90.

College basketball also lost a couple of legendary coaches in 2015.

Dean SmithDean Smith coached the North Carolina men’s basketball team for 36 years (1961-1997). During that time frame he was ACC coach of the year 9 times, national coach of the year 4 times and won the National Championship twice (1982; 1993) Smith was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. Dean Smith died on February 7 at the age of 83.


Jerry Tark
Jerry Tarkanian
coached college basketball for 31 years. He was the coach at Long Beach State from 1968-1973, UNLV from 1973-1992 and Fresno State from 1995-2002. He was most well-known for his stint with the Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV. During that time he was the National Coach of the Year (1983) and won a National Championship (1990). He was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001. He died on February 11th at the age of 84.

If you want a little more information about these sports legends, check out some of these titles from your library:

The Cubs: the complete story of Chicago Cubs baseball by Glenn Stout

You Can Observe A Lot By Watching: what I’ve learned about teamwork from the Yankees and life by Yogi Berra

The Yogi Book: I really didn’t say everything I said by Yogi Berra

A Coach’s Life: my forty years in college basketball by Dean Smith

The Carolina Way: leadership lessons from a life in coaching by Dean Smith

megan johnson

Megan is a Public Service Specialist in the Library's Red Carpet Department. When not delivering books to the local community, she loves to read spy novels and any historical non-fiction she can get her hands on. She is also an avid fan of college basketball and soccer.