View Full Version : Ex-Colts lineman Jim Parker dies at 71

07-18-2005, 09:44 PM
Ex-Colts lineman Jim Parker dies at 71
By Mike Klingaman
Originally published July 18, 2005, 5:51 PM EDT

His crushing blocks launched Lenny Moore's runs and saved John Unitas' skin.

Jim Parker, the Hall of Famer who anchored the Baltimore Colts' offensive line during the club's glory years, died Monday of congestive heart failure and kidney disease at the Lorien Nursing Home in Columbia. He was 71.

A mainstay on the Colts' National Football League championship teams of 1958 and 1959, Parker was a superb blocker. He carved out paths for runners and guarded Unitas, his stoop-shouldered quarterback, with the ferocity of an embassy Marine.

"As Johnny's protector, Jim was second to none," said Moore, the Hall of Famer who ran amok in Parker's wake. "If Jim got through the line, I'd be right on his hip because I knew he'd clear out the area."

A first-round draft pick in 1957 from Ohio State, Parker played 11 years with the Colts. He made All-Pro eight straight times - four at guard and four at tackle.

"Anyplace he played on that line, Jim kicked tail," recalled John Mackey, the Colts' tight end. "John [Unitas] never worried about his blind side; Parker was good enough to annihilate the best defensive end."

At 6 feet 3 and 275 pounds, Parker was, at the time, the biggest player ever drafted by Baltimore. "He blocked out the sun," said Ernie Accorsi, former Colts general manager.

A two-time All-American, Parker led Ohio State to a Rose Bowl victory in 1954. His senior year, he won the Outland Award as the nation's premier college lineman, a trophy he cherished to the end in his home in Columbia.

Rest of article: http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-parker18,1,778498.story?coll=bal-home-headlines

My sympathy to his family. I'll keep them in my thoughts and prayers.

07-19-2005, 04:33 AM
R.I.P. Didn`t know much about his game until yesterday, when I was watching Sportscenter. Great ball player.