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Kalmanir played on '51 championship team

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  • Kalmanir played on '51 championship team

    St. Louis Rams: Tommy Kalmanir, a starting halfback on the 1951 Los Angeles Rams championship team and former Oakland Raiders assistant coach, has died. He was 78.

    Kalmanir died Tuesday in Fresno of pneumonia, said his wife Frances of 41 years. He had been ill since he suffered a stroke after bypass surgery 14 years ago, she said.

    Kalmanir was also a kick-return specialist with the Rams, averaging 17 yards on punt returns during their National Football League championship season and scoring two touchdowns, one on a punt and one on a pass reception.

    The Pennsylvania native was nicknamed "Cricket" because of his small stature: 5 feet 8 inches, 171 pounds. Before playing football, he considered working in the local coal mine.

    "When I went down in the pit the first day, I took one look at the water seeping through the rock and quit right then and there," he told the Los Angeles Times during his tenure with the Rams.

    He briefly attended the University of Pittsburgh before enlisting in the Army Air Forces and later headed to University of Nevada, where he was a star on the school's football team.

    Kalmanir was the 23rd draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Rams traded for him and signed him in 1949. He played three seasons with the Rams, a year in the Canadian League and in 1952 with the Baltimore Colts.

    Kalmanir coached the Oakland Raiders for three years and later opened a sporting goods store outside of Oakland, where he operated the business for 30 years. He and his wife moved to Fresno.

    Kalmanir is survived by his wife; two daughters, Karen Escobar and Kathy Mitchell; and four grandchildren.

  • #2
    Re: Kalmanir played on '51 championship team

    I will hoist one up tonight in honor of a fallen Ram. :ramlogo:

    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey


    • #3
      Re: Kalmanir played on '51 championship team

      Ramming speed, in addition to our thoughts and prayers, go out to both tommy and his family. I wish i knew an address where i could send a sympathy card. I have a few of his football cards.

      Always a loss when one of our former greats moves on, but in tommys case, he has joined crazylegs et all in the Big Ed Dome in the sky.

      general counsel


      • #4
        Re: Kalmanir played on '51 championship team

        R I P
        Tommy Kalmanir

        Once a RAM always a RAM.


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