PITTSBURGH — Jack Butler, who helped revolutionize the way cornerbacks played in the NFL during his Hall of Fame career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died Saturday after a lengthy battle with a staph infection. He was 85.
Butler’s son John said his father’s heart stopped suddenly Saturday morning. The elder Butler had spent the past several months in the hospital dealing with a staph infection that plagued him since his career ended in 1959.
“It had been a long road,” John Butler said. “It wasn’t completely out of the blue.”
Unlike Butler’s professional career.
The Pittsburgh native played wide receiver at St. Bonaventure and was planning on returning to school to get his master’s degree when he received a phone call from Steelers business manager Fran Fogarty in the summer of 1951. To be honest, Butler assumed Fogarty had the wrong number.
“I didn’t know anything about professional football,” Butler said.
It didn’t matter.
Over the next nine years, Butler became one of the NFL’s top defensive backs, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound wrecking ball known for his physical play and uncanny knack for getting to the ball. Butler intercepted 52 passes during his career, including a league-high 10 in 1957. He made the Pro Bowl four times and was chosen first-team All-NFL three times before a knee injury in 195 9 ended his career.
Butler remained close to the game after his retirement, becoming a prominent scout who worked closely with the Steelers for over 40 years.
JETS: George Sauer, a wide receiver on the Jets’ only Super Bowl championship team, has died. He was 69.
The team and Moreland Funeral Home in Westerville, Ohio, confirmed Saturday that he died Tuesday after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Sauer played a key role in the Jets’ 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl. He caught eight passes from Joe Namath that day in one of the greatest upsets in pro football history.
RAIDERS: Longtime chief executive office Amy Trask resigned her position on Saturday, ending the tenure of one of the highest-ranking women in American professional sports.
Trask spent 25 seasons with the Raiders starting during their time in Los Angeles and continuing after the move to Oakland in 1995.
She became CEO in 1997 and was one of late owner Al Davis’ most trusted advisers before his death in October 2011.