Athletes Who Died Too Young

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2009 7:50 PM CDT
In this June 2003 file photo, Former Arizona Cardinals football player-turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman, is shown in a photo released by Photography Plus.   (AP Photo/Photography Plus via Williamson Stealth Media Solutions)
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(Newser) – Thirty years after Yankees captain Thurman Munson died in a plane crash, the New York Daily News looks back at athletes "gone too soon":

Roberto Clemente (Dec. 31, 1972): His plane went down while trying to deliver supplies to Nicaragua earthquake victims. Search parties never found Clemente's body.

Marshall Football Team (Nov. 14, 1970): After losing 17-14 to East Carolina, their plane crash-landed, killing all 75 on board. It was the worst air disaster ever in sports.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. (Feb. 18, 2001): NASCAR's "Intimidator" slammed into the wall in the last lap of the Daytona 500. Drivers often walk away from such crashes; Earnhardt didn't.
Pat Tillman (April 22, 2004): "Friendly fire" felled the Arizona Cardinals safety, who passed up a 3-year, $3.6 million offer to fight in Afghanistan.
1972 Israeli Olympic Team Members: The Palestinian group Black September killed 11 Israeli athletes in the Munich Massacre.
Andres Escobar (July 2, 1994): The Colombian defender scored on his own team, which lost the 1994 World Cup. Many say he was gunned down outside a Medellin bar out of revenge.

To see all 36 athletes, click on the link below.