Howard (Hopalong) Cassady, Speedy Heisman Winner, Dies at 85


His hometown fans did not forget him.

“When they would call out the lineups, you’d just get the usual cheers for players, nothing big,” Andy Phillips, a Yankee first baseman who had played for the Clippers, told The New York Times in 2007. “And then they would call out the coaches at third base and first base. When they got to him, the place would just go crazy every time.”

Howard Albert Cassady was born on March 2, 1934, and graduated from Columbus Central High School.

In addition to working for the Yankees, he founded a company that manufactured concrete pipes and other industrial products after his football years.

His survivors include his wife, Barbara; two sons, Craig, a defensive back with Ohio State and with the New Orleans Saints in 1977, and David; and a daughter, Rayne.

In the late 1990s, Cassady’s Heisman Trophy was stolen from the home he maintained in Columbus.

“The guy that stole it thought it had gold or something in it,’‘ Cassady told The Times. “The garbage man found it in a bag, and the hand was sticking out of it. He pulled it out from the trash and called the school, and they took it to the police department.”

The Heisman was restored to good health and returned to Cassady.

William Boyd, who portrayed Hopalong Cassidy on the screen, and, like Cassady the football player, was an Ohio native, met up with him before the kickoff for the 1955 Rose Bowl game.

“I had his guns on, and I got on his horse,” Cassady said. “He said he was awfully proud that I was called Hopalong, too.”

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