Lenny Moore

Leonard Edward Moore (born November 25, 1933) is a former American football halfback. He played college football at Pennsylvania State University and professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Baltimore Colts from 1956 to 1967. He was named the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1956 and was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times. Moore was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975.

Lenny Moore
refer to caption
Moore in Baltimore, 2011
No. 24
Personal information
Born:November 25, 1933 (age 85)
Reading, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:191 lb (87 kg)
Career information
High school:Reading (PA)
College:Penn State
NFL Draft:1956 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:5,174
Yards per carry:4.8
Rushing touchdowns:63
Receiving yards:6,039
Receiving touchdowns:48
Player stats at NFL.com

Early years

Moore was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was blessed with exceptional athletic ability. He attended Reading High School, where his speed on the field earned him the nickname “The Reading Rocket.” He was tagged with a number of other nicknames: "Sputnik," for the fear he incited in opposing defenses; "The Reading Rambler" and "Lightning Lenny," for his unmatched speed; and "Spats," for the way he taped his high-top shoes, making them look like low-tops, and one of the first to expose tapings outside the shoes.[1]


Moore leveraged his speed and ability into a college athletic scholarship and entered Penn State in the fall of 1952 as the first individual in his family to attend college. In an era before freshmen were allowed to play in games and “redshirt” status did not exist, he achieved great success, scoring 24 touchdowns in 27 games in just three seasons on the varsity.[2]


Moore’s achievements at Penn State did not go unnoticed by scouts from the NFL, and he was drafted by the Colts in the first round of 1956 with the ninth pick.[3]

Moore was both a great runner and receiver, lining up in the backfield as a halfback and split wide as a flanker, and was equally dangerous at both positions in the Colts' offense run by quarterback Johnny Unitas. Moore averaged at least seven yards per carry in three seasons, and has a career average of 4.8 yards per carry. He had 40 receptions for 687 yards and seven touchdowns in 1957, the first of five years in which he would have 40 or more catches. In an era of pounding running games, Moore was a glimpse of things to come in the NFL, with a career average of 30 receptions per year out of the backfield.[4]

During his rookie season in 1956, Moore established himself as one of the most well rounded runners and receivers in the league, and won the NFL Rookie of the Year award. In 1958, he caught a career-high 50 passes for 938 yards and seven touchdowns in helping the Colts win the NFL championship. In 1959, Moore had 47 receptions for 846 yards and six touchdowns as the Colts repeated as champions.

Moore was injured in 1962, a knee injury, and lost his starting job in 1963 from the knee injury. In 1964, he had one of his best statistical seasons when he scored 20 touchdowns, helping to lead the Colts to a 12–2 regular-season record and a trip to the NFL Championship Game for the third time in seven seasons. He was voted by his fellow players as the Most Valuable Player, a remarkable award considering he played most of the season with complications from appendicitis, and gave credence to the claim that he was one of the toughest players in the NFL. He also won Comeback Player of the Year Award in 1964.

Moore scored a touchdown in an NFL-record 18 consecutive appearances starting in 1963 and continuing through the entire 1964 season, ending in 1965. This record stood for 40 years until being equaled by LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005.[5] Because his streak was interrupted by a five-game absence due to injury in 1963, he does not hold the NFL's official record for consecutive games rushing for a touchdown.

Race and football

Moore faced the difficult task of being an African American in the NFL during the 1950s and 1960s. Most teams averaged about six African American players on their roster during his time in the league. His race also came into question after his retirement in 1968 when he was not given a long-term contract with CBS Television, ending his attempt to be the first black sports broadcaster for CBS.

Moore occasionally speaks to student groups about his experiences as a black football player during an era when, in the words of Baltimore Sun sportswriter Rick Maese, "Moore could travel with his teammates but couldn't always eat in the same restaurant, couldn't always stay at the same hotel, couldn't always fraternize with them the same way out of the locker room as he had in it."

"There was never anybody ever closer than me and the guys that I played football with on that Baltimore team – on the field," Moore told the Sun. "We were just like glue. One for all, all for one." But "once they blew the whistle and the game was over, they (the white players) went their way, we (the black players) went our way. We split. It was race."

Fellow NFL player Ollie Matson mentored Moore and warned him that "'they're going to call you the big N. You're going to hear it all. So don't get yourself all worked up, because it's going to happen.'"[6]


Moore retired from professional football after the 1967 season. In 12 seasons and 143 regular season games he scored 111 total touchdowns, accumulated 11,213 total yards, made seven Pro Bowls, and five all-NFL teams. His uniform number 24 was retired by Baltimore, and in 1969 a sportswriters' poll named him to the NFL's 50th Anniversary Team.

In 1975 Moore was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and was named to the NFL’s 1950s All Decade Team. In 1999, The Sporting News' ranked Moore 71st on its list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. He is the only player in NFL history to have at least 40 receiving touchdowns and 40 rushing touchdowns.

Football Outsiders, in their book Pro Football Prospectus 2007, named six of his seasons among the top 500 running back seasons of all time, which was tied for the 5th most seasons among the top 500 of any player. Moore's retired number is honored along with all of the other Baltimore Colts retired numbers in M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, home of the Baltimore Ravens.

On January 19, 2008, Moore was inducted into the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame class.[7] Moore was an honorary captain for Penn State's game versus Syracuse on September 12, 2009. It was the first time a former Penn State player has been invited to participate in the pre-game coin toss.[8] Moore is a member of The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll.

Moore retired in 2010 from the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services after 26 years of service. His job with the state included traveling to middle and high schools, mixing and mingling with at-risk children, trying to keep them straight. He was a keynote speaker for churches, organizations and youth groups, teaching children and adults about the risks of drugs and he worked to improve the lives of troubled teens.[9]

On October 8, 2013, Moore had a road in Baltimore County named after him in his honor.[10]

Moore’s charity work includes raising money for the fight against Scleroderma. He holds an annual benefit dinner in memory of his son Leslie, who died at 43 of progressive systemic sclerosis.


  1. ^ NFL Films, #94: Lenny Moore | The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players | NFL Films, retrieved December 17, 2018
  2. ^ "Sports Reference CFB". Retrieved December 31, 2016.
  3. ^ "Flanker-Running Back Lenny Moore". NFL Internet Press. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  4. ^ "Pro Football Reference - Lenny Moore". Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  5. ^ Moore's record tied by Tomlinson - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  6. ^ Maese, Rick (February 20, 2009). "Ex-Colt Moore's 'real story' grabs students' attention". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  7. ^ "East-West Shrine Game Announces Hall of Fame Class". East-West Shrine Game press release. Archived from the original on February 22, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
  8. ^ Rudel, Neil (September 9, 2009). "Moore amazed in return to State College". Williamsport Sun-Gazette.
  9. ^ "Catching up with Lenny Moore". David Selig. Baltimore Sun. November 21, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
  10. ^ "Randallstown road to be renamed after legendary Colts running back Lenny Moore". BaltimoreNewsJournal.com. Archived from the original on October 8, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2013.

Further reading

  • Sullivan, George (1972). The Great Running Backs. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 107–113. ISBN 0-399-11026-7.

External links

1954 College Football All-America Team

The 1954 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1954. The eight selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1954 season are (1) the All-America Board (AAB), (2) the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), (3) the Associated Press (AP), (4) the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), (5) the International News Service (INS), (6) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), (7) the Sporting News (SN), and (8) the United Press (UP).

Wisconsin's fullback Alan Ameche won the Heisman Trophy in 1954 as the best player in college football and was a unanimous first-team selection by all eight official selectors. Three other players were unanimous choices among the official selectors: Notre Dame's quarterback Ralph Guglielmi; Ohio State's halfback Howard "Hopalong" Cassidy; and Arkansas' guard Bud Brooks.

1958 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), New York Daily News (NYDN), The Sporting News (SN), and United Press International (UPI) selected All-Pro teams comprising their selections of the best players at each position in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1958 NFL season.

1958 Baltimore Colts season

The 1958 Baltimore Colts season was the sixth season for the team in the National Football League. The Colts finished the 1958 season with a record of 9 wins and 3 losses to win their first Western Conference title. They won their first league title in the NFL championship game, which ended in overtime.

1958 NFL Championship Game

The 1958 National Football League Championship Game was the 26th NFL championship game, played on December 28 at Yankee Stadium in New York City. It was the first NFL playoff game to go into sudden death overtime. The final score was Baltimore Colts 23, New York Giants 17, and the game has since become widely known as "The Greatest Game Ever Played".It marked the beginning of the NFL's popularity surge, and eventual rise to the top of the United States sports market. A major reason was that the game was televised across the nation by NBC. Baltimore receiver Raymond Berry recorded 12 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown. His 12 receptions set a championship record that stood for 55 years.

1958 NFL season

The 1958 NFL season was the 39th regular season of the National Football League.

The Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants, 23–17, in the first sudden-death overtime in an NFL Championship Game. The game became known to American football fans as "The Greatest Game Ever Played."

1959 NFL Championship Game

The 1959 National Football League Championship Game was the 27th NFL championship game, played on December 27 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.It was a rematch of the 1958 championship game that went into overtime. The defending champion Baltimore Colts (9–3) again won the Western Conference, while the New York Giants (10–2) repeated as Eastern Conference champions.

The Colts were favored to repeat as champions by 3½ points.This game also went down to the last quarter, but the Colts did not need any heroics in overtime. Trailing 9-7 at the start of the fourth quarter, Baltimore scored 24 straight points and won, 31–16.This was the only NFL championship game played in Baltimore.

1960 All-Pro Team

Selectors of All-Pros for the 1960 National Football League season included the Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), New York Daily News (NYDN), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and The Sporting News (SN).

1961 Baltimore Colts season

The 1961 Baltimore Colts season was the ninth season for the team in the National Football League. The Baltimore Colts finished the National Football League's 1961 season with a record of 8 wins and 6 losses and finished tied for third in the Western Conference with the Chicago Bears. There weren't any tiebreakers until 1967.

1962 Baltimore Colts season

The 1962 Baltimore Colts season was the tenth season for the team in the National Football League. The Baltimore Colts finished the National Football League's 1962 season with a record of 7 wins and 7 losses and finished fourth in the Western Conference.

1963 Baltimore Colts season

The 1963 Baltimore Colts season was the 11th season for the team in the National Football League. The Baltimore Colts finished the National Football League's 1955 season with a record of 8 wins and 6 losses and finished third in the Western Conference.

1964 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team in the NFL in 1964. Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.

Charlie Pittman

Charles Vernon Pittman (born January 22, 1948 in Baltimore, Maryland) is a former professional American football player. He was an All-American halfback at Penn State and played in the NFL for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Baltimore Colts.

George Preas

George Robert Preas (June 25, 1933 – February 24, 2007) was an American football lineman in the National Football League for the Baltimore Colts.

Preas grew up in Roanoke, Virginia and played high school football at Jefferson High School, graduating in 1951. He went on to star at Virginia Tech, and was inducted as a member of the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1983, the second year Tech honored its former athletes.

He was drafted by the Baltimore Colts, and played offensive tackle for the Colts from 1955–65, alongside teammates like quarterback Johnny Unitas, receiver Raymond Berry, running back Lenny Moore, left tackle Jim Parker, defensive tackle Art Donovan and defensive end Gino Marchetti.

Preas died in the South Roanoke Nursing Home in 2007.

History of the Baltimore Colts

The Indianapolis Colts professional American football franchise was originally based in Baltimore, Maryland, as the Baltimore Colts from 1953 to 1984. The team was named for Baltimore's history of horse breeding and racing. It was the second incarnation of the Baltimore Colts, the first having played for three years in the All-America Football Conference and one in the National Football League (NFL). The 1953–83 Baltimore Colts team played its home games at Memorial Stadium.

John Jankans

John Jankans (October 3, 1932 - July 8, 2018) was a former professional football player who played for the BC Lions. He played high school football at Reading Senior High School alongside future NFL Hall of Fame inductee Lenny Moore. He played college football at Arizona State University, where he had an impressive amateur career.

L. G. Dupre

Louis George Dupre (September 10, 1932 – August 9, 2001) was a professional American football running back in the NFL for the Baltimore Colts and the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Baylor University.

National Football League 1950s All-Decade Team

This is a list of all NFL players who had outstanding performances throughout the 1950s and have been compiled together into this fantasy group. The team was selected by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame retroactively in 1969 to mark the league's 50th anniversary.


N1 Team that belonged to the All-America Football Conference for at least part of the player's tenure

Obedience thru Suffering

Obedience thru Suffering is the first studio album by the American sludge metal band Crowbar, released in 1991.

Running back

A running back (RB) is an American and Canadian football position, a member of the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block. There are usually one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a halfback (in certain contexts also referred to as a tailback), a wingback or a fullback. A running back will sometimes be called a "feature back" if he is the team's starting running back.

Lenny Moore—championships, awards, and honors

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