Don Maynard, legendary catcher for the New York Jets, has died

The legendary AFL and NFL star once retired as the all-time leading catcher in professional sports.

The member of the Hall of Fame and former legend of the New York Jets, Don Maynard, who retired as the sport’s leading receiver, passed away Monday at the age of 86, the Canton, Ohio campus announced.

The Hall of Fame confirmed Maynard’s death on Monday through his family.

Maynard played 15 combined seasons between American Y National Football League, between 1958 and 1973, in addition to a campaign in the Canadian Football League. In his AFL-NFL career, he had 633 receptions for 11,834 yards, averaging 18.7 yards per catch and 88 touchdowns.

At your retirement, Maynard he was one of three players to have at least 50 receptions and more than 1,000 receiving yards in five consecutive seasons.

He was exalted to Hall of Fame in 1987.

Donald rogers maynard He was born on January 25, 1935 in Crosbyton, Texas. His father was the manager of a cotton mill, which means that he moved frequently. Maynard he attended five high schools in Texas and New Mexico.

“We keep moving, and I never really played football again until I was a senior in high school in Colorado City,” he said. Maynard in a 2003 interview with The Coffin Corner. “Under Texas rules, I was never eligible for football in my sophomore and junior years. You had to live somewhere for a year. But, I played basketball and ran track.”

After high school, Maynard attended to Rice University, but transferred after one semester to Texas Western, now known as the University of Texas at El Paso.

After staying out during his sophomore campaign, Maynard he compiled 2,283 total yards as a running back and returning specialist. He also lined up as a safety on defense.

In 1957, the year Maynard had originally graduated, he was selected by the New York Giants in the ninth round (109th overall) of the league draft. Maynard he remained in school, before jumping into the professional ranks in 1958.

The Texan came to New York wearing long sideburns, cowboy boots and blue jeans. Superstitious, he asked for jersey No. 13, the same one he had as a schoolboy.

Maynard He never wore a chinstrap during his career, because he didn’t like how it felt. He wore special protections inside the helmet to avoid having to use the chinstrap.

Maynard He played one season with the Giants as a halfback and punt return specialist, most notably as a backup, including a 23-17 overtime loss to New York at the Championship Game of the NFL before the Baltimore Colts, known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. Maynard was cut the following year, and spent most of the season playing in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

In 1960, Maynard became the first player signed by the New york titans (now Jets) of the newly formed AFL, and eventually moved to the position of flanker. He had 72 receptions for 1,265 yards that season.

In 1965, Jets signed the future quarterback member of the Hall of Fame, Joe Namath, Y Maynard led the AFL with 14 touchdown receptions.

Joe it was great to listen to, “he said Maynard author Jackson Michael in his book “The Game Before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL.” “I told him that I would help him be a better quarterback and that he was going to help me become a great receiver, because we were going to talk before each play in each practice.

“I taught Namath something no coach, even in today’s game, has ever taught a quarterback to do: read defense! Whatever you do, do the opposite. “

In 1967, Maynard set a then-franchise record with 1,434 receiving yards, and was voted the Most valuable Player of the team.

In 1968, the Jets won their first divisional title at 11-3, and faced the Oakland Raiders at AFL Championship Game, where Maynard had his best moment as a professional.

Maynard He opened the game with a 14-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. But by the middle of the fourth period, Raiders They took a 23-20 lead. In the second year of the subsequent series, first and 10 from his own 43, Namath Y Maynard they would connect for the biggest pass play in franchise history.

“At the beginning of the meeting, I told Joe, ‘Later, at some point, I have things prepared quite well, and I have a long one if you need it,’ “he recounted. Maynard to the New York Daily News in 2011. “So, Joe He said to us on the offensive, ‘Hey, we’re going for everything, so make sure, nobody hold on, you linemen, we’re going for everything. “

In the strong winds of Shea Stadium, Namath He stepped back and threw a deep pass to Maynard, who was running down the right side of the field.

“We always had the terminology of catching over the left shoulder around 10 [en la carátula del reloj]”, He said Maynard to Sargent. “The wind caught the pass from Joe and it happened at 11, 12, 1 and 2. I had to go all the way to catch him around 2 [en la carátula del reloj], leaving the field of play at the 6 “yard.

On the next play, Namath found Maynard for the winning touchdown, a 27-23 win that sent the Jets to the Super bowl iii. At Super bowl, the underprivileged by 19 points Jets defeated the Colts by 16-7.

Maynard was named to the all-time dream team of the AFL in 1969 and was a four-time All-Star in the AFL. The Jets they included it in their Honor Ring in 2010, retiring his jersey No. 13 at the time.

“I really don’t see it as being the biggest receiver,” he said. Maynard in his speech of praise to the Hall of Fame. “After you play a certain amount of time, anyone can break certain records. Longevity is the key. The record I am most proud of is being the first guy to reach 10,000 receiving yards. Others will be able to do it, but I’m the first. , and the only one to get there first. “

Maynard was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame of UTEP in 2004.

After his days as a gamer, Maynard He worked as a financial planner and ran his own consulting firm.

Maynard survived his wife, Marilyn, whom he married when he was in college. They had two children, Terry Y Scott.

Information from AP was used in the writing of this note.