Dick Lynch, 72, radio voice, star cornerback for Giants
NEW YORK - Dick Lynch, who starred at cornerback for the New York Giants during their glory years in the late 1950s and early 1960s and was a longtime radio analyst for the team, has died. He was 72.
Mr. Lynch, who had been treated for leukemia, died in New York yesterday morning, family members said.
Mr. Lynch played in the National Football League from 1958 to 1966 - his first season with Washington and the last eight with the Giants. He had 37 career interceptions, including a league-leading nine each in 1961 in 1963. He had four returns for touchdowns, including three in 1963.
"He was an inspirational person for all of us. He was a hell of a cornerback and was as tough as they come," Giants teammate and Hall of Famer Frank Gifford said in a phone interview.
Mr. Lynch is perhaps best known for a 3-yard, fourth-down touchdown run with 3:50 to play that gave Notre Dame a 7-0 win over Oklahoma in 1957, ending the Sooners' 47-game winning streak. "Dick Lynch not only scored the winning touchdown, but he played great defense all day long," said Terry Brennan, who coached Notre Dame from 1954 to 1958. "He proved how good a defender he was - of course he didn't have to prove it to me - but he proved it when he played the corner at New York."
Brennan recalled Mr. Lynch winning the light heavyweight title two years in a row at the Bengal Bouts, a charitable boxing event for students started in 1923 by Knute Rockne.
"He knocked out everybody he fought. So you know he was tough. But he was a good tough," Brennan said.
After his playing days ended, Mr. Lynch turned to radio and was the Giants' color commentator from 1968 until last season, capped by the Super Bowl upset over the New England Patriots.
"He was just a wonderful man who made everyone feel like they were a part of the Giants family," said Bob Papa, who handles the play-by-play for the team. "He was the Phil Rizzuto of the Giants."
Mr. Lynch played for the Giants from 1959 to 66, appearing in four NFL Championship games. He played in 97 regular season games for the Giants. During his career, he scored seven touchdowns; four on interception returns, three on fumbles.
Mr. Lynch leaves his wife, Roz, and five children. He was predeceased by a son, Richard, who was killed in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.