African-Amer­i­can, trail­blaz­ing RB Triplett dies at 92

The Star Democrat - - SPORTS -

DETROIT (AP) — Wally Triplett, the trail­blaz­ing run­ning back who was one of the first African-Amer­i­cans drafted by an NFL team, has died. He was 92.

The Detroit Li­ons and Penn State an­nounced Triplett’s death Thurs­day. Triplett was the third African-Amer­i­can se­lected in the 1949 draft, but he was the first of those draftees to play in a reg­u­lar-sea­son game. He played in 24 games for the Li­ons and Chicago Car­di­nals.

Triplett was also the first African-Amer­i­can to start for Penn State, and in 1948, he and team­mate Den­nie Hog­gard be­came the first African-Amer­i­cans to play in the Cot­ton Bowl.

Triplett played in 18 games for the Li­ons from 1949-50. Af­ter serv­ing two years dur­ing the Korean War, he re­turned to play for the Car­di­nals.

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