Mack Lee Hill

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Mack Lee Hill
refer to caption
circa 1965
No. 36
Position: Fullback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1940-08-17)August 17, 1940
Place of birth: Quincy, Florida
Date of death: December 14, 1965(1965-12-14) (aged 25)
Place of death: Kansas City, Missouri
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school: Quincy (FL) Carter-Parramore
College: Southern
Undrafted: 1964
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Mack Lee Hill (August 17, 1940 – December 14, 1965) was an American football player, a running back at Southern University and for the American Football League's Kansas City Chiefs for two seasons (1964–65). He died suddenly after undergoing knee surgery, two days after a game against the Buffalo Bills.[1][2]

Career[edit]

Born and raised in Quincy, Florida, Hill made the Chiefs' roster in 1964 as a rookie free agent out of Southern University in New Orleans, signing for only $300, with an agreement he would only be paid he made the lineup.[3] He wound up as the team's second-leading rusher that season with 567 yards and four touchdowns on 105 carries. Hill played in the AFL All-Star Game after his rookie campaign. He gained 627 yards, second-most on the team, in 1965, even though he did not complete the season, dying in knee surgery after the 12th game. He was nicknamed "The Truck."

Death[edit]

Hill tore a ligament in his right knee in the regular season's penultimate game against the Bills on December 12, forcing him to undergo season-ending surgery on that knee two days later at Menorah Medical Center in Kansas City.[2] He was still on the operating table when his temperature suddenly spiked to 108 °F (42 °C), triggering severe convulsions, and he died 1½ hours after surgery. Doctors said he suffered a "sudden and massive embolism."[2][3][4]

Team doctor Albert R. Miller said the embolism could have been caused by a fat globule breaking off and entering the bloodstream, or it could have been triggered by a severe reaction to the anesthesia.[3]

Head coach Hank Stram said, "Mark Lee Hill was a fine gentleman and a great football player. He was probably one of the most unselfish players I have ever coached. He was completely dedicated to the team. Football was his life."[3]

Through Hill's inspiration, the Chiefs created the Mack Lee Hill Award, which is given each season to the team's most outstanding rookie. His No. 36 jersey has been retired.

He had a son, Marzell Hill.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kansas City fullback dies". Washington Observer. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. December 15, 1965. p. 30. 
  2. ^ a b c "Mack Lee Hill is dead at 25 after surgery". Lawrence Journal-World. Kansas. Associated Press. December 15, 1965. p. 26. 
  3. ^ a b c d Greene, Bob (December 15, 1965). "Kansas City fullback dies after surgery". Nashua Telegraph. New Hampshire. Associated Press. p. 22. 
  4. ^ Powers, Iana. "Jovan Belcher's suicide joins Stone Johnson, Mack Lee Hill, Joe Delaney and Derrick Thomas on Kansas City Chiefs' list of tragedies". NY Daily News (December 1, 2012). Retrieved April 10, 2015. 

External links[edit]