The sports world said goodbye to some of its greatest players, biggest personalities and most influential decision-makers in 2013. Stan Musial, Deacon Jones, Bill Sharman and longtime Laker owner Jerry Buss were among them.

When Musial died in January, Bob Costas delivered a memorable eulogy. Here is a snippet of it, and then we take a closer look at other notable stars who passed away this year:

Long after we're all gone, the numbers will still show a good part of what Stan Musial meant to the Game. But what may be harder to understand is what he meant to us. In the late 1960s, the great Paul Simon asked, "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?" It was the right metaphor at the right time and he picked the right player to make his point. But no one in St. Louis ever had to wonder where Stan Musial had gone. He was right here. Right here at home. Our greatest ballplayer sure, but also our friend. Our neighbor. And that is why our bond and attachment between this player and this city is unique and lasting. Other great players may have had an aura about them; a mystique that made them seem unapproachable. Not Stan.

Every one of us, and through the years countless others, have their own personal stories not just of seeing him play but of running into him at the grocery store, the hardware store, a grandchild's soccer game or high school graduation and having been touch by his good-naturedness, his graciousness, his buoyant personality.

Most Notable 2013 Sports Deaths: Stan Musial, Deacon Jones And Jerry Buss Slideshow


Stan Musial

A three-time National League MVP and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Musial had a career batting average of .331. Musial, who helped the Cardinals win three World Series in four appearances, had 475 home runs and 3,630 hits -- 1,815 at home and 1,815 on the road. He won seven batting titles and led the N.L. in doubles eight times and in triples five times. Considered the greatest and most popular Cardinal of all time, Musial played all 22 seasons with St. Louis. He was 92 when he died in January.


Bill Sharman

Sharman was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame separately as a player and a coach. Sharman was a four-time NBA champion and eight-time All-Star with the Celtics, and also led the league with free-throw shooting percentage seven times. Sharman coached the Lakers to the NBA championship in 1971-72 when they set a record with a 33-game winning streak. Sharman, who is credited with inventing the game-day shootaround, was 87 when he died in October.


Deacon Jones

A Hall of Fame defensive end who was part of the Rams' Fearsome Foursome, Jones is credited with creating the term "quarterback sack" as well as a developing the head slap, a signature move that the NFL later banned. A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Jones also got into acting and had a memorable guest role as himself on The Odd Couple TV show. He was 74 when he died in June.


Art Donovan

A Hall of Fame defensive tackle for the Baltimore Colts, Donovan was an all-NFL selection four times. He helped the Colts win the NFL championship in 1958 and 1959. In later years, Donovan became a known for his colorful storytelling, which led to 10 appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. His autography was titled Fatso: Football When Men Were Really Men. He was 89 when he died in August.


L.C. Greenwood

A defensive end on Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain defense that won four Super Bowls in a six-season span, Greenwood used his height at 6-6 to bat down passes when he couldn't get to the quarterback. But in Super Bowl X, Greenwood sacked Roger Staubach four times (although sacks were not an official stat at the time) in the Steelers' 21-17 win against Dallas. Greenwood is also remembered for crushing a beer can with one hand in his Miller Lite commercial. He was 67 when he died of kidney failure in September.


Jerry Buss

Since Buss bought the Lakers in 1979, the franchise won 10 NBA titles starting with the Magic/Kareem Showtime era and continuing with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. In deals that were considered to be ahead of their times, Buss created a regional sports cable channel with Prime Ticket in 1985 and sold naming rights to the Forum in 1988 to Great Western bank.


Todd Christensen

Drafted by the Cowboys as a fullback, Christensen switched to tight end with the Raiders and earned five Pro Bowl selections. In 1983, he had 92 receptions, a league record for tight ends. He set the record again three years later with 95, and also helped the Raiders win two Super Bowls. Christensen then became a broadcaster, known for his impressive vocabulary.


Mike McCormack

McCormack was a Hall of Fame tackle for the Browns who blocked for Otto Graham and Jim Brown. He went on to coach the Eagles, Colts and Seahawks. McCormack then became a key figure in Carolina's bid to get an expansion team, which led to the birth of the Panthers. He was 83 when he died in November.


Pat Summerall

A kicker for 10 NFL seasons with the Cardinals and Giants, Summerall became a legendary broadcaster, known for his calm and concise manner. Summerall worked 16 Super Bowls, the last of which was the Patriots' win against the Rams on Adam Vinatieri's last-second field goal. Summerall, who also became a fixture on CBS coverage of The Masters and U.S. Open tennis, was 82 when he died of cardiac arrest in April.


Earl Weaver

Long before he died in January at age 82, the longtime Orioles manager had the classic quote about himself: "On my tombstone just write, The sorest loser that ever lived." Known for his fiery confrontations with umpires, Weaver led Baltimore to the World Series four times, winning in 1970.


Marty Blake

The original superscout, Blake served as the NBA's director of scouting for more than 35 years. Known for discovering hidden talent at smaller schools, Blake is credited with making players such as Scottie Pippen (Central Arkansas), John Stockton (Gonzaga) and Joe Dumars (McNeese State) into first-round picks. Blake, whose career began as Hawks general manager when he was 27 in 1954, was also a pioneer in recognizing the growth of international talent. Blake, who personally answered his office phone, was 86 when he died in April.


Walt Bellamy

The first overall pick in the 1961 draft, Bellamy went on to be rookie of the year in 1962, a four-time All-Star and an inductee in the Basketball Hall of Fame. A 6-11 center, Bellamy averaged 20.1 points and 13.7 rebounds in 14 NBA seasons and was also on the famed 1960 U.S. Olympic team featuring Jerry West and Oscar Robertson. He was 74 when he died in November.


Vern Mikkelsen

A 6-foot-7, 230-pound power forward known for his rebounding and defense, Vern Mikkelsen helped the Minneapolis Lakers win four NBA titles in the 1950s. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame in 1995. He was 85 when he died from prostate cancer in November.


Ken Norton

Norton had three bouts against Muhammad Ali. He won the first encounter, breaking Ali's jaw in the process. Their third match was at Yankee Stadium with Ali retaining the world title on a close and questionable decision. Norton was awarded the WBC title in 1978 when Leon Spinks chose to fight Ali in a rematch rather than face Norton, the mandatory No. 1 contender. Norton lost his first title defense, a 15-round classic against Larry Holmes. Norton was 70 when he died in October.


Ken Venturi

Venturi is best known for his dramatic win at the 1964 U.S. Open when he suffered dehydration and exhaustion in 100-degree heat. Venturi later became a longtime TV analyst for CBS. He was inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame in May, 11 days before he died at the age of 82.


Dick Kazmaier

A star at Princeton, Kazmaier is the last Ivy League player to win the Heisman Trophy. As a senior in 1951, Kazmaier won the Heisman as he led the nation in rushing with 1,027 yards in nine games. He also passed for 2,404 yards in his career at Princeton. Drafted by the Bears, he opted for Harvard Business School. He was 82 when he died in August.


Dave Jennings

A two-time All-Pro with the Giants, Jennings still holds franchise records for punts and punting yardage. Known for the the hang time on his punts, Jennings finished his career with the Jets, and served a broadcaster for both New York teams, earning critical praise for his sharp insight. Jennings had been battling Parkinson's disease for nearly two decades before passing away in June at the age of 61.


Bud Adams

A co-founder of the American Football League, Adams was the owner of the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans from the inception of the franchise. The Oilers won the first two AFL titles, and the Titans reached the Super Bowl in January 2000, losing 23-16 to the Rams. He was 90 when he died in October.


Bum Phillips

As coach of the Houston Oilers, Phillips used a strong defense and the running of Earl Campbell to reach the AFC championship game twice against the Pittsburgh Steelers but was unable, as he put it, to kick the door down. Known for his colorful quotes, Phillips also coached the Saints. His most enduring line might be "There's two kinds of coaches.Them that's fired and them that's gonna be fired." He was 90 when he died in October.


Emile Griffith

A six-time world champion as welterweight and middleweight, Griffith is best known for his bout against Bennie (Kid) Paret. Griffith hammered him in the 12th round to the point that Paret was carried out on a stretcher and died 10 days later. At the weigh-in before the fight, Paret had directed a gay slur at Griffith. In a 2008 biography, Griffith told author Ron Ross that he preferred physical relations with women "but felt more comfortable with men, and could confide in them." He was 75 when he died in July.


Chuck Muncie

Muncie, the third overall pick in the 1976 NFL draft, was a three-time Pro Bowl running back for the Saints and Chargers. Muncie, who rushed for rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown in the Chargers' epic overtime playoff win at Miami in 1982, was suspended for cocaine use in 1984 and never returned. He was 60 when he died of a heart attack in May.


Paul Blair

Blair won eight Gold Glove award and two World Series championships as center fielder for the Orioles. Known for his graceful style, Blair was also part of two World Series winners with the Yankees in 1977 and 1978. He was 69 when he died in December.


George Gund

Gund and his brother, Gordon, bought their hometown Cleveland Cavaliers in 1983 from Ted Stepien and owned the team until 2005 when they sold to Dan Gilbert. Gordon was much more of a basketball enthusiast while George was a film buff and hockey fan. The Gunds owned the NHL's Oakland Seals, which became the Cleveland Barons, which then merged with the Minnesota North Stars. The Gunds parlayed their ownership of the North Stars into an expansion franchise in California that turned out to be the San Jose Sharks. George was 75 when he died of stomach cancer in January.


Virgil Trucks

Trucks was just one of five pitchers in MLB history to throw two no-hitters in one season when he did for the Tigers in 1952. Trucks pitched two games, earning one win, in the 1945 World Series, which the Tigers won in seven against the Cubs. He was 95 when he died in March.


Andy Pafko

Pafko was a five-time All-Star during 17 MLB seasons with the Cubs, Dodgers and Braves, reaching the World Series with each team and winning it with Milwaukee in 1957. Known as Handy Andy for his versatility, Pafko played outfield and third base. He was 92 when he died in October.


George Scott

The Boomer played most of his 14 MLB seasons with the Red Sox and won eight Gold Glove awards. Scott hit .303 in 1967 when he helped Boston reach the World Series, and he had 271 career home runs.


Dean Meminger

A key reserve for the Knicks' 1973 NBA championship team, The Dream also helped Marquette win the 1970 NIT championship, back in an era when that tournament held much more prestige. Meminger had some coaching gigs after his playing career but struggled drug addiction. He was 65 when he died in August.


Francis Peay

An All-American tackle at Missouri, Peay was the Giants' first-round pick in 1966. He played nine NFL seasons with the Giants, Packers and Chiefs. As coach at Northwestern, Peay led the Wildcats to four wins in his first season, 1986, for the first time since 1973, but he was unable to match that success and was fired after the 1991 season.


Frank Tripucka

The quarterback for Notre Dame's unbeaten 1948 team, Tripucka played in the NFL, CFL and AFL. He led the AFL in passing twice, and the Denver Broncos retired his No. 18, before he gave his blessing to allow Peyton Manning to wear it in 2012.


Ossie Schectman

Schectman scored the first two points in the history of the NBA. He made a layup for the Knicks on Nov. 1, 1946, against the Toronto Huskies at Maple Leaf Gardens. Schectman was an All-American at LIU, which won the 1941 NIT title. He was 94 when he died in July.


Bob Kurland

Kurland helped Oklahoma A&M win the NCAA championship in 1945 and 1946. He was among the first players to dunk the ball, and his defensive prowess led to the introduction of the goaltending rule. He was inducted to the Basketball Hall Of Fame in 1961, even though he opted to go into business rather than pro basketball.


Zelmo Beaty

A 6-9 center/forward, Beaty averaged 17.1 points and 10.9 rebounds in 12 pro seasons in the NBA and ABA. A two-time NBA All-Star, he jumped to the ABA in 1970-71 and helped the Utah Stars win the league championship. He died of cancer in September at age 73.


Gates Brown

Brown played entire 13-year career with the Tigers and became known as the franchise's greatest pinch-hitter. He was a member of the Tigers' 1968 world championship team and served as hitting coach in 1984 when they beat San Diego in the World Series. He was 74 when he died in September.


Gus Triandos

A four-time All Star, Triandos was the Orioles catcher from 1955 to 1962. In 1958, he had 30 home runs, an American League record at the time for catchers. Triandos caught two no-hitters for Hoyt Wilhelm with the Orioles and Jim Bunning with the Phillies.


Jack Pardee

A linebacker who was one of Bear Bryant's Junction Boys at Texas A&M, Pardee played in the NFL from 1957 to 1972 before getting into coaching. His first NFL gig was with the Bears, and he was also at the University of Houston when Andre Ware won the Heisman Trophy. He also coached the Redskins and took the Oilers to the playoffs four times. He was 76 when he died of cancer in April.


Miller Barber

Known for a quirky swing, Barber ended up becoming more success on the Senior Tour than he had been on the PGA Tour. Barber won Senior Tour 24 tournaments, including five majors. He died from lymphoma in June at age 82.


George Sauer

Sauer, a key player in the Jets' Super Bowl III upset of the Colts, died on May 7 of congestive heart failure. He was 69. Sauer had eight receptions for 133 yards in the Super Bowl against Baltimore, but he retired at age 27 as he became disillusioned with pro football.


Shawn Burr

A fan favorite for his fun-loving personality, Burr was 47 when he died in August from brain trauma resulting from a fall in his home. Burr, who spent most of his career with the Red Wings, had been battling cancer in recent years. Burr was always known for firing off a one-liner. When Burr had surgery for a torn ACL, the surgeon planned to give him a replacement from a cadaver. Burr said he was hopeful the cadaver had been someone with speed. After the surgery Burr said, "He was fast, but he wasn't faster than that bullet."


Marv Harshman

Harshman was 95 when he died in April. A coach at Pacific Lutheran, Washington State and Washington, Harshman was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985, his final season of coaching. He was forced out because of his age (67 at the time) despite winning consecutive conference championships.


Don James

The winningest coach in Washington history, James was 80 when he died of pancreatic cancer in October. James led the Huskies to a 12-0 record in 1991, which included a win over Michigan in the Rose, and Washington earned a a share of the national title with Miami. James went 153-57-2 in his career.


Harlan Hill

The NFL rookie of the year in 1954 and the NFL MVP in 1955 for the Bears, Hill played nine seasons as a receiver. The NCAA Division II player of the year trophy is named for Hill, a product of North Alabama.


Tommy Morrison

Morrison was 44 when he died in September. Morrison was found to be HIV positive when he was 27. Three years earlier, he beat George Foreman to win the WBO heavyweight title. His career record was 48-3-1 with 42 knockouts, but might be better remembered for his role as Tommy Gunn in Rocky V.


Carl Williams

With one of the more memorable names from the 1980s fight game, Carl (The Truth) Williams died from throat cancer in April. Williams had a career record of 30-10 with 21 knockouts. He had two world title shots, losing to Larry Holmes by decision in 1985 and to Mike Tyson by knockout in 1989.


Tom Boerwinkle

A first-round pick of the Bulls in 1968, Boerwinkle still holds the franchise record for most rebounds in a game. He grabbed 37 against the Suns on Jan. 8, 1970. He was 67 when he died from a form of leukemia in March.


Michael Weiner

The Major League Baseball Players' Association executive director died in November from inoperable brain cancer. He was 51. Weiner began working with the MLBPA in 1988, became its general counsel in 2004 and succeeded Donald Fehr as executive director in December 2009.


Richie Phillips

Phillips was the union leader for MLB umpires and NBA referees. Phillips helped both groups negotiate significant pay increases over the years. But his miscalculation of telling umpires to resign in 1999 in a dispute with MLB about a restructuring of the umpiring system cost him his job. MLB called the bluff and ultimately 22 umpires were out of work.


Jerry Seeman

The NFL's director of officiating from 1991 to 2001 was also the referee for two Super Bowls with memorable finishes. Seeman worked Super Bowl XXIII when Joe Montana led the 49ers on a 92-yard drive that ended on a touchdown pass to John Taylor with 34 seconds left, and Super Bowl XXV when the Giants prevailed against Buffalo when Scott Norwood missed a last-second field goal attempt.


Esther Williams

Williams was on the 1940 U.S. Olympic swimming team but never got the chance to compete. World War II wiped out the 1940 and 1944 Olympics, and Williams instead found her fame as a Hollywood actress. She starred in many swimming-themed movies but was also in Take Me Out to the Ball Game, a baseball film featuring Frank Sinatra.


Dick Trickle

The race driver with the unique name and distinctive style died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 71. Trickle was NASCAR's rookie of the year in 1989 -- when he was 48.


Shane del Rosario

A mixed martial arts fighter, del Rosario was just 30 when he suffers a fatal heart attack Nov. 26 at his home in Newport Beach, Calif. His career record was 11-2.

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