Ron Mix
refer to caption
Mix c. 1961
No. 74, 77
Position:Offensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1938-03-10) March 10, 1938 (age 85)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school:Hawthorne
(Hawthorne, California)
College:USC
NFL draft:1960 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10
AFL draft:1960 / Round: First selections
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:142
Games started:130
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Ronald Jack Mix (born March 10, 1938) is an American former professional football offensive tackle.[1] He is a member of the American Football League All-Time Team, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979. Mix played college football for the USC Trojans, where he was named to the All American team. He played at right tackle and guard for the Los Angeles / San Diego Chargers of the American Football League (AFL) and also played for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). An eight-time AFL All-Star (1961–1968) and a nine-time All-AFL (1960–1968) selection, he is also a member of the Los Angeles Chargers Hall of Fame.

Early and personal life

Mix was born in Los Angeles, California, grew up in its Boyle Heights neighborhood, and is Jewish.[2][3][4] He attended Hawthorne High School in Hawthorne, California.[3]

Mix, who was listed at 6' 5" and 270 pounds, was an early proponent of weightlifting to enhance athletic power. He was years ahead of the curve that soon saw lineman and other football players taking up that practice to become better athletes. His lifts included a military press of 300 pounds, a clean and jerk of 325 pounds, and a bench press of 425 pounds, all of the lifts considered to be exceptionally strong for that era of play.

Mix went to the University of San Diego Law School in the off-season and earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1971.[5] He was nicknamed "The Intellectual Assassin" for his combination of intellectual excellence with his style of physical play.[1][4]

College career

Mix attended the University of Southern California (USC) on a football scholarship.[4] There in 1959 he was a First Team All American, AP First Team All-Pacific Coast, First Team All Big Five, and won the USC Lineman Award.[4] He was a member of the Delta Chi fraternity. At USC he minored in English. During his career Mix wrote a number of articles for Sports Illustrated.[5] He was elected the National Jewish College Athlete of the Year.[6]

Professional football career

Mix was selected in the first round by two teams in 1960. The Baltimore Colts picked him as the tenth pick in 1960 on November 30 in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Boston Patriots in the first round of the American Football League draft, but the rights to Mix were traded to the Los Angeles Chargers, who felt they had a worthy chance at getting the local player to sign with them. Baltimore offered him an $8,000 salary and a $1,000 signing bonus while Los Angeles offered $12,000 and a $5,000 bonus. Mix said he would've signed with Baltimore if they countered with a deal of $10,000 salary and $2,000 bonus. The Colts, telling him the league would flop in a year, declined, and Mix elected to sign with Los Angeles.[7][1][8][9]

He was a factor in the Chargers' early domination of the AFL's Western Division, and in San Diego helped them win an American Football League Championship in 1963, when they defeated the Boston Patriots 51–10 in the championship game. Mix was called for a mere two holding penalties in ten years.[1][10] His coach in Sid Gillman once called him "the best offensive lineman I’ve ever seen."

Mix was the first white player in the 1965 AFL All-Star game in New Orleans to step forward and join his black teammates in a civil rights boycott. The racist environment of New Orleans caused the black players to say they weren't playing in a city that denied them the most basic rights (to eat, to get a cab, etc.). He made it clear that if the black players were not going to play, neither would he. That caused other white players to join the boycott. The game was then moved to Houston.[11]

He was elected to the AFL All-Star team for eight straight years as a Charger, was a nine-time All-AFL selection, is a member of the All-time All-AFL Team, and is one of only 20 men who played the entire 10 years of the AFL.[12] He was the first Charger to have his number retired in 1969 after he announced he was quitting football after playing injured that season.[13][14][15] He earned a J.D. degree from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1970.[16]

Mix told the Chargers he wanted to play again, but they had found a replacement in Gene Ferguson. After he asked to be traded to the New York Jets, San Diego dealt him to the Oakland Raiders for two high draft picks in 1970 and 1971.[15] The deal was contingent upon Mix unretiring and agreeing to play for Oakland;[17] he played with the Raiders in 1971.[18][19] Chargers owner Eugene V. Klein, who hated the Raiders, unretired Mix's number 74.[20]

Mix was also the general manager of the WFL Portland Storm in 1974.[5]

Halls of fame

In 1969 Mix was unanimously voted to the All-Time AFL Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and named to the Chargers Hall of Fame in 1978.[4][21]

He was voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.[12] Mix was also elected a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1990,[22] inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2008, and inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Northern California in 2010.[23][21][9][24] He was the second player from the AFL to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Lance Alworth was the first in 1978.[12]

After football

Mix practiced law in San Diego, California with his business focused on representing retired professional athletes in claims for workers' compensation benefits. Prior to that, he was a civil litigator.

In 2016, the IRS accused Mix of filing a false tax return. Federal prosecutors said Mix got referrals for clients from a non-lawyer, a former professional basketball player client of his named Kermit Washington and that Mix made contributions to two charitable foundations run by Washington that supported a school and other causes in Africa. Mix took tax deductions for the contributions. Court records alleged that Washington diverted most of money donated to his charities for his own personal use. Mix pled guilty to one count of filing a false tax return. The plea agreement specifically said that Mix believed the charity was legitimate and did not know the funds were being diverted. Nonetheless, claiming the charitable contributions were wrong because Mix got something of value—the referrals.[25] US District Judge Greg Kays imposed a time-served sentence (less than probation). On February 24, 2019, Mix was permanently disbarred.[26][27]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Hall of Famers profile". Profootballhof.com. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  2. ^ How Three Jews Behind the AFL Invented the Modern Media Spectacle That is Pro Football Today – Tablet Magazine
  3. ^ a b Ron Mix Stats | Pro-Football-Reference.com
  4. ^ a b c d e Jewish Sports Stars (2nd Revised Edition): Athletic Heroes Past and Present – David J. Goldman – Google Books
  5. ^ a b c The Long Trial of Ron Mix | San Diego Reader
  6. ^ Happy Hanukkah: The Greatest Jewish Sports Stars of All Time | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
  7. ^ "Chargers' Success in the 1960s Case of Having the Right Mix". Los Angeles Times. July 17, 1990.
  8. ^ "San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum " Ron Mix". Sdhoc.com. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Siegman, Joseph (200). Jewish sports legends: the International Jewish Hall of Fame. Brassey's. ISBN 9781574882841. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  10. ^ Goldman, David J. (2006). Jewish Sports Stars: Athletic Heroes Past and Present. Kar-Ben. ISBN 9781580131834. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  11. ^ "NBA All-Star Game's Change Of Venue Reminds Our Commentator Of 1965". NPR.org.
  12. ^ a b c Oakland Raiders | Raiders in the Hall of Fame – Ron Mix
  13. ^ Sullivan, Tim (March 4, 2010). "Retiring a number can be tricky math problem". The San Diego Union Tribune. Archived from the original on December 9, 2012.
  14. ^ "Politics Lure Charger's Mix". Schenectady Gazette. December 3, 1969. p. 37. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  15. ^ a b Wallace, William N. (June 4, 1970). "Chargers Trade Mix To Raiders" (PDF). The New York Times. p. 56. Retrieved May 14, 2012.(subscription required)
  16. ^ Wolf, Bob (July 11, 1990). "REMEMBER WHEN : At Offensive Tackle, Mix Was Master". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 19, 2015.
  17. ^ "New Turf Rattles Pitchers". The Vancouver Sun. June 10, 1970. p. 28. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  18. ^ "Ron Mix might tackle politics". Pittsburgh Press. Newspaper Enterprise Association. November 21, 1971. p. D7.
  19. ^ Sullivan, George (2000). Any Number Can Play:The Numbers Athletes Wear. Milbrook Press. p. 58. ISBN 0-7613-1557-8. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  20. ^ Canepa, Nick (May 13, 2012). "Chargers have several more numbers they should retire". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on January 5, 2013.
  21. ^ a b Ron Mix – Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Northern California
  22. ^ "Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Home".
  23. ^ "NJ Jewish News on-line | Seven to be added to National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame". www.njjewishnews.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  24. ^ Ron Mix Archived April 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ San Diego Union Tribune, May 23, 2016.
  26. ^ "Ronald Jack Mix # 49663 - Attorney Licensee Search". members.calbar.ca.gov. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  27. ^ http://members.calbar.ca.gov/courtDocs/16-C-13639-3.pdf[bare URL PDF]