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Sam Ball
No. 73
Born:(1944-06-07)June 7, 1944
Henderson, Kentucky, U.S.
Died:October 30, 2023(2023-10-30) (aged 79)
Henderson, Kentucky, U.S.
Career information
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight250 lb (110 kg)
High schoolHenderson County
AFL draft1966 / Round: 2 / Pick: 14
NFL draft1966 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15
Career history
As player
19661970Baltimore Colts
Career highlights and awards
RecordsConsensus All Big-8 (1961)
Career stats
Games played61
Games started2

Sam Ball (June 1, 1944 – October 30, 2023) was an American professional football player who was an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League (NFL) from 1966 through 1970. During that span, he appeared in Super Bowl III and Super Bowl V for the Colts. He played college football for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Ball enrolled at University of Kentucky in 1962, played on the freshman team his first year because then NCAA rules that didn't allow freshmen to play on the varsity teams. He was a three year letterman under Coach Charlie Bradshaw. He was first team All-SEC and All-American his senior year. [1]

Ball was also drafted in 1966 by the Jets in the 2nd round, 15th overall. 1966 was the last year of separate drafts by the NFL and AFL.

On January 12, 1969, Ball was the starting offensive right tackle for the Colts against the Jets in Super Bowl III. He missed out on a Super Bowl ring as the Jets won 16–7, but won one two years later in Super Bowl V.

The Jets drafted Sam Walton at right tackle in 1968, who struggled as a rookie before being replaced in the playoffs by Dave Herman who moved across from right guard. Ball's choice of signing with the Colts over the Jets influenced the drafting of Walton as Ball would have been used to replace Sherman Plunkett.

Ball died in Henderson, Kentucky, on October 30, 2023, at the age of 79.[2]


  1. ^ "Sam Ball - In Memoriam". UKAthletics. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  2. ^ Stinnett, Chuck (30 October 2023). "Sam Ball, the Henderson native who played for the Baltimore Colts, has died". Courier & Press. Retrieved 30 October 2023.