Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Remembering Art Donovan. The Baltimore Colt and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame died Sunday of a respiratory ailment.
Jessica Kartalija has details on his life and passing.
Those who knew him say he was everything wonderful about Baltimore and lived his life here in Maryland to the fullest.
Art Donovan’s approach to life is like his pass rush: direct and to the point.
Colts lineman Art Donovan is a Baltimore legend, a hero for his performance as a player and loved by those who knew him best.
“We became the closest friends,” said former teammate Andy Nelson.
Nelson says Artie has gone on to play on the big field in the sky.
“Probably the most loved Colts player that ever played here–not only here but throughout the NFL. He had more fun than he probably was allowed to have,” Nelson said.
Donovan wasn’t from Baltimore. He actually grew up in the Bronx but those who knew him say you’d never know.
“He was a piece of this community–him, Unitas, Lenny Moore and all those guys. They were the blue collar mentality with the Colts,” said Tim Richardson.
Donovan stayed in the spotlight long after his career on the field ended. He was popular for his hilarious stories about football.
He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1968.
Donovan made a living on the talk show circuit.
“I remember the first year I played, 1950 with the Colts. They cut us. We got off bus in Baltimore. No one wanted to get off the bus because when you’d go down the ramp, the coaches would say, `You’re fired,’ `You made the team.’ Guys are sitting four high in the head,” Donovan said.
He had a Friday football segment at WJZ for 15 years.
“These guys are making a million dollars! They’re supposed to catch the ball!” he said.
He was a legend both on and off the field.
A funeral will be held for Artie Donovan at 11 a.m. Friday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.
Donovan helped lead the Colts to the world championships in 1958 and 1959.