A legendary multi-sport star died at the age of 87 this weekend.
Carroll Hardy, known to many as the only person to ever pinch hit for Ted Williams, died on Sunday night, his family confirmed.
The former baseball player was a multi-sport star who went on to become the “architect” of the Denver Broncos’ iconic Orange Crush defense.
Hardy played collegiately at Colorado, where he was a three-sport athlete. He ran track and played baseball and football for the Buffaloes. Hardy went on to play professional baseball and football.
We remember Carroll Hardy – @Indians 1958-60; @RedSox 1960-64; @Astros (Colt 45's) 1963-64; @Twins 1967. Only player to pinch-hit for Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. On 25th birthday–5/18/58–hit 1st @MLB HR, pinch-hitting for Roger Maris. Played 1955 @NFL season for @49ers. pic.twitter.com/9wyiikJF0i
— Baseball Digest (@BaseballDigest) August 10, 2020
Hardy was a true standout at Colorado. He’s one of the best Buffaloes athletes of all-time.
CU athletic director Rick George called Hardy “a true icon of the state. His list of accomplishments in his lifetime and the people he touched are really second to none. We have lost a great Buffalo.”
Hardy earned a record 10 letters altogether in the early 1950s. An All-American honorable mention in 1953 and ’54, Hardy rushed for 1,999 career yards with a whopping 6.87-yard average per carry, which remains the best in school history among players with at least 60 carries.
Hardy is also Colorado’s all-time leader in batting average and he reportedly ran a sub-10.0 in the 100-yard dash. When it comes to multi-sport athletes, Hardy was about as good as it gets.
The former multi-sport athlete went into scouting following his professional career and rose up the ranks in the Denver Broncos’ front office.
Hardy is survived by his wife and three children.
Our thoughts are with his friends and family.