The Full Wiki

Frank Sinkwich: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frank Sinkwich
Date of birth: October 10, 1920(1920-10-10)
Place of birth: McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
Date of death: October 22, 1990 (aged 70)
Career information
Position(s): Halfback
College: Georgia
NFL Draft: 1943 / Round: 1/ Pick 1
 As player:
Detroit Lions
New York Yankees
Baltimore Colts
Career highlights and awards
Awards: 1942 Heisman Trophy
1944 NFL MVP
Honors: AP Number 1 athlete for 1942
University of Georgia Circle of Honor
Retired #s: Georgia Bulldogs #21
Records: NCAA single-season total offense record
Playing stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

Francis "Frank" Sinkwich (October 10, 1920 – October 22, 1990) won the 1942 Heisman Trophy as a player for the University of Georgia, making him the first recipient from the Southeastern Conference.[1] In the course of a brief but celebrated career in professional football, Sinkwich was selected for the National Football League Most Valuable Player Award. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954 [2].


Early years

Sinkwich was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, to immigrant parents who were ethnic Croatians from Russia.[3] When he was still a child, his family relocated to Youngstown, Ohio, a steel-manufacturing center near the Pennsylvania border.

According to an article Sinkwich wrote in 1988, he grew to appreciate the value of competitiveness on the streets of Youngstown's west side. "I learned early in neighborhood pickup games that I had the desire to compete", he wrote. "When people ask why I succeeded in athletics, I always tell them that I didn't want to get beat".[1]

Football career

Sinkwich gained early recognition as a star athlete at Youngstown's Chaney High School.[1] He went on to the University of Georgia and played under coach Wally Butts. In 1941 he led the nation in rushing yards with 209 carries for 1,103 yards. He was a two-time All-America selection and led the Bulldogs to an 11-1 season in 1942, capturing the Southeastern Conference Championship and a victory over UCLA in the 1943 Rose Bowl. That same year, the Washington D.C. Touchdown Club honored Sinkwich as "back of the year",[4] and he was overwhelmingly voted the Number 1 athlete for 1942 in the annual poll by the Associated Press over second-place finisher Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox,[5] a year in which Williams was American League Batting Champion, American League Home Run Champion and hit for baseball's triple crown.

In his three-year college career, Sinkwich rushed for 2,271 yards, passed for 2,331 yards, and accounted for 60 touchdowns–30 rushing and 30 passing.[1] He was the leading NCAA rusher in his junior season of 1941 with 1,103 yards. During his Senior year of 1942, Sinkwich set the NCAA single-season total offense record of 2,187 yards.[6] Sinkwich earned his Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) from the University in 1943 and was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.

After his collegiate career, Sinkwich joined the United States Marine Corps; however, he received a medical discharge in order to play with the Detroit Lions, who had selected him first overall in the 1943 NFL Draft.[7] In Detroit, he earned All-Pro honors in 1943-1944, as well as being named as NFL MVP in 1944.[1]

After his two years in Detroit, Sinkwich served in both the United States Merchant Marines and the United States Army Air Forces, but a knee injury received while playing for the 2nd Air Force service team in 1945 ended his playing career.[1][7] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.[1]


Sinkwich died after a long illness, in Athens, Georgia. Nowhere did his death elicit more emotion than at his old alma mater. "We've lost one of the great legends in football history," said then Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley. "He was not only a great player but a wonderful person and citizen of Athens".[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Frank Sinkwich was worshipped by his fans". The Vindicator. October 23, 1990.  
  2. ^ "Frank Sinkwich". Georgia Bulldogs official site. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  3. ^ New Georgia Encyclopedia entry for Frank Sinkwich
  4. ^ Perazich, Chuck (June 14, 1982). "Frank Sinkwich Lauded at Croatian Home Fete". The Vindicator.  
  5. ^ "Who Won". Time. December 28 1942.,9171,886135,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-06.  
  6. ^ Magill, Dan (1993). "Chapter 2". Dan Magill's Bull-Doggerel:Fifty Years of Anecdotes from the Greatest Bulldog Ever (1st Printing ed.). Marietta, Georgia: Longstreet Press. pp. 43–48. ISBN 1-56352-089-3.  
  7. ^ a b Grosshandler, Stan (August 1997). "Georgia's Greatest?" (PDF). College Football Historical Quarterly X (IV). Retrieved 2007-01-06.  

External links

Preceded by
Bruce Smith
Heisman Trophy Winner
Succeeded by
Angelo Bertelli
Preceded by
Joe DiMaggio
Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Gunder Hägg
Preceded by
Sid Luckman
NFL Most Valuable Player
1944 season
Succeeded by
Bob Waterfield


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address