In preparation for the start of the NFL season, we recognize as the Baltimore Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Week one of the most exciting players ever to call the city of Baltimore home.
For 12 seasons with the Baltimore Colts, Lenny Moore was one of the most versatile and explosive players in the game.
A double threat as both a runner and receiver, Moore was a perfect offensive compliment to quarterback Johnny Unitas and receiver Raymond Berry.
After playing collegiate football at Penn State, Moore became an immediate Pro Bowl player for the Colts as he and Unitas both made their debut for the Colts in 1956.
Moore rushed for 649 yards and led the NFL with an average of 7.5 yards per carry.
After leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage in 1957, he took it to an even higher level in 1958 as Moore helped lead the Colts to the NFL Championship. He rushed for 598 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 50 passes for a career-high 938 yards and another seven scores.
In the famous 1958 NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants, Moore rushed for only 23 yards, but caught six passes for 101 yards.
The following season he caught a 60-yard touchdown pass to start the scoring as the Colts claimed their second straight NFL title with a 31-16 victory over the Giants.
Moore was named a first-team All-Pro every season from 1958-1961 as he ranked in the top three in yards from scrimmage each season.
After being limited by injuries in 1962 and 1963, Moore returned with a vengeance in 1964 as he was named the NFL MVP while scoring a then-NFL record 20 touchdowns.
Beginning in the 1963 season and continuing into the 1965 season, Moore scored a touchdown in 18-straight games, a mark that was not matched for 40 years until being equaled by LaDainian Tomlinson.
Moore retired following the 1967 season with 5,174 yards rushing, 6,039 yards receiving and 113 career touchdowns. At the time of his retirement, his 11,213 career yards from scrimmage were the third most in NFL history.
For his career, Moore was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and earned first-team All-Pro honors five times. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975.
If you had a favorite athlete growing up that you would like to see featured as the Baltimore Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week, send me a nomination by e-mail.