During the 1950s, the Baltimore Colts were one of the leading teams in the National Football League. Lenny Moore, flanker/halfback, contributed to much of the team’s success. A product of Penn State University, Moore was a first-round draft pick of the Colts in 1956. Proving his worth from the start, he became Rookie of the Year that same year. Initially used as a combination flanker and running back, Moore’s primary responsibility later became catching passes. Joined with quarterback Johnny Unitas, the two formed a terrific pass-catch duo that crushed the opposition for nearly 12 years.
During Moore’s third season in 1958, the Colts entered the NFL’s championship, in which he played a leading role. Moore contributed 1,638 combined net yards, 938 of those on receptions and 14 touchdowns. During the Colt’s overtime victory against the New York Giants, Moore grabbed five passes for 99 yards.
At the close of the season, he earned first-team All-Pro honors, which he would later do again in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1964. He was selected to play in the Pro Bowl seven times.
In 1962, Moore was moved to a fulltime running back position. But a string of injuries caused him to miss a number of games during the following two seasons. In 1963, Moore was only able to play in half of the team’s games.
Lenny recovered in 1964 and experienced the finest season of his career, scoring 20 touchdowns. During that same year, a wire service named him the Comeback Player of the Year and was named Most Valuable Player from another wire service. From 1963 to 1965, Lenny scored touchdowns in 18 consecutive games, setting an NFL record.
Moore later retired in 1967 but left behind some amazing statistics, including 12,451 combined net yards, 5174 yards rushing, 363 pass receptions and 113 touchdowns.
On Feb. 14, the AFRO honored Moore for his amazing sports career at the company’s fifth annual Legends and Pioneers ceremony at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.