Sunday night, a day after perhaps Baltimore’s best-ever lineman, Jonathan Ogden, entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Baltimore’s most-beloved lineman, Art Donovan, passed away.
A five-time Pro Bowl selection at defensive tackle, named to the 1950’s All-Decade team, key member of the Colts' championship teams in 1958 and 1959—and Hall-of-Famer—‘Artie’ was 89.
Nicknamed “Fatso,” also the title of his autobiography, Donovan, a former U.S. Marine who fought in the Pacific during World War II, was as tough as nails on the field and fun-loving off it. He garnered a whole new generation of fans in the 1980s with appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, where he shared his rambunctious blend of old school football tales and Irish wit.
But those are not the biggest reasons we loved Artie, a Bronx-native who became Charm City’s favorite adopted son. We all seem, somehow, to have known him, or at least met him, and have our own 'Artie' story. If not, at least we all have a buddy with a little story from a chance meeting at a restaurant, a bar, from a sideline or...