Dick Bass

For the MLB player, see Dick Bass (baseball). For the businessman and climber, see Richard Bass.
Dick Bass
Position: Running Back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1937-03-15)March 15, 1937
Place of birth: Georgetown, MS
Date of death: February 1, 2006(2006-02-01) (aged 68)
Place of death: Norwalk, California
Career information
High school: Vallejo High School
College: Pacific
NFL Draft: 1959 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Player stats at PFR

Richard Lee Bass (March 15, 1937 – February 1, 2006) was an American football running back from Mississippi and California, who played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1960 to 1969.[1][2]

Early life and education

Born in Georgetown, Mississippi in 1937, Bass moved as a youth with his family in the Great Migration to California, where they settled in Vallejo. He had a brother, professional athlete Norm Bass and a sister, Dorothy.[3] Many migrants from the South were attracted to the jobs in defense-related industries and other opportunities.

Bass played football and other varsity sports for Vallejo High School in the old North Bay League. Bass blossomed as a three-sport star at Vallejo High, where he ran for 3,690 yards and scored 68 touchdowns in 18 games. Bass scored a state-record 37 touchdowns in 1954, when he led the Apaches to an undefeated season at 9-0. The team averaged 54 points per game in 1954.[4]

Bass went on to star at College of the Pacific, now University of the Pacific. Time Magazine described him as a "One-Man Show" in 1958, after he ran for 700 yards in six games to become the season's leading NCAA ground gainer, while passing for the Tigers as well. He was a 1958 All-American.[5][6] As a senior in 1958, Bass led the nation in rushing with 1,361 yards, including a dazzling display in the season opener in Berkeley, where he gained 215 yards and scored one touchdown in the Tigers' win over a Cal team that would reach the 1959 Rose Bowl.[7] Bass was named to the The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll.

Pro career

After being taken by the Rams as the second pick in the 1959 NFL Draft, Bass was selected for the Pro Bowl three times, in 1962, 1963, and 1966. He rushed for 1,000 yards in a season two times (1962 and 1966). He finished his career with the Rams in 1969 with 5,417 yards rushing.[3]

Following his retirement, he did some work with the NFL alumni association. He also made appearances in TV commercials. He worked as a color analyst on Rams radio broadcasts from 1977 to 1986. He also worked as executive director of the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce (1990-2004). He died at his home at age 68 in Norwalk, California.[3]

Kody Scott, alias Sanyika Shakur, a Los Angeles gang member known as "Monster," reported in his 1998 autobiography that his mother had identified Bass as his father.[8]

Legacy and honors

See also


  1. Obituary New York Times, 7 February 2006.
  2. Obituary Los Angeles Times, 3 February 2006.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Ron Kroichick, "Dick Bass: Obituary", San Francisco Chronicle, 4 February 2006, accessed 11 June 2015
  4. Kroichick, Ron (February 4, 2006). "A standout from Vallejo High to NFL". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  5. Time Magazine, "One-Man Show," November 10, 1958, accessed July 4, 2007
  6. University of the Pacific Athletics Traditions, accessed July 4, 2007
  7. Kroichick, Ron (February 4, 2006). "Vallejo field dedication recalls Dick Bass' legacy". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  8. Sanyika Shakur, Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member, p. 331, 1998, Penguin ISBN 0-14-023225-7, accessed July 4, 2007
  9. Bañes, Lanz Christian (May 26, 2012). "Vallejo field dedication recalls Dick Bass' legacy". Vallejo Times Herald. Retrieved June 2, 2012.


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