Keith Lincoln, a powerful running back for the Los Angeles Chargers during the team’s AFL days has passed away. He was 80 years old.
News of Lincoln’s passing surfaced on Monday and for many fans of the team in its current state, Lincoln’s name likely doesn’t even ring a bell. But he does hold a special place in team history.
The Chargers have won one championship in their long history and Lincoln was the Most Valuable Player of that game. Though the team’s 51-10 thrashing of the Boston Patriots in the 1963 AFL title game was nearly 60 years ago, that is an accolade that can never be taken away.
In total, Lincoln spent parts of seven seasons with the team. Sandwiched in between was a stint with the Buffalo Bills, all before the AFL and NFL merged. He finished his playing career with 3,383 yards rushing, 165 receptions for another 2,250 yards and 40 touchdowns.
That was enough to help him become part of the team’s Hall of Fame.
RIP Keith Lincoln#Chargers FB-HB 1961-66, 1968; Bills 1967-68
• 1963 AFL Champion?• 5 AFL All-Star Games (2x game MVP)• 2x First-Team All-AFL• Posted AFL-NFL postseason single-game record 329 scrimmage yds in '63 AFL Championship (rushing: 13-206-1; receiving: 7-123-1) pic.twitter.com/FioPzaWLvM
— Kevin Gallagher (@KevG163) July 28, 2019
Lincoln was also a legend in the state of Washington. Though he was born in Pennsylvania, he came west and played for Washington State University in college where he was originally a quarterback. He had such great nicknames such as the “Monrovia Meteor”, a play on Monrovia High School in California, where he graduated from. He later became known as the “Moose of Palouse”.
He received multiple honors in Washington, being selected to the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame and the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame.
But he’ll likely best be remembered for his performance in that AFL title game, at least by Chargers fans.
Lincoln accounted for 349 yards of total offense in that game (206 rushing, 123 receiving and 20 passing). It was a performance for the ages, even if it was ages ago.
We would like to wish our condolences to the family and friends of Lincoln. May his memory stay with Chargers fans forever.