Former LA Rams halfback dies at 78

Friday, October 15th 2004, 8:55 am
By: News On 6

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) _ Tommy Kalmanir, a starting halfback on the 1951 Los Angeles Rams championship team and former Oakland Raiders assistant coach, has died. He was 78.

His wife Frances says Kalmanir died Tuesday in Fresno, California, of pneumonia. She says he had been ill since suffering a stroke after bypass surgery 14 years ago.

A Pennsylvania native, Kalmanir was nicknamed Cricket because he was only five feet eight inches tall.

Kalmanir briefly attended the University of Pittsburgh before enlisting in the Army Air Forces and later headed to University of Nevada, where he was a star on the school's football team.

Kalmanir was the 23rd draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Rams traded for him and signed him in 1949. He played three seasons with the Rams, a year in the Canadian League and in 1952 with the Baltimore Colts.