Dick Bass, former pro football player and announcer, dead at 68

Updated: February 4, 2006, 2:24 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Dick Bass, a three-time Pro Bowl running back for the Los Angeles Rams who later worked as a radio analyst for the team, has died. He was 68.

Bass died Wednesday at his home in Norwalk, officials with the Los Angeles County coroner's office said. The cause of death was not immediately known, but his brother, Norman, said he had been struggling with health problems in recent months.

"He's one of them strong, prideful guys who won't let nobody know what's wrong," Norman Bass said. "We knew that he was losing a lot of weight and that he was small."

Bass led the nation in rushing with 1,361 yards when he was a senior at University of the Pacific, then College of the Pacific.

The Rams chose him with the second overall pick in the 1959 NFL draft, and he played with them from 1960-69. In 1962, he became the first Rams running back to rush for more than a 1,000 yards in a season. In his Rams career, Bass rushed for 5,417 yards and scored 41 touchdowns. Nicknamed "The Scooter," the 5-oot-9, 205-pound Bass led the Rams in rushing four times and twice gained more than 1,000 yards in a season. He also caught 204 passes for 1,841 yards.

"He was probably the best-blocking running back I ever saw," said Don Hewitt, longtime equipment manager for the Rams. "He was just an outstanding player who always knew how to keep the team loose. He always had everyone laughing when he would pull tricks on guys."

After retiring, Bass worked as a radio analyst on Rams games for 13 years.

Along with his brother, Bass is survived by his son, Ricki Bass; a daughter, Stephanie, and sister Dorothy Bass-Atkins.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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