Hyman Stern, all-around athlete


July 04, 1993|By Katherine D. Ramirez | Katherine D. Ramirez,Staff Writer

Hyman "Lefty" Stern, regarded by many as one of Baltimore's finest all-around athletes and known for his gentleness, humility and warmth, died Wednesday of heart failure at Sinai Hospital. He was 86.

Born in Baltimore in 1907, he was a 1926 graduate of Cit College and star of its basketball, baseball, football, wrestling and boxing teams, earning 11 varsity letters.

"He could have been the real-life model for Bernard Malamud' 'The Natural,' " said Dr. Philip Block, who went to school with Mr. Stern and was his dentist for 25 years.

"He participated in every sport possible, and he was a champion in each one. One had to marvel at his form."

Mr. Stern received many college scholarship offers, but chose to play professional basketball for the Baltimore Orioles of the old American Basketball League. He also played minor league baseball for Salisbury in the Eastern League.

Dr. Block said Mr. Stern was loved by all who knew him.

"He was the nicest, most unassuming guy," Dr. Block said. "A real gentleman. Not the same man he was on the football field."

After his sports career, Mr. Stern had an ice delivery business He then drove a taxi until he retired at 65 years old.

In 1983, he was inducted into Maryland's Oldtimer Hall of Fam and, in 1991, into the Maryland State Hall of Fame.

In addition, he was the first person inducted into the halls o fame of City College, Easterwood Boys Club and the Jewish Educational Alliance. A decade ago, he was honored by the Sports Boosters of Maryland.

A memorial service was conducted Thursday at Sol Levinson and Sons Inc. in Baltimore.

His wife of 29 years, the former Selma Lehem, died in 1974.

Survivors include two sons, Barry and Bernard Stern of Baltimore; a brother, Charles Stern of Hallendale, Fla.; two granddaughters; and a grandson.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Easterwood Boys Club, in care of Joe Jaskulsky, 606 Leafydale Terrace, Baltimore 21208.

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