Cameron Snyder, Sun writer in Hall of Fame dies at 93

January 31, 2010|By Mike Klingaman |

Cameron Crockett Snyder, a sportswriter for The Sun who covered the Baltimore Colts during their heyday and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died Friday of lung cancer at his home in Fullerton. He was 93.

"He was a great fellow. Everybody liked Cameron," said former Colt Art Donovan, a Hall of Famer. "He knew football because he played in college. Sometimes, at Colts practice [in the 1950s], the coaches let 'Toughie' fill in at offensive guard."

Born in Ripon, W.Va., Mr. Snyder grew up in Baltimore and attended Calvert Hall College, where he wrestled and played football and lacrosse. After graduation in 1935, he enrolled at North Carolina State but soon transferred to Drexel, where he starred as a two-way tackle.

When he finished college in 1941, Mr. Snyder was offered a tryout with the Chicago Bears but was drafted into the Army. He served five years, in a mountain infantry unit that served in India, China and Burma, rising from private to captain.

After the war, Mr. Snyder tried law school for a year before settling at The Sun in the sports department. He began covering the Colts in 1953, reporting the team's first NFL championship in 1958 - a sudden-death victory over the New York Giants in a thriller that is still called "The Greatest Game Ever Played" - and Baltimore's second world title in 1959.

Mr. Snyder also banged out stories on the Colts' two trips to the Super Bowl, in 1969 (a 16-7 loss to the New York Jets) and 1971 (a 16-13 victory over the Dallas Cowboys).

In 1982, Mr. Snyder was awarded a football writer's highest honor, induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He retired from The Sun in 1986.

Mr. Snyder is survived by his wife of 25 years, Frances Snyder; a son, Dudley Snyder of Snow Hill; a stepson, Wayne Nagle of Santa Cruz, Calif.; and a stepdaughter, Laurie Youngers of Atlanta.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Idlewylde United Methodist Church in Towson.

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