Lloyd M. Bunting Jr., JHU lacrosse star

He was a national sensation in the late 1940s and played on the Hopkins team that went undefeated for four years

  • Lloyd M. Bunting Jr. was a four-time All-American lacrosse player and one of the outstanding Johns Hopkins University players of the late 1940s. He died July 6.
Lloyd M. Bunting Jr. was a four-time All-American lacrosse…
July 13, 2013|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Lloyd M. Bunting Jr., a four-time All-American lacrosse player who was one of the outstanding Johns Hopkins University players of the late 1940s, died July 6 of complications from a staph infection at the Pickersgill Retirement Community in Towson. He was 87.

"If I were to pick one athlete whose credentials stood out in my 65 years at Hopkins, it would be Lloyd," said Robert H. "Bob" Scott, who was a midfielder on the 1950 lacrosse team with Mr. Bunting and later coached the sport at Hopkins for two decades.

"He was big, strong, fast and tough. He played his man extremely well and handled his size, 6 foot 2 inches and weighing 215 pounds — extremely big for his day — with speed," recalled Mr. Scott. "He was great at clearing the ball."

Lloyd Millard Bunting Jr. was born in Baltimore and raised on Liberty Heights Avenue in Forest Park. He was a celebrated defenseman when he played lacrosse at Forest Park High School.

Mr. Bunting piled up honors at Forest Park, where he was an All-Maryland athlete in football, ice hockey and lacrosse.

"We'd go to the Sports Centre to watch Forest Park and Mount St. Joe battle in ice hockey, as exciting an event as there ever was," said Mr. Scott. "Lloyd would bang into people and always get booed. He was rough and tumble, no question about that."

After graduating from high school in 1944, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he served for 18 months until being honorably discharged after his father's death.

Mr. Bunting brought his impressive lacrosse prowess to Homewood Field when he enrolled at Hopkins in 1946. During the next four years, playing for coach Howdy Myers, his team went undefeated (31-0).

"I don't think any school will ever equal that record," said Mr. Scott.

"He was a pure Blue Jay and loved Hopkins to the end," said Bill Tanton, longtime sports editor of The Evening Sun.

"Lloyd Bunting was probably the greatest athlete we've ever had at Hopkins. He won every honor you could win," said Mr. Tanton. "He was humble and never talked about his accomplishments. The great ones like Lloyd don't need to."

Mr. Bunting was also a three-time first-team All-American, led the Blue Jays to four national lacrosse championships between 1947 and 1950, and was named the nation's top defenseman.

Mr. Scott, who graduated from Hopkins in 1952, said that by the time Mr. Bunting had graduated, he had "played defense on four national championship lacrosse teams and made first-team All-American three times (he injured his knee his sophomore year)."

He added: "In his lacrosse career, Hopkins was undefeated collegiately but lost each year to the Mount Washington Lacrosse Club."

In a 1949 game, which a Baltimore Sun reporter described as "rough," Hopkins defeated the University of Maryland, 14-6.

"Today's game was typical of the previous Hopkins-Maryland thrillers. It was rough and tempers flared more than once to the delight of the spectators," with Mr. Bunting adding to the action at Byrd Stadium, reported the newspaper.

"Late in the third quarter, Hopkins's defenseman, Lloyd Bunting, swapped punches with Maryland's Mark Mediary, and the former went to the penalty box for the fifth time during the afternoon. All told, 20 penalties were exacted — 14 against Hopkins and 6 against Maryland," the article said.

Mr. Bunting also played football at Hopkins, whose team was coached by Mr. Myers.

"In football, he was a first-team All-American guard and tackle in 1948, when Hopkins won the Mason-Dixon championship," said Mr. Scott. "Hopkins was invited to play in the Tangerine Bowl, but our dean turned it down because he didn't think the school should be involved in bowl games. A lot of the kids were disappointed, including Lloyd."

In addition to being a member of the Hopkins lacrosse team that has been called the "Dream Team," Mr. Bunting was a member of the Johns Hopkins Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Maryland Sports Hall of Fame and the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

He was also named by Lacrosse Magazine to the All-Century team, and last year was named by The Baltimore Sun as one of the state's top 200 athletes of all time.

"Lloyd was a strong personality and had a lot of charisma. People enjoyed being around him," said Mr. Scott. "He was just very, very popular among the guys who played with him at Hopkins. I mean, he's just one of the all-time greats."

After graduating from Hopkins, Mr. Bunting joined Mr. Myers as his assistant for two years at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., where Mr. Myers was athletic director and the head lacrosse and football coach.

After leaving Hofstra in the early 1950s, Mr. Bunting worked in sales management in the office products business, which took him and his family to Richmond, Va., Morrisville, Pa., Mountainside, N.J., Mount Kisco, N.Y., until finally returning to Timonium in the 1970s.

He had worked for A.B. Dick, Oce, and finally the T. Talbott Bond Co., a Baltimore-Washington photocopier dealership, from which he retired in the mid-1990s.

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