Hugo Bezdek — a coaching legend you probably don’t know

hugo-bezdek-conlonWhile we all should know about two-sport stars like Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and plenty of others from the past, there’s only one man in MLB history to be a manager of a baseball team and then also coach of an NFL team.

His name is Hugo Bezdek.

That’s your obscure trivia for the day courtesy of the MLB Network and Hot Stove this morning … now Buzz will add some cardboard context.

hugo-bezdek-vintageBezdek, who coached the Cleveland Rams in 1937 and 1938 (a 1-13 record) and the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1934-36 (a 166-187 record), appears on just two baseball cards. One is vintage, one is modern and both are affordable.

His first card is from the 1919-21 W514 set, which isn’t plentiful but also not all that expensive considering the era. His most-recent card was in the 1992 Conlon Collection set and can be had for pocket change.

Bezdek died way back in 1952 after a coaching career that included a 65-30-11 record as the Penn State football coach, stops at Oregon and Arkansas and time as the president of the National Association of Football Coaches. He’s a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, too.

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