Athletes who passed away in 2019 range from legends of their sport who lived long, eventful lives to youthful, up-and-comers who were taken far too soon. Civil rights trailblazers Frank Robinson and Don Newcombe are among the best baseball players of all time, while former Yankees pitcher Mel Stottlemyre established himself as a coaching great on championship Mets and Yankees teams.
Meanwhile, the hockey world lost Hall of Famers Ted Linday and Harry Howell, two of the top NHL players of all time. Super Bowl champion Forrest Gregg and Olympic gold medalist Johnny "Lam" Jones also died early in 2019.
Perhaps the most tragic 2019 sports deaths, however, came in the mountain climbing world, which lost three talented young climbers, David Lama, Hansjorg Auer, and Jess Roskelley, in the same avalanche.
This list of athletes who died in 2019 is meant to help commemorate all of them so that we remember the success they had on the field, on the court, or just in life.
John Havlicek won eight championships with the Boston Celtics as part of one of the greatest dynasties in the NBA history. He was inducted into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984 after a career in which he made 13 All-Star teams and was named MVP of the 1973-74 NBA Finals.
Age: Dec. 79 (April 8, 1940-April 25, 2019)
Birthplace: Jupiter, Florida
Also Rankedsee more on John Havlicek
The son of a Nepalese mountain guide, David Lama was a climbing prodigy who first showed promise at the age of 5. Throughout his life, he set a number of firsts on climbs such as his free ascent of the Compressor Route on Cerro Torre. He was killed in an avalanche on Howse Peak in the Canadian Rockies.
Age: Dec. 28 (August 4, 1990-April 16, 2019)
Birthplace: Innsbruck, Austria
Jess Roskelley, son of famed mountaineer John Roskelley, was an accomplished climber who set a record in 2003, becoming the youngest American to summit Mount Everest at the age of 20. He was killed in an avalanche on Howse Peak in the Canadian Rockies.
Age: Dec. 36 (July 13, 1982-April 16, 2019)
Birthplace: Spokane, Washingtonsee more on Jess Roskelley
Hansjorg Auer was once described by National Geographic magazine as one of the "boldest and best mountain climbers in the world." He was known particularly for his work as a free solo climber. He was killed in an avalanche on Howse Peak in the Canadian Rockies.
Age: Dec. 35 (Feburary 18, 1984-April 16, 2019)
Birthplace: Zams, Tyrol, Austriasee more on Hansjorg Auer