Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Football
Inducted: 1996
Country: United States
Born: June 29, 1906 in San Francisco, California
Died: June 29, 1984

A three-time University of California (Berkeley) All-America from 1927 to 1929, Benny Lom was one of the great triple threat players (runner, passer, kicker) of his time.

Although he often thrilled spectators with long touchdown runs and allaround versatility, he is usually remembered as an active participant in an unforgettable incident in American football history. It occurred in the 1929 Rose Bowl classic that matched Cal against Georgia Tech.

The game was scoreless when Lom, at defensive safety (players played offense and defense during this era), hit a Georgia Tech running back so hard itcaused him to fumble. Cal center Roy
Riegels picked up the loose ball and headed for the goal line. However, in the excitement of the moment, a disoriented
Riegels ran the wrong way—toward his own goal line.

Everyone in the stadium, except Riegels, instantly recognized the faux pas, but only Lom set off in hot pursuit of his confused teammate. As Lom raced after Riegels, he shouted to the lineman to reverse his field, but could not be heard over the roar of the estimated 100,000 spectators. Only steps from crossing the goal line, Lom managed to catch and tackle Riegels before he set foot in the wrong end zone. Lom had saved the day, momentarily. In the
next series of downs, attempting to punt from his own end zone, Lom’s kick was blocked for a safety.

Nevertheless, that day, Benny Lom passed for a touchdown, kicked the extra point, and was named Outstanding Player of the game. But Cal lost the contest, 8–7.


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