FORMER FORDHAM FOOTBALL GREAT AL BART DIES

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Former Fordham University football standout Al Bart, a member of Fordham??s legendary Seven Blocks of Granite, passed away on December 29th at Lincoln Park Manor in Kettering, Ohio. Bart was 87. Bart was a three-year letterman at Fordham from 1935-37, earning All-America honors as a senior in 1937. He was one of the Seven Blocks of Granite, a group that was considered one of the greatest offensive units in college football history. The 1936 and 1937 version of the Seven Blocks of Granite was comprised of Bart, John Druze, Vince Lombardi, Alex Wojciechowicz, Nat Pierce, Ed Franco, and Leo Paquin. Bart played at Fordham by the name of Al Babartsky but shortened the last name to Bart since everyone misspelled Babartsky. Over his three years at Fordham, the Rams went 18-2-5, including a 7-0-1 season as a senior in 1937 with the tie being a 0-0 deadlock with Pittsburgh, the third straight scoreless tie between the Rams and the Panthers. The Rams finished the 1937 season ranked third in the country. With the passing of Bart, Druze remains the lone survivor of the Seven Blocks of Granite. Following graduation, the Chicago Cardinals drafted Bart and he played for seven years in the National Football League, the last three years for George Halas?? Chicago Bears. He led the Bears to the 1943 NFL Championship. Bart returned to Chicago in 1966 to be honored as one of the greatest Bears of all time. He was inducted into the Fordham University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974. The 2002 Rams had the good fortune to meet Bart when he attended the spring game last March. Bart spoke with the team, giving them a taste of what life was like when Fordham football would pack the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium while hosting Alabama, Pittsburgh and New York University in the 1930??s. Fordham responded with their best ever season, going 10-3, winning the Patriot League championship and going to the NCAA I-AA playoffs for the first time in school history. Wellington Mara, co-owner of the New York Giants, also presented Bart with the Mara Family Award last spring.
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