Tony Plansky

Anthony Joseph Plansky (June 20, 1900 – February 10, 1979) was an American football running back who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants and Boston Braves.

Tony Plansky
Born:(1900-06-20)June 20, 1900
South Boston, Massachusetts
Died:February 10, 1979(1979-02-10) (aged 78)
North Adams, Massachusetts
Career information
Position(s)Running back
Career history
As player
1928–1929New York Giants
1932Boston Braves
Career stats


A native of South Boston, Massachusetts, Plansky attended Georgetown University, where he was a star fullback and decathlete. He was the AAU national decathlon champion in 1924,[1] and won the decathlon event at the prestigious Penn Relays in 1925 and 1926.[2] On the gridiron, he was a member of the 1925 College Football All-America Team and the 1925 All-Eastern football team.

Plansky narrowly missed competing in the decathlon at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. In April of 1928, he again won the decathlon event at the Penn Relays, which was widely thought to be the Olympic qualifying event, but was later determined not to be.[3]

Plansky played professional football for the NFL's Giants in 1928 and 1929. In his second season, he scored nine touchdowns, two field goals, and two extra points, and was named to the 1929 All-Pro Team. He also played in one game for the 1932 Boston Braves, his final NFL appearance.

In 1928 and 1929, he played summer baseball for the Hyannis town team in the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL), and was part of a "parade of sluggers" that powered the Hyannis lineup.[4][5][6] He went on to play professional baseball with the Erie Sailors of the Central League, batting .337 in 126 games in 1930. In 1931 and 1932, he played for the Scranton Miners of the New York–Penn League. He returned to the CCBL and was a league all-star for Bourne from 1933 to 1939, serving as player-manager in 1935, and leading Bourne to its first league championship in 1936.[7][8][9]

Plansky became an assistant coach at Williams College in 1931, and in 1936 became head track and cross country coach, a position he held until 1978.[10] One of Plansky's athletes at Williams was future New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, a hurdler who graduated in 1952.[11]

Plansky died in 1979 in North Adams, Massachusetts at the age of 78. In 1987, thanks in large part to the efforts of Steinbrenner, a new track was installed at Williams, and named in memory of Plansky.[11][12] In 1999, Plansky was ranked by Sports Illustrated as the #25 all-time greatest sports figure from Massachusetts,[13] and in 2001 he was inducted into the CCBL Hall of Fame.[14]


  1. ^ "History of US National Results: Decathlon – Men". Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  2. ^ "Plansky and One Mile Team Retain Their Old Titles as Georgetown Stars at Penn Relays" (PDF). The Hoya. Washington, DC. April 30, 1926. p. 9.
  3. ^ Frank Zarnowski. "History of the Decathlon at U.S. Olympic Trials" (PDF). Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  4. ^ Davis, Hartley R. (July 7, 1960). "Cape Cod League Yesteryears". Barnstable Patriot. Barnstable, MA. p. 6.
  5. ^ "Baseball on Saturday Next". Falmouth Enterprise. Falmouth, MA. July 18, 1929. p. 7.
  6. ^ "Hyannis Beats Falmouth 12-2". Falmouth Enterprise. Falmouth, MA. September 5, 1929. p. 7.
  7. ^ "Falmouth 11, Harwich 8". Falmouth Enterprise. Falmouth, MA. July 25, 1935. p. 8.
  8. ^ "Bourne Wins Cape Cod League Title". Falmouth Enterprise. Falmouth, MA. September 10, 1936. p. 9.
  9. ^ "All Cape League Team". Falmouth Enterprise. Falmouth, MA. August 26, 1938. p. 8.
  10. ^ Farwell, Pete (1979). "Tony Plansky: a tribute to the mentor of hundreds of athletes". Williams Record.
  11. ^ a b Tony Dobrowolski (July 14, 2010). "Yankees' legendary owner also a Williams grad". Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  12. ^ "Track & Field History". Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  13. ^ "The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Massachusetts". December 27, 1999. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  14. ^ "CCBL names class for second Hall of Fame induction". Retrieved August 30, 2019.

External linksEdit