Sington, Fred : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Sington, Fred

Frederic William Sington

Sington was one of the greatest players in the history of Alabama football. An All-America tackle, he led the Crimson Tide to the national championship in 1930. He later became a professional baseball player and successful businessman in his hometown of Birmingham.

Famed sportswriter Grantland Rice wrote, "Sington of Alabama was the outstanding tackle of the year, one of the season's great forwards. Sington is a giant, 6'2" in height, weighing 215-pounds, with the speed of a halfback. He was alert, fast, aggressive and in addition he was capable of many outside duties. Tackles such as Sington rarely come along."

Birth and Death Dates:
b. February 24, 1910 - d. August 1998

Career Highlights:
An outstanding tackle for Alabama, Sington helped the Tide achieve great success during his career. In 1929, Alabama had a record of 6-3-0 and Sington was named AP All-America third team, Grantland Rice All-America honorable mention, and All-Southern first team. In 1930, Fred capped off a terrific career by helping Alabama outscore its opponents 271-13 on the season.

That year, Alabama had a regular season record of 9-0-0 and were proclaimed national champions. They went to the Rose Bowl and defeated Washington State, 24-0. Fred was a Phi Beta Kappa and consensus first-team All-America, so dominant that legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne called him, "the greatest lineman in the country."

After graduating, Fred turned down offers from professional football and wrestling to play baseball; he was an All-America in that sport at Alabama as well. Sington played professional baseball with the Washington Senators and Brooklyn Dodgers from 1934-1939. Originally a pitcher, he became a terrific outfielder.

After his athletic career ended, Sington became known for his civic service and contributions to sports in the state of Alabama; he was nicknamed "Mr. Birmingham" in later years. After World War II, Fred returned to Birmingham, founded Sington Sporting Goods, and became a football official in the SEC and some professional games. In 1967, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Alabama and was chosen Birmingham's Man of the Year in 1970.

Four years later, Fred was inducted into the Southern Athletic Hall of Fame. Sington proposed the Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, which later became the All-American Bowl in 1985 and continued for several years. In 1991, the press box at Birmingham Legion Field was named for Sington. The state of Alabama annually awards the Fred Sington Trophy, given to the state's male and female college athletes of the year. In 1955, Sington was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2000.

Birmingham, Alabama

Career Dates:
Sington played tackle at the University of Alabama from 1928-1930.

Physical description:
6'2", 215 pounds

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)