A Henderson County sports star, University of Kentucky All-American, and Super Bowl champion has passed away.
Sam Ball died early on Monday. He was seventy-nine. The Louisville Sports Commission announced on Facebook that Sam Ball, a member of the 2018 Class of the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, had gone away. His personality was enormous and he will be sadly missed. We send our deepest sympathies to his friends and family.”
Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, also announced his demise on X, stating, “Rest in peace, Sam Ball. For a few really good Baltimore Colts teams, starting right tackle.”
Before heading to Kentucky, Ball, who was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018, played 36 games for the Colonels in his hometown. Ball played offensive guard for three years at the University of Kentucky before being selected to the All-American and SEC First Team in 1965.
During his five-season NFL career, Ball was selected by the Baltimore Colts in the first round of the draft and participated in both Super Bowl III and Super Bowl V. He earned his Super Bowl ring playing against the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V.
After finishing his playing career, Ball retired and returned to his native Kentucky to work as a motivational speaker and herd cattle.
Henderson Mayor Brad Staton reflected on what he meant to Henderson:
“The City of Henderson is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Sam Ball. He was a true champion for our community and represented us well on many stages. Most importantly, Sam was a proud native of Henderson who returned to his hometown after a successful professional football career that included two Super Bowl appearances with one Super Bowl win. An avid hunter and professional speaker, he always made his community proud. Sam will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”