Image Gallery of Mack Lee Hill Halfback/Fullback of the Kansas City Chiefs 1964-1965
The young man for whom the Mack Lee Hill award of the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football team is named after. Born in Quincey, Florida in 1940, Hill played at Southern University and tried out for the Chiefs in 1964 as a free agent after being offered only $300 only if he made team. He made the team and even went on to be the #2 leading rusher his rookie year playing behind the legendary Abner Hayes and, along with Hayes, was named to the AFL All-Star game that year.
Towards the end of the 1965 season, during game #12 against the Buffalo Bills he suffered a serious knee injury that required surgery to repair ruptured ligaments. After going into what was described as “sudden massive convulsions” during the operation he died an hour-and-a-half later from from what was diagnosed as a massive embolism.
The exact cause of death was never known but the Chiefs team doctor seemed to think it could have been caused by a reaction to the anesthesia or maybe fat deposits could have broken off and lodged in the blood stream. This news article from The Lawrence Journal Daily World contains the details of his death. He was 25 years old and was one of the leading rushers in the AFL at the time.
After his passing the Chiefs retired his jersey and started the Mack Lee Hill Award which is awarded to the most outstanding rookie of the season and has included such recipients as Jan Stenerud, Derrick Thomas, Tony Gonzales and Jared Allen.
Mack Lee Hills Career Statistics with the Kansas City Chiefs
AFL Career Rushing Statistics
AFL Career Receiving Statistics
*Second Team AFL All-Star
† Season leader in AFL for this category