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MSU two-sport star Tom Yewcic, only man to win Rose Bowl and CWS MVP, dies at 88

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Tom Yewcic, a two-sport All-American at Michigan State who is the only man ever to win a Rose Bowl and be named College World Series Most Outstanding Player, died Tuesday. He was 88.

Yewcic went on to a long professional career punting for the then-Boston Patriots, who announced his death this week. Yewcic lived in Massachusetts.

Tom Yewcic, a former two-sport MSU standout, died Wednesday at the age of 88.

A member of the Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame, Yewcic was the starting quarterback in 1952 and 1953, guiding the Spartans to a national championship in 1952 and the program's first Big Ten title and Rose Bowl victory over UCLA in the 1953 season. Just months after winning the Rose Bowl, Yewcic, a catcher in baseball, led that team to the Big Ten championship and an eventual third-place finish at the College World Series. It was MSU's first CWS apppearance.

Yewcic earned All-America honors in football in 1952 and baseball in 1954. In his first game as Michigan State's starting quarterback, in 1952, he beat Michigan, 27-13, completing 7 of 14 passes for 171 yards. Also that season, Yewcic became just the second Michigan State quarterback to reach 200 yards passing, with 202 in a 48-6 victory over Texas A&M.

After leaving college, Yewcic was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but focused on baseball and signed with the Tigers in 1954. He played four seasons in the minors, reaching the majors for just one game and one at-bat — a pop-up to shortstop — in 1957. He eventually switched over to football, starting in the Canadian Football League before he ended up playing six seasons with the Patriots in the 1960s, mostly as a punter but also seeing some time at quarterback.

An interesting stat: Yewcic and Tom Brady are the two Patriots who have punted, thrown a touchdown pass, caught a pass and run for a touchdown.

In his Patriots career, Yewcic, a native of Pennsylvania, threw for 12 touchdowns and rushed for four more.

Yewcic's wife Jane died in 2014. They had two children and three grandchildren. 

Arrangements were pending Thursday.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984