Mel Triplett

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Mel Triplett
Date of birth:(1930-12-24)December 24, 1930
Place of birth:Indianola, Mississippi
Date of death:July 2, 2002(2002-07-02) (aged 71)
Place of death:Toledo, Ohio
Career information
Position(s):Running back
College:Toledo
NFL Draft:1955 / Round: 5 / Pick: 56
Organizations
As player:
1955-1960
1961-1962
New York Giants
Minnesota Vikings
Career stats
Playing stats at NFL.com
 
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Mel Triplett
Date of birth:(1930-12-24)December 24, 1930
Place of birth:Indianola, Mississippi
Date of death:July 2, 2002(2002-07-02) (aged 71)
Place of death:Toledo, Ohio
Career information
Position(s):Running back
College:Toledo
NFL Draft:1955 / Round: 5 / Pick: 56
Organizations
As player:
1955-1960
1961-1962
New York Giants
Minnesota Vikings
Career stats
Playing stats at NFL.com

Melvin C. Triplett (December 24, 1930 – July 26, 2002) was an American football running back in the National Football League who played for eight seasons for the New York Giants. He played college football at the University of Toledo and was drafted by the Giants in the 1955 NFL Draft, where he played for six seasons. He scored the opening touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the 1956 championship game, won by the Giants 47-7. He was named New York's outstanding offensive player in the game. He left the Giants for the Minnesota Vikings, where he played in 1961 and 1962. Including both teams, he totaled 2,857 yards and 14 touchdowns in his NFL career.

Among the fans of Mel Triplett during his days on the New York Giants was a young basketball player in New York named Lew Alcindor, later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Abdul-Jabbar says in his 1983 memoir Giant Steps that it was largely Triplett's wearing of uniform #33 that made Abdul-Jabbar adopt #33 as well, a number he made famous.

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