USC Great Rink Babka Passes Away

Rink Babka, a silver medalist in the discus at the 1960 Olympics, died Saturday. He was 85.

Babka held the world record in the discus and was the NCAA champion in 1958. He was USC co-captain on the 1958 NCAA championship team.

His best college throw of 198-10 still ranks as the fifth-best mark in USC history. He was one of the first discus throwers to break the 200-foot mark.

A world and American record holder in the discus (career best of 217-4), Babka was ranked in the world’s top 10 for 12 consecutive years, including No. 1 in 1958. He was ranked into the USC Hall of Fame in 2009.

20 thoughts on “USC Great Rink Babka Passes Away

  1. I remember when I was at one of the Compton Invitational Track and Field meets ,I went to them in mid 50’s and early 60’s and he was competing and winning as he usually did. He came into the stands just below where I was sitting to visit some one. Up close he was an enormous mass of muscles and a smiling face clearly enjoying himself in his USC track uniform…hope he continued to live a blessed life right up to the end,and now blessed to be upstairs.

    Liked by 1 person


    NEXT UP- OWN will be switching his loyalties to USC rather than UCLA. He has finally beginning to realize UCLA is going nowhere in football and tired of Chip Cheeseburger Kelly, and now for four more years of the same thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I was on the 1960 Trojan Track and Field team. Rink and Perry and Dallas Long and the McKeevers used to compete in practice all the time. Rink and Perry O’Brien often joined us for Breakfast and practice even though they were out of school. All those guys could put away the pancakes and ham.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Can you imagine Rink and Perry O’Brien, great track “throwers,” and the SC football immortals, the McKeever boys talking it up over breakfast?–

    Perry: “Damn if you don’t own the best name, Rink. I mean you can call somebody up 10-years later, and open up by saying, “Hey man, how are you doing, it’s Rink”– And immediately we hear, “Rink, my brother, how be you.’ Try being named John.

    Rink:– Ok Perry, but in school I often heard ‘Here he comes, ol’ Rinky-dink’ but then I started to grow and I never heard that again.

    Mike McKeever– Oh, I just love you sissy track guys. ‘Oh, football is just too dangerous, and I worry about breaking my nose.’ Now us football guys don’t believe you become a man until you’ve broken your nose– twice.

    Rink: McKeever, I bet you were Rinky-dink as a kid, too. But man, did you eventually show them and the world. Good move, guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In other news– it is the NFL playoffs with only 8 teams remaining:

    I only follow the NFL for 3-weeks at the end of the season when the real Season begins– the playoffs.

    Got to like Green Bay, but San Fran is tough.
    Buffalo and the unparalleled Josh Allen face KC, with the probable Super Bowl winner
    Brady probably over the Rams
    Cincy and Tenn– who cares.

    It seems that one of the biggest differences between college and pro football is the tackling. Seldom does an NFL running back get a cheap touchdown, whereas in college it is fairly common with shoddy tackling. But the passing game is pretty even because all defensive backs will get beat, at least from time to time.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I recall playing sandlot tackle football as a 28 year-old, hit a big guy at the knees, brought him down, and I chipped a tooth in the back of my mouth– Still have that chipped tooth as a reminder of my very last tackle!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The last tackle I made was along the same lines, sparrow. Halfback pass –I threw an interception on the first play of the first non league game… I knew I couldn’t textbook tackle the linebacker who caught my pass …so I grabbed him around the neck and put my foot between his legs and went down with him —broke my leg .. I played one more down on the next series…. and had to come out…. and our coach told me I looked stiff and “to run it off”…


      3. P. S.
        As far as chipped teeth –my first Italian girlfriend and I kissed all day on the beach when we were 15 —when we got home we both realized we had chipped a piece off one of our front teeth … I think of her every time I look at it —and, poor thing, she probably has to think of me…..


      1. You were ahead of me in the kissing department, Michael.

        At 15 I was singing the refrain of 2 songs– “Because I want a girl to call my own; I want a dream lover so I don’t have to dream alone,” and “Only trouble is, gee whiz, I’m dreamin’ my life away.”

        Epilogue– I finally did get to kiss a girl. All you have to do is live a long life and you will experience most everything you set out to do except becoming a trillionaire.

        Liked by 1 person

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