Keith Spaith

Last updated
Keith Spaith
Born:(1923-04-08)April 8, 1923
Dinuba, California
Died:March 1, 1976(1976-03-01) (aged 52)
Career information
CFL status American
Position(s) QB/P
College Saint Mary's College of California
University of Southern California
Career history
As player
1947Hawaiian Warriors
1948–54 Calgary Stampeders
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star1948, 49
Awards1948, 1949 - Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy
Honors1948 - Grey Cup Champion

Keith Spaith (April 8, 1923 – March 1, 1976) was a Canadian football player for the Calgary Stampeders from 1948 to 1954. [1]

Spaith played his college football first with Saint Mary's College of California and then later transferred to University of Southern California. In 1947 he played one season in the Pacific Coast Professional Football League, with Hawaiian Warriors. His team finished 7–2 and won the league title, but was rocked with scandal when it was discovered players had bet on games. Spaith was one of 14 suspended. [2]

He joined the Calgary Stampeders in 1948 and his first two seasons were the stuff of legend. In his rookie season he led the Stamps to an undefeated 12–0 record (the last team in Canadian professional football to do so) and won the Grey Cup. In that victory he played all 60 minutes, and even intercepted a pass. He was also an all-star and winner of the Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy as best player in the west. In 1949 the Cowboys went 13–1, but lost the Grey Cup to the Montreal Alouettes. Regardless, once again Spaith was an all-star and MVP award winner. The Stamps, under his leadership, had a 25-win and 1-loss regular season record in his first two years.

Spaith played five more seasons with Calgary. He completed 555 of 1166 passes for 8906 yards, with 23 touchdown passes and 52 interceptions. He also punted 397 times. [3]

After his football career, he returned to the United States and worked in the construction business. He and his wife Betty and two sons and a daughter. His oldest son, Robert Spaith, is a well-known sculptor in Alberta, Canada. He died, age 52, in March 1976. [4] In 2002, he was inducted into the Stampeders Alumni Wall of Fame.

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References

  1. CFLAPEDIA entry: Keith Spaith
  2. THE END OF THE PCPFL by Bob Gill THE COFFIN CORNER: Vol. 5, No. 4 (1983)
  3. NOTE: The totals for the TD passes, interceptions and total punts do not include 1948 and 1949. The WIFU did not keep official stats those years. All other stats come from the Stampeders all-time records.
  4. Calgary Stampederes Press Release, 25 Sept 2001, SPAITH AND LISKE THE 2002 STAMPEDER ALUMNI WALL OF FAME INDUCTEES