John E. “Buddy” Leake Jr.

1990 - 1999 Inductees
Year Honored:
University of Oklahoma
Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Green Bay Packers


It is impressive enough that Memphian “Buddy” Leake set football records as a place kicker and receiver at the University of Oklahoma. What’s more impressive is that he also set records in baseball!

A Colliers’ All-American in 1952, Leake held the football career scoring record at Oklahoma for nineteen years. In its game with Texas in 1952, Oklahoma won 49-20, and Leake set three game records: most points, longest touchdown pass reception, and most points after touchdowns in one game. But Leake also made his mark on the baseball diamond when he set the record of hitting three home runs in consecutive times at bat.

A third-round choice of the Green Bay Packers in 1955, Leake elected instead to play for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League for three seasons.

He also played AAA baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1955-1956. When his impressive athletic career finally ended, Leake went on to success as a life insurance underwriter.

His heart still in the athletics arena, Leake became a founding member of the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. In 1993 he received the “Contribution to Amateur Football” Award from the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. And in 1996, Leake was included as a recipient of the Sooner Illustrated Best of the Best Award, being selected as the best player in University of Oklahoma history to wear jersey number twenty-two. A proud honor for a great athlete born and bred in Memphis.

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