Ex-Illini back Bates dies at 77
SILVIS — Former Illinois running back Melvin B. “Mickey” Bates, 77, of Rock Island died July 15 at Genesis Illini Campus Hospital.
Bates, a three-time letterman for the Illini, played halfback from 1953 to ’55 and was known as “Mr. Boom.”
An All-Big Ten selection, Bates held records for most single-game touchdowns and most touchdowns in a season.
Bates graduated in 1952 from Kewanee High School, where he competed in football, basketball and track. He was an all-state running back and recently was inducted into the Kewanee Hall of Fame.