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The late John Steadman, a sportswriter for The (Baltimore) Sun who covered the Colts in their glory years, once said, “Art is a tremendous example for everyone, a wonderful Santa Claus-type individual.”

Indeed, Donovan often played the role of Saint Nick at the team’s annual Christmas party. His good cheer was no act.

“Wherever Artie goes, people always crowd around him and he makes them laugh,” former Colt Dick Syzmanski once said. “Isn’t that a gift?”

Donovan broke into professional football in 1950 with the Colts, who folded after his rookie season. He played with the Yanks in 1951 and Texans in 1952 before the Dallas franchise moved to Baltimore and became the second version of the Colts.