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      Sumter's Solomon loses battle with cancer

      Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver and Sumter native Freddie Solomon lost his battle with colon and liver cancer on Monday, passing away in Tampa, Florida at the age of 59. In 2004, WPDE Sports profiled the 15 greatest athletes of the Pee Dee and Grand Strand. Solomon came in at #3 in our poll based on our panel of local sports historians from the coaching community. Solomon went from Sumter to the University of Tampa and an NFL career at Miami and San Francisco highlighted by two Super Bowl wins.

      TBO.com: Tampa legend Freddie Solomon dies

      Here's the AP Story:

      SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Freddie Solomon, the former Miami Dolphins and 49ers wide receiver who became known as "Fabulous Freddie" and committed himself to community service, has died. He was 59. Solomon lived in Florida and had battled cancer over the past year. The 49ers announced his death on Monday. The Dolphins selected Solomon in the second round of the 1975 draft out of the University of Tampa. He spent his first three NFL seasons with Miami and his final eight in San Francisco, finishing with 371 receptions for 5,846 yards and 48 touchdowns in 371 games. His 43 TD catches with the Niners are tied for sixth most in team history.

      WPDE's 15 Greatest Athletes Series (2004)

      #1: Doc Blanchard (Bishopville) - Heisman Trophy Winner

      #2: Bobby Richardson (Sumter) - World Series MVP, NY Yankees

      #3: Freddie Solomon (Sumter) - Two Super Bowl rings

      #4: Cale Yarborough (Sardis) - NASCAR Hall of Fame

      #5: Harry Carson (Florence) - Pro Football Hall of Fame

      #6: Levon Kirkland (Lamar) - Pittsburgh Steelers LB

      #7: John Abraham (Lamar) - NY Jets/Atlanta Falcons LB

      #8: Pearl Moore (Florence) - Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

      #9: Bobo Newsom (Hartsville) - Former MLB pitcher

      #10: Puddin' Head Jones (Dillon) - Former MLB player

      #11: Jumpy Geathers (Georgetown) - Redskins/Falcons

      #12: Terry Kinard (Sumter) - NY Giants Super Bown champ

      #13: Buddy Baker (Florence) - NASCAR

      #14: Anthuan Maybank (Georgetown) - Olympic gold medalist

      #15: Reggie Sanders (Florence) - MLB