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Celebrating the Impact of Herb Travenio During Black History Month 

BHM Travenio Editorial 16x9

As part of the celebration of Black History Month, the Chargers organization is highlighting the impact of former Bolts players throughout February. Up next is Herb Travenio, a war veteran and former Chargers kicker.

Herb Travenio only played pro football for two seasons, yet he was able to be an important trailblazer in the sport.

Travenio was among one of first Black kickers in pro football playing for the Bolts in the AFL in 1964 and 1965 under Sid Gillman, who is a member of the Chargers Hall of Fame.

As a member of the Marines in early adulthood, Travenio returned during the Vietnam War to help and train other troops. He is one of 29 NFL personnel who served in the military during the war.

While training others, Travenio began playing football with Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) team that would organize and play games against other major universities.

The MCRD often saw former college and even pro players, as they would play tightly contested games against other military teams as well. A handful of players would make their way to the pros after playing for the team.


Travenio would be one of them, as he would pick up kicking while playing for the MCRD and eventually get the attention of AFL teams, making his way to the Chargers in 1964.

He would play in three games that season as a 31-year-old rookie, knocking in two field goals and 10 extra points.

Travenio would come back to the Chargers in 1965 and play 14 games this time around, making 18 field goals with a long of 40 yards.

He would also lead the AFL in successful extra point tries that season, making 40 out of 40 extra point attempts enroute to the Chargers winning the AFL West division title.

His pro football career would come to end, but his impact was ever lasting.

Since Travenio last played, there have only been a handful of Black kickers in the modern era that have gone on to kick in a game professionally.

Although his time as a pro was short, the impact Travenio left is still felt, as he is an inspiration at his position even in the present day.


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