Ambrose, Judge Dick
What was earning first team all-ACC honors as a middle linebacker at the University of Virginia worth to Dick Ambrose? Selection in the 12th round of the 1975 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. What was Dick Ambrose worth to the Cleveland Browns for the next nine seasons? Priceless. The 6-0 235-pounder—who earned the nickname “Bam Bam” which he carried through his career when he broke a pair of shoulder pads while making a tackle in his rookie season—became a starter early on and retained that status, starting 64 consecutive games, until a broken leg sidelined him in the sixth game of the 1983 season. He led the team in tackles for five consecutive years from 1977 to 1981, was named the team’s most valuable defensive player in 1977, was an integral part of the storied “Kardiac Kids” in 1980 (a team which wrote a special page in the Browns’ history), was voted the winner of the Browns’ Captains Award made annually to “a team player and an inspiration” in 1981, and was elected a team co-captain in 1982. He began studying law while still an active player, and received his degree from Cleveland State’s Marshall College of Law in 1987 and practiced law in Cleveland until he was appointed a judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas in 2004. The native of New Rochelle, NY, has remained active in a large number of civic, charitable and athletic affairs in Greater Cleveland and makes his home in Westlake.