From the Archives: The night the Colts left Baltimore

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Today marks the 28th anniversary of the night the Colts packed up and moved to Indianapolis, a dark chapter in Baltimore sports history. Speculation about what would happen to the Baltimore Colts had been mounting for weeks as behind closed doors owner Robert Irsay was finalizing plans to relocate the team.

The iconic photo that many Baltimoreans saw on the front page of The Evening Sun was taken by Sun photographer Lloyd Pearson, who captured the Mayflower truck rolling out of the Colts complex in Owings Mills.

    “The huge moving van was pictured by Lloyd amid hundreds of flakes of heavy snow in the darkness. In the background, a solitary soul stands with his hands in his pockets forlornly staring at the Baltimore Colts about to vanish into history. Near the man is a simple sign stamping the poignant scene: Baltimore Colts. This single photograph made owner Irsay the devil for many Baltimore fans and the hero of Indianapolis,” said Ernest F. Imhoff, a retired Evening Sun and Baltimore Sun editor, in Pearson’s January 2012 obituary.

— Reporting assistance from Paul McCardell