Sunday, August 20, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 08-26-06

ITEM: 43-year-old, former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield defeats insurance salesman Jeremy Bates in two rounds last weekend in Dallas. Rumor has it that Evander will take on a plumber, a financial advisor, and a computer programmer in his next three fights before attempting to fight a REAL boxer somewhere down the road..........TRIVIA QUESTION: On what golf course did Ken Venturi win the 1964 U.S. Open? Answer to follow..........Did you know that, in 1942, outfielder Danny Litwhiler of the Philadelphia Phillies played 151 games--and did NOT commit an error the entire season? Litwhiler was the first major league regular to accomplish this. After spending 1945 in the military, Litwhiler returned to the big leagues the following year--only to become a platoon player until he was done with baseball in 1951..........This week in sports history, August 28, 1981: At a track meet in Brussels, England's Sebastian Coe runs the mile in a record time of 3 minutes, 47.33 seconds--shaving a remarkable 1.07 seconds off the previous mark held by fellow countryman Steve Ovett. Coe--running in ideal 71-degree weather conditions--ran a blistering 1:52.67 half-mile on the way to his record run; Kenyan Mike Bolt finished second in 3:49.45..........How 'bout Mets pitcher Orlando Hernandez last Sunday? The Cuban defector (whose age is known to NO ONE) bunts his way to first, goes to second on an errant throw, then STEALS third! Mets TV voice Gary Cohen called it "the friskiness of El Duque"..........Can you imagine if LPGA golfer Brooke Tull married former Le Moyne College basketball player Sid Pond, divorced, married former big league catcher Steve Lake--divorced again--then married singer Billy Ocean? She'd be roaming fairways with the married water-themed name of Brooke Pond Lake Ocean..........Former NBA/current Italian League player Lonny Baxter has been arrested after shots were fired from an SUV he was driving--not far from the White House. Well, I guess Baxter will always be known for his "outside shooting"; now it's time for him to work on his rebounding..........ITEM: Former Yankees pitcher Kevin Brown pulls a gun on a neighbor after the person dumped grass clippings onto Brown's property in Georgia. Funny, I don't remember the head groundskeeper at Yankee Stadium threatening bodily harm to Brown each time Kevin would spit or throw the resin bag on the finely groomed infield grass in the Bronx..........Answer to trivia question: The CONGRESSIONAL COUNTRY CLUB in Bethesda, MD--where Venturi battled dehydration and scorching temperatures to win the tournament..........After last weekend, I fully expected THIS to appear in the "Transactions" section of the sports page: Boston Red Sox--Designated ALL relief pitchers--except RHP Jon Papelbon--for assignment..........Absolute proof that the baseball "fan" of today is nothing like the one of 30 years ago: Rolex advertising on Yankees radio broadcasts..........ITEM: Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter occasionally puts his glove in a microwave oven for "punishment" purposes after he makes a bad play in the field. This would be a great topic when it comes to "hot stove league" talk, huh? I'm also wondering if, after Hunter "nukes" the glove, he has to let it stand two minutes before using it again..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league hurler Ernie Broglio--who blows out 71 candles on August 27th. A native of Berkeley, CA, Broglio pitched only eight seasons in the "bigs" between 1959 and 1966 for the Cardinals and Cubs--winning 77 games. Amazingly, 21 of those victories came in one season--a magical 1960 campaign with St. Louis--when Broglio was used as a starter AND reliever. He also won 18 games for the Cards in 1963 before being traded in 1964 to the Cubs for a young outfielder named Lou Brock. Best wishes, Ernie..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former middleweight boxing champion Al Hostak--who died recently at the age of 90 of complications from a stroke. Born in Minneapolis to Czech immigrants, Hostak won the title in 1938 with a one-round KO of Freddie Steele--a bout refereed by former heavyweight great Jack Dempsey. Hostak compiled a ring record of 63-9-12 with 42 knockouts, and was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997. Rest in peace, "Champ."

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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