Monday, October 01, 2007

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 10-6-07

Congrats go out to Ansonia (CT) High School running back Alex Thomas--who rushed for a mind-boggling, state record total of 518 yards vs. Naugatuck Valley rival Woodland High last week (he also scored SEVEN touchdowns). Ansonia coach Tom Brockett told me it was simply "the greatest rushing performance I have ever seen." Thomas is now being recruited by various schools, including Yale; obviously, the kid shoulders great responsibility AWAY from the gridiron, as well..........TRIVIA QUESTION: During the decade of the 1980's, what player had the highest batting average (minimum 15 at-bats) in an individual World Series? Answer to follow..........I'd like to know the opinions of hard-core Hall of Famers like Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, and Bob Gibson in regard to the following: The New York Yankees instituting the "Joba Rules," the Blue Jays shutting down pitcher Shawn Marcum after 159 innings due to a "tired" arm, and the fact that a starting pitcher can now be deemed "successful" if he wins 12 games with an ERA of 4.80..........This week in sports history, October 9, 1934: The St. Louis Cardinals erupt for 17 hits en route to an 11-0 Game 7 World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers. The game turned ugly at one point when Cardinals outfielder Joe Medwick was pelted with debris by Detroit fans--who took offense to Medwick's hard slide into third base during the sixth inning. For safety's sake, Medwick was ultimately removed from the game by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis; however, Cardinals ace Dizzy Dean continued to dominate with a six-hit performance at St. Louis went on to an easy, lopsided victory..........I'm sending out an invitation to lovely PGA golfer Natalie Gulbis to play a round of golf with yours truly. Then again, with her good looks being SUCH a distraction, I'd make contact with the ball as often as Madonna makes a good movie..........I walked past a house the other day and saw a sign in front of it that read "BEWARE OF DOGS/PROCEED WITH CAUTION." I thought I had arrived at the N.Y. Knicks front offices..........Did you know that when Travis Fryman of the Detroit Tigers hit for the cycle on July 28, 1993, it was the first time a Tigers player had accomplished the feat since 1950? Yes, 43 years had passed since outfielder Hoot Evers turned the trick for manager Red Rolfe's Detroit club..........Answer to trivia question: DANE IORG--who hit a sizzling .529 (9-for-17) during the 1982 World Series as his Cardinals team downed the Milwaukee Brewers 4 games to 3..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league infielder Enos Cabell--who blows out 58 candles on October 8th. Cabell played 15 seasons between 1972 and 1986 for the Orioles, Astros, Giants, Tigers and Dodgers--hitting a respectable .277 lifetime. Used mostly at third base, "Big E's" best year came in 1978 while with Houston when he played in 162 games and garnered 195 hits while hitting .295. Standing 6-feet-5 inches tall, one would think that Cabell would have shown off some long-ball power on occasion. However, he hit just 60 home runs over his 15-year career--an average of just four round-trippers per season. Best wishes, Enos..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former News 12 (CT) sports director Bill Gonillo--who passed away unexpectedly on September 23rd at the tender age of 44. Gonillo's immense contributions to the Connecticut sports scene are far too numerous to mention here; he was a main fixture at high school sporting events throughout southern Connecticut where the "big guy" could often be seen carrying his trademark video camera. He did extensive radio work in the past, too, and his journalistic flexibility truly set him apart from many of his colleagues. Having worked with Bill in the past, I can attest to the man being the consummate media pro. However, his greatest gift was the way he made OTHERS feel. When you spent time with Bill Gonillo, your day automatically became a bit brighter. If our paths crossed at the Traveler's Championship, a college football luncheon, etc., he'd always make it a point to tell yours truly how much he enjoyed this sports column and proceed to ask my opinion about the latest, hot sports topic. In a nutshell, those fortunate enough to have known/met Gonillo should consider themselves VERY lucky individuals. In addition, I guess one of his most lovable qualities was that he continued to be a "big kid" until his very last day; yeah, we all loved that. I had originally planned to write a piece devoted strictly to Bill's memory, but I was then reminded how much he always enjoyed these diverse, "sports shorts"/"ticker-tape"-type columns. So this one's dedicated to you, Bill; you were a great inspiration so I hereby make YOU the focal point this week. A selfless, kind man you were, Mr. Bill Gonillo--and I was honored to be your friend. As I now look back, I'm extremely glad I was able to make you laugh at times, Bill, as the joy you brought to myself and others in return was truly immense and widespread. Thanks for being one helluva man, Mr. Gonillo, and I get the feeling you're now reading this with a smile--maybe at a huge buffet somewhere in a much better place. All of us will miss you, "big guy;" may you rest in peace.


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