"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 4/16/11
Anyone out there see the picture of the lovely Christie Brinkley last week wearing a skin-tight red dress outside the Good Morning America studios in NYC? She's 57 YEARS OLD, folks. My first thought was that if Shaquille O'Neal had aged HALF as well as the "Uptown Girl," the Celtics would have clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference back in FEBRUARY..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1991 Houston Astros were led in saves by a pitcher who had 86% of his career total (of saves) during that one season. Can you name this former hurler? Answer to follow..........Immense praise is in order for the San Francisco Giants due to their admirable treatment of longtime clubhouse attendant David Loewenstein. Afflicted with advanced Crohn’s disease and diabetes, Loewenstein was in and out of hospitals during the team's championship run in 2010; he was forced to leave the team for good shortly before the playoffs began. The players huddled together and decided to give Loewenstein a FULL World Series share--which came out to over $317,000. He continues to have massive medical bills today; he cannot work and is gravely ill, but the team has allowed him to remain on both the current payroll and the club's insurance plan. Yes, in a sport where BAD news sometimes dwarfs actions like this, the Giants' generosity is HIGHLY commended. Great job, guys..........This week in sports history, April 18, 1942: The Toronto Maple Leafs complete the greatest Stanley Cup-series comeback in NHL history--beating the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 in Game 7 before more than 16,000 fans at Maple Leaf Gardens. Down three games to none, Toronto rallied to win Games 4, 5, and 6 by scores of 4-3, 9-3, and 3-0 respectively. Dave Schriner became the hero for the Leafs in Game 7 as he scored twice in a three-goal third period--allowing Toronto to become the first team to recover from a three-game Stanley Cup final deficit..........NBA tidbit: Did you know that the 1981-'82 San Diego Clippers averaged an impressive 108.5 points per game--but won only SEVENTEEN GAMES all season? Yes, defense was the team's Achilles' heel as Paul Silas' squad gave up a staggering total of 115.9 points per game--easily cementing a sixth-place finish in the league's Pacific Division..........Answer to trivia question: AL OSUNA--who saved 12 games in 1991 while accumulating a grand total of just 14 in his career--one that lasted from 1990-1996...........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a Connecticut high school girls softball game last week, Oxford annihilated O'Brien Tech 34-0; the winning squad led 22-0 after just two innings while O'Brien Tech made NINE errors during the course of this fiasco. Sheesh--and I used to think that star-nosed moles and sloths were ugly............Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league outfielder Jim Eisenreich--who blows out 52 candles on April 18th. In a 15-year career that spanned from 1982-1998, Jim played for five different teams--hitting an impressive .290 lifetime. Possessing Tourette Syndrome, Eisenreich went on the voluntary retirement list between 1984 and 1987 while he was undergoing treatment. He was later named as the first recipient of the Tony Conigliaro Award in 1990---given to a major league player who best overcomes an obstacle. Eisenreich was also a member of the 1997 world champion Florida Marlins; that season, he hit .280 in 293 at-bats. He now runs the Jim Eisenreich Foundation for Children with Tourette Syndrome--which he founded with his wife back in the 1990's. Best wishes, Jim...........A true hero has left us as Mandi Schwartz--a member of the Yale women's hockey team--recently passed away at the tender age of 23. You've read about Mandi before in this column as I've attempted to bring attention to her valiant fight vs. leukemia and the need for umbilical cord blood/bone marrow donors. Having recently talked with her teammate Aleca Hughes at length about this special young lady, I was immediately struck by the courage she demonstrated throughout her ordeal; her uplifting attitude and selfless nature were ALWAYS present as she fought the dreaded disease. Yeah--I guess we all could learn a lesson from the life of one Mandi Schwartz. Her name will now live on as the Yale athletic department has named its annual marrow donor registry drive in honor of Mandi. On April 21st, readers out there--along with the general public--can help save lives by being part of the nationwide "Get in the Game/Save a Life" campaign for the Be The Match Registry. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and take place at the Yale University Commons on the corner of College Street and Grove Street in New Haven where food will be served. Anyone out there interested in helping with the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registry Drive at Yale can contact Larry Ciotti with the Yale football team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (203) 671-9805. We all miss you, Mandi.