"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 3/3/12
Pete Vander Veer has been chosen to receive the 2012 Art McGinley Award by the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance. The award, which honors a current or former member of the Alliance for meritorious service to the organization, will be presented at the 71st annual Gold Key Dinner on April 29th at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. Vander Veer's career in sports journalism has spanned more than four decades as he's worked for a variety of publications; he also spent time as the sports information director at the University of New Haven. Pete first joined the Alliance in 1971 and has served as past secretary/financial secretary of the organization. He has also served as a member of the Gold Key selection committee since 2008. Tickets to the Gold Key Dinner can be obtained by emailing CSWA president George Albano at firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending a $75 check to CSWA, PO Box 70, Unionville, CT 06085..........TRIVIA QUESTION: What player holds the Milwaukee Bucks franchise record for games played? Answer to follow..........I was attending the Little East basketball tournament last weekend and came across a Rhode Island College player wearing a warm-up shirt that read the following: ENTITLED TO NOTHING. Wow--powerful stuff, indeed. If I'm a coach, I emphasize this CONSTANTLY to my team; I even try to get those words embroidered on the team JERSEYS if I can.........This week in sports history, March 6, 1966: 19-year-old California college student Bob Seagren becomes the first athlete to pole vault 17 feet indoors when he clears 17' 1/4" at the National Amateur Athletic Union track and field championships in Albuquerque. Ironically, Seagren broke the indoor mark formerly held by John Pennel (16' 10"); the two were close friends who shared an apartment. Seagren made his record-setting vault on his second try and would subsequently miss three times at a height of 17' 4 1/2"..........If Jermaine O'Neal of the Celtics had aged HALF as well as Jennifer Aniston or Christie Brinkley, then Boston would be leading the NBA's Atlantic Division by FIVE games at this juncture..........Did you know that the 1982-'83 Indiana Pacers had three players who scored more than 1,300 points apiece--but the team finished just 20-62 under coach Jack McKinney? Clark Kellogg, Billy Knight, and Herb Williams were the top scoring leaders for a team that averaged almost 109 points per game. The problem? DEFENSE--as this same squad allowed a robust 114.5 points per game (third worst in the league that season)..........Answer to trivia question: JUNIOR BRIDGEMAN--who played in 711 games as a member of the Bucks while playing in the NBA between 1975 and 1987..........ITEM: Former MLB outfielder Elijah Dukes is arrested in Florida after trying to ingest a bag of marijuana; police also noticed a marijuana cigarette tucked behind his EAR during a traffic stop. Two things: 1) I'll go out on a limb and say that Dukes was NOT on his way to the library to take in some Shakespeare at the time of the arrest. 2) The chances of Dukes applying for a Rhodes scholarship anytime soon are about the same as yours truly dating both the aforementioned Jennifer Aniston AND Charlize Theron by the end of this month..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Roberto Duran (no, NOT the "Hands of Stone")--who blows out 39 candles on March 6th. This Duran pitched two seasons for the Detroit Tigers in 1997 and '98--making 31 relief appearances. BOTTOM LINE? Duran could NOT find the plate--walking 32 batters in 26 career innings while giving up NINETEEN earned runs. Yes, folks, his career ERA is in the books at 6.58. Hey, they all can't be Mickey Lolich, right? Best wishes, Roberto..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Kentucky basketball player Jim Dinwiddie; sadly, he died of an apparent self-inflicted gun wound recently at the age of 63. Dinwiddie played 72 games as a guard for legendary coach Adolph Rupp at UK from 1968-1971--scoring 277 points, grabbing 179 rebounds, and dishing out 125 assists during his college career. Jim became an attorney in the early 1970's, and also owned a hotel and theater in Kentucky. Here's hoping that Mr. Dinwiddie is at peace now.