"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 3/17/12
ITEM: University of Georgia soccer player Carli Shultis is arrested on shoplifting charges; she allegedly stuffed an order of hash browns (worth $1.06) down her pants at the Bulldog Cafe in order to avoid paying for them. Two questions: 1) Did she actually think the 'spuds" were overpriced--since she told police she DID have the money to pay for them? 2) Would she have tried to do the same thing if the potatoes were MASHED?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1992-'93 New Jersey Devils--who finished 40-37-7 under Herb Brooks--had three players on the squad who tallied 30 or more goals apiece. Can you name any of these gentlemen? Answer to follow..........Congrats go out to the Eastern CT men's basketball team for making it to the NCAA Division III 'Sweet 16' before being defeated by fifth-ranked Cabrini last week. The Warriors finished 24-6 and made their first appearance in the NCAA sectionals since 1992-'93. Yes, a fine job executed by head coach Bill Geitner, his talented staff, and a team of hard-nosed players..........The Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) will receive the President's Award at the 71st annual Gold Key Dinner on April 29th at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. The award is chosen by the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance president (currently George Albano) and is given to an individual or organization that has contributed to the sports landscape of the state of Connecticut. The FCIAC celebrated its 50th year during the 2010-'11 campaign and currently has a total of 19 members; it was founded in 1961 and has produced athletes such as Kristine Lilly, Calvin Murphy, Steve Young, and Bobby Valentine. Tickets to the Gold Key Dinner can be obtained by contacting Albano at email@example.com or by calling (203)434-2320..........This week in sports history, March 20, 1965: In his final college basketball game, Princeton's Bill Bradley scores 58 points--leading his team to a 118-82 victory over Wichita State in the NCAA tournament consolation game. Bradley was simply unstoppable--connecting on 22-of-29 field-goal attempts while converting 14-of-15 free throws; he also added 17 rebounds. Princeton had lost 93-76 in a semifinal match-up vs. Michigan--but surely not due to the heroics of Bradley. He set a record for most points ever in a Final Four with 177 in five games. Shortly thereafter, he'd begin his studies as a noted Rhodes scholar..........Did you know that the 1981-'82 Cleveland Cavaliers--a team that put together a horrific record of 15-67--went through FOUR different coaches that season? Don Delaney (4-11), Bob Kloppenburg (0-3), Chuck Daly (9-32), and Bill Musselman (2-21) all took turns leading this hapless crew--a team that finished dead last in the NBA's Central Division..........Can you imagine if Italian tennis player Alberta Brianti ever tied the knot with former NFL running back Larry Canada? Sports fans in and around the Calgary area would surely delight in her married name of Alberta Canada..........A question for my readers: Since the lovely Christie Brinkley continues to be involved in a nasty, ongoing child custody battle with ex-husband Peter Cook, do you think she'd be interested in a tennis date with an aging sports columnist in order to blow off some steam? No--I didn't think so, either..........Answer to trivia question: STEPHANE RICHER (38), ALEXANDER SEMAK (37), and CLAUDE LEMIEUX (30)..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league catcher/manager Bill Plummer--who blows out 65 candles on March 21st. A native of Oakland, CA, Plummer spent parts of 10 seasons in the majors between 1968 and 1978 with the Cubs, Reds, and Mariners; the majority of his time was spent in Cincinnati as Johnny Bench's back-up. A member of the "Big Red Machine" championship clubs of '75 and '76, Plummer LITERALLY couldn't hit his weight throughout his career. Listed at 190 pounds, Plummer had 892 lifetime at-bats and could only muster 168 hits--for a career batting average of just .188. Hey, they ALL can't be like Mr. Bench, right? Plummer later managed the Mariners in 1992 before being replaced by Lou Piniella. Here's wishing you many more birthdays to come, Bill..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former National League umpire Harry Wendelstedt--who passed away last week in Daytona Beach at the age of 73; he had been diagnosed with brain cancer ten years ago and was battling other illnesses. Harry spent 33 years in baseball from 1966-1998; he was a World Series crew chief in 1980 and 1995 and also worked the Fall Classic in '73, '86, and '91. In addition, he worked seven NLCS's and umpired in four All-Star games. Wendelstedt was behind the plate during Gaylord Perry's (Giants) no-hitter vs. St. Louis in 1968; amazingly, the next day, Harry worked the third base bag as Ray Washburn of the Cardinals no-hit San Francisco. He owned and operated the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School in Ormond Beach for years and his son is current MLB umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. Yes, father and son DID get to work together in 1998--Hunter's "rookie" year in the 'bigs' and Harry's last. His legacy? He was fair, well-respected, and truly loved the game of baseball. May Harry Wendelstedt rest in peace.