"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 6/16/12
Anyone out there catch a glimpse of the Burberry slit gown that lovely actress Jennifer Aniston was wearing last week at the AFI Life Achievement Awards out in Culver City, California? My goodness--and to think that I used to consider a Reggie Miller jump shot the ultimate thing of beauty..........TRIVIA QUESTION: Who was the last member of the Pittsburgh Pirates to lead the National League in stolen bases? Answer to follow..........ITEM: EIGHT north Florida high school (Fleming High) football players are arrested stemming from a Memorial Day burglary; they allegedly ransacked a home in Clay County--making off with over $5,000 worth of items (including a shotgun and rifle). Hey--let's give these youngsters the benefit of the doubt: Perhaps their intention was SOLELY to turn in the firearms to police (for neighborhood safety purposes) while on their way to Sunday school the following weekend..........This week in sports history, June 19, 1973: Legendary hockey player Gordie Howe ends a two-year retirement at the age of 45--signing a four-year, $1 million contract in order to play with his sons (Mark and Marty) for the WHA's Houston Aeros. Before retiring, Howe had played a remarkable 25 seasons for the Detroit Red Wings and held the NHL records for games played (1,687), goals (786), and points (1,023). At a time when the World Hockey Association was in dire need of publicity/established names, Howe's contract was a "no-brainer" for Houston; he'd have the unique opportunity to play with 18-year-old Mark (defenseman) and 19-year-old Marty (left wing)..........I don't know about you, but when I see stunning sideline reporter Jenny Dell working on Red Sox/NESN telecasts, I DO NOT think of the large computer corporation located in Round Rock, TX..........Did you know that the 2007 St. Louis Cardinals hit a measly total of just THIRTEEN triples the entire season? Just HOW pathetic was that number? The second lowest # of triples in the NL that season belonged to the Cincinnati Reds--who hit 10 MORE than the Cardinals did..........Anyone out there remember the episode of "The Munsters" back in the 60's when Herman tried out for the Dodgers--with Leo Durocher appearing as himself? Classic quote from Durocher after seeing Herman do "super-human" things on the field, i.e. knocking down the center field scoreboard with a batted ball: "I don't know whether to sign him with the Dodgers or send him to VIETNAM!"..........Here goes: Tennis champion Venus Williams marries recently-turned-pro golfer Jonathan Fly--divorces--then marries former NBA forward John Q. Trapp. Yes, folks, her full married name would then be Venus Fly Trapp..........Answer to trivia question: TONY WOMACK--who swiped 58 bases in 1998; he'd steal a total of 363 bases over a 13-year career that ended in 2006..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Jerry Reuss--who blows out 63 candles on June 19th. A native of St. Louis, Reuss went on to pitch for eight different clubs over a long, 22-year career that spanned from 1969 to 1990. He compiled an impressive career record of 220-191 without ever winning 20 games in any one season. A two-time All-Star, Reuss' best season probably came in 1980 when he went 18-6 (2.51 ERA) for Los Angeles while leading the NL in shutouts (6); he also threw a no-hitter vs. the Giants that year and would end up finishing second to Steve Carlton in the NL Cy Young Award voting. Jerry was also a member of the Dodgers' 1981 world championship team--pitching a complete game five-hitter in Game 5 of the World Series vs. the Yankees. Following his retirement from baseball, Reuss became a minor league pitching coach and has also worked as a baseball color commentator; best wishes, Jerry..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NBA player LeRoy Ellis--who passed away recently in Portland, Oregon after a long battle with prostate cancer; he was 72. A native of New York, Ellis played at St. John's from 1959-'62 and still holds the school's single season record for rebounding with an average of 16.5 per game during his junior year. Drafted by Los Angeles in the first round of the 1962 draft, LeRoy played for the Lakers, Bullets, Trail Blazers, and 76ers in a 14-year career that ended in 1976. Over the course of his career, Ellis (a center/forward) appeared in over 1,000 games--averaging 9.7 ppg/8.3 rpg; he led the very first Portland team (1970-'71) in rebounding with an average of 12.3 rpg and was a member of the '72 L.A. Lakers championship squad. Ellis was considered both a very quiet man on the court and a classy individual off it; he'll surely be missed. May LeRoy Ellis rest in peace.