"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 6/30/12
Toughest part of being out at the Travelers Championship at the TPC in Cromwell last weekend? The absence of longtime New Haven Register sports columnist Dave Solomon--who died in a one-car accident last August. For me, there truly was a huge void in the media center--not seeing Dave in his usual front-row station and not being able to exchange our usual pleasantries with one another. You're truly missed, Mr. Solomon..........TRIVIA QUESTION: Who was the last member of the Seattle Mariners to lead the American League in RBI's? Answer to follow..........ITEM: Boise St. tennis player Garrett Patton is busted on various charges--including public intoxication, possession of marijuana, and obstructing officers--after trying to enter an Idaho residence in the wee hours of the morning. I'm just wondering if Patton will soon tell a judge that this was simply an "unforced error" on his part--and that it won't happen again..........This week in sports history, July 3, 1966: In a performance that most likely will never be repeated, Atlanta Braves pitcher Tony Cloninger hits two grand slams AND pitches a complete game seven-hitter--leading his team to a 17-3 romp over the S.F. Giants. Cloninger connected off Bob Priddy with the bases loaded in the very first inning; he later hit a grand slam in the fourth off Ray Sadecki while adding a single during this phenomenal performance witnessed by over 27,000 fans at Candlestick Park. Just a few weeks earlier, Tony had enjoyed a two-homer/five RBI game vs. the Mets. His seven-hit/five strikeout pitching effort on this day enabled him to improve his season record to 9-7..........Just thinkin': If Oglethorpe University director of athletics Becky Hall walked down the aisle with PGA golfer Roland Thatcher, fans of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer would truly enjoy her new married name of Becky Thatcher..........For all those LeBron James doubters out there: ENOUGH already. What would you like him to do now--end world hunger, balance the federal budget, or perhaps even walk on water?..........Is it me--or shouldn't PGA golfer "Bubba" Watson weigh a LOT more than his listed 180 pounds in order to even be CALLED "Bubba"?..........She may be 54-years-old now, but I STILL think that actress Sharon Stone has aged a lot better than 49-year-old veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer..........Answer to trivia question: BRET BOONE--who drove in 141 runs for the M's back in 2001; Sammy Sosa led all of baseball that season with a staggering total of 160..........Each morning during my daily walk, I always seem to find some type of glove (yes, JUST ONE) somewhere along the route--usually on the side of the road. Two questions: 1) Does this strange phenomenon happen to anyone else out there? 2) If it does, do you IMMEDIATELY think of O.J. Simpson--like I do?..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Mike Farmer--who blows out 44 candles on July 3rd. A native of Indiana who attended Jackson State, Farmer spent only one season in the "bigs"--1996 with the Colorado Rockies. Let's just say that the thin air of Denver didn't assist Mike during his short MLB stint--pitching-wise. In 28 career innings, Farmer allowed 24 earned runs (including 8 homers)--thus going into the MLB record books with a lifetime ERA of 7.71. However, as a batter, Farmer fared well; he notched four singles in 10 career at-bats for a lifetime batting average of .400. I assume that at age 44, it's a little too late to make him an outfielder at this juncture, right? Best wishes for many more birthdays to come, Mike..........Finally, condolences go out to the family/friends of former NFL wide receiver R.C. Owens--who passed away recently in California at the age of 78. Owens played eight seasons in the league from 1957-'64--spending the first five as a member of the 49ers. While there, R.C. made the "alley-oop" pass famous--making acrobatic catches that were thrown high above defenders from quarterback Y.A. Tittle. Standing 6-foot-3, Owens was a star basketball player at the College of Idaho and was actually offered a contract from the Minneapolis Lakers at one point. His best NFL season came in 1961 when he caught 55 passes for over 1,000 yards while playing in San Francisco. He later played two seasons for the Colts before finishing with the Giants in 1964. All told, R.C. Owens caught 206 passes in his career for 3,285 yards and scored 22 TD's. Following his playing career, Owens was involved in community work for the 49ers and was also associated with many charitable causes. R.C. was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and the 49ers Hall of Fame in 2011. He is survived by his wife, Susan, three sons, two daughters, and 12 grandchildren. May R.C. Owens rest in peace.