"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 7/7/12
Anyone out there remember when tennis legend Steffi Graf won the 1988 French Open in just 32 MINUTES over Natasha Zvereva? Sheesh, I'm almost positive that I've stood in the EXPRESS LINE at supermarkets longer than that..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1992 Detroit Tigers--who finished 75-87 under manager Sparky Anderson--had three players who hit more than 30 home runs apiece. Can you name this trio? Answer to follow..........Scenario: NY area realtor Cathy Greek marries PGA golfer Harris English, divorces, marries University of Texas pitcher Parker French--divorces again--then walks down the aisle with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. She then possesses a name filled with nationalities: Cathy Greek English French Cuban..........Question: Now that actress Katie Holmes has filed for divorce from Tom Cruise, do you think she'd be interested in an aging, east coast-based sports columnist who lives paycheck to paycheck? O.K., readers--after you stop laughing, do me a favor and quickly bite your tongues before answering that question..........This week in sports history, July 10, 1971: At the Royal Birkdale course in Southport, England, golfer Lee Trevino claims the 100th British Open Championship with a one-stroke victory over Liang Huan Lu of Taiwan. The "Merry Mex" won the tournament despite carding a 7 on the 17th hole, but managed to birdie #18 to ice the victory. Just a few weeks earlier, Trevino had won the U.S. Open (vs. Jack Nicklaus in a playoff)--becoming only the fourth golfer ever to win the U.S. and British championships in the same year and the first since Bobby Jones in 1930..........As I mentioned two weeks ago, Yale hockey player/captain Aleca Hughes became one of 11 finalists for the ECAC Hockey Mandi Schwartz Award--given to a deserving individual who excels in the classroom and demonstrates overall leadership qualities. Well, I'm now happy to report that Ms. Hughes was named the WINNER of that award last week for her countless efforts. Aleca has been very instrumental in bringing attention to her former teammate, Mandi, who died of acute myeloid leukemia last year; Hughes has formed the Mandi Schwartz Foundation and has organized the annual "White Out For Mandi" fundraiser game at Ingalls Rink. She has also worked tirelessly to raise awareness of marrow/umbilical cord donations in order to help those with life-threatening illnesses. Aleca Hughes is involved in many more humanitarian efforts--too numerous to mention here. Let's just say that her stellar efforts--along with their major effects--will continue to assist others positively for years to come. Congratulations, Aleca..........Anyone out there catch of glimpse of the sheer, stunning black gown that actress Blake Lively recently wore at the premiere of her new film "Savages" out in California? I haven't hyperventilated THAT much since I ran a 10K road race back in the 80's when temperatures in southern CT were hovering near 100 degrees..........Answer to trivia question: CECIL FIELDER (35), ROB DEER (32), and MICKEY TETTLETON (32)..........ITEM: Texas A & M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is arrested on disorderly conduct and other misdemeanor charges. After being involved in a fight, Manziel--when asked for ID--produced a FAKE Louisiana driver's license; he also had a FAKE Texas driver's license in his wallet, too. Call me judgmental, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that this "student athlete" is NOT majoring in Microbiology at A & M--along with possibly minoring in Neuroscience..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Buddy Groom--who blows out 47 candles on July 10th. A native of Texas, Groom spent 14 seasons in the "bigs" between 1992 and 2005--appearing in 786 games (mostly in relief). Groom played for six teams in his career--including the A's and Orioles. Two interesting facts about Groom: 1) He led the AL in appearances in 1999 with 76--even though he pitched to an inflated 5.09 ERA that season. 2) In 786 games, Groom NEVER came to bat during his entire career. All told, Groom went 31-32 with a lifetime ERA of 4.64--providing further evidence to a well-known phenomenon: Below-average, lefty relievers never really go away--they just continue to sign contracts/cash paychecks. Best wishes, Buddy..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NBA forward Pat Cummings--who was recently found dead in an apartment in Greenwich Village; he was 55. A rugged player who played college ball at Cincinnati, Cummings was drafted by Milwaukee in the third round of the 1979 draft; he'd go on to play 12 seasons in the NBA between 1979 and 1991 for the Bucks, Mavericks, Knicks, Heat, and Jazz. For his career, Cummings averaged 9.6 ppg/5.6 rpg while appearing in 683 games. His best year was most likely during the '84-'85 season with New York when he averaged 15.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while shooting more than 51% from the field. His .642 shooting percentage in 1979 remains a Cincinnati school record; he was inducted into the James P. Kelly/UC Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990. May Pat Cummings rest in peace.