Sunday, August 12, 2012

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 8/18/12

Some recommended reading for the true baseball fan out there: Baseball State by State by Chris Jensen--recently published by McFarland and Company. This tremendous work (with a foreword by renowned author Peter Golenbock) is separated into chapters covering each U.S. state (D.C. and Canada, too). Included in each chapter is a brief overview of the state's baseball history, its notable players over the years, historic baseball places to see, famous nicknames, and MUCH more. Jensen--a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)--spent five years on this project after originally doing some research on players from the state of Indiana. That interest turned into an obsession to cover EVERY state--resulting in this fine "labor of love" that fans can enjoy both for pleasure reading AND research purposes. More information on Baseball State by State can be obtained by visiting or by calling 800-253-2187..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 2000 Kansas City Royals--who finished 77-85 under manager Tony Muser--had three individuals on the squad who drove in more than 100 runs apiece. Can you name any of these former players? Answer to follow..........I ran into Ron Mentus last week--who runs RLM Athletics; he often speaks to groups of people about good sportsmanship, personal integrity, etc. Gotta love his motto and his overall message: "Don't BE a character--SHOW some!"..........This week in sports history, August 20, 1945: Tommy Brown of the Brooklyn Dodgers becomes the youngest player ever to hit a home run in a major league game--connecting off Pirates pitcher Preacher Roe in a game played at Ebbets Field. Brown was just 17-years-old at the time and also became the youngest player ever to steal home that very same season--pulling off that rare feat against Phillies hurler Rene Monteagudo..........ITEM: Oklahoma State basketball player Philip Jurick is arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia; this is the same individual who was busted for driving with a suspended license back in April. My first thought? If this guy happens to be a criminal justice major, I may give up following college sports FOREVER.........Picture the scenario: Eastern Oregon basketball player Nicole Redd marries professional snowboarder Shaun White, divorces, then marries Univ. of Central Oklahoma infielder Kevin Blue. Patriotic Americans would surely be loving her full married name of Nicole Redd White Blue..........Answer to trivia question: MIKE SWEENEY (144), JERMAINE DYE (118), and JOE RANDA (106)..........Anyone out there remember former major league pitcher Mike Misuraca? I didn't think so. Oh well, here's wishing him a happy birthday as he blows out 44 candles on August 21st. Originally signed by the Twins as a free-agent back in 1988, Misuraca pitched just ONE season in the "bigs"--1997 with the Milwaukee Brewers. It wasn't pretty, folks. Pitching as a reliever in five games that year, Mike allowed THIRTEEN earned runs in 10.1 innings of relief (including 5 HR's)--thus resulting in a lifetime ERA of 11.32. Hey, he CAN tell his grandchildren that he DID strike out 10 batters during his short career--for an average of almost one per inning. Hope you enjoy many more birthdays in the future, Mike..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former ABA/NBA player Dan Roundfield--who drowned recently while trying to rescue his wife (who survived) while swimming in Aruba; he was 59. "Dr. Rounds"--who played at Central Michigan--began his career in the ABA (one year in Indiana, 1975-'76) before going on to play 11 years in the NBA with the Hawks, Pistons and Bullets. His NBA numbers were impressive: 15.2 ppg/9.7 rpg for his career; he was named to five All-NBA Defensive teams and was selected to play in three All-Star games. In fact, in his All-Star debut in 1980, Dan scored 18 points and snared 13 rebounds in just 27 minutes of play. A very strong player on the court, Roundfield was a quiet, family man off it--universally respected by his peers and the community in general. Various impact players (such as Dominique Wilkins) attributed much of their success to Roundfield's fatherly, professional approach. Yes, he drowned trying to save his wife--a hero/family man right to the very end. In addition to his wife, Bernadine, Dan Roundfield is survived by two sons--Christopher and Corey--and two grandchildren. May this special individual rest in peace.


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