Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 8/25/12

"Feel-Good" story shared with me by new Westhill High School (CT) football coach Frank Marcucio: Following last season, Westhill was contemplating getting new football uniforms. In short, Westhill simply missed a deadline in order to do this. Well, it just so happens that Nike's CEO--Mark Parker--is a Westhill alumnus. When alerted about the situation, Parker took immediate action: The team is now getting 72 brand new white uniforms, purple pants/socks, and Dri-Fit shirts; yes, all of Marcucio's coaches will get gear, too. The topper? The new equipment will cost the school ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Yes, all from an alumnus who didn't forget; great job, Mr. Parker..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 2006 Chicago White Sox--who finished 90-72 under manager Ozzie Guillen--had FOUR players on the team who hit 30 or more home runs apiece. How many of these players can you name? Answer to follow..........Not much more I can add to what's already been said/written about the death of Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky. Taking into consideration his years of service to the Sox and the many capacities in which he served, I believe it can be said that he was THE most loyal individual to any one organization in the history of sports..........This week in sports history, August 28, 1972: American Mark Spitz captures the first of his SEVEN gold medals at the Olympics in Munich--winning the 200-meter butterfly in a world-record time of 2:00.70. Also impressive was the fact that Spitz would set a world-record in EACH of the seven events in which he claimed the gold..........The other day, my elderly aunt asked me what the acronym "NCAA" stands for. I was thinking to myself that--due to various scandals over the years--it could be taken to stand for "No Concern About Academics." But then I thought better of it and gave her the actual answer that she was looking for..........From the "Greed Rules" Dept.: At Yankee Stadium recently, a friend and I had tickets on the mezzanine level--fold-up/portable chairs that were placed on the wheelchair-accessed terrace (nice view). After showing our tickets, an usher retrieved our chairs from a nearby holding area, wiped them down thoroughly, and graciously placed them side-by-side. When I went to tip the young man, he politely said, "No, sir--I can't accept that. They (meaning Yankee management) want ANY money that's in your wallet over THERE" (he was pointing to the concession stand)..........ITEM: Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants is suspended for 50 games due to testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. My first reaction: From this day forward, the "Melk Man" should be referred to as the "Juice Man"..........Answer to trivia question: JERMAINE DYE (44), JIM THOME (42), PAUL KONERKO (35), and JOE CREDE (30)..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league player Joel Youngblood--who blows out 61 candles on August 28th. A versatile player who could play many positions, Joel played 14 season between 1976 and 1989 as a member of the Reds, Cardinals, Mets, Expos, and Giants; he hit .265 lifetime. His is probably best-known for making baseball history back in 1982 when he managed to collect two hits for two different teams in two different CITIES. Yes, he singled for the Mets in a game vs. the Cubs at Wrigley Field on August 2nd and was traded to the Expos DURING that game. He then boarded a plane for Philadelphia (where the Expos were playing that evening) and proceeded to enter the game in the sixth inning. Coming to bat in the seventh, he singled in his only plate appearance--thus topping off a whirlwind day. Oh, the two pitchers he collected hits off that day? Ferguson Jenkins and Steve Carlton--two future Hall of Famers. Best wishes for many more birthdays to come, Joel..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Central Michigan running back Ontario Sneed--who passed away recently in Illinois of heart complications; he was just 25. Sneed was a four-year starter for the Chippewas and played a large role in the team winning back-to-back Mid-American Conference championships in 2006 and 2007; he was also very instrumental in Central Michigan becoming a top-25 team during his time there. He rushed for almost 2,900 yards in his career and had 26 rushing TD's; he is also sixth in CMU history with 157 receptions. No CMU fan will ever forget the collective shouts of "Sneeeeeeeeeeeed!" after he made a great play or scored a TD. Following his college playing days, Sneed signed a contract with the Colorado Ice of the Indoor Football League in 2011. May this young man who left us WAY too soon rest in peace.


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