Wednesday, August 01, 2012

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 8/4/12

My friend Bob Salomon continues to do great work. As mentioned in this column before, Bob teamed up with various authors back in 2008 to create A Glove Of Their Own--an illustrated children's book. Its plot centers around underprivileged kids who get to play baseball with the help of donated equipment; these children learn the true meaning of kindness and are determined to "pay it forward" as they grow older. The book went on to win the Benjamin Franklin Award for best children's book in 2009. Some proceeds from the book continue to help buy sports equipment for youths; three dollars from every purchase can also go to a non-profit organization of one's choice. Salomon's initial fundraising efforts have now resulted in a full-fledged project with former major leaguers such as Jim Eisenreich, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, and Mike Sweeney becoming involved--as well as some current players. To find out more about this tremendous organization and how one can become actively involved, please visit QUESTION: The 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks--who finished 100-62 under manager Buck Showalter--had three players on the team who hit 30 or more home runs. Can you name this trio? Answer to follow..........Picture the scenario: Indiana Wesleyan soccer player Kylie Dial marries Georgia Tech infielder Sam Dove, divorces, then decides to pursue college professors. She marries Angelo State music professor John Irish--divorces him--then marries Louisiana-Lafayette professor Jeffrey Spring. She is then 'kickin' around" with the full, soap-filled name of Kylie Dial Dove Irish Spring..........This week in sports history, August 7, 1956: Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox is fined $5,000 by GM Joe Cronin after spitting toward the crowd and press box during a game vs. the NY Yankees. The "Fenway Faithful" started booing Williams after he dropped an 11th-inning fly ball; he'd ultimately make an outstanding catch to end the same inning and then show his displeasure to those in attendance. Ironically, the "Splendid Splinter" would walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th--resulting in a walk-off victory--then be fined by Cronin immediately following the game..........ITEM: UCLA basketball player Jerime Anderson is arrested on suspicion of grand theft; he allegedly pilfered a MacBook Pro containing a tracking device which ultimately led police to Anderson's whereabouts. Anderson averaged 5.1 points and 2.6 assists per game last year but my question is THIS: Does this latest transgression get taken into consideration when statisticians are figuring out Anderson's total number/average of STEALS?..........Answer to trivia question: JAY BELL (38), MATT WILLIAMS (35), and STEVE FINLEY (34)..........Even though the NY Mets' 1972 season was shortened six games due to the player's strike, did you know that Cleon Jones led the team in RBI's that year with a measly total of just 52? Also mind boggling is the fact that only one other player on the team had more than 40--Tommie Agee with a total of 47..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former MLB outfielder Duane Singleton--who blows out 40 candles on August 6th. A native of Staten Island, NY, Singleton was drafted by Milwaukee in the fifth round of the 1990 draft and played parts of just three seasons ('94-'96) with the Brewers and Tigers. In 33 career games, Singleton came to bat 87 times and could manage just ELEVEN hits (10 of them singles)--thus going into the MLB record books with a lifetime batting average of .126 (yes, folks, 74 points BELOW the famed "Mendoza Line"). Hey--they all can't be KEN Singleton, right? Duane CAN tell his grandchildren someday that he DID drive in three runs during his short MLB tenure and also played with former stars such as Cecil Fielder and Alan Trammell. Best wishes for many more birthdays to come, Duane..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former college football coach Jim Carlen--who died recently in South Carolina after a long illness; he was 79. Carlen had head coaching gigs at West Virginia, Texas Tech, and South Carolina (where he was also the athletic director)--compiling a lifetime record of 108-69-6. During his final season at West Virginia, Carlen's team beat USC in the Peach Bowl, but he was probably best-known for coaching South Carolina's only Heisman Trophy winner--George Rogers--who won the award in 1980. Another highlight of his coaching career was during his final season at South Carolina ('81) when Carlen's squad upset #3-ranked North Carolina 31-13. He later came out of retirement TWICE to coach at local high schools; one of his stops was at the Thomas Heyward Academy--where Rogers was the school's headmaster. Jim Carlen is survived by his wife, Meredith, two sons, two daughters, and a dozen grandchildren. Rest in peace, "Coach."


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