"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 9/1/12
One of the great, inspirational quotes of all-time in the history of sports--coming from the late, legendary distance runner Steve Prefontaine: "How does a kid from Coos Bay--with one leg longer than the other--win races? All my life people have been telling me, 'You're too small, Pre', 'You're not fast enough, Pre', 'Give up your foolish dream, Steve'. But they forgot something: I HAVE TO WIN." Yes, Prefontaine was to track and field what Pete Maravich was to basketball and what Pat Tillman was to football: PURE rock 'n' roll attitude with a major dose of unique craziness mixed in..........TRIVIA QUESTION: Who was the last member of the New York Mets to lead the National League in doubles? Answer to follow..........ITEM: Ball State football player Jonathan Newsome is busted after police find marijuana in his wallet right after he failed to use his car's signal light near campus. Oh, this is the same "genius" who was held on a warrant back in February for NOT SHOWING UP to answer a previous charge. Call me judgmental, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Newsome is NOT currently a candidate (nor will he be in the future) for a doctoral degree in Human Bioenergetics at Ball State..........It's Labor Day weekend, folks--so here goes: Former college softball player Carlee Carpenter marries Fresno State baseball player Aaron Judge, divorces, marries ex-MLB pitcher John Butcher--divorces again--then walks down the aisle with Cornell women's soccer coach Patrick Farmer. She is then walking around with an occupation-filled name of Carlee Carpenter Judge Butcher Farmer..........This week in sports history, September 4, 1993: Pitcher Jim Abbott of the New York Yankees tosses a no-hitter vs. the Cleveland Indians--leading his team to a 4-0 victory in front of a crowd of approximately 27,000 at Yankee Stadium. Although not overpowering (five walks and just three strikeouts), Abbott was able to induce 17 ground ball outs and was helped out by several great defensive plays--the best coming from third baseman Wade Boggs on a ball hit off the bat of Albert Belle. Born without a right hand, Abbott had struggled for much of the year--inexplicably having lost about two miles-per-hour off his fastball from the previous season. He'd go on to finish the '93 campaign with a record of 11-14 with an ERA of 4.37..........Did you know that former MLB outfielder Marty Cordova drove in a career-high total of 111 runs for the Twins in 1996 (at age 27)--but never came CLOSE to equaling that figure thereafter? His next-best RBI total following the '96 season? Just 70 while playing for Minnesota in 1999..........I used to think that watching Phil Mickelson hitting a sand wedge to within two feet of the hole was the ultimate thing of beauty. That all changed the other day when I saw a picture of the lovely Christie Brinkley wearing a stunning blue dress at a recent benefit out in the Hamptons; my goodness. She's 58 years-old, folks; will she EVER age?..........Answer to trivia question: GREGG JEFFERIES--who led the league back in 1990 with a modest total of 40 two-baggers..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league player Brian Myrow--who blows out 36 candles on September 4th. I know--NOT a household name, folks--probably due to the fact that Myrow played just parts of three seasons in the 'bigs' between 2005 and 2008 as a member of the Dodgers and Padres. A pinch-hitter/first baseman, Myrow had 51 career at-bats and could manage only EIGHT hits--thus going into the MLB record books with a lifetime batting average of .157. Hey, he CAN tell his grandchildren someday that three of those hits were for extra bases--including a home run as a member of the Padres in 2008. Myrow has spent time in independent baseball over the past couple of years as a member of the Winnipeg Goldeyes and the Grand Prairie AirHogs. Best wishes for many more birthdays to come, Brian..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Yale swimming/diving coach Phil Moriarty--who passed away recently of natural causes at the age of 98. Before retiring in 1976, Moriarty led his teams to a 195-25 dual-meet record over a four-decade career and won 11 Eastern Intercollegiate Swim League championships. Moriarty coached the 1960 U.S. Olympic diving team in Rome, guiding such individuals as Gary Tobian--who won gold in the three-meter springboard. His training enabled others to capture Olympic gold, too, (i.e. Mike Austin and Don Schollander) and he was known for being a tremendous motivator/father-figure. Moriarty was elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1980 and the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010. Phil Moriarty is survived by three children (Ellen, Philip, and Richard), seven grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. Rest in peace, "Coach."