"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 8/30/14
At the end of July, Daniel Lucas "Doc" Adams was selected as SABR's "Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend" for 2014. This honor is bestowed upon a 19th century player, manager, executive, or baseball personality not yet inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. "Doc Adams", one might say? Yes, he's a man whose early contributions to the American Pastime surely deserve high recognition. As a player, Adams is credited by most historians as creating the shortstop position--and he was a member of the famous New York Knickerbockers Base Ball Club in the 1840's (he played productively into his forties and also was a medical doctor). He later became an executive and was highly responsible for some of the key aspects that make up today's game: nine inning games, nine players per team, ninety feet between bases, and fly ball outs. I recently was in contact with his great granddaughter, Marjorie Adams, who is currently on a crusade to see her deserving relative gain entrance into Cooperstown. Yes, it's time "Doc" gets his rightful place in baseball history. For more information on this fascinating man--and his under-publicized contributions--please visit SABR.org/overlooked-19th-century-baseball-legends..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 2001 Texas Rangers--who finished 73-89 under managers Johnny Oates and Jerry Narron--were led in stolen bases by a player who would swipe just 77 during his entire career. Can you name this former outfielder who played 12 years in the big leagues? Answer to follow.........ITEM: The NFL announces that it will impose stricter sanctions for domestic violence actions--including a 6-game suspension for a first offense. Call me crazy/critical, but doesn't this decision make it appear that the league thinks that beating on a significant other is only "halfway" bad? If there was EVER a despicable act that should warrant an absolute ZERO TOLERANCE policy , it's domestic violence; it surely appears that the NFL and Roger Goodell don't agree with my 'tough' stance..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a college football game played last weekend, Texas State annihilated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 65-0; the winning squad held a 42-0 at halftime of this 'laugher' and piled up nearly 700 yards of total offense--a school record. If I'm the UAPB coach, I incorporate a little comforting humor when addressing my team after the game--and offer this: "Keep your chin up, guys, and look on the bright side: At least we kept Texas State's point total under the game time temperature--which was 94"..........From my good friend/baseball historian Dick Graham: "I recently had a dream that Yankees sideline reporter Meredith Marakovits ice-dunked me at second base while whispering in my ear at the same time, 'Dickie, I only have "ice" for you.'" Yes, there's only ONE Dick Graham, folks--aka the "Maven from West Haven."..........ITEM: Nike matches Under Armour's deal of approximately $280 million to keep NBA star Kevin Durant on board for the next ten years. Question: Do you think Durant's Mom--or his representatives at Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports--had to beg/plead with him to "JUST DO IT" when it came to signing THAT kind of immense endorsement deal?..........Here's some interesting information: In 1980, Willie Wilson of the K.C. Royals put up AMAZING numbers--leading the league in runs scored (133), hits (230), and triples (15). Oh--he also stole 79 bases, hit .326, and won a Gold Glove award while being the catalyst for the American League champs. The "interesting" part? Wilson placed FOURTH in the MVP balloting that year--finishing behind teammate George Brett and the Yankees' tandem of Reggie Jackson and Rich "Goose" Gossage..........Just HOW much does aging have to do with a player's golf game? A LOT. Take PGA player Mike Weir, for example. The man has won close to $28 million over a very respectable career. However, since turning 40 in 2010, Weir has just two Top 10 finishes and three Top 25's. "Father Time" spares no one, folks..........I just found out that the lovely Christie Brinkley recently broke her left foot--posting pictures of her mishap on Instagram. Sheesh--I guess that puts my wishes of a future tennis/dinner date with this beauty on hold just a little longer, huh?..........Answer to trivia question: GABE KAPLER, who led the team that year with 23 steals--almost 1/3 of his career total..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former college basketball coach Jack Kraft--who passed away recently in New Jersey at the age of 93. Kraft was best known for leading the Villanova program for 12 seasons starting in 1961. While with the Wildcats, he amassed a record of 238-95--taking his teams to the NCAA tournament six times and the NIT on five occasions. Jack Kraft will be best remembered for leading 'Nova to the NCAA final in 1970-'71--eventually losing to UCLA. He later coached at Rhode Island between 1973 and 1981 where he won 103 games before retiring due to health concerns. Rest in peace, "Coach."