Thursday, May 28, 2015

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup - - - -5/23/15

Did you know that former major leaguer Joe Lefebvre  hit 13 triples in his career--with eight of them coming in ONE season (1983)?  His total led the Phillies that season--even though he started the year as a member of the Padres.  Joe played six seasons in the 'bigs' between 1980 and 1986 as a member of the Yankees, Padres, and Phillies and would retire at the age of 30..........TRIVIA QUESTION:  The 1996 Chicago White Sox--who finished 85-77 under manager Terry Bevington--had three players on the squad who drove in 100+ runs.  Can you name this hard-hitting trio?  Answer to follow..........I recently had the pleasure of interviewing former N.Y. Yankees pitcher Fritz Peterson--who played with the club from 1966-1974.  An extremely pleasant and "colorful" individual, Fritz mentioned his new book:  When The Yankees Were on the Fritz:  Revisiting the Horace Clarke Era; it's filled with many great stories that occurred during some "no-so-great" Yankee seasons.  It's simply a "must-read" for New York fans who followed the team in the 60/70's--remembering names such as Clarke, Stottlemyre, Bahnsen, and Munson.  It'll surely bring back some memories and foster laughs along the way; check it out at If Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is worth $23 million per season at this juncture, then supermodel Elle Macpherson has never EVER looked good in a swimsuit..........Are you of the opinion that men's tennis is continuing a downward spiral here in America?  Put it this way:  At last glance, there were just THREE Americans in the ATP's top 50 rankings:  John Isner (#16), Jack Sock (#37), and Sam Querrey (#38).  Ouch..........Congratulations go out to Eastern CT State University soccer player Jon DeCasanova--who recently received a Bob Casey Courage Award at the CSWA's Gold Key Dinner in Southington.  Jon was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in 2012 followed by a lymphoma diagnosis in the spring of 2013; some doctors gave him very little chance of surviving.  However, Jon refused to cave in to negativity, certain doctors' opinions, and doubters.  Amazingly, he was able to play out his collegiate career last fall and pursue his degree in Sports & Leisure Management.  Yes--he's one very special and brave young man; I look forward to talking to Jon soon and sharing more of his wonderful story.  Keep fighting, Jon, and best wishes..........ITEM:  Rutgers football player Darian Daily is arrested in Sarasota County for armed robbery of a bicyclist at 2 A.M. this past weekend.  Call me judgmental, but can ANYONE out there recall ANYTHING good ever happening after midnight in Florida involving a college football player?..........*Fact:  Since signing an 8-year, $184 million extension with the Twins in 2010 ($23 million per season), Joe Mauer has hit less than 40 home runs (TOTAL) and averaged below 60 RBI's per season.  If he was around today, I'd imagine Frankie Frisch (aka "The Fordham Flash") would be saying something like, "Oh--those LONG TERM CONTRACTS!"..........O.K.--you asked for it (well, SOME of you did):  UL-Lafayette basketball player Kia Wilridge marries former Southern Oregon QB Austin Dodge, divorces, marries former MLB pitcher Jose Mercedes--divorces again--then walks down the aisle with former MLB pitcher Mike Lincoln.  Fans of various automobiles would surely delight in her full married name of Kia Dodge Mercedes Lincoln..........Answer to trivia question:  FRANK THOMAS (134), ROBIN VENTURA (105), and DANNY TARTABULL (101)..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Harlem Globetrotters legend Marques Haynes--who passed away recently in Plano, Texas at the age of 89.  Known for his legendary ball-handling and dribbling skills, Marques was a key member of a very competitive Globetrotters squad (they could beat ANYONE) in the 40's and 50's; he later enjoyed a stint with the team in the 70's when showmanship was at the forefront.  It is estimated that Haynes traveled more than four million miles in his career--playing in over 12,000 games in 100 different countries.  When I was a very young boy, I remember my Dad taking me to see Haynes--who was in Connecticut to make some appearances/perform exhibitions.  I've never forgotten that day--how I saw a man do things with a basketball that I (or my DAD) thought were impossible.  And to this day, Haynes is responsible for my fascination with the great "Pistol" Pete Maravich--my boyhood idol whose own showmanship will never be surpassed.  Hell, I'm sure the two of them are talking about some of the "tricks of the trade" in a much better place at the current moment.  Marques Haynes was the first Globetrotter ever elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield (in 1998); he'll always be considered one of basketball's greatest ambassadors.  May you rest in peace, Mr. Haynes.


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