Lazzari” Sports Roundup – 4/4/09

A well-deserved honor as longtime WTIC-AM “SportsTalk” host Arnold Dean will receive the Art McGinley Award at the CT Sports Writers Alliance’s Gold Key Dinner on April 26th at the Aqua Turf in Southington; this recognition is for meritorious service to the CSWA and to sports journalism in general. Often called the “Dean of CT Sports Talk,” Arnold has spent an amazing 60+ years in radio–including the last 44 at WTIC. Congratulations, Arnold; tickets for the dinner are $75 and can be obtained by contacting CSWA president Bob Ehalt at 203-929-6584 or by emailing Bob at [email protected]………. TRIVIA QUESTION: What baseball Hall of Famer was the only player to hit for the cycle during the 1975 major league season? *HINT: He played in the National League; answer to follow……….How ’bout catcher Ronny Paulino–who was traded TWICE in 24 hours last week and THREE times since December? Currently with the Marlins (at least as of press time!), if THIS guy doesn’t land a commercial gig with American Tourister in the very near future, then NO ONE should……….This week in sports history, April 7, 1977: In the first regular season game ever played at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, the expansion Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 9-5 in front of more than 44,000 fans. While parts of the field were covered with snow, first baseman Doug Ault led the way for the Jays–driving in four runs with two homers. Toronto wiped out an early 4-1 deficit while collecting 16 hits on the afternoon. Jerry Johnson was the winning pitcher for the home squad–pitching 2 2/3 innings in relief of starting pitcher Bill Singer……….Villanova Wildcats basketball coach Jay Wright recently told the New York Post that his boyhood idol was Pete Maravich, his favorite singer is Bruce Springsteen, and his favorite actress is Sharon Stone. Two thoughts immediately come to mind: If I had known this guy while growing up, he would have been my absolute BEST friend due to our shared basketball and musical interests. Also, he currently possesses INCREDIBLE taste in women……….Can you imagine if William Paterson University basketball player April Smith married former NBA player Scott May, divorced, then married West Craven(NC) high school football player Thomas June? Lovers of springtime would surely delight in her full married name of April May June……….I just came across a picture of lovely tennis star/model Anna Kournikova ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange last week. My first thought was that–regardless of what happened on Wall Street that particular day–she was probably the best “stimulus package” that some traders had seen in YEARS……….Answer to trivia question: LOU BROCK of the St. Louis Cardinals–who accomplished the rare feat during a 7-1 victory over the San Diego Padres……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major leaguer Rennie Stennett–who blows out 58 candles on April 5th. A native of Panama, Stennett played 11 seasons for the Pirates and Giants between 1971 and 1981–hitting .274 lifetime. Used mostly as an infielder, Stennett is best-known for being the only player in the modern era to go 7-for-7 in a nine inning game–accomplishing the feat during a Pittsburgh rout of Chicago back in 1975. Sadly, Stennett broke his right leg while sliding into second base during a game in 1977 and was never the same player thereafter. However, he stayed with the Pirates until 1979 and was a member of that year’s famed “We Are Family” championship squad. Best wishes, Rennie……….Finally, some sad news to report as thoroughbred racehorse Alysheba had to be euthanized last week at the age of 25 after falling in his stall in Lexington, Kentucky. Ridden by jockey Chris McCarron, Alysheba won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 1987; his bid for a Triple Crown that year fell short after a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes. Alysheba was also victorious in six major stakes races in 1988–including the Breeders’ Cup Classic–and was ultimately named Horse of the Year. The son of the famed Alydar, Alysheba retired as horse racing’s all-time money winner with more than $6.6 million in earnings–a record that was later broken by Cigar. The horse, which first stood at stud in Versailles, KY, returned to the U.S. last year after spending eight years in Saudi Arabia. Once known as “America’s Horse,” Alysheba was buried last Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions. May this spectacular champion rest in peace.

About the Author

Bob Lazzari

Bob Lazzari is an award-winning sports columnist for both Connecticut's Valley Times and NY Sports Day--where his "Sports Roundup" column is featured weekly. He is a member of the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance and host of "Monday Night Sports Talk" --a cable television show on CTV/Channel14 in Connecticut. A Fordham grad, Bob is a regular contributor to ESPN Radio's "Inside Yankee Baseball"; he can also be heard weekly every Tuesday morning on WXLM/104.7 FM in New London, CT. He has a popular blog where many of his past columns have been archived.

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