Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 7/9/09

Out at the Travelers Championship last weekend, I was following the threesome of Joe Durant, Boo Weekley, and Jay Williamson for a few holes.  Coming off the 9th green, I witnessed a young girl politely inquire to Weekley, “Boo, may I have your autograph?”  Weekley simply stopped and smiled–then offered, “I’ll do better than that–how ’bout an autographed ball?”  He then signed the ball, flipped it to the glowing youngster, and proceeded to the 10th tee amid an ovation due to his gracious efforts.  Yes, some athletes DO get it, folks; talk about a guy with the WRONG nickname, huh?  Hooray for you, Boo…….TRIVIA QUESTION:  The 1985 Toronto Blue Jays had two pitchers on their staff who had a combined record of 18-0.  Can you name this pair of hurlers?  Answer to follow…….Speaking of the Travelers, many thanks go out once again to tournament director Nathan Grube, media/marketing manager Anne Marie McLaughlin, and the rest of the staff for their hospitality once again this year.  Even when things don’t go as smoothly as expected, they are quick to remedy problem situations–and are true pros at what they do…….Just thinking:  If former Texas Tech golfer Tracy Stanford married ex-UCONN RB Donald Brown, divorced, married PGA golfer Ken Duke–divorced again–then married Trail Blazers VP Tom Penn, various college grads would truly delight in her full married name of Tracy Stanford Brown Duke Penn…….Yes, I’m sure that most people who know me would venture to say that I’m a true “sports fanatic.”  But I must admit one thing:  When I think of the initials “CD,” I don’t think of Carroll Dale, Charlie Dressen, Chuck Daly, or Clay Dalrymple. No, for some strange reason, only one name comes to mind these days:  CAMERON DIAZ…….This week in sports history, July 6, 1986:  Infielder Bob Horner of the Atlanta Braves blasts FOUR home runs; however, his heroics are not enough as his team loses to the Montreal Expos 11-8 at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium.  Horner hit homers in the second, fourth, and fifth innings–all coming off Expos starter Andy McGaffigan; his final blast came off reliever Jeff Reardon in the ninth.  Horner became the 11th player to accomplish this rare feat–and the first to do it in a nine-inning game since Willie McCovey back in 1961…….Sad to hear about the death of Dave Poole–one of Yale football’s biggest fans–who passed away on Father’s Day.  Poole worked as an aide to the sports information people at home games, and his unmistakable smile was the official welcoming for many of us over the years once we reached the press box.  In fact, I can’t remember a time when the “little guy” WASN’T smiling; I’ll truly miss our enjoyable conversations before each Yale home game and the sincere passion he brought to the university.  Keep smiling above us, Dave…….From the “Every Little Bit Helps” Dept.:  KRAFT Singles is teaming up with minor league baseball to take families out to the ballgame this summer.  Through September 1, fans can enjoy the “Tuesday Night Tickets” offer at most minor league ballparks nationwide.  Simply bring a KRAFT Singles package wrapper to the ballpark box office, buy a ticket, and you’ll get another FREE from KRAFT Singles. Yes–a great way to make a family outing a bit more affordable during the remaining weeks of summer…….Answer to trivia question:  DENNIS LAMP (11-0) and TOM FILER (7-0)–who combined to go undefeated for Bobby Cox’ first-place Toronto club…….As many of you already know, Danbury (CT) native/PGA Tour pro Ken Green was involved in a tragic RV accident down in Mississippi a few weeks back that killed his girlfriend, Jeanne Hodgin, and his brother, Bill Green.  Green recently had to have his right leg amputated due to the injuries sustained in the accident and has undergone various other surgeries since that time.  The PGA has established a fund in order to ease Green’s financial burden; checks can be made out to “Ken Green Trust” and mailed to:  Ken Green Trust, P.O. Box 1811, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-1811.  Get better QUICKLY, Ken…….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league infielder Tim Nordbrook–who blows out 60 candles on July 7th.  A native of Baltimore, Nordbrook played parts of six seasons in the “bigs” between 1974 and 1979; he was a member of five different teams during his short career.  One thing’s for sure:  Nordbrook was NOT known for his hitting.  In 169 career at-bats, he tallied just 30 hits for a .178 lifetime average–yes, WELL below the famed “Mendoza Line.”  However, folks, he can always hang his hat on the fact that he stole four bases in his career–without ever being caught.  Best wishes, Tim…….Finally, condolences go out to the family of legendary swimming coach Richard Quick–who died recently in Texas due to brain cancer at the age of 66.  Quick was the winner of more major college swimming titles (13) than any other Division I coach; he also was the head coach of U.S. swimming teams in three different Olympics (’88, ’96, and 2000).  During his tremendous career, Quick had coaching stints at SMU, Iowa State, Auburn, Texas, and Stanford.  Some of the champion swimmers he coached were Rowdy Gaines, Summer Sanders, Dara Torres, and Jenny Thompson; Quick was elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2000.  He is survived by his wife, June, two children, a pair of stepchildren, and two grandchildren.  Rest in peace, “Coach.”

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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