Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 7/11/09

ITEM: American Joey Chestnut wins his third consecutive Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest–consuming 68 wieners to defeat his archrival Takeru Kobayashi. With some nutritional information in hand, try to fathom this, my friends: That translates to approximately 21,000 calories (not counting the buns), 1,367 grams of fat, 2,380 mg of cholesterol, and 46,512 mg of sodium. I sincerely apologize to any cardiologists out there who read this column regularly–i.e. Dr. David Kramer of California–for the shock value contained in those aforementioned numbers……….TRIVIA QUESTION: Who was the last Chicago Cubs catcher to hit 30 or more home runs in a season? Answer to follow………..One of the great quotes I’ve come across lately–attributed to former Dodgers star Steve Garvey: “The difference between the old ballplayer and the new ballplayer is the jersey. The old ballplayer cared about the name on the front. The new player cares about the name on the BACK.”……….This week in sports history, July 14, 1991: LPGA golfer Meg Mallon wins her second major title in three weeks–shooting a final-round 67 to capture the U.S. Women’s Open held at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Trailing by two shots entering the final round while playing in 98-degree heat, Mallon made birdies on the 14th and 15th holes–propelling her to a two-stroke victory over Pat Bradley. Mallon had won the LPGA championship two weeks before in Bethesda, MD, to claim the first victory in her four-year LPGA career………..Question: Since Red Sox OF Jason Bay has a daughter named Evelyn, will friends be able to call her “E-BAY” in the future–or will they catch heat from the online auction giant?……….On the final day of competition at the recent Travelers Championship played at the TPC in Cromwell, Travelers announced a commitment by the Travelers Foundation to raise the tournament’s total charitable contribution to $1.08 million for 2009; that now puts the tournament’s contribution on equal footing with the champion’s purse. One of the pleasures of attending this event yearly is knowing that the tournament contributes 100 percent of its net proceeds to Connecticut charities–primarily The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp (which assists children suffering from cancer and other serious diseases) and the Greater Hartford Jaycees Foundation. Yes, folks, when you combine great golf with some great causes, EVERYONE wins……….Yet another terrific Wimbledon final–this time between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick–with “King Roger” winning 16-14 in the fifth set. Yes, Mr. Federer now stands alone at the top of the Grand Slam singles list. But the valiant effort by Roddick–and the class he exhibited following the loss–was almost as impressive. Yes–we definitely learned that there IS an “A-ROD” out there TRULY deserving of accolades and applause……….ITEM: Boston Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis sees his batting average drop about 60 points between June 1st and July 1st. I can only surmise that “Youk” having to look at lovely sideline reporter Heidi Watney each and every game has FINALLY become a bit of a distraction……….One thing’s for sure: When Dr. Phil utters those familiar words “I want you to get excited about your life,” he is NOT directing them toward former Red Sox player/recent NESN guest broadcaster Sean Casey……….Answer to trivia question: RICK WILKINS, who hit an even 30 homers for the ’93 Cubs–and would never hit more than 14 in a season thereafter……….Speaking of the aforementioned Federer and Roddick: If their performances last Sunday had ANYTHING to do with the fact that they are both newlyweds, then yours truly may be forced to alter his negative opinion on the concept of marriage altogether……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league infielder Vic Rodriguez–who blows out 48 candles on July 14th. There may be a legitimate reason why most fans may not remember Vic: He played just two seasons in the “bigs”–1984 with the Orioles and 1989 with the Twins. However, he truly made the most of it–compiling a .429 lifetime average while banging out 12 hits in 28 career at-bats. As a minor leaguer, he appeared in more than 1,700 games and later became a minor league coach/instructor; best wishes, Vic……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league pitcher Hal Woodeshick–who died recently in Houston at the age of 76. In a career that lasted from 1956-1967, Woodeshick pitched for five teams: Detroit, Cleveland, Washington, Houston, and St. Louis. Used mostly in relief while appearing in 427 games, he accumulated 44 career wins and compiled a lifetime ERA of 3.56. His best year came in 1963 while with Houston–a year in which he won 11 games in relief, pitched to a 1.97 ERA, and gave up only 75 hits in 114 innings; he was also named to the NL All-Star team that season. Woodeshick was also a member of the ’67 world championship Cardinals squad and pitched a scoreless inning in the Fall Classic that year vs. Boston. Sadly, Hal Woodeshick had been beset by health problems a long time before his death; may he finally 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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