Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 8/5/09

Another gem submitted by column reader Abe Knaster of New York: If famed socialite Ivana Trump married pop singer Neil Diamond, divorced, then married legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, she’d be attending cocktail parties worldwide reeking of “high maintenance” with the name of Ivana Diamond Nicklaus. Keep ’em coming, Abe………TRIVIA QUESTION: The lowly 1989 Detroit Tigers, who won just 59 games, were led in home runs by second baseman Lou Whitaker–who hit a career-high of 28. Can you name the outfielder who had the next highest total of round-trippers for Detroit that season? Answer to follow……….Nice gesture by Bank of America–who recently joined the Connecticut Defenders Community CARES Program. Through this program, corporate partners of the Defenders purchase blocks of seats that are distributed to individuals, families, and non-profit organizations who would otherwise not be able to attend games at Dodd Stadium in Norwich. Due to the generosity of the team and its partners, approximately 20 premium seats are made available for each game. For more information on how to become a partner in the Defenders Community CARES Program or to reserve tickets, contact Jessica Schineller, Director of Community Relations/Promotions at (860)-887-7962 ext. 16 or email her at [email protected]………. This week in sports history, August 4, 1932: The great Babe Didrickson earns her second gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles–clocking a world-record time of 11.7 seconds in the 80-meter hurdles. Didrickson narrowly beat fellow American Evelyn Hall–outstretching her by about a half-inch at the finish line. Earlier, Didrickson had set a world record in the javelin throw–thus adding to her growing reputation as the best female athlete in the world……….Question: Now that Jessica Simpson has split up with Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo, do you think she’d be interested in an aging, bald, broke, arthritic sports columnist anytime soon?……….Speaking of the CT Defenders, great job by GM Charlie Dowd and his staff–honoring all veterans/current enlistees during “Military Appreciation Night” last week vs. New Britain at Dodd Stadium. The pre-game ceremony–which paid great homage to those who’ve sacrificed for our freedom–included a parade around the stadium by flag-toting motorcycle riders. Great job, Defenders–and a great crowd (7,163), to boot………These days, when I hear those famed words “the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” I not only think of the great Lou Gehrig. No, I also think of ex-hockey player Ron Duguay–who just happens to be married to the former supermodel/still-current beauty Kim Alexis……….Am I mistaken–or wasn’t David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays supposed to be the next coming of Johan Santana by now?……….Answer to trivia question: FRED LYNN–who finished with a modest total of only 11 home runs for Sparky Anderson’s last-place Detroit club……….I say put a new wing in baseball’s Hall of Fame for anyone who played in the “Steroid Era”–and have customers gain admittance by placing used needles/syringes outside its entrance……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league first baseman Sid Bream–who blows out 49 candles on August 3rd. A native of Carlisle, PA, Bream spent his entire 12-year career in the National League between 1983 and 1994 as a member of the Dodgers, Pirates, Braves, and Astros–hitting .264 lifetime. His best year came in 1986 while with Pittsburgh–a year in which he hit 16 home runs and drove in 77 runs. Though he had the reputation of being an extremely slow runner, Bream will forever be remembered for scoring the winning run in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS vs. his old Pittsburgh team–propelling the Braves to the World Series. Bream was also the 1990 recipient of the Hutch Reward–given to a player who exemplifies a fighting spirit and desire to win. Since his playing days ended, Bream has done a fair amount of motivational speaking; best wishes, Sid……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NFL player Pio Sagapolutele–who passed away back in June of a brain aneurysm at the age of 39. Born in American Samoa, Sagapolutele played for the Browns, Patriots, and Saints during his seven-year career–tallying seven career sacks and 89 solo tackles. He was the starting defensive tackle for the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI, but a variety of injuries forced Sagapolutele to retire prematurely in 1999. A tremendous citizen off the field, Pio was also known for running football camps for underprivileged kids in California and Hawaii. He leaves a wife, Yvonne, and three children; may Pio Sagapolutele 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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