Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 10/15/09

Congratulations go out to PGA golfer Kenny Perry–who recently was honored with the 2009 Payne Stewart Award. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2009, the Payne Stewart Award is presented annually to a player sharing Stewart’s respect for the traditions of the game, his commitment to uphold the game’s heritage of charitable support, and his professional/meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through his dress and conduct. As noted in this column before, there is NO finer gentleman in golf–or ANY sport–than one Kenny Perry. Well done, Kenny; you’re truly deserving of such recognition………..TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1995 AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers had two players who rushed for more than 500 yards that season. Can you name these two running backs? Answer to follow……….Do you ever wonder why the Yale Precision Marching Band is not quite like your “ordinary” college marching band? For starters, how ’bout some of the unit’s song selections from the first couple of home games this season: “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (Scorpions), “Anyway You Want It” (Journey), and “Paradise City” (Guns N’ Roses)……….This week in sports history, October 12, 1967: The great Bob Gibson ends the Red Sox’ “Impossible Dream” season–pitching a complete-game three-hitter in Game 7 of the World Series at Fenway Park. The 7-2 St. Louis victory was Gibson’s THIRD win of the ’67 Fall Classic–easily earning him the Series MVP Award. Altogether, Gibson hurled 27 innings vs. Boston–giving up just 14 hits and striking out 26; he also homered to help his own cause during the Game 7 clinching victory………I used to think that watching Gale Sayers carry the football was a true thing of beauty–that is, until I recently visited the “Gallery” section of Carmen Electra’s website………While watching the Yale/Lafayette football game last weekend at the Yale Bowl, I noticed that the visiting team had a starting tight end on its roster named Michael Bolton. I was almost hoping that the guy would get tackled by a Yale player, stand up immediately, then break into a few lines of “Back On My Feet Again.”……….Dick Graham, a true walking baseball “encyclopedia” from West Haven, recently shared the following story with the “Silver Sluggers” weekly baseball discussion group–which holds its meetings in Derby. As Graham is almost ALWAYS serious whenever he speaks, this truly caught EVERYONE off guard: “One time when Joe Torre was catching, he got hit in the mask by a backswing and broke his nose. While recuperating, he became a third baseman. When his nose had healed, he began catching again but the pitchers noticed that he was squatting two feet back farther than normal. When people asked Torre WHY he was doing that, he simply stated that he was scared of getting hit again. This is when Torre earned his nickname. WHAT nickname is that–you may ask? Chicken Catcher Torre”……….O.K.–picture the scenario: Tennis great Virginia Wade marries Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, divorces, marries former MLB player U L Washington–divorces again–then marries N.Y. Mets pitcher John Maine. Geography lovers everywhere would surely delight in her full married name of Virginia Montana Washington Maine……….Lazzari’s “Lopsided Score of the Week”: In a college football game played last weekend in the Midwest, Minnesota-Duluth demolished MSU-Moorhead 76-7; the winning squad held a 41-0 lead after ONE QUARTER and led 55-0 at halftime. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve seen anything THAT ugly since the purple leisure suit one of my friends owned back in the 1970’s……….Answer to trivia question: ERRIC PEGRAM (813 yards) and BAM MORRIS (559)……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Andy Beene–who blows out 53 candles on October 13th. Don’t get Andy confused with former pitcher Fred Beene; Fred had much more major league success. Andy appeared in just six big league games in 1983 and ’84 with the Milwaukee Brewers–pitching only 20.2 career innings. And over that span, Beene gave up a total of 24 earned runs, folks–rendering him with a lifetime ERA of 10.45. Hey–he CAN tell his grandchildren that he DID make the “bigs” and strike out 11 batters during his playing days, right? Best wishes, Andy……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NFL coach Monte Clark–who died recently in Detroit from a bone marrow malignancy associated with lung and liver disease; he was 72. Clark was the offensive line coach for the famed 1972 Miami Dolphins–a team that went 17-0. He went on to be the head coach of the Detroit Lions from 1978-1984–leading the team to back-to-back playoff appearances in ’82 and ’83. Clark also did some college coaching at Stanford and Cal-Berkeley during the 90’s; he became a broadcaster in Michigan when his coaching days came to a close. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Charlotte, three sons, and eight grandchildren; may Monte Clark 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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