Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 04-06-10

Congratulations go out to the Hamden (CT) High hockey team for recently winning its record 17th state title–defeating Fairfield Prep 6-5 for the Division I championship. It was the second consecutive championship for the Green Dragons–a feat that hadn’t been pulled off by a CT public high school since Hamden did it back in 1976; ironically, current coach Bill Verneris was a member of that same Hamden squad Hamden in ’76–a national championship team. Yes–Hamden continues to maintain its storied hockey history; it’s a town where kids often begin playing the sport as soon as they can hold onto a stick. Great job, guys……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1989-’90 Milwaukee Bucks were led in scoring by a bench player who did NOT start a single game. Can you name this individual? Answer to follow……….I used to think that watching Fred Biletnikoff catching a football was a thing of beauty–that is, until I saw a recent picture of Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel during a photo shoot in L.A………..Gotta love WFAN’s Ed Randall–talking about past/current drug use among players in MLB on his show last week: “If they (the players) are going out there “not alone,” is it WRESTLING?”……….Speaking of which–I’m in need of some ibuprofen for my recurring arthritis–and am thinking about crossing the Canadian border to get some………And I don’t care HOW much you can put drug/steroid use on the back-burner in order to enjoy the current game of baseball; if you don’t get a slight “sick” feeling when you’re watching a game these days–due to it being tainted–then you can’t consider yourself a TRUE baseball fan……….**Great cause: The Yale football and women’s hockey teams will lead a marrow donor testing drive on Thursday, April 22nd from 11 AM to 3 PM at Commons–located on the corner of College and Grove Streets in New Haven. The donor test consists of a single cheek swab and takes approximately 15 minutes; those interested can contact Yale assistant football coach Larry Ciotti at larry.ciotti@yale.edu or (203)671-9805……….This week in sports history, April 6, 1987: Fighting outdoors at Caesar’s Palace, Sugar Ray Leonard scores a 12-round split-decision over Marvelous Marvin Hagler to capture the WBC middleweight championship. In front of a crowd of more than 15,000, Leonard outboxed Hagler early in the fight and was able to hold on as the fight ended in a slugfest. Hagler lost for the first time since 1976; Leonard–fighting for just the second time in five years due to an eye injury–won for the 34th time in 35 pro fights……….Classic stuff by the New York Post’s Peter Vecsey last weekend–in reference to the NBA using “gunner” Gilbert Arenas in its “Read to Achieve” public service campaign; Vecsey commented that the types of sentences that children can now learn are “simple, compound, complex, and court-ordered“………I was listening to radio host Sid Rosenberg on WFAN last weekend talking about his Dad taking him to spring training years ago in order to see his baseball heroes–Lee Mazzilli and Dave Kingman of the Mets. He said that an unapproachable “Maz” was surrounded by security while wearing a leather jacket in the Florida heat; a very surly Kingman refused to sign any autographs. Lesson for kids out there: BE CAREFUL WHEN CHOOSING HEROES……….Answer to trivia question: RICKY PIERCE–who came off the bench in all 59 games he played while averaging an impressive 23.0 points per game……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league infielder Rennie Stennett–who blows out 59 candles on April 5th. Stennett played 11 seasons in the “bigs” between 1971 and 1981 as a member of the Pirates and Giants–hitting .274 lifetime. While with Pittsburgh in 1975, Rennie went 7-for-7 in a game vs. Chicago; unfortunately, he broke his leg in ’77 when he was hitting at a blistering .336 clip, but didn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify for the NL batting title. He was a member of the 1979 “We Are Family” Pirates world championship squad before playing two years with the Giants; best wishes, Rennie……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Delta St. University football coach Horace Lowry McCool–who died recently in Mississippi at the age of 81. McCool served as coach of the Statesmen from 1961-1973 and remains the only coach in school history to have six consecutive winning seasons. He compiled a career record of 76-48-3 and was honored in 2007 when the school named its football stadium after him. Survivors include a daughter, two sons, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild; 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" www.mondaynightsports.net --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 www.boblazzari.blogspot.com where many of his past columns have been archived.

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