Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 07/06/10

ITEM:  Three incoming UCLA football players–Joshua Shirley, Shaquille Richardson, and Paul Richardson–are arrested for allegedly stealing another student’s purse during the school’s summer session.  I’ll go out on a limb and say THIS:  The chances of just one of these “gentlemen” having been the valedictorian of his high school class are about the same as yours truly dating Jenny McCarthy, Sharon Stone and/or Charlize Theron by the end of 2010…….TRIVIA QUESTION:  The 1980 Houston Astros–who finished first in the NL West under manager Bill Virdon–had three relief pitchers who won 7 or more games apiece while also having ERA’s under 3.00.  Can you name this trio?  Answer to follow…….I’m currently in a personal debate–wondering what was more enjoyable:  gazing at the plum colored dress worn by Salma Hayek after a recent taping of the Letterman show or the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream bars that were served to media members at the recent Travelers Championship…….**Attention parents:  A neat birthday idea for your child?  How ’bout spending it at Dood Stadium with the Connecticut Tigers of the New York-Penn League?  The honored child will receive tickets to the game, a cake, and either a hot dog/pizza to eat; he/she will also be recognized on the video scoreboard while getting to meet/obtain autographs from a Tigers player.  To learn more about this special birthday celebration, call the Tigers front office staff at (860)887-7962…….This week in sports history, July 5, 1947:  Former Negro League star Larry Doby becomes the American League’s first black player–pinch-hitting for Cleveland pitcher Bryan Stephens during a game vs. the White Sox at Comiskey Park.  Doby had been batting .415 with the Newark Eagles before his contract was purchased by Indians owner Bill Veeck.  In a game played in front of more than 18,000 fans, Doby was greeted with a warm reception before being struck out by White Sox hurler Earl Harrist; Jackie Robinson was the first individual to break baseball’s color barrier–having done it three months earlier for the Brooklyn Dodgers…….ITEM:  Shots ring out at a party in Virginia Beach attended by none other than dog-abusing/slime ball quarterback Michael Vick.  Shame on me–and I thought he’d be home at the time preparing for a possible Sunday school teaching gig just a few days later…….Answer to trivia question:  JOE SAMBITO (8-4, 2.19), FRANK LaCORTE (8-5, 2.82), and DAVE SMITH (7-5, 1.93)…….Speaking of the Travelers Championship:  While in the media center at the TPC in Cromwell last weekend, one overhead TV set was showing the United States/Ghana World Cup soccer match.  During a break in the action, a camera panned to a shot of Mick Jagger and Bill Clinton sitting together while watching the match.  Then comes the quote of the day from John Nestor–a freelance writer covering the golf tournament for Reuters–sitting next to me:  “Now THERE’S a party waiting to happen!”…….And thanks to tournament director Nathan Grube and media/marketing manager Scott Dolch for their tremendous hospitality during my stay at the Travelers Championship–one of my favorite sporting events to attend yearly.  Couldn’t ask for a better winner than Bubba Watson, too–one of the more likeable players on the tour whose father Gerry is battling cancer right now.  Best of luck to the entire Watson family…….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league outfielder Lance Johnson–who blows out 47 candles on July 6th.  Johnson played 14 seasons in the big leagues between 1987 and 2000–mostly with the White Sox–batting .291 lifetime.  While in Chicago, Lance led the American League in triples each year from 1991-1994; he also led the National League in three-baggers and hits while with the N.Y. Mets in 1996–when he tallied a total of 21 and 227 respectively.  The speedy Johnson also stole 327 bases during his career–with a personal high of 50 also coming in 1996.  Though he was sent to the minor leagues at mid-season by the Yankees in 2000, he was given a World Series ring for his contributions to the team.  Best wishes, Lance…….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former All-American football player Jack Cloud–who died recently of kidney failure in Annapolis, MD at the age of 85.  Cloud was a fullback at William and Mary; he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1950 and later played for the Washington Redskins until he suffered a career-ending knee injury in 1953.  Cloud was an assistant football coach at Navy under Wayne Hardin and George Welsh in the 60’s and 70’s; he also did color commentary on radio broadcasts of Navy football games during the 1980’s.  He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Charlotte, three children, a brother, and several grandchildren/great-grandchildren.  May Jack Cloud 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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