Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 9/26/10

Continued well-wishes go out to Yale women’s hockey center Mandi Schwartz–who was scheduled to undergo a stem cell transplant this week at the University of Washington Medical Center.  The transplant, which utilizes stem cells from two umbilical cord blood units donated anonymously to public cord blood banks, is just another step in Mandi’s battle against cancer.  She has been battling acute myeloid leukemia for almost two years and needs a stem cell transplant to survive.  Hang in there, Mandi–and keep fightin’…….TRIVIA QUESTION:  The 1987 Cincinnati Reds–who finished 2nd in the NL West under Pete Rose–had four players who hit more than 20 home runs apiece.  How many of these players can you name?  Answer to follow…….I used to think that a Steve Carlton slider was a pure thing of beauty–that is, until I saw a recent picture of actress/supermodel Eva Mendes wearing a stunning green dress at the London premiere of “The Other Guys.”…….Lazzari’s “Lopsided Score of the Week”:  In a college football game played last weekend in Ohio, Malone defeated Anna Maria (MA) 69-0; the winning squad held a 521-150 advantage in total yards, forced two fumbles, and blocked a pair of punts.  My first thought when I saw this outrageous score was that an outnumbered INDIVIDUAL named Anna Maria was facing the opposition by HERSELF–and could never get things going offensively…….This week in sports history, September 28, 1941:  In a final-day doubleheader played at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, Boston’s Ted Williams tallies six hits in eight at-bats–enabling him to finish the season with a phenomenal .406 batting average.  Before the twin bill started, Red Sox manager Joe Cronin had offered Williams the day off in order to maintain his .400 batting average (.39955)–but the 23-year-old refused.  Williams went 4-for-5 in the opener and followed that up with a single and double in three-at-bats in the nightcap–helping the Red Sox to a sweep of Philadelphia.  Williams became the first .400 hitter since the New York Giants’ Bill Terry (.401) in 1930 and the first in the AL since Detroit’s Harry Heilmann (.403) in 1923…….I’d like to see former University of Florida golfer Eleanor Tucker hook up with English soccer player Andrew Rigby.  If they ever walked down the aisle, fans of the Beatles’ Revolver album would surely delight in the bride’s new married name of Eleanor Rigby…….Congratulations go out to former Yale pitcher/current A’s reliever Craig Breslow–who has been nominated for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award for humanitarian and community service.  Breslow is the founder of the Strike 3 Foundation–a charitable organization that heightens awareness and raises funds for childhood cancer research; he created the foundation in honor of his sister, Lesley–a survivor of pediatric thyroid cancer.  Breslow, an ’02 Yale graduate, was honored by the A’s in a pregame ceremony before the Sept. 8th game against the Seattle Mariners at the Oakland Coliseum.  On-line voting for the award is available on Major League Baseball’s website,, through Oct. 8.  Having had the opportunity to interview Breslow in the past, I can vouch for the man’s integrity and tremendous charitable nature; great job, Craig…….Answer to trivia question:  ERIC DAVIS (37), DAVE PARKER (26), KAL DANIELS (26), and NICK ESASKY (22)…….Terrific quote from Tim McCarver last week on FOX–commenting about the way Braves manager Bobby Cox has conducted business/approached his work over a long career:  “If Bobby Cox had been a college football coach, 98% of his players would graduate.”…….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Craig Lefferts–who blows out 53 candles on September 29th.  Lefferts spent 12 seasons in the “bigs” between 1983 and 1994 pitching for six different teams–appearing in 696 games during his career.  Used mostly in relief, Craig won 58 games and compiled 101 saves–while pitching to a career ERA of 3.43.  Perhaps Lefferts’ best year came in 1990 while with the Padres–a season in which he went 7-5, saved 23 games, and pitched to an impressive ERA of 2.52.  Back in 1986, Lefferts appeared in 83 games–leading both leagues.  Best wishes, Craig…….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Oklahoma Sooners basketball player Ken Pryor–who passed away recently at the age of 85.  Pryor was famous for making the game-winning shot with less than ten seconds remaining in OU’s 1947 NCAA semifinal victory over Texas; his team eventually lost to Bob Cousy and Holy Cross in the championship game.  After his career at Oklahoma, Pryor played some amateur basketball, worked at an oil company, and opened his own insurance agency.  He was also an accomplished golfer and was a long-time football/basketball official for the Big Eight.  He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Pauline, three daughters, and a son.  May Ken Pryor 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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