Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

09/28/2022 ⚾Sports Trivia🏈   Leave a comment

While I’m not much of a sports fan these days, I did play a lot of sports over the years. I loved playing sports but watching them now is as much fun as watching paint dry. I’m still a lover of trivia too so it’s about time I matched them up. Here are a few sports trivia facts you may not have been aware of.

  • Wilt Chamberlain averaged 48.5 minutes per game in 1961–62. That means he played every minute of every game and every minute of every overtime.
  • Pittsburgh is the only city where every one of its professional sports teams wears the same colors.
  • Major league baseball uses approximately 900,000 balls every season.
  • Prior to the 1930s in the NBA a jump ball used to follow every made basket.
  • One of the greatest pitchers in MLB history was known to run off the field during games to chase firetrucks. Rube Waddell was fascinated with firetrucks and managers had a difficult time keeping him on the mound if one drove by. It didn’t stop him from being one of the greatest strikeout pitchers in the history of the game.

  • Wilt Chamberlain once averaged over 50 points per game for an entire season.
  • Before Babe Ruth, MLB’s career home run record was just 138. When the babe retired, the new record was 714.
  • Jackie Mitchell, one of the first (and only) female player in the major league baseball system, once struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in consecutive at-bats. The strikeouts occurred during a minor league exhibition game against the Yankees.
  • For 43 years, the NFL record for the longest made field goal was held by a man (Tom Dempsey) with no toes on his kicking foot.
  • Jackie Robinson was not the first black player in major league baseball. William Edward White, a former slave, served as a one-game replacement player in 1879. Moses Fleetwood Walker lasted slightly longer, playing nearly a full season in 1884, 63 years before Jackie Robinson made his historic debut.

PLAY BALL ! !

09/15/2022 “Americas Pastime”   Leave a comment

I’m a huge fan of baseball primarily because I played it for so many years. It’s the best! However, I will continue to poke the baseball bear in the eye whenever possible. The game is sacred to me, but the individual players are not. So, let’s have a little fun today.

“Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a Communist.” Alvin Dark, New York Giants Infielder

“Even Napoleon had his Watergate.” Danny Ozark, Philadelphia Phillies manager

“Folks, this is perfect weather for today’s game. Not a breath of air.” Curt Gowdy, sports commentator

“All I said was that the trades were stupid and dumb, and they took that and blew it all out of proportion.” Ron Davis, Minnesota Twins pitcher

“I am throwing twice as hard as I ever did. It’s just not getting there as fast.” Lefty Gomez, New York Yankee pitcher

“I prefer fast foods.” Infielder Rocky Bridges, when asked why he wouldn’t eat snails

“I dunno. I never smoked any Astroturf.” Tug McGraw, National League pitcher, when asked whether he preferred grass or Astroturf

“Raise the urinals.” Darrel Chaney, Atlanta Braves infielder, on how to keep the Braves on their toes

“Sometimes they write what I say and not what I mean.” Pedro Guerrero, National League player

“I lost it in the sun.” Billy Loes, Brooklyn Dodger pitcher after fumbling a grounder

PLAY BALL!

08/19/2022 “TRUE FACTS”   Leave a comment

Any day is a good day to be told the truth. How’s that for words to live by? Some of these topics will definitely pique your interest. Sometimes the weirder the facts the truer the statements. See what you think.

Let’s try some sports:

  • The infamous Bill Buckner of Red Sox fame had more career hits and Ted Williams.
  • During World War II, so many NFL players were fighting in the war that the rival Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers temporarily teamed up to form the “Steagles”
  • Walter Payton once threw a touchdown pass, caught a touchdown pass, and ran for a touchdown in the same game.
  • Legend has it that Hall of Fame baseball player Wade Boggs once drank 107 beers in one day while traveling with the team.
  • The only team to score 3 touchdowns in under 1 min. in the NFL is the New England Patriots. And they’ve done it twice.

Now for little sci-fi:

  • It takes 200 million years for the sun to make one orbit around the galactic center.
  • In order for the earth to become a black hole, its entire mass would have to be compressed into a space less than an inch in diameter.
  • The sun makes up over 99% of the solar system’s entire mass.
  • Venus spends backwards and no one knows why!
  • Every planet in the solar system could fit in the space between Earth and the moon. Even if you count Pluto.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND

08/15/2022 ⚾⚾ YOGI ⚾⚾   Leave a comment

To say I am a baseball fan would be an understatement and when writing about famous orators how could I forget the man, “Yogi Berra”. For me, he’s the perfect example of what old time baseball was all about. He was a great player and manager and always made the Yankees fans proud. Weirdly enough he has since become almost as famous for his stream of hilarious quotations. Here are a few for your entertainment.

  • “I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.”
  • “Baseball is 90% mental- the other half is physical.”
  • “Nobody goes there anymore – it’s too crowded.”
  • “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”
  • “This is like déjà vu all over again.”

  • “You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”
  • “It gets late early out there.”
  • “Think! How the hell are you going to think and hit at the same time?”
  • “Slump? I ain’t in no slump. I just ain’t hitting.”
  • When his wife asked, “Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey, and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?” His response was, “Surprise me.”

THE AMBASSADOR OF BASEBALL

08/01/2022 “Strange but True”   Leave a comment

Since reading blogs slows considerably during these hot and sweaty days of Summer, I thought a short list of strange things were just what is needed today. If all of you aren’t reading much in this heat, here are a few more things you probably won’t read.

  • For passengers who may not quite get it, American Airlines once printed instructions on their snack packages. “Open packet, eat nuts.”
  • A female ferret can die from going into heat and not mating.
  • In 1900, the average white woman’s life expectancy was only 48.7 years. For women of color, the life expectancy was 33.5 years.
  • Your stomach creates a new mucus layer every two weeks.
  • Thomas Edison preferred to do his reading in Braille, and he proposed to his wife in Morse code.

  • American go through 12 billion bananas in a typical year.
  • Roses are the symbol of the Virgin Mary. Catholic “rosaries” were originally made of 165 dried and rolled rose petals.
  • Disney’s Space Mountain roller coaster was the first thrill attraction to be operated by a computer.
  • The first time an instant replay was seen on TV was during an Army-Navy football game on December 7, 1963. CBS director Tony Verna masterminded the idea.
  • Founding Father George Washington was a distant relation of King Edward I, Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Winston Churchill, and Gen. Robert E Lee.

07/19/2022 ⚾FOR BASEBALL LOVERS⚾   1 comment

I’ve been a lover of baseball since the age of six. I’ve played in the LL Minor Leagues, LL Major Leagues, Pony League, Senior Little League, High School (4 years), and American Legion ball. I figure that gives me the right to have a little fun at the expense of some of my favorite players. I remain respectful of these men, but I still think some of the things they say in front of the microphone are hysterically funny. Here are a few . . .

  • “Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a Communist” Alvin Dark, NY Giant infielder.
  • “If Jesus were on the field, he’d be pitching inside and breaking up double plays. He’d be high-fiving the other guys.” Tim Burke, Montreal Expos pitcher.
  • “I am throwing twice as hard as I ever did. It’s just not getting there as fast.” Lefty Gomez, NY Yankee pitcher.
  • “I dunno. I never smoked any Astroturf.” Tug Mcgraw, NL pitcher, when asked whether he preferred grass or Astroturf.
  • “The doctors x-rayed by head and found nothing.” Dizzy Dean, NL pitcher, after being beaned in the 1934 World Series.
  • “I was the worst hitter ever. I never even broke a bat until last year when I was backing out of the garage.” Left Gomez, NY Yankee pitcher.
  • “Well, that kind of puts a damper on even a Yankee win.” Phil Rizzuto, Yankee broadcaster, upon hearing that Pope Paul had died.
  • “His (Dwight Gooden’s) reputation preceded him before he got here.” Don Mattingly, NY Yankee infielder.
  • “It would take some of the lust off the All-Star game.” Pete Rose, REDS infielder when asked about inter-league play.
  • “I want all the kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I want all the kids to copulate me.” Andre Dawson, Cubs outfielder on being a role model.

No, I haven’t forgotten about quotes and sayings by Yogi Berra. I would have to write a short novel to include all of his silliness. I’ll post something on Yogi eventually but it’s hard to choose just ten out of the hundreds available. LOL

PLAY BALL!!!

05/29/2022 “Blessings & Curses”   Leave a comment

I’ve been writing this blog for more than 10 years and if you’ve read any of my postings you know that I’m a bit pragmatic in my beliefs. I’m not someone who believes in the mystical, superstitious, and nonsensical beliefs that exist with certain groups. Strangely enough there is a large portion of the population that does. I may not believe in these things, but I do read about them with the hope that someone can convince me otherwise.

I was recently reading a book titled The Book of Bizarre Truths. There’s a lot of information in that book concerning “curses” (both good and evil). I found this story interesting, funny, and sports related. Here it is . . .

This is called “Da Billy Goat Curse”. In 1945, William “Billy Goat” Sianis brought his pet goat, Murphy, to Wrigley Field to see the fourth game of the 1945 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Tigers. Sianis and his goat were later ejected from the game, and Sianis reportedly put a curse on the team that day. After that, the Cubs had legendary bad luck. Over the years, Cubs fans experienced agony in repeated late season collapses when victory seemed imminent. Even those who didn’t consider themselves Cubs fans blamed the curse for the weird and almost comical losses year after year. Finally, in 2016, the Cubs broke the curse, winning the World Series for the first time since 1908.

Again, I don’t believe in curses or blessings but let me tell you a short and bizarre story. Many years ago, after I left the police department I started and ran a private investigation company. One dark and rainy night I met a client in the town of McKees Rocks in Pennsylvania at her home. This Romanian woman hired me to determine who her married lover was seeing on the side. I know it sounds a little weird but if you run a private investigation business “weird” is the operative word. Before she would officially hire me, she sat me in the center of the room on a chair, sprinkled some kind of weird and foul-smelling powder in my hair, all the while chanting quietly to herself in Romanian as she walked in circles around me. She assured me her blessing would guarantee my success and believe it or not she was right. I made the case two nights later, took my check, and got the hell out of there. I still don’t believe in blessings or curses, but it is interesting (and her check cleared as well).

DO YOU KNOW ANYONE YOU’D LIKE TO CURSE ?

05/15/2022 Sports Cont’d   Leave a comment

I was pleased to see that yesterday’s post on sports trivia was well received. I thought I’d expand it a little more today.

  • In 1994 NY Giant’s linebacker Lawrence Taylor played his last game. He took a small but poignant souvenir from that game which was the referee’s yellow flag. He felt that he deserved it because the refs “throw it against me often enough”.
  • Walter Payton the famous Chicago Bears running back missed only one game during his 13-year career. He carried the ball more often (3838 times) for more yards (16,726) and scored more rushing touchdowns (110) than anyone else.
  • In 1925 the Dartmouth football team contained 22 members of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
  • Golfing great Ben Hogan is also known for his famous reply when asked how someone can improve their game. It’s short and simple answer is still true today, “Hit the ball closer to the hole.”
  • After retiring as a player, Babe Ruth spent one year as a coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938.
Roger Bannister
  • In 1912, at the Stockholm Olympics, electric timing devices and a public address systems were used for the first time.
  • Famed fullback Jim Brown while attending Syracuse University in the mid-1950s also played lacrosse. and made All-American.
  • In June 1938 the Cincinnati Reds southpaw pitcher John Vandermeer pitched two no-hitters. They were the only two he ever threw, and they were consecutive. He pitched the first one against the Boston Braves and then his next game he pitched one against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • Ty Cobb was the only major league baseball player to have a brand of cigarettes named after him.
  • In 1979 New York Yankee manager Billy Martin had a confrontation with a marshmallow salesman and lost his job.
  • In in 1954 Roger Bannister, was named the Sports Illustrated magazines first Sportsman of the Year for breaking the four-minute mile.

BACK TO WORK TOMORROW

05/14/2022 More Sports!   1 comment

Deion Sanders

Since I was talking about Little League baseball in my last post, I thought a little more sports trivia might be interesting. Here are a few tidbits from baseball and football that you might be aware of, and you may not. Enjoy . . .

Baseball

  • In the early days of baseball, players were permitted to throw the ball at a runner for an out and pitching underhanded. Balls caught on one bounce were considered outs.
  • The team who won the first recorded game of baseball was the New York Nine. They beat the New York Knickerbockers 23 to 1 in 1846. By 1857, 16 New York area clubs were playing baseball under the auspices of the National Association of Baseball Players (NABBP), the sports first governing body.
  • 1903 was the first year in which a World Series was played. The Boston Americans (American League) beat the Pittsburgh Pirates (National League) in a best-of-seven nine-game series. Five years later, the Boston Americans rebranded themselves as the Boston Red Sox.
  • It is commonly believed that Glenn Burke of the Los Angeles Dodgers, gets credited for the invention of the high-five. During the final game of the 1977 regular season, Dodger player Dusty Baker hit a home run and was greeted in the dugout with the high-five slapped by teammate Glenn Burke. The rest is history.

Football

  • President Theodore Roosevelt is credited with instituting the forward pass rule in football. He demanded a change to footballs rules in 1905, after 18 players were killed and 159 injured that year. The forward pass was intended to open up the game and minimize the chaotic dog piles associated with lateral passing. The rule was adopted in 1906.
  • The original name of the Oakland Raiders was the Oakland Senors. It was the winning entry in a 1959 test sponsored by the Oakland Tribune to name the new franchise.
  • The Chicago Bears are the only current NFL team playing in its original city, under its original name. They’ve been the Chicago Bears since 1921.
  • It is estimated that 78% of professional football players are bankrupt or in severe financial trouble after retiring from the NFL. That’s after just two years of retirement.
  • Deion Sanders in 1989, played in the Super Bowl for the Atlanta Falcons and in the World Series for the New York Yankees. He’s also the only person to have scored a touchdown and hit a major league home run in the same week.

GO PIRATES

(Sarcasm Off)

05/13/2022 “LL Spring Training Begins”   1 comment

This will be a short and sweet posting today. Spring/Summer has arrived with a huge bang now that the weather has turned warmer. Family obligations come first since they’re mostly about the grand kids anyway. Last evening my better-half and I attended our first little league ballgame to support our grandson. This is a league for 7–9-year-old future all-stars and it’s a real hoot to watch these kids as they try to figure the game out. Most barely know how to swing a bat, let alone having enough arm strength to throw a ball to a base. It’s getting them on the field and teaching them the beginnings of playing as part of a team. This is baseball at its absolute best. There were about 20 kids in their fabulous new T-Shirts, a host of moms and dads and brothers and sisters, and about ten million effing mosquitos to drive us all insane. That visit will keep us both in the good graces of grandson #2.

Grandson #1 will be taking the field in a day or so in a league of older kids. I can’t wait to see him at bat since I was his unofficial batting coach in his younger days. More fun baseball, more black flies, and more mosquitos. Being a baseball fan and a grandparent is almost a full-time job and we both love it.

Unfortunately, the blog will suffer a bit. I may miss a few days here and there but hopefully not too many.

BASEBALL RULES

(Except in Pittsburgh)

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