Jesse Gonder died on November 14, 2004 in Oakland, California at the age of 68. Although his role in MLB was basically that of a journeyman catcher, Gonder found relative success in 1963 and â€˜64 as the starting backstop for that hapless new gang of lovable dolts known as the New York Mets. After having started the â€™63 season with the Cincinnati Reds, Gonder was shipped off to the Mets, where he hit .302. In 1964, he batted .270 in 131 games.
Having begun his career with the New York Yankees in 1960, Gonder became one of the first players to play for both the Yankees and the Mets during... Read More
The NBA's 2007 draft lottery occurred on May 22nd and determined the order of selection of the top 14 picks in the upcoming draft that will take place on Thursday, June 28th in New York City. This year's lottery was bound to be particularly impactful due to the depth and star potential of the 2007 draft class (brought about, in part, by the fact that the new draft eligibility age limit began to be imposed in 2006, effectively adding additional prospects to the 2007 draft). The consensus top two draft picks this year are highly coveted and likely superstar big men Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. As... Read More
Last night we witnessed the complete and total meltdown of a relief pitcher. Armando Benitez, the controversial, unpredictable closer for the San Francisco Giants blew a game in a fashion so embarrassing that it hurt to watch. It reminded me of all the other horrible meltdowns in sports history, like the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers; the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl and Greg Norman in big golf tournaments.
If Benitez can bounce back after such a devastating collapse, God bless him. But, I wouldnâ€™t be surprised at all if his decline rapidly gains momentum from this point on.
With the Giants leading... Read More
Gus Triandos was a very decent catcher during the 50â€™s and 60â€™s. He hit 167 career homers, and although he was not fleet of foot (he stole one base and holds the record for most consecutive games played without being thrown out attempting to steal: 1,206), Triandos had a great arm and was known as one of the top-fielding backstops in the league throughout his years with five major league teams. He now lives in San Jose, California and runs a postal company. He was wearing a neck brace the morning I met him, the result of a recent car accident. Gus was a part of a lot of baseball history. A... Read More
The NFL plays a preseason game abroad once a year. In the 2007 season, the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants will square off in London's Wembley Stadium, the first NFL regular season game abroad; it sold 40,000 tickets in the first 90 minutes after ticket sales began last week.
That same day, Duke University announced that it is looking at playing the University of Alabama in the Georgia Dome in 2010, the second game of a home-and-home series that began in 2006 when the Blue Devils traveled to Tuscaloosa in one of the Crimson Tide's few wins last season. Duke and Alabama share a common heritage:... Read More
At 100, Rollie Stiles is the oldest living former major league player. He is one of only five people left on the planet who either played with or against Babe Ruth. He pitched for Oklahoma State University and played for almost ten years in the minors and majors. He was a middle reliever, a spot starter and an occasional closer for the St. Louis Browns in â€™30, â€™31 and â€™33. His career won-loss record was 9-14. He completed 9 games, threw one shutout and gave up 16 home runs (including one controversial HR to the mighty Babe that he says may not have happened, although he canâ€™t be sure.)... Read More
Iâ€™m not what anyone would call a sports fan. Iâ€™ve never understood the thrill of seeing people youâ€™ve never met win something that doesnâ€™t affect anything. But Iâ€™ve been trying. And if I have to follow a sport, however vaguely, Iâ€™ll choose baseball. I would rather go to a live game than watch one on TV because Iâ€™ll take any excuse to get drunk, eat crappy overpriced food and shout obscenities en masse. (Donâ€™t try that at an airport or inside a movie theater.)
Up until a few years ago, I cheered for New York City. Mets or Yankees, it didnâ€™t matter. Go New York! Over... Read More