Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Post in Memory of a Sports Fan

Every year towards the end of the year Sports Illustrated has an issue that looks back at the year that has past in sports. I always enjoy reading it and remembering the moments that made each year great. And at some point of the issue they have a section to those in the sports world who have passed away. So there is a little thing about Chris Henry, Steve McNair, Mark Fidrych, Chuck Daly and many more. So in that vain (maybe vein or vien) I am writing a post about a sports fan who died this past year; my dad.

My father passed away on July 14th at the age of 51. He grew up in Cleveland and was a fan of the Indians, Browns & Cavaliers. His favorite player of all time was former Browns running back Leroy Kelly. He watched Red Right 88, The Drive and The Fumble. If you are not a Browns fan then I'm sure if you check on wikipedia or something it will tell you all about it. He watched as Michael Jordan traveled and hit a game-winning shot against Craig Ehlo and the Cavs. He saw David Justice hit a home run in game 6 of the 1995 World Series as well as Jose Mesa blow game 7 of the 1997 World Series. He enjoyed playing sports as well. At a younger age when he was a little faster he could run, hit and throw a ball very far. In baseball he played Center field and in football he played running back just like his idol Leroy Kelly. He enjoyed watching College sports as well. We would often watch College Football together when coming home from shul on Motzei Shabbos. Of course we rarely saw Ohio State play because most of their games are around noon time.

The last time I spoke to him was that Tuesday morning that he died. That evening the Major League Baseball All-Star game was on and I was telling him how the MLB Network was showing a bunch of old All-Star Games. He remembered some of the key plays in some of those games.

A couple of weeks ago the Browns played their hated rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game was on the NFL Network and I was able to watch it. While watching the game and seeing a bunch of no-name backups & practice squad players sack Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger eight times I thought about how much my dad would have loved this game. After the 13-6 win by the Browns a cousin of mine e-mailed me saying, "somewhere right now your father is smiling" to which I replied that this game was "my father's Chanukah present to me".

The truth of the matter is I wasn't planning on writing this post until Friday. Friday afternoon I was flipping through the channels and "Field of Dreams" one of my favorite movies was on. I caught the last half-hour of the movie and that is definitely the best part. After Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) does all these crazy things like building a baseball field in his corn, or go to Boston to find an old writer (played by James Earl Jones), or go to some other small town to find a Doctor who was already dead that used to be a ball-player who never got a Major League at-bat (played by Burt Lancaster) he finds out whose pain he's easing. It's not that of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (played by Ray Liotta) but rather of Ray's father John Kinsella who had been a catcher in his playing days and was now dead. The final scene has Ray & John Kinsella having a catch on together on the field. It reminded me of one of the last Sundays I spent with my father. I had needed a new baseball glove so we went together to buy one and when we got home my father insisted that we have a catch to "check out the new glove" as he said. That happened about a month before he passed away and is one of the many wonderful sports related memories I have of him.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Look Alikes Part Duex^2 (A.K.A. Part 4)

So here we are again with a Look-Alikes post. Make sure to check some of the old ones and feedback/suggestions for future posts are always welcome.

Our first couple is Scott Bakula (Check out his new show "Men of a Certain Age" on TNT, Mondays @ 10 pm) & Frank Reich (Famous for one of the greatest comebacks in NFL Playoff history against the Houston Oilers)

Our second couple is Danny Glover (Most of you probably think of his roles in the Lethal Weapon series but his best work was definitely in Angels in the Outfield) & Dusty Baker (Current Manager of the Cincinnati Reds)

Finally, thanks to Shlomo Berkowitz, we have Dwight Schultz (Known mostly for his work on The A-Team) & Dovid Menchel (My cousin)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Preview of Upcoming Posts

  • A 4th installment of Look-Alikes
  • Best By The Numbers for Boston, Detroit and more
  • An "In-Depth" look at the greatest 50 Coaches as written in an August issue of The Sporting News
  • A 4th installment of Good Guys
  • Perchance a "Year in Review" for 2009

So keep checking us out for this and so much more.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Best by the Numbers - New York Edition

Below is a list of New York athletes according to their jersey number. Please note that there may be players who are better than those listed below not on the list. This is my list, if you want make your own list and put in whoever you'd like.

  1. Eddie Giacomin
  2. Derek Jeter: The All-Time Yankees Hits Leader
  3. Babe Ruth
  4. Lou Gehrig: The Iron Horse
  5. Joe Dimaggio: Joltin' Joe's consecutive games with a hit record of 56 still stands.
  6. Wally Backman: Member of the '86 Mets is now a Minor League Manager for them.
  7. Mickey Mantle
  8. Yogi Berra
  9. Adam Graves
  10. Eli Manning: MVP of Super Bowl XLII
  11. Mark Messier
  12. Joe Namath
  13. Don Maynard
  14. Theo Fluery
  15. Thurman Munson: 3 time Gold Glove winner. AL Rookie of the Year (1970). AL MVP (1976)
  16. Frank Gifford: The former Giant was a long-time color commentator for Monday Night Football
  17. Plaxico Burress
  18. Darryl Strawberry
  19. Willis Reed
  20. Alan Houston
  21. Paul O'neill: Was traded to the Yankees for Roberto Kelly
  22. Al Leiter
  23. Don Mattingly
  24. Ottis "OJ" Anderson: MVP of Super Bowl XXV
  25. Joe Girardi
  26. Dave Kingman
  27. Michael Peca
  28. Curtis Martin
  29. Leon Washington
  30. Willie Randolph
  31. Mike Piazza
  32. Elston Howard
  33. Patrick Ewing: Most Knicks fans are probably still upset he didn't dunk the ball against the Pacers
  34. Charles Oakley
  35. Mike Richter
  36. Jerry Koosman: Was a member of the '69 Mets
  37. Casey Stengel
  38. Jack Hillen
  39. Rick DiPietro
  40. Joe Morrison
  41. Tom Seaver: Tom had 311 career wins
  42. Mariano Rivera: The only current Baseball Player to wear the #42
  43. Jeff Nelson
  44. Reggie Jackson: Mr. October
  45. Tug McGraw
  46. Andy Pettite
  47. Jesse Orosco
  48. Pete Schourek
  49. Ron Guidry: Louisiana Lightning
  50. Eric Barton
  51. Bernie Williams
  52. Pepper Johnson
  53. Harry Carson
  54. Rich "Goose" Gossage
  55. Hideki Matsui: MVP of 2009 World Series
  56. Lawrence Taylor
  57. Mo Lewis
  58. Carl Banks
  59. Brian Williams
  60. D'Brickashaw Ferguson
  61. Adam Koets
  62. Joba Chamberlain
  63. Dewayne Robertson
  64. Jim Burt
  65. Brandon Moore
  66. Pete Kendall
  67. Kareem McKenzie
  68. Jaromir Jagr
  69. Jason Fabini
  70. Sam Huff
  71. Rick Lyle
  72. Osi Umenyura
  73. Joe Klecko: Was part of the "New York Sack Exchange" with Mark Gastineau, Abdul Salaam & Marty Lyons
  74. Nick Mangold
  75. Francisco Rodriguez: "K-Rod"
  76. Jumbo Elliott
  77. Phil Esposito
  78. Wayne Hunter
  79. Alexi Yashin
  80. Wayne Chrebet
  81. Amani Toomer
  82. Mark Ingram
  83. Santana Moss
  84. Joe Jurevicius: Played for the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV
  85. Wesley Walker
  86. Ken Whisenhunt: The current coach of the Arizona Cardinals was a TE for the Jets
  87. Laverneous Coles
  88. Eric Lindros
  89. Mark Bavaro: Giants TE who went to Notre Dame for college
  90. Dennis Byrd
  91. Justin Tuck
  92. Michael Strahan: Holds the single-season record with 22.5 sacks
  93. Petr Nedved
  94. Ryan Smith
  95. Tom Baldwin
  96. Barry Cofield
  97. Mathias Kiwanuka
  98. Jesse Armstead
  99. Wayne Gretzkey: "The Great One's" number has been retired by all of the NHL