"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 10/13/12

Some memorable gems from the Yale radio team of Ron Vaccaro and Carm Cozza last weekend: Vaccaro--when a penalty was called late in the game with the score already lopsided: "Some whistles are best kept SWALLOWED." Earlier, Cozza pointed out the impressive size of some of the Dartmouth linemen--then referred to them as "corned beef people."..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 2002 San Diego Chargers--who finished 8-8 under Marty Schottenheimer--had three players on the squad who caught 50 or more passes. How many of these players can you name? Answer to follow...........Another observation while at the Yale Bowl last weekend: Those familiar with the "Yale Precision Marching Band" are fully aware of the zaniness of this crew--a unit that has loads of fun at each home game; it's a crew that actually comes off as being silly at times. But don't kid yourself-- this band is filled with some talented musicians. And yes--when they ARE serious, they play one HECKUVA good rendition of the National Anthem...........This week in sports history, October 16, 1985: Jack Clark of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a two-out, three-run homer off Dodgers' pitcher Tom Niedenfuer in the ninth inning--enabling his team to win Game 6 of the NLCS and advance to the World Series. L.A. had taken a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth on a solo HR from Mike Marshall. However, Willie McGee and Ozzie Smith would get on base the following inning before Clark sent Niedenfuer's fastball into the left-field seats--stunning a packed crowd at Dodger Stadium..........ITEM: TCU quarterback Casey Pachall is suspended indefinitely after driving while intoxicated; he allegedly told authorities that he's also smoked marijuana and used both cocaine and ecstasy within the past year. Two thoughts: 1) At the time of his arrest, he was one of the most productive passers in the nation--thus breaking the main rule that most coaches stress: Don't do ANYTHING to hurt your team. 2) Look on the bright side: Due to his familiarity with controlled substances, Pachall can always land a job at the on-campus TCU Health Center Pharmacy..........I used to think that watching "Pistol" Pete Maravich dribbling a basketball was the ultimate thing of beauty. That all changed the other day when I saw a picture of actress/model Liz Hurley decked out in a pink dress at Estee Lauder's breast cancer awareness drive at the Empire State Building; my goodness..........Answer to trivia question: LaDAINIAN TOMLINSON (79), CURTIS CONWAY (57), and TIM DWIGHT (50)..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league catcher Dan Firova--who blows out 56 candles on October 16th. If the name sounds unfamiliar, you're probably not alone. Firova appeared in a total of just 17 games between 1981 and 1988 for the Mariners and Indians; in fact, between 1983 and 1987, he did NOT play in a big league game. Used mostly as a defensive replacement, Firova DID come to bat seven times during his career. Unfortunately, he did NOT get a hit--thus joining that unique fraternity of position players who go down in the MLB record books with a lifetime batting average of .000. Hey--they ALL can't be Buster Posey, right? Following his playing days, Firova managed in the Mexican League. Best wishes for many more birthdays to come, Dan..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former MLB player/Gulf Coast league president Tom Saffell--who passed away recently in Florida at the age of 91. Saffell, an outfielder, began his baseball career in the Appalachian League in 1941, but it was ultimately interrupted by military service; this genuine hero flew 61 missions as a fighter pilot while based in France and Germany from 1944-'45. He later played parts of four seasons in the majors with the Pirates and Athletics between 1949 and 1955--appearing in 271 games. He went on to manage in the minor leagues and was named the Midwest League Manager of the Year in 1969 while guiding the Appleton Foxes to an 84-41 record. He's probably best-known for being the Gulf Coast League president from 1980-2009; he received the Warren Giles Award in 2005 for outstanding service as a league president. Yes, Tom Saffell was involved in professional baseball for over 60 years; a highly-respected individual, his service both in AND out of baseball was beyond outstanding. May this special individual rest in peace.
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