Last Blog? Need Your Help Dec. 2018

FEEDBACK:

This is the month I need to decide if I want to pay for another year of keeping my web site. I’m not getting a whole lot of “views” and the blogs are somewhat time consuming (considering the number of people reading them). Here’s where I need your help.

If you don’t find the blogs all that interesting, let me know and tell me what could be done to make you want to visit the site each time a new blog is posted.

If you have the time, could you go on social media to spread the word, especially to good sports fans, about the website.

Any other ideas on how to get more exposure, please feel free to contact me. You can leave a comment or email me at wstew@roadrunner.com.  Thanks!

DEC. ITEMS:

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIV. ITEMS: Looking through an old book (so some of these stats, facts, and records may be outdated) I came across some interesting items. The Brigham Young record for passing yards in a game belongs to John Walsch (619), but Ty Detmer owned the season and career records. He also won a Heisman and set 62 NCAA records. He finished first or second in QB efficiency from 1989-1991.

Other QBs out of BYU who weren’t exactly slouches: Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon, and Steve Young to name three who come quickly to mind…From 1922-1971, BYU got shutout 72 times. From 1972-2000, under LaVell Edwards, they were blanked just once while averaging 32 points a game over a span of 361 contests.

In 1923, the school went with Cougars for their nickname and they obtained a live cougar and her two cubs. Throughout the latter part of the 1940s live animals were on the field’s sideline and they lived on campus. However, according to my copy of the ESPN College Football Encyclopedia, one time the cougars got loose and killed two dogs. The school then decided to change their mascot from those live animals to using students wearing Cosmo the Cougar costumes.

OPINION ON NCAA— The hypocrisy of some of the things the NCAA does gets to me. They insist that the media, for example, call college players “student-athletes” when I’ve heard that many of, say, the football players actually quit their colleges after their season is over. Not sure if that still holds true, but I did read that some time ago. Of course, many of these kids are far removed from being true scholars, and we know there have been many instances where cheating has gone on to help kids get into and stay in college.

It also bothers me, even though I live in Ohio, that a team like the Buckeyes can play poorly and, for instance, nearly lose to Maryland, but still be in the running for the national title. Again, this is based on things I’ve heard, but I believe the committee craves having teams like the popular Ohio State squad to make it to big bowl games and/or the playoffs. Just my opinion on all of this, but to me an early season scare to one of those weak teams in a sort of tune-up game or a near-defeat to a team like Maryland should count against a major team A LOT.

Rip Sewell was the most famous pitcher of the ephus ball in baseball history. The pitch was basically a lob, one which attained heights of around 25 feet in the air. Batters had to supply their own oomph when hitting the ball and many whiffed as they tried to deposit the ball over distant fences. Ted Williams famously is the only man to homer off the gimmick pitch (in the ’46 All-Star Game, a blow that traveled 20 rows deep into the Fenway Park right field bleachers). The next batter got an ephus, too. He popped it up to end the inning and Sewell was showered with a standing ovation. By the way, prior to his homer, Williams had missed on an ephus, but asked Sewell to throw him another one–that time, he didn’t miss.

Sewell knew his pitch (often called a blooper pitch) frustrated hitters. He said they often popped it up no higher than a living room ceiling and he said sometimes “they’d miss it by two feet.” He joked in an old Baseball Digest article that, “If I pitched today, I’d make Catfish Hunter look like a pauper. Sewell was much more than a man who threw a gadget pitch. He won 21 games in 1943 and 1944 and in 1948, he went 13-3.

Dizzy Trout threw a blooper to Sewell once, only to see Sewell blast a double down the left field line. Another frustrated player was Whitey Kurowski who spit at the pitch every time Sewell threw him one. The 1975 BBD article said Ernie Lombardi once fanned on three straight ephus balls then begged the umpire to give him one more strike. Eddie Miller of the Braves hated the pitch and he used to scream at Sewell that he was going to get him. Sewell recalled that one day Miller snapped. ” . . . he just reached out and caught the ball as it came over the plate. He threw it up into the air and lined it right back at me. I caught it . . .” The umpire did not allow the play or the catch to stand. Instead, he called a strike on Miller.  [from Baseball Digest’s “Remember Rip Sewell and the ‘Ephus Ball’?” by Joe Falls from July 1975]

Sewell threw the pitch up to 15 times per outing and only one National League player ever got an extra base hit off it. That man, and this will make Donora, Pa. natives glad to hear, was The Man— Stan Musial.

APPEARANCE:  On Dec. 15th I’ll be signing some of my books at Mindfair, a book store inside the Ben Franklin store in Oberlin, Ohio, located at 13 West College Street (from 1:30 until 3 pm).

2 thoughts on “Last Blog? Need Your Help Dec. 2018”

  1. Ephus pitch forgot all about that. Good story. Agree MOST college athletes who don’t make the pros don’t graduate and make little of their lives. No pay also for being the minor league for the NFL. Good reading as always.

    Like

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