Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Remembering Bobby Thomson

Posted: August 19, 2010 by Rick Hogaboam in Sports
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“The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant” is how we all remember Bobby Thomson’s home run off of Brooklyn Dodgers’ pitcher Ralph Branca to win the pennant in 1951.

What many people don’t know is the friendship that ensued between Thomson and Branca. In Branca’s words from a FOXSPORTS article:

”I’ll miss him,” Branca said. ”I mellowed over the years and we became good friends. I enjoyed being around him.”

I am a baseball fan and memorabilia collector. I happened to write Bobby Thomson a few years ago and he was kind enough to return correspondence and also sent me an autographed photo of his memorable home run. The picture was signed by BOTH Thomson and Ralph Branca, which just shows you how classy Branca was. He also signed a custom 8×10 I sent, along with a baseball card, and responded to some questions I asked about his career. Will dig them out, scan, and include in this post later.

I’m a baseball junkie if you didn’t know and I am perhaps the only person full of joy over MLB’s decision to shorten to LCS by removing an off-day from the schedule. You can see the story here.

My beloved Halos lost in 6 games to the Yankess and C.C. Sabathia was scheduled to start in game 7 after starting in games 1 and 4. Essentially the extra days off allow a team to use a 3 man rotation, which doesn’t fairly represent the strength of a team over the season with a 5-man rotation. This will now force teams to match their 4th starter against each other and can level it out a bit if a particular team has a deeper rotation. We will never see 5th starters matched with the current system, but this at least mitigates against a team that has 3 str9ong starters and a very mediocre 4 and 5 starter.

Boise State, AP Champions?

Posted: January 5, 2010 by Rick Hogaboam in Sports
Tags: ,

Hey, it has happened before. My beloved USC Trojans were voted AP Champs back in 2004 while LSU was the BCS champs and mandated in the coaches poll to be #1. Essentially they were co-champions. I think that the AP (Associated Press) can not only challenge the current BCS system, but can also be a sympathetic voice on behalf of other teams that they feel worthy to be champions as well.

I don’t expect Boise State to be voted as the AP champs, but I do hope they garnish some votes, thus confirming what we all want…a playoff system.

One last interesting tidbit. If Boise State’s season is viewed in the big picture, they had two victories over BCS conference champions: Oregon and TCU. So if there was a playoff system, depending on what sort, BSU could conceivably be in the semi-final or finals right now.

         

I was recently asked the following question regarding Paul’s illustrations involving boxing:

Just b/c the apostle paul made references to boxing/fighting doesn’t necessarily meant he ‘watched’ them, right?  He could of just been knowledgeable of the art or strategies in the sport not necessarily promoting or suggesting it’s ok or good for a christian to engage in it?

My answer is as follows: (more…)

New Keith Olbermann “Baseball Nerd” Widget

Posted: April 28, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in Sports

I know that some of my readers may loathe Keith Olbermann and I have even been critical in the past of him, HOWEVER I must admit that I have appreciated Keith Olbermann since I was a little kid growing up in the Los Angeles media market and watching him on the nightly local Sportscast. His days with ESPN were also entertaining. 

For those of you who only know Olbermann as the guy on “Countdown” who continually bashes Bush, Bill O’Reilly, and ends his show by counting down the days from “Mission Accomplished”, his beginnings were really in sports. We share a common interest in baseball cards, the history of baseball, play fantasy baseball, like SABR, are both essentially “Baseball Nerds”. 

Here are some interesting items in Olbermann’s bio according to Wikipedia:

 

As a teenager, he often wrote about baseball card collecting, appearing in many sports card collecting periodicals of the mid-1970s. He is referenced in Sports Collectors Bible, a 1979 book by Bert Sugar, which is considered one of the important early books for trading card collectors.[22]

Olbermann is a dedicated baseball fan and historian of the sport, with membership in the Society for American Baseball Research.[39] He is also one of the most prominent baseball cardcollectors in the country, particularly of T-206 tobacco cards and other rare cards, such as the very rare 2006 Alex Gordon rookie card.[40] He argues that New York Giants baseball playerFred Merkle should not be denied inclusion into the Baseball Hall of Fame because of a baserunning mistake.[41] He contributed the foreword to More Than Merkle (ISBN 0-8032-1056-6), a book requesting amnesty for Merkle’s error, also known as the “Merkle Boner.” Olbermann was also one of the founders of the first experts’ fantasy baseball league. He was one of the founders of the USA Today Baseball Weekly LABR league, giving the league its nickname (LABR stands for League of Alternative Baseball Reality).[42] Because of his extensive baseball knowledge, Olbermann is a consultant to Topps, the baseball card manufacturer. Topps allowed him to open the first pack of 2007 baseball cards on Countdown the week before they hit stores. The first card of the pack was Johnny Damon of the New York Yankees. In high school, Olbermann compiled an extensive list of first and third base coaches. This documentation now sits in the Hall of Fame, and is considered the definitive compendium of first and third base coaches in baseball history. Olbermann wrote the foreword to the 2009 Baseball Prospectus Annual.[43]

In March of 2009, Olbermann began a baseball-related blog enitled Baseball Nerd.

I am adding his baseball blog as a widget on Endued and trust you will find his insights entertaining. Enjoy.

P.S. For those of you who would like to go to his blog and criticize his political views, he has issued this statement:

“Thanks to all for the comments and the welcomes and the flaming go-to-Hades. This blog is about baseball and not politics; I won’t touch the latter here unless it unavoidably pertains to something between the foul lines, so write all you want about left-versus-right – I hope you find it entertaining to yourself, I won’t be reading it. As elsewhere here, abuse won’t be tolerated and the fine folks at MLB.Com will ultimately decide if we have to start approving comments. Doesn’t matter to me; I come here under the banner of the greater good: Baseball.”

Tex Winter Never Used Profanity…Come on Phil

Posted: April 27, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in Sports

I am a huge Lakers fan and am obviously following their playoff run. Anyhow, Tex Winter, the legendary coach and expert on the “Triangle” offense that was used by the Bulls and Lakers under Phil Kackson, suffered a stroke and is hospitalized as I write.

While watching the game tonight, the TNT analysts said that Phil Jackson said that the thing that sticks out in his mind about Tex is that he never used profanity. While I think it is great Tex never used profanity, I just thought Phil would have something more meaningful to say.

Hope Tex gets better, Lakers roll to a title…

nick-adenhartI am a huge Angels fan, just ask anyone that knows me. I am a former season ticket holder and once covered the Angels as a primary blogger for the Most Valuable Network (link). This entry isn’t about me, but gives you some background into my interest into the sport of baseball and the Angels in particular. I was meeting with a friend for lunch today when he pulled out a card with Nick Adenhart’s name on it and told me that he was killed in a car accident. I was frozen…he just pitched last night, he is only 22, he is a huge part of the Angels future. Then I wondered if he was drunk or something, not that it would have minimized the tragedy, but there is always a fear that an athlete acted inappropriately. ESPN was on at the lunch joint I was at and it stated that it was a hit and run accident where the other party ran a red light and broadsided the vehicle carrying Adenhart. 2 others died along with Adenhart. The driver of the van apparently tried to flee the site on foot. Having heard this news, I was then full of some anger. Someone bolting through a red light kills 3 people. I hope this driver doesn’t have a spouse and kids because he/she is now going to jail for a long time and must live with the regret of this action. I pray that they would repent, but it isn’t in my jurisdiction to forgive him/her…only the Adenhart family can do that. Here is an article with some more info (MLB Release).

I am now sitting down and about to prepare a message for our Church’s Good Friday service tommorrow night and then prepare the Easter message for Sunday. The unfortunate event of Adenhart’s death reminds me that death is real…that Jesus’ death was real. Jesus’ death was both tragic and glorious. It is a stumbling block for many that a tragic death is the God-appointed means for our salvation. The story doesn’t end with his death…He arose. Easter is the hope of the ressurrection, that Jesus is the firstfruits and we ourselves will be ressurrected to God’s glory. Death is NOT the final say. 

While Newsweek is declaring that we are now a “post-Christian” nation (http://www.newsweek.com/id/192583), and recent polling is showing that a growing majority of Americans are declaring religion irrelevant, the death of Adenhart shouts loud and clear to everyone that death is real and coming. There is one who conquered the grave for us. That is very relevant. I lament that many so-called pastors are standing before their thousands and turning the Gospel into a message of self-help. Their message to Nick Adenhart is to live in God’s blessing…to enjoy his wealth…to fulfill his destiny…to be all that he can be. This event reminds us that God speaks to more than our earthly success, but rather to our suffering, our death, and the glorious hope of the resurrection. If Christ isn’t risen, then we are to be pitied….the Gospel isn’t about just this earthly life, it is about the grave and resurrection…It isn’t merely about eating, drinking, and being merry…it is about so much more!!!

Anyhow, I don’t know what Adenhart believed or hoped in, but it is my prayer that his death would awaken our souls to consider the meaning of life beyond such tragedy and suffering. Adenhart pitched 6 scoreless innings last night, but it really doesn’t matter, does it? Many follow sports as an escape from life, its tragedy, its pain…we cheer, we jeer…we shout with joy, we mourn a loss…and then death shows its ugly face and crashes the party. The good news is that Jesus will conquer death and usher in a more glorious party. Death, as an enemy, will ultimately be destroyed. That is what Good Friday and Easter are about. I am not ashamed of the Gospel, it is the power of God for our salvation.