A Silly Sports Diversion

January 12

Did you know … ?

That the heaviest professional athlete in the world is former World Sumo Champion Emanuel “Tiny” Yarbrough, who has weighed in at 680 pounds, spread nicely across a 6 foot 8 frame?

That Harry Chiti was the only player traded for himself? The Indians traded the catcher to the Mets for a player to be named later in 1962. Less than two months later he was sent back to Cleveland, the “player to be named later.” He never played another major league game.

That the 1966-67 Warriors, who lost in the NBA finals to the 76ers, had EIGHT players who averaged scoring in double figures?

That the longest known winning streak in professional sports belongs to the Squash King, the great Jahangir Khan, who won 555 consecutive matches from 1981 to 1986?

That Hall of Fame pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm homered in his first major league at-bat, and never went yard again in his 21-year major league career?

That the Padres’ Kevin Kouzmanoff is the only major league player to ever hit a grand slam on the first major league pitch he saw?

That there really was an Archibald “Moonlight” Graham ( of “Field of Dreams” fame ) and he played in one major league game for the New York Giants in 1905, never getting an at-bat?

That an international group has lobbied to make video gaming an Olympic Sport? They failed to make it to Beijing because they were in the middle of a really hot game of World of Warcraft.

That Wilt Chamberlain never fouled out in his long NBA career?

That Wilt Chamberlain MISSED 578 free throws one season?

That Wilt had sex with 20,000 women? However, under Bill Clinton’s definition of “sex,” that number shrivels to 16,000.

That before the game in which Tom Dempsey kicked his record 63-yard field goal for the Saints in November 1970, he was 5 for 15 for the season? The record-setting kick was field goal #4 for the game, and it beat the Lions, 19-17.

The only NFL player to die on the field during a game was Detroit Lions receiver Chuck Hughes? He collapsed due to a heart attack while running a pass route against the Bears on October 24, 1971. I was shocked at his death but my best friend at the time tried to lighten the mood by asking “did he catch the pass?”

That Mark McGwire’s infamous steroid run gave us one stat you have to love? He’s the major league leader in the category of more RBI’s than hits in a major league season, in 1999. 147 runs driven in, 145 hits.

That Florida State’s Marshall McDougall shattered NCAA records by going 7 for 7 with 6 home runs and 16 runs batted in against Maryland in 1999? McDougall failed to homer in 18 plate appearances with the Texas Rangers in 2005 and is now playing in Mexico.

That former University of Oregon and Denver Broncos linebacker Tom Graham had a nice career … although he was legally blind? He wore coke-bottle thick glasses when he played, but eventually underwent Lasik surgery.

The longest coaching career in recorded history belonged to college football’s Amos Alonzo Stagg, 71 years? With the current NCAA rules and players, I say he doesn’t last 60.

The longest coaching career in un-recorded history belongs to Thag, who coached rock-smash-head from 9890 B.C. to 9810 B.C., an estimated 80 years?

That in the final night of the Roadway Lanes Friday night league in Bakersfield on June 12, 1994, I strung together 15 strikes in a row over two games? This was quickly forgotten because it was the night of the O.J. chase.

That I have a secret crush on the pink-haired Esurance girl? Animation sensation.

That I’m thinking of becoming a Vegan? It might be the only way the Giants win a World Series in my lifetime.

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