Category: Sports Written by Aubrey Bruce
“Each day through my window I watch her as she passes by. I say to myself, “You’re such a lucky guy.” To have a girl like her is truly a dream come true, out of all of the fellas in the world she belongs to me. But it was just my imagination, running away with me. It was just my imagination, running away with me.” —From the Temptations; ‘Just my Imagination’
I will be in Bradenton, FL (Pirates City) next week to check on the evolution or continued dissolution of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unlike most of the “objective” sports scribes hailing from the steel city; I wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to the Buc’s.
When I think of the Pirates more memories come to mind than just athletes striking out, hitting homeruns or making great defensive plays. I continue to visualize my father in his pitch black bedroom; I was the last of 12 children and by the time I came along he and my mother inhabited separate bedrooms only coming together for what they both described as “occasional celebrations.” His new “mistress” displayed multi-personalities daily and had names like; Vernon Law, Bill Mazeroski, Donn Clendenon, Elroy Face, Bob Friend, Willie Stargell, John Candelaria, Steve Blass, Al Oliver, Manny Sanguillen. Let’s forget about individuals; he loved the Pittsburgh Pirates, period. The only thing visible in that “lightless chamber” that he retired to every evening to be transported to his own personal pirate ship was the lighted red power button on his Zenith radio. My nostrils “smile” as I recall the smell of cherry tobacco filling the air almost allowing the sound waves from the broadcast of the game to “piggyback” on the aromatic smoke as it wafted toward baseball” heaven.” Even amidst the blackness of the room dad may not have been sitting in the stands at Forbes Field or Three Rivers Stadium (he never lived to see PNC Park) but he had faith and believed that between the 1st and 9th inning someone was going to emerge as one of the Pirates heroes of the night. It might have been a nasty Elroy Face forkball that would end a promising rally for the opposition or a sliding “basket” catch somewhere out in right center field by Roberto “the great one” Clemente. Pirates’ manager Danny Murtaugh could almost always count on a “bloop” by Roberto Clemente and a “blast” by Wilver Dornell Stargell to almost always keep the Pirates in the game. By the way in 1971 Willie Stargell hit 48 home runs and the only “steroids” that he required was a plate full of collard greens and ham hocks and a nice cold pitcher full of vodka and orange juice. Every night, on my knees I pray “Dear Lord, hear my plea. Don’t let them take Joel Hanrahan away from me or I will surely cry.” The Pirates have to win now. Pittsburgh no longer has ex-Pirates GM Dave Littlefield to blame for stupid money motivated deals. For the life of me I cannot comprehend how management could even consider allowing super reliever Joel Hanrahan to slip out of their grasp.
Every time that I consider another season of sub .500 baseball by the Pirates, who are arguably one of the most storied franchises in the history of professional baseball, I want to perform my loudest imitation of Fred G. Sanford. The character was portrayed by the late comic icon Redd Foxx. Every time Mr. Sanford was traumatized by any events real or imagined he would grab and clutch his chest feigning a heart attack all while yelling up into the heavens to his deceased wife, “Elizabeth, I’m coming to join you.” Most of the fans who watched the show and knew about the scurrilous and suspect personality of the world’s most famous junkman couldn’t even remotely imagine Fred getting anywhere near the “pearly gates.” Yeah go ahead and laugh at me. Call me names like “dreamer,” “naïve,” “homer.”
You can define me any way that you wish but I will always keep hope alive. I have more and better memories of the Pittsburgh Pirates than the world has been forced to watch for the past 18 years. There was a time when there was not one weakness in the starting “nine” of the Pirates from head to foot. No team wanted to face them on any afternoon or evening. There was not even slightest desire by the opposition to face the gargantuan Pirates lefthander Bob Veale on a summer night trying to see through his fogged up ½ inch glasses with hands big enough to cause the baseball to appear as if it was a ping pong ball; all while throwing 90 mile per hour fastballs. It would be sheer stupidity to desire to face an all African-American lineup who some may argue invented the word “swagger.” These boys had will and skills.They were feared by all and feared none. I am quite certain that the ghosts of Pirates broadcaster Bob Prince, Roberto Clemente, “Doc” Ellis, Oprah Elliott Bruce (my father) and many, many other fans, players and journalists who have covered the Pirates since their inception are floundering around in ‘purgatory’ pining for the Pirates to win all the while refusing to be ushered through the gates of heaven until the Pirates at least make the playoffs. However, it is my prayer, hope and dream that I do not join them until I am credentialed to cover a World Series featuring the Pirates. Something tells me to make sure that my life insurance remains current because as all of you should have figured out by now; seeing the Pirates accomplish an even Steven season in 2013. I continue to believe that the Pirates will win in 2013 but this may be “just my imagination, running away with me.”
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-583-6741.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 09:59
Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
FINAL HOME GAME--Pittsburgh's Dante Taylor, right, shoots a hook over Villanova's Mouphtaou Yarou on Sunday, March 3, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
by Will Graves
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Dante Taylor spent four years at Pittsburgh trying to live up to sky high expectations.
Last Updated on Sunday, 03 March 2013 19:18
Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
Chamique Holdsclaw and Jennifer Lacy
ATLANTA (AP) — Former WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist Chamique Holdsclaw is being indicted in a November 2012 shooting in Atlanta, prosecutors said Wednesday.
A six-count indictment charges Holdsclaw, 35, with aggravated assault, criminal damage and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Fulton County District Attorney's spokeswoman Yvette Jones said Wednesday.
Holdsclaw was arrested after an argument with Tulsa Shock player Jennifer Lacy, 29, who told police she was Holdsclaw's ex-girlfriend. The two were also Atlanta Dream teammates in 2009. Holdsclaw broke the windows to Lacy's car and shot at it Nov. 13, 2012, police said. No one was injured.
After a late-November court appearance, one of Holdsclaw's attorneys said he talked with Lacy and they were trying to resolve the case.
"They are still friends and we expect the alleged victim to support a proper resolution of this," said Edward Garland, an attorney representing Holdsclaw. "In no way did she use the gun to threaten or assault the alleged victim, or do so with a baseball bat."
He acknowledged that Holdsclaw caused damage to Lacy's car, but said his client never intended to hurt her.
"Sometimes charges get made that exceed the scope of the actual events," Garland said, adding that he and his client plan to resolve the case without it going to trial.
Holdsclaw is out on $100,000 bond and a court date has not been scheduled.
Holdsclaw led the University of Tennessee to three consecutive national championships from 1996-98 before beginning a pro career that included six WNBA All-Star selections.
She also played on the U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal in the 2000 Games. She had 3,025 career points at Tennessee and remains the Southeastern Conference's career scoring leader.
In September, Holdsclaw returned to her alma mater to discuss her fight with clinical depression, which included a suicide attempt during her pro career.
Holdsclaw recounted how she attempted suicide in 2006 as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks by overdosing on the medication she was taking for clinical depression. She also wouldn't leave her Washington home for a few days in 2004, two years after the death of the grandmother who raised her.
The retired WNBA player could face 65 years in prison if found guilty on all six counts.
Last Updated on Friday, 01 March 2013 00:04
Category: Sports Written by Aubrey Bruce
If God permits it, I will cross the sixty-year old threshold sometimes during the middle of March. Am I looking forward to it? Hell yeah. Am I going to be confused? Hell yeah.
Last Updated on Sunday, 03 March 2013 19:59
Category: Sports Written by Bill Neal
:10 Top 10 Greatest Black Americans: 1. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 2. President Barack Obama 3. Malcolm X 4. Frederick Douglass 5. Thurgood Marshall 6. Harriet Tubman 7. Rosa Parks 8. Jackie Robinson 9. George Washington Carver 10. Paul Robeson
:09 Top 10 Greatest Black Athletes: 1. Jackie Robinson 2. Muhammad Ali 3. Jessie Owens 4. Bill Russell 5. Hank Aaron/Barry Bonds 6. Jim Brown 7. Tiger Woods 8. Wilma Rudolph 9. Chuck Cooper 10. Arthur Ashe/Althea Gibson
:08 Top 10 Greatest Sports Events In Black History: 1. Jackie Robinson drafted into major league baseball. 2. Chuck Cooper drafted into the National Basketball Association. 3. The Life and Times of Muhammad Ali “The Greatest.” 4. Jessie Owens’ domination over Hitler and the Germans in the Olympics./ Hank Aaron hits 715 to become baseball’s homerun king. 5. Wilma Rudolph becomes the first American woman/African-American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympics (1960). 6. Jack Johnson/Joe Louis—both dominate the world heavyweight boxing crown during America’s most racist times. 7. Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in a single game. 8. Bill Russell wins 11th NBA Basketball Championship. 9. Doug Williams becomes first African- American to win NFL Super Bowl. 10. John Thompson becomes first African-American to win NCAA Basketball Tournament/Tony Dungy becomes first African-American head coach to win the Super Bowl
:07 Top 10 Honorable Mention Great Black Athletes: 1. Michael Jordan 2. Josh Gibson/Willie Mays 3. Magic Johnson 4. Carl Lewis 5. Pele 6. Satchel Paige 7. Serena and Venus Williams 8. Jerry Rice/Randy Moss 9. John Carlos/Tommie Smith 10. Mike Tyson
:06 Speaking of historical greatness, a big congrats goes out to Westinghouse High School for pulling off a back to back this past weekend winning the boys and girls City League basketball titles and a big “way to go man!” to my long time partners, Frank Duck and “Reggie” for keeping the Bulldog’s history alive and for printing the t-shirts and “giving” them away…that’s right, I said giving!!! Ruff Ruff!
:05 Oh yeah, you know I was gonna do this list. Here’s the biggest fools in Black sports history: 1. Rae Carruth 2. O.J. Simpson 3. “Tiger” and all them women 4. Oscar Pistorius (Mother Land connection) 5. Lance Armstrong (special write-in vote) 6. Plaxico Burress 7. All the Baseball druggies (Too many to mention) 8. Adam “Pac-Man” Jones 9. Ron Artest (not Metta “World” Peace) 10. Mike Tyson (makes both lists) 11. Jayson Williams 12. Michael Vick 13. Hector “Macho” Camacho 14. Riddick Bowe 15. Larry Bethea
:04 Here’s some Black History for ya. Kevin Cameron lasted one week with his predictions. And that one has not happened yet. Not as easy as it looks huh Kev?
:03 Champion Enterprises, Rayco “War” Promotions and Five Starr Corporation still making history…“Harlem Nights” opening night a huge success. Coming at ya again Friday, March 29. Dress it up!!
:02 My No. 1 greatest ever Black sports event…Ali vs. Frazier—“The Thriller in Manilla”
:01 In closing out this special edition, remember, we, as a people, are special and our sports achievements are historical and unprecedented. “We are people, mighty people, mighty people of the sun. In our hearts lie all the answers of the truth we can’t run from.”—Earth, Wind & Fire
~ GAME OVER ~
Last Updated on Friday, 01 March 2013 09:49
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