Danny Tartabull

Posted in Uncategorized on August 1, 2008 by rfpoftheday

Position: Right Fielder

Teams:

  • Seattle Mariners (1984-1986)
  • Kansas City Royals (1987-1991)
  • New York Yankees (1991-1995)
  • Oakland Athletics (1995)
  • Chicago White Sox (1996)
  • Philadelphia Phillies (1997)

Notables:

  • Was a top rookie in 1986, hitting .270 with 25 HR and 96 RBI for Seattle
  • Best season was 1987 with Kansas City (.309, 34 HR, 101 RBI)
  • 1x All-Star (1991)
  • Signed by the Yankees after the 1991 season for over $5 million a year
  • Hit 31 HR’s for the Yankees in 1993
  • Made two appearances on the TV show Seinfeld (“The Chaperone” (Season 6, Episode 1), and “The Pledge Drive” (Season 6, Episode 3))

ALL IN THE FAMILY

Tartabull’s dad, Jose, also played in the Majors. He played from 1962 to 1970 with the Kansas City A’s, Boston Red Sox, and Oakland A’s. Jose is best remembered for a play he made while with the Red Sox. During the 1967 AL pennant race, Jose threw out Ken Berry at home plate to win a key game against the Chicago White Sox. The play has been immortalized in the novel, Tartabull’s Throw, by Henry Garfield.

If the book wasn’t already on your summer reading list, it certainly will be after you read this review:

This story begins in the late summer of 1967, as Cyrus Nygerski, a .175 hitter, is released from his minor league baseball team in Beloit, WI. However, the novel’s focus soon shifts, as Cyrus meets Cassandra, a girl fresh from the Summer of Love in San Francisco, whom he is convinced he has met before, and who may be a werewolf. After this meeting, readers are propelled on a wild ride from Maine to New York to Chicago and California. Along the way, they encounter a time portal that allows for parallel lives lived in alternate time lines, and shifts in narrative voice and point of view, with a few fairly graphic sex scenes and some gruesome encounters with violent humans and werewolves thrown in. It becomes a little confusing until the extremely dense and detailed explanation comes at the end. However, the parallel stories are put together with the intricacy of an elaborate jigsaw puzzle, and the author evokes the feel of the country in the late `60s, the uniting spirit of a tight pennant race, the coast of Maine, and the scruffy life in the lower minor leagues. And fans of the two other books about Cyrus Nygerski (Room 13 [1997; o.p.] and Moondog [1995; o.p., both St. Martin's]) will enjoy this prequel. It’s an unusual and challenging mix for fantasy/sci-fi and sports fans. (Reviewed by School Library Journal)

Uhh…what?

Danny Tartabull’s son, Zach, is also worth mentioning. Just a few weeks ago (July 13, 2008), Zach was the subject of an article in the L.A. Times sports section. Apparently, 16 year-old Zach is one of the top wide receivers in Southern California. He participates in football and track at Valencia High School, but does not play baseball because “It’s a little too boring for me,” he says. I wonder if he has read Tartabull’s Throw.

Wow, I bet when you started reading this blog you didn’t think you would be reading about werewolves, time travel, and high school football. And now you have a sudden urge to go to the library, don’t you?

>>Return to RFP Homepage

Joey Cora

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31, 2008 by rfpoftheday

Position: Second Baseman

Teams:

  • Vanderbilt University
  • San Diego Padres (1987-1990)
  • Chicago White Sox (1991-1994)
  • Seattle Mariners (1995-1998)
  • Cleveland Indians (1998)

Notables:

  • 1997 All-Star
  • Drafted in the first (23rd pick) of the 1985 amateur baseball draft by the San Diego Padres

Beaumont Golden Gators

As a member of the Beaumont Golden Gators (now there’s a random forgotten team for you) Cora received national attention when on June 22, 1986 he was stabbed after a game in San Antonio, TX. Cora was stabbed by two men while waiting for the team bus after the game. He was stabbed once in the stomach and once in the arm. Cora was quickly rushed to the hospital and later made a full recovery after spending six weeks on the disabled list. A man named Jose Puente, 29, was caught at the scene and was later charged with attempted murder. No motive was ever given for the crime. (Wikipedia)

Here are two famous ex-Beaumont Golden Gator Players that you might know:

Pat Casey (Led Oregon State University to two College World Series titles)

Ozzie Guillen (Most Memorable Blowups)

Cora spent his first three seasons with the Padres averaging .274 batting average. In 1991, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox where he hit .276 in 1994. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners on April 6, 1995.

Cora is perhaps best remembered for his time in the Seattle Mariners organization where he hit .297, .291 and .300 in 1995, 1996 and 1997 respectively. Cora was a key piece of the Seattle Mariners 1995 ALCS run. Cora was an All-Star in 1997 hitting 11 home runs, 54 rbi’s and 105 runs in 1997.

1995 Mariners is a good blog to check out for memorable stories from the Mariners’ 1995 Playoff run.

Cora was nicknamed “Little Joey” by the Mariners fans because of his hustle, grit and good nature. (Wikipedia). Marty from Marty’s Mariners Blog notes:

“What he didn’t have in physical ability, he made up for in shear determination.” -Marty’s Mariners

After being eliminated by the Cleveland Indians in game 6 of the 1995 American League Championship Series, Cora broke down into tears while Alex Rodriguez draped his arm across Cora’s shoulder and consoled him. This image was memorialized the following year with a very humorous promotional ad. The sensitivity and emotion Cora displayed made him particularly popular with young women in the Pacific Northwest, who would often hold signs at Mariners’ home game saying “Marry me, Joey!” (Wikipedia)

You can watch Arod and Cora take infield together back in 1995 on MLB.com.

PF’s blog on FoxSports.com put together a lineup of the greatest Mariners of all-time. Joey Cora didn’t even make it as a backup. Who did? Bret Boone and Harold Reynolds. Who made that bogus list?

Cora spent most of the 1998 as a Mariner, but with the team falling out of contention he was dealt to the Cleveland Indians for David Bell. After being injured he signed a free-agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays during the off-season, but retired without playing a game.

For Cora’s complete career statistics see the Baseball Almanac.

After retiring, Cora became a manager in the New York Mets minor league system. In 2003 he was hired by good friend Ozzie Guillen as a third base coach. He occasionaly serves as an interim manager when Guillen is suspended or ejected from a game. He also managed the Venezuelan Winter League baseball team Tiburones de la Guaira in the 2005-2006 season with a record of 31-31 (.500). Cora has been a finalist for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals managerial positions, suggesting that one day we will see Joey as a manager in the big leagues.

Joey won a World Series ring in 2005 while coaching the Chicago White Sox.

In 2005, Jermaine Dye lined a foul ball off of Joey Cora.

Joey’s younger brother Alex Cora is a middle infielder for the Boston Red Sox.

In 2006, while coaching the American League All-Star game, Joey Cora accidently hit Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano with a Fungo Bat. According to MLB.com, Zambrano backed into the bat while Cora was warming up the American League All-Stars.

Ever wonder how much Joey Cora’s baseball cards are worth? You’re not alone.

“King” Rex Chapman

Posted in Uncategorized on July 30, 2008 by rfpoftheday

Position: Shooting Guard

Teams:

  • Apollo High School (Owensboro, Kentucky)
  • University of Kentucky
  • Charlotte Hornets (1988–92)
  • Washington Bullets (1992–95)
  • Miami Heat (1995–96)
  • Pheonix Suns (1996–2000)

Notables:

  • Mr. Basketball State of Kentucky 1986
  • Parade High School All-American
  • McDonald’s High School All-American
  • 1986-87 All-SEC First-Team 1986-1987 (Coaches)
  • 1986-87 All-SEC Freshman Team 1987
  • 1986-87 All-SEC Second Team (AP & UPI)
  • 1987-88 3rd Team All-American (NABC, Basketball Times)
  • 1987-88 All-SEC First Team (AP, UPI & Coaches)
  • 1987-88 SEC Tournament MVP
  • 1987-88 Academic All-SEC
  • Drafted #8 Overall in the 1st Round of the 1988 NBA Draft by Charlotte
  • First player ever signed by the Charlotte Hornets in the franchise’s history
  • NBA All-star Slam Dunk competition participant (Finished 6th and 2nd)

Chapman was a star at Kentucky. He was named All-SEC during his freshman and sophomore years and scoring 1,073 points in only two years (Wikipedia). He averaged 16 ppg in his first year and 19 ppg in his sophomore season with Kentucky.

Check out Big Blue History for Chapman’s complete statistics at Kentucky.

After his sophomore year, Chapman declared for the NBA Draft. Chapman said scrutiny of his private life by athletics department officials, boosters and others hastened his departure from Kentucky. He left after two seasons and entered the NBA Draft in 1988.

In 2005, Chapman told The Courier-Journal that school officials tried to stop him from dating black women or at least “hide it” rather than inflame fans when he played at Kentucky.

Once, someone took a key and scrawled a racial epithet on his car door, he said. He said he also was the subject of obscene jokes.

“It’s the climate of how things were,” he was quoted as saying. “People were bothered by the fact that sometimes I dated black girls. Most preferred that I keep it confidential and hide it.” – USA TODAY

Ex-Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton was Chapman’s coach at Kentucky.

Note that Chapman also had an awesome mullet at Kentucky:

The Starting Five even rated Rex Chapman as the 34th greatest college basketball player of all time.

NBA

In his rookie season with the expansion-Hornets, Chapman averaged 16.9 points per game. Though, the Hornets went 20-62.

Chapman finished 6th behind Dominique Wilkins during his first NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Chapman would finish second in the 1989-90 Slam Dunk Contest, losing to Dee Brown after performing a two hands-two balls dunk stunt. (Remember Dee Brown?)

Chapman is remembered by many as one of the greatest Caucasian dunkers of all time, and is one of only five whites to participate in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, the others being Tom Chambers in 1987, 1996 Champion Brent Barry, Bob Sura in 1997 and Chris Andersen in 2004 and 2005.

He was the Hornets MVP in 1990-91.

Chapman was traded to the Washington Bullets for Tom Hammonds in the middle of the 1991-92 NBA season. Chapman battled injuries with the Bullets for four straight seasons playing in limited games.

In the 1995-96 season, He had his second major injury during the latter season before being traded to the Miami Heat.

Interestling enough, he was noticibly losing his hair, and opted to shave his head completely and sport a bald look. Chapman had a what started out as a great season, and averaged 14.8 points per game that year, but he was placed on the injured list again and only participated in 56 games and eventually signed with the Phoenix Suns for the 1996-97 season.

Chapman was a fan favorite for the Suns and he hit a game tying shot in game four of the 1996-97 first round playoffs against the Supersonics. With the Suns up two games to one, they trailed the Supersonics in Game 4 by three points with seconds to go in Phoenix. Chapman saved an errant pass from going out of bounds and hit a game-tying three-pointer while falling out of bounds to send the game into overtime with 2.2 seconds left.

What the video doesn’t tell you is that the Suns ended up losing the game and eventually lost game 5.

Chapman played 68 games during the 1997-98 season for the Suns, scoring almost 16 points per game. But he would be injured again during the strike shortened 1999 season, playing 38 games.

Chapman retired from the NBA during the 1999-2000 season after being re-injured.

Chapman played a total of 666 regular season NBA games, scoring 9,731 points for an average of 14.6 points per game, with 1,798 assists for an average of 2.7 assists per game, and 1,645 rebounds, for 2.5 rebounds per game.

Once again, we’re not the only ones wondering what happened to Rex Chapman.

Rex Chapman’s house can be seen from the sky via Virtual Globetrotting.

Unfortunately no one has reviewed Chapman’s movie (Rex Chapman Teaches Basketball’s Jump Shot) on Rotten Tomatoes.

How about a tribute to Rex Chapman?

Rex Chapman and his wife also own a restaurant. (Location) And we found a site where you can read all about the violations of Rex’s restaurant.

Rex was one of the original spokesmen for AND1, who gave Rex his own shoe. In a commercial, Rex stated “My opponents will get to see a lot of (the shoes)… right at eyyyye level!!!!” (Wikipedia) No word yet whether there is a Rex Chapman AND1 mixtape out there.

It’s also nice to see people still rocking Chapman’s jersey.

After retiring from active play Chapman remained with the Suns, first as a scout and later as Director of Basketball Operations. For the 2004 and 2005 NBA Playoffs, he served as a color commentator on TNT. In 2005, he became a personnel scout with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2006, he became the vice president of player personnel with the Denver Nuggets. Though I’m not too sure why anyone would hire him as a scout. Here’s what he said about Sebastian Telfair back when Telfair was drafted by the Blazers:

“As far as court vision goes, he compares to Kidd, Nash and Lebron.”

(Ummmmmmm………………This guy has a hard enough time deciding between Earl Boykins and Telfair )

Youtube:

Rex Chapman in college:

Dunk on U of L:

The closest thing you will find to a Rex Chapman AND1 mixtape:

Dunk:

Showtime (he is also compared to Mohamed Ali)

Carlos Baerga

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 by rfpoftheday

Due to my very busy schedule right now, blog writing is taking a temporary back seat. Baerga’s blog entry is gonna be late. It’s just something you’re gonna have to deal with.

Andre Rison

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2008 by rfpoftheday

QUICK HITS

Position: Wide Receiver

Teams:

  • Flint Northwestern High School
  • Michigan State University
  • Indianapolis Colts (1989)
  • Atlanta Falcons (1990-1994)
  • Cleveland Browns (1995)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (1996)
  • Green Bay Packers (1996)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (1997-1999)
  • Oakland Raiders (2000)
  • Toronto Argonauts (2004-2005)

Notables:

  • First round draft pick in 1989 (Indianapolis Colts)
  • 5x Pro Bowl selection (90, 91, 92, 93, 97)
  • 4x All-Pro selection (90, 91, 92, 93)
  • Won the 1996 Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers (scored the first points of the game on a 54-yard touchdown catch)
  • Won a Grey Cup championship with the Toronto Argonauts (2004)
  • Holds an NFL record for scoring a touchdown with 7 different teams

  • caught 52 passes for 820 yards including 4 touchdowns in his rookie season with the Colts.
  • He was traded to the Falcons as part of the infamous Jeff George block-buster deal.
  • Led the NFL in receiving touchdowns with 15 in 1993.
  • After the 1994 season, Rison signed a free agent contract with Cleveland, where he was expected to bring his flashy playing style and become the featured receiving threat for the Browns, who had made the playoffs the year before.
  • Played one season with the Browns and had career lows in receptions (47), yards (701), touchdowns (3), receptions per game (2.9), and yards per game (43.8).

Due to Rison’s poor play, he developed a feud with the Cleveland fans, who were angered over the announcement that the team would be relocating to Baltimore and tired of his incredibly disappointing play.

After a home loss to the Packers, Rison, who had been booed by the fans throughout the game, lashed out, stating, “We didn’t make the f***ing move. So, for all the booers, f*** you too. I’ll be glad when we get to Baltimore, if that’s the case. We don’t have any home-field advantage. I’ve never been booed at home. Baltimore’s our home. Baltimore, here we come.” [Cleveland.com]


In his final NFL season, with the Raiders in 2000, Rison caught 41 passes for 606 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Rison finished his NFL career with 743 receptions for 10,205 yards and 84 touchdowns, along with 8 kickoff returns for 150 yards and 9 carries for 23 yards.

Rison was also well known for things aside from his play on the field.

In 1994, Rison’s Atlanta mansion was burned down by his then-girlfriend, the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of the R&B group TLC, resulting in the loss of all his possessions.

He has also been arrested several times for failing to pay child support to Raycoa Handley, the mother of his two sons. This ultimately led to Rison getting sentenced to jail by an Atlanta court on December 8, 2004 for neglecting to pay the $127,000 in child support Handley claimed he owed her. On January 3, 2005, Rison was released from DeKalb County Jail after making a $10,000 payment.[Metro News, Wikipedia]

He was given the nickname “Bad Moon” Rison from ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman (aka “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival).

While playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, Rison tried to popularize the nickname “Spider-Man,” reflecting his touchdown celebrations where he posed like the superhero flinging spider webs…but the nickname never really stuck.

Rison was also sometimes mocked as “Smokey”, “Fireman”, and “Flamer” in reference to the infamous Lopes arson incident, as well as Brock Middlebrook, after his attempt to deceive police after he threw a man through a window at the Bo’s and Mine, a local River establishment near the site of the Chiefs training camp. For the incident he makes the Chiefs Hall of Shame.

Add Rison to the RFP Pro’s vs. Joe’s Hall of Fame. During one episode, TNA wrestler Abyss gave Rison his finishing maneuver, the Black Hole Slam (kayfabe) when Rison offered Abyss a handshake. Rison had to be helped from the ring during the commercial break.

Watch the show here.


Andre Rison frequents a Tiki Bar called The Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Looks like he is making the most of his retirement.

Rison even has an official website, along with a myspace (also official).

Back in 2007, Ladies Love Sports asked us to remember Andre Rison.

Apparently, there might even be an Andre Rison reality show coming soon to your television:

Youtube:

Touchdown catch:

Chris Miller to Andre Rison in Techmo Bowl!:

More TNA wrestling with Andre Rison:

Jim Rome: Baby Mama Drama (Andre Rison):

And just because I am SUCH a HUGE TLC fan, I had to throw this in the blog (Though I’m sure Rison may not be a fan anymore):

>>Return to RFP Homepage

Byron “Bam” Morris

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2008 by rfpoftheday

QUICK HITS

Position: Running Back

Teams:

  • Texas Tech University (1991-1993)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (1994-1995)
  • Baltimore Ravens (1996-1997)
  • Chicago Bears (1998)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (1998-1999)

Notables:

  • Rushed for 1,752 yards in his final season at Texas Tech (1993)
  • 1993 Doak Walker Award winner (best RB in college football)
  • 3rd round selection in the 1994 NFL Draft
  • Best year in the NFL was as a rookie, when he rushed for 836 yds and 7 TDs
  • Started 39 games over his 6 year career
  • Was the the starting running back for the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX (73 yds on 19 carries and 1 TD)
  • Had numerous legal problems which contributed to his demise

COLLEGE

Bam won the 1993 Doak Walker Award after rushing for 1,752 yards for Texas Tech. He beat out San Diego State’s Marshall Faulk for the award. Bam’s 1,752 yards broke a Southwest Conference record for single season rushing yards previously held by Earl Campbell, and was the second highest mark in the nation that year. Bam, who’s real name is Byron, was one of two Byron’s from Texas Tech to win the Doak Walker Award in a span of 4 years. The other? Byron Hanspard, who we featured on this site earlier this month.

NFL

Morris left school after his junior year to enter the 1994 NFL Draft and was selected in the 3rd round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He peaked early, rushing for 836 yards and 7 TD’s as a rookie, then starting in Super Bowl XXX in his second year, where he rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The next two seasons he played for the Baltimore Ravens, where he rushed for a little over 700 yards each year. He played for the Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs in his final two seasons, rushing for less than 500 yards in each. He was out of the NFL by age 27. (Bam Morris’ career statistics)

LEGAL TROUBLES

Morris’ career was hampered by his problems off the field:

  • 1996- Police found 4 kilograms of marijuana and 1 gram of cocaine in his car during a traffic stop. Fined $7,000, sentenced to 200 hours of community service and 6 years probation. He was cut by the Steelers after he pleaded guilty.
  • 1997- Arraigned in Baltimore after a woman accused him of assaulting her
  • 2000- Pleaded guilty to two counts of Federal drug trafficking (distributed 100 kg of marijuana in Kansas City area from 1998-2000). Sentenced to 30 months in prison.
  • 2001- Convicted of violating his parole from his 1996 plea bargain, sentenced to 10 years in prison. Released on July 31, 2004.

(List compiled from Morris’ Wikipedia page)

Bam Morris makes the list of the Biggest Jokes in Pittsburgh Sports History

He also joins past RFP of the Day Elvis Grbac on George Blowfish’s list of Players Who Really Sucked.

In 2006, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Morris was trying to make a comeback in the NFL. He had recently signed with the Katy Copperheads (now the Texas Copperheads) of the National Indoor Football League to restart his professional career.

Most recently, Bam popped up in the news in January 2008 when he offered advice about prison to Michael Vick, who is serving time at the same place that Bam did.

YOUTUBES

Bam Morris scores the game winning touchdown in the 1995 AFC Championship:

Can’t embed the video player on this next one, but here’s the link:

KDKA Pittsburgh interviews Bam Morris in 2005

>>Return to RFP Homepage

Bill Cartwright

Posted in Uncategorized on July 24, 2008 by rfpoftheday

QUICK HITS

Position: Center

Teams:

  • University of San Francisco (1976-1979)
  • New York Knicks (1979-1988)
  • Chicago Bulls (1988-1994)
  • Seattle Supersonics (1994-1995)

COLLEGE

Cartwright played at the University of San Francisco where he led the Dons to 3 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including 2 Sweet Sixteens. He was a 2-time All-American and finished his career as USF’s all-time leading scorer. Here are his complete collegiate statistics (courtesy of Wikipedia):

Year W-L G FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% RBs Avg Pts Avg
1976 22-8 30 151 282 53.0 72 98 73.5 207 6.9 374 12.5
1977 29-2 31 241 426 56.6 118 161 73.3 262 8.5 600 19.4
1978 23-6 21 168 252 66.7 96 131 73.3 213 10.2 432 20.6
1979 22-7 29 268 443 60.6 174 237 73.4 455 15.7 710 24.5
Total 96-23 111 828 1406 58.9 460 627 73.4 1137 10.2 2116 19.1

Note the monster senior year statistics (24.5 ppg, 15.7 rpg) and the incredibly consistent free throw percentage. I can only imagine the consistency at the line came from his picture perfect form:

NBA

Cartwright was selected #3 overall in the 1979 NBA Draft, behind Magic Johnson and Dave Greenwood. He got off to a fast start in the NBA, averaging 21.7 points and 8.9 rebounds in his rookie season for the New York Knicks. He was named to the 1979-’80 NBA All-Rookie Team alongside Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Calvin Natt, and the aforementioned Dave Greenwood. He also made the All-Star Game as a rookie, the only All-Star appearance of his career. His rookie season ended up being his best season statistically. His second year he averaged 20.1 ppg, but he never again reached the 20 ppg mark. (Cartwright’s career statistics)

After the 1988 season he was traded to the Chicago Bulls for Charles Oakley. Cartwright was the starting center for the Bulls when they won back-to-back-to-back NBA championships in 1991, 1992, and 1993.

Cartwright ended his career with one uneventful year with the Seattle Supersonics and retired in 1995.

POST-CAREER

Cartwright eventually won two more championships with the Bulls, this time as an assistant coach in 1997 and 1998. He also served as head coach for the Bulls from 2001 to 2003. He was replaced just 14 games into the 2003-2004 season. He is now an assistant for the Phoenix Suns.

He has a very hoarse voice that is the result of an elbow to the throat that damaged his larynx in a game against the Indiana Pacers.

In case you care, Cartwright is one of 5 players Tirico Suave “sort of still wishes were in the NBA”

YOUTUBES

Bill Cartwright has no tolerance for child abuse:

Watch Cartwright drain 3′s on Tecmo Basketball (starts about 25 sec. in):

>>Return to RFP Homepage

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