Archive for May, 2008

Picabo Street

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2008 by rfpoftheday

Notables:

  • American Skier from Triumph, Idaho
  • Name is pronounced PEEK-uh-boo, like the children’s game
  • Gold Medal at the 1998 Winer Olympics in Super-G (Nagano)
  • Silver Medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Downhill (Lillehammer)
  • Gold Medal at the 1996 World Championships in Downhill (Sierra Nevada)
  • Silver Medal at the 1993 World Championships in Combined (Morioka)
  • Bronze Medal at the 1996 World Championships in Super-G (Sierra Nevada)
  • 1995 World Cup Downhill Champion (first American to ever win a season title in a speed event)
  • Street was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 2005.

During the 1996-97 season, Picabo tore her ACL and missed an entire season. Street went on to win the Olympic gold medal in Super G at the Games in Nagano. Soon after, Picabo had another crash, going faster than 60 mph. She broke her left femur in four places and tore her ACL. She was off the circuit for two years, but came back to make the U.S. Ski Team again in 2001 and during her comeback season she had four NorAm victories and a second place finish at the U.S. Nationals. She competed in the 2002 Winter Games and then retired. (Source: Winter Feels Good)

She wrote an autobiography titled Nothing to Hide. Street reveals the pressures placed on her by her sponsors to succeed and win, which she partly contributes to her devastating 1998 crash. She also talks of how she was able to transform from a rebellious tomboy into a world class athlete. (Buy the Book here)

After the 1994 Winter Olympics, a run on the Warm Springs side of Bald Mountain at Sun Valley was named “Picabo’s Street”.

A couple more Picabo tidbits courtesy of her wikipedia page:

After her success at the 1998 Winter Olympics, Street became a spokesperson for Mountain Dew, being featured on the product’s packaging and ads.

PIcabo Street even starred in her own NIKE commercial. The All Business Company included it as one of the best spots of the week for the week of March 16, 1998. Here’s the gist of the commercial:

NIKE
Poet Matthew Cook writes: “Picabo Street, that’s probably the coolest name in the world.” If that name was “a scary dictator,” we’d think of “gasoline prices a rodeo clown, it might just seem idiotic. But when a champion has that name, it’s a whole new kettle of fish.” Picabo stars as herself.

Here’s another NIKE ad that Picabo Street did:

She is now retired and living in Park City, Utah.

If you want Picabo Street to be your motivational speaker at a ski camp, office party or whatever, you can book her at Playing Field Promotions. (at a reasonable price of: $10,001 – $20,000)

She appeared on the TV show Nickelodeon GUTS in 1994. (Spin-off site: Random Forgotten Television Shows)

Street was also a special correspondent on NBC’s Today Show during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

The Mountain Zone has an extensive interview with Picabo Street (including audio): Link

Here is Picabo in a chapstick commercial:

They even made a sequel to it, but Picabo chapstick spot #2 is much more corny:

Picabo promoting Winter Sports:

Picabo Street Interview:

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Turk Wendell

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2008 by rfpoftheday


Quick Hits:

Position: Relief Pitcher

Teams:

  • Quinnipiac University
  • Chicago Cubs (1993-1997)
  • New York Mets (1997-2001)
  • Philadelphia Phillies (2001, 2003)
  • Colorado Rockies (2004)
  • Houston Astros (minor league contract 2005, only played the month of March)

Notables:

  • Quinnipiac University all-time leader in strike-outs (single season)
  • Highly-valued relief pitcher for much of his MLB career
  • 3.93 career ERA, over 500 strikeouts
  • Led the Mets in games played with 80 in 1999 and 77 in 2000.
  • Helped the Mets reach the 2000 World Series
  • Known for his outspoken nature, eccentric personality, and crazy superstitions




Wendell started his career in the minor leagues with the Atlanta Braves. He was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 1991 and made his major league debut in 1993. He got of to a shaky start with the Cubs, but turned into a solid reliever for them from 1995-1997.

He was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the New York Mets late in the 1997 season. He posted a 3.34 ERA and a 22-14 record in 285 career appearances with the Mets and reached the 1999 and 2000 playoffs (including the 2000 World Series).



We Should Be GM’s highlights the decline of Wendell:

“In an effort to solidify their bullpen for a playoff run in ’01, the Phils traded Bruce Chen to the Mets for Wendell and Dennis Cook. Wendell, had posted a 3.51 ERA for the Mets before the trade. With the Phillies, however, Wendell was absolutely atrocious, giving up 21 hits and 13 runs in 15+ innings. He was 0-2, and the Phils lost the NL East by 2 games.”


Wendell is remembered as being one of the first to comment that Barry Bonds may have taken steroids. Speaking about the February 12, 2004 indictment of Bonds’ trainer Greg Anderson for allegedly distributing illegal performance-enhancing drugs to athletes, Wendell said:

“If my personal trainer, me, Turk Wendell, got indicted for that, there’s no one in the world who wouldn’t think that I wasn’t taking steroids.“I mean, what, because he’s Barry Bonds, no one’s going to say that? I mean, obviously he did it,” Wendell said. “(His trainer) admitted to giving steroids to baseball players. He just doesn’t want to say his name. You don’t have to. It’s clear just seeing his body.” (Wendell noting the fact that Bonds’ physical appearance suggested steroid use) (SF Gate)

During spring training, Bonds responded to Wendell’s comments:

“I heard about his comments. If you’ve got something to say, say it to my face,” Bonds said. “Don’t talk through the media.””I’m not worried about him. I’m not worried about anyone. I have a lot of respect for Turk Wendell. I have a lot of respect for every baseball player in this game,” he added. “You got something to say, you come to my face and say it and we’ll deal with each other. Don’t talk through the media like you’re some tough guy.” (Bonds to Wendell)

Ironically, Bonds delivered the message through the media during an on-camera interview in the San Francisco Giants dugout (wikipedia)



On April 8, 2001 the Montreal Expos led the Mets 10-0. Wendell was pitching and Vladimir Guerrero violated one of the “unwritten rules” in baseball. New York Times writer Murray Chass says “thou shalt not swing at a 3-0 pitch when your team has such a big lead”. The very next day Wendell hit Guerrero with a pitch. Guerrero took exception to the bean ball by Wendell. Wendell responded in the media by saying:

“If he doesn’t like it, he can freakin’ go back to the Dominican and find another line of work.” (The Sporting News)




On April 28, 2001, The Mets beat the Cardinals 6-5 and Mets’ reliever Turk Wendell was ejected for a pitch that sailed behind the Cardinals’ Mike Matheny. Wendell believed he shouldn’t have been ejected for the pitch and defended himself by bringing up the control problems of Cardinals’ pitcher Rick Ankiel:

“It’s a 1-1 pitch; why would I try to hit the guy?” Wendell said. “When Ankiel’s out there and he throws balls everywhere, why don’t they throw him out of the game?” When it was suggested that Ankiel’s problems are psychological, Wendell said: “It still jeopardizes the guy in the batter’s box’s career, life, well-being. I know he’s not trying to do it; I’m not trying to do it. It happens.” . . .” (The New York Times)

ESPN Baseball Analyst Peter Gammons noted that Turk Wendell wanted to play his last season in the Major Leagues for free:

“Turk insists that he will play the last year of his career for nothing. “I will play it for nothing because I’ve loved baseball all my life,” says Turk. “I want my last season to be a testament to the game. I only wanted a few things out of life — a wife, children, to play baseball and to hunt deer.”

Told that the players’ union will not allow him to play for free, Wendell said, “then I’ll drop out of the union when the time comes.” (Peter Gammons)

Wendell loved hunting. Here he is in Bow Hunter Magazine (Best Shots 2005)


Wendell was known for having many eccentricities

Wendell would brush his teeth between innings (some claim that he brushed between every inning). While brushing, he often hid in the dugout, either by ducking behind objects or by facing the wall. How awesome is it to have an Upper Deck Card with Wendell brushing his teeth? (see picture)

Wendell insisted that the umpire roll the ball to the mound rather than simply throw it to him (If an umpire would ignorantly throw the ball to him, Wendell was known to let it go past him, or even to let it bounce off his chest, after which he would retrieve it from the ground).

Whenever he began a new inning, Wendell would turn and wave to the center fielder and wait for him to wave back before proceeding.

At the beginning of each inning, he would reportedly draw three crosses in the pitcher’s mound dirt.

Whenever his catcher stood, he would crouch down.

When entering or leaving the field, he would always take a tremendous leap over the baseline.

He would chew black licorice as an alternative to chewing tobacco.

He would forcefully slam his rosin bag onto the pitcher’s mound between outs.

He wore number 99, in honor of Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, the main character in the movie Major League (played by Charlie Sheen).

In 2000 he signed a contract worth $9,999,999.99.

He wore a necklace made from the claws and teeth of various animals he had hunted and killed.

While in the minor leagues, rumor has it that he drank only orange juice (no food or any other drink) on days he pitched. But he also claimed to drink four cups of coffee before each start.

He sometimes threw his glove into the stands when leaving a game.

(List of eccentricities compiled from NHB Baseball and Wendell’s Wikipedia page)

The Pro Sports Daily Forum and Chicago Cubs Forum have both recently brought up the topic of Turk Wendell and his eccentricities.

Here are some other athlete superstitions (Link)

In a great message board post on the Democratic Underground, users give their “MLB All Psycho Team”. Of course, Wendell makes some of the lists. There are some great ones listed: Howard Johnson, Carl Everett, Mackey Sasser, Mike Ivie, etc.)


Buy a Turk Wendell Game Worn New York Mets Jacket for $135 (Link)

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Bobby Hebert (pronounced “a-bear”)

Posted in Uncategorized on May 29, 2008 by rfpoftheday

“When you mention Bobby Hebert’s name, the word “championship” usually follows.” –Lafourche Sports


Position: Quarterback

Teams:

  • Northwestern State-Louisianna
  • Michigan Panthers (USFL, 1983-1984)
  • Oakland Invaders (USFL, 1985)
  • New Orleans Saints (1985-1992)
  • Atlanta Falcons (1993-1996)

Notables:

  • 1x NFL Pro Bowl selection (1993)
  • USFL All-Time Team (Second Team)
  • Most Passing Yards in USFL (10,039)
  • 1983 USFL Most Outstanding Quarterback
  • 1983 Sporting News USFL Player of the Year
  • 1983 USFL Championship Game MVP
  • 1983 USFL Champion with Michigan Panthers
  • Threw for 21,683 yards in the NFL, 135 TD’s, 124 INT’s with a 78.0 pass rating.
  • Nickname: “The Cajun Cannon”

Hebert is considered one of the greatest players to ever play in the USFL (Remember the USFL?)

The USFL was a short-lived professional league that played three seasons between 1983-1985. It has been the National Football League’s strongest competitor of any league since the 1960’s American Football League.

How awesome are these USFL mini helemets? ($30 here)

In 1985 and 1986 with the New Orleans Saints, Hebert split time with quarterback Dave Wilson (a future RFP). In 1987, he shared snaps with John Fourcade. Who are Dave Wilson and John Fourcade? In 1988 and 1989 he was the Saints’ primary quarterback.

(Dave Wilson)

In 1991 and 1992 Hebert led the Saints to back-to-back playoff appearances.

The October 7th, 1991 issue of Sports Illustrated even featured Bobby Hebert on the cover because of the Saints’ great start that season. Which brings up another question to discuss in the forum, how many RFP’s have graced the covers of Sports Illustrated? Name some.

He took a small number of snaps as a backup to Jeff George in 1994 and 1995. Jeff George’s infamous Sunday Night Football blowup caused Head Coach June Jones to bench George for the rest of the game, then suspend George for four games. Jones then named Hebert starting QB. (Wikipedia)

For Hebert’s career stats year-by-year in the NFL, click here

I bet you didn’t know Hebert even has his own fan page at Lafourche Sports.

How about the Bobby Hebert myspace?

On the hit TV sitcom Seinfeld (season six, episode:”The Big Salad“) , George is fascinated by the way his name is pronounced:

You know what’s interesting. The quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons is Bobby Hebert. No “r” which I find fascinating. You know it’s Herbert h-e-r-b-e-r-t, Hebert h-e-b-e-r-t. “Hebert” it’s a fun name to pronounce. Try and say it, Hebert.” (wikipedia)

Jason Alexander who played George on Seinfeld talked about the scene on the Letterman Show in 2001:

“George is talking to a date. Searching for conversation, George begins talking about the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints Bobby Hebert (pronounced “AY-BAIR). He then goes on to say a news reporter for the Times is named Bob Herbert. Very similar names, only one letter difference, but pronounced quite differently. AY-BAIR — HERBERT. George’s date thought this incredibly boring. I thought this incredibly hysterical because I always thought the SAME exact thing about Bobby Hebert and Bob Hebert and Bob Herbert but never mentioned it because I knew it was something only I would find the slightest bit interesting. Hearing my own private thought on TV, I laughed in disbelief. ONLY I THINK LIKE THAT! I was astonished to find someone else thought the Hebert-Herbert interesting but knew it was so uninteresting to others that he used it in an obvious uninteresting conversation for TV.” (Link)

Just recently on Wednesday, May 21, 2008, JMC from “The Big Picture” spent a night out with Bobby Hebert. The summary of a night out with Bobby Hebert is probably one of the greatest things I have ever read and it is a MUST READ! The Big Picture lists the things they learned about Bobby Hebert and some of the best moments of the night. Here are a few of my favorite ones:

Things learned about Bobby Hebert:

  • His ex-wife is a total MILF.
  • He will always refill your beer when it’s empty.
  • When telling you great stories, he likes to get real close and tap you on the arm with the back of his hand again and again.
  • Although I didn’t get to see it first hand, apparently he’s a stud at beer pong.

Best parts of the night:

  • Seeing Bobby standing outside the restaurant dipping, then going back inside to check out the group of transsexuals that walked in after us.

Go to The Big Picture for the full interview and stories about Jim Mora, Deion Sanders, Lawrence Taylor and Jack Del Rio! (My Night Out with Bobby Hebert)

(The Big Picture out with Bobby Hebert)

Note: I just discovered The Big Picture when I was writing this blog post and it has been an idea of mine forever to have a feature Nights Out with Sports Stars. I hope to do a future night out with Kevin Duckworth someday, so Kevin, if you’re reading this contact me immediately. I can only imagine it would be one of the greatest days ever.

“Could someone who goes by T-Bob Hebert end up anywhere besides LSU?”

Bobby Hebert has a son that plays football for LSU. His son’s name? T-Bob Hebert.

T-Bob was a Freshman Center last year at LSU. In the 2007 recruiting class he was a four-star recruit ranked by Rivals as the #2 center prospect in the country (Rivals). T-Bob was a three-star recruit by Scout.

Pete McEntegart at Sports Illustrated included T-Bob in his “10-Spot” feature in October of 2006:

9. The 10 Spot doesn’t cover much recruiting news, but we couldn’t pass up the scoop that LSU received an oral commitment Monday from a player who should immediately make the All-Name team — center T-Bob Hebert. He’s the son of former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert (pronounced “a-bear”). “T-Bob” is a nickname, of course, but the “T” is a relatively common Cajun prefix that derives from the French word petit, for “little” or “small.” In other (i.e. Yankee) words, the younger Hebert goes as “Little Bob” to distinguish him from his dad, though at 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds, the diminutive doesn’t entirely fit. Still, could someone who goes by T-Bob Hebert end up anywhere besides LSU? It brings back happy memories for this scribe of the 2½ years I spent writing for a newspaper in Lafayette, La., the center of Cajun country. I had a coworker (the felicitously named Jonas Breaux) who liked to affectionately call people “T-Boy.” Surely Jonie is smiling today.

Links

T-Bob Hebert talks about Katrina and his commitment to LSU

Interview with T-Bob Hebert

Here’s T-Bob as of last year:

Bobby Hebert is currently a co-host of a sports radio show on WWL 870 and 105.3 FM in New Orleans where he is nicknamed “The Cajun Cannon”. Surprisingly enough, Les Miles and Hebert give interviews together.

(Hebert)

Here’s a video on YouTube tagged: “Drunk Saints Fan yelling at Bobby Hebert”:

And of course I have all of your 1983 and 1984 USFL Panthers’ Bobby Hebert video montages. Go here to watch them!

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Rick Honeycutt

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28, 2008 by rfpoftheday

Quick Hits

Position: Pitcher

Teams:

University of Tennessee (1973-1976)

Seattle Mariners (1977-1980)

Texas Rangers (1981-1983, 1994)

Los Angeles Dodgers (1983-1987)

Oakland Athletics (1987-1993, 1995)

New York Yankees (1995)

St. Louis Cardinals (1996-1997)

Notables:

  • All-American First Baseman-Pitcher at Tennessee, won the SEC batting crown with a .404 BA
  • Drafted in the 17th round of the 1976 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Pitched 21 seasons in the Majors
  • American League pennant: 1988, 1989, 1990
  • World Series champion: 1989 (Oakland Athletics)
  • All-Star (AL): 1980, 1983
  • Led the AL in ERA (2.42) in 1983
  • Pitched in 30 post-season games, including 20 league championship series games and 7 World Series games, and never lost a game, going 3-0.
  • At Oakland, Honeycutt was a set-up man to future Hall-of-Famer Dennis Eckersley
  • Struggling through a 17 loss season with the Mariners in 1980. Honeycutt was caught scuffing the ball by hiding a thumbtack within a bandage on his finger. He was subsequently suspended for 10 days. (Link)
  • He was the oldest major league player in both 1996 and 1997 (42, 43 years old)
  • He made 268 starts and 529 relief appearances in his career, logging 2,160 innings pitched and compiling 109 wins and 38 saves.

Honeycutt joined the Dodgers as a Minor League Pitching coordinator after he retired, and he became the Pitching Coach for the Dodgers in 2006. He is still their pitching coach this season, and was one of the only holdovers from Grady Little’s 2007 staff to return on Joe Torre’s 2008 staff.

Could this be Rick Honeycutt’s biggest fan? I wonder if he frequents Honeycutt’s sporting goods and apparel store in Chattanooga, Tennessee?

Watch Rick Honeycutt sing and dance in one of the funniest videos ever made. It is called the “Baseball Boogie” and it was made by members of the 1986 Los Angeles Dodgers. While Honeycutt has some good moments, Orel Hershiser steals the show hands down (he’s in the blue jacket). Here it is:

WOW! It gets better each time I watch it. Someone please join me in the RFPoftheDay.com Forums to discuss this masterpiece.

Here’s a recent interview in which some of the “Baseball Boogie” participants, including Honeycutt, talk about the video.

Rick, all we can say is, thanks for the memories.

Marvin “Snoop” Minnis

Posted in Uncategorized on May 27, 2008 by rfpoftheday

Quick Hits

Position: Wide Receiver

Teams:

  • Florida State
  • Kansas City Chiefs (2001-2002)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2003)
  • Miami Dolphins (2003)
  • Toronto Argonauts (2004)

Notables:

  • Sportsline All-American 2000
  • Led Florida State in receptions during the 2000 season
  • Finalist for the Biletnikoff Award (best college receiver) in 2000.
  • Declared academically ineligible right before the BCS National Championship Game against Oklahoma at the Orange Bowl.
  • 2001 NFL Draft, round 3 pick 77 (Minnis’ draft bio)
  • Started 11 games as a rookie for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2001, catching 33 passes for 511 yards.

You may remember how good Florida State was in 2000 with Minnis. (Thrashing Florida, Throttling Clemson, 3 TD’s against Wake Forest)

Days before the 2000 National Championship, Minnis cried in a nationally broadcast interview with ESPN in which he talked about is academic ineligibility for the championship game (sorry, no video link). Pat Sangimino at KVVU questioned the sincerity of Minnis’ tears:

Were they flowing because he was truly sorry for having let down his Florida State teammates, or were they tears of embarrassment, tears that appeared only because he got caught not holding up the front end of the student-athlete moniker?

One columnist thought Florida State would not miss their All-American receiver, given the talent of their other receivers. Tim Layden of CNNSI.com argued the opposite. Who was right? Well, the Minnis-less Seminole offense failed to score in the game, resulting in a 13-2 loss to Oklahoma. Good call Tim.

In September 2003, Minnis was cut by the Chiefs in order to open up a roster spot for Tank Reese: (Link)

(Tank Reese)

Where is Tank now? Apparently being waived in 2005 by the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League.

Grab a mini-helmet signed by Minnis, now marked down from its original list price

If that’s out of your price range, pick up this autographed card (in his FSU uni) for under 5 bucks

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Glenallen Hill

Posted in Uncategorized on May 26, 2008 by rfpoftheday

Quick Hits

Position: Outfield

Teams:

  • Santa Cruz High School
  • Toronto Blue Jays (1989-1991)
  • Cleveland Indians (1991-1993)
  • Chicago Cubs (1993-1994)
  • San Francisco Giants (1995-1997)
  • Seattle Mariners (1998]
  • Chicago Cubs (1998-2000)
  • New York Yankees (2000)
  • Anaheim Angels (2001)

Notables:

  • Drafted in the 1983 amateur draft (ninth round, 219th overall by the Toronto Blue Jays)
  • Made major league debut with the Toronto Blue Jays on July 31, 1989
  • Lifetime batting average of .271, 186 home runs and 586 RBIs in 1162 games.
  • .287 lifetime average as a pinch hitter (13 pinch hit home runs)
  • On May 11, 2000 Hill became the first and only player ever to hit a pitched ball onto the roof of a five-story residential building across the street from the left field wall of Wrigley Field.
  • First National League player to be a DH in a regular season game (June 12, 1997 in the first-ever interleague game)

Hill also was infamous for his defensive escapades which was once described by then-Mariners pitching coach Bryan Price as “akin to watching a gaffed haddock surface for air.” (wikipedia)

Due to his far from adequate defensive skills, he has been referred to as The Juggler because he would struggle to hold on to a ball when he did catch one.

Hill suffered from an intense condition of arachnophobia. On one occasion Hill sustained cuts and scrapes on his feet, knees and arm during a violent nightmare about spiders. Hill popped out of bed, bumped into a glass table and plunged down a staircase, all occurring when he was asleep. Hill ended up being placed on the 15 day disabled list. This led to him being nicknamed “Spiderman.” [3]

Another link on Hill’s arachnophobia.

While a member of the Cleveland Indians, he committed a “phantom steal” of second. This occurred during a game against the Detroit Tigers which was interrupted by a prolonged disturbance in the outfield. When play resumed, no one noticed that Hill had moved from first to second. (wikipedia)

Hill’s 500 ft. Home run (Watch)

HitTracker even calculates (with diagrams!) how far Hill’s home run would have gone had the building not been there. (Link)

Following up a 500-ft home run,

In December of 2007, Hill was included in the Mitchell Report in which it was alleged that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his career. Kirk Radomski alleges that he met Hill at a social function in 2000 during which they discussed Hill’s dissatisfaction with the results from his use of HGH. Radomski claims he sent Hill a complementary bottle off HGH which Hill tried and expressed his satisfaction with the results. Radomski states Hill purchased two kits of HGH from him and provided a photocopy of a canceled check from Hill for $3,200. Hill’s phone number and address were also included in Radomski’s address book. (wikipedia)

The blog Home Run Derby isn’t surprised Hill was listed in the Mitchell Report, noting:

Who’s shocked at this one?

When Hill played with the Cubs, the man’s arms and lats were so thick he simply couldn’t put his arms straight down at his sides. Because of this, the Wrigley Bleacherites called him “Frankenstein.”

And they would mimic the Frankenstein arm motion after every Home Run hit by Hill.

Hill denied using the HGH provided by Radomski citing that he was suffering from marital stresses at the time. He stated that this was a one time purchase, and that he never used performance enhancing substances. He admitted that the drugs stayed in his possession until 2007 when he discovered them when unpacking from a move. Hill claimed he couldn’t remember other players who he may have discussed steroid use with, and noted that his lawyer had warned him that naming players would hurt his career.[1]

You can read Hill’s full statement here: Link

On December 20, 2007 Hill was also named in Jason Grimsley’s unsealed affidavit as a user of steroids. Hill and Grimsley were teammates on the 2000 New York Yankees.[Source]

Currently the first base coach for the Colorado Rockies.

Before Major League Baseball approved the batting helmet rule for coaches, Glenallen Hill was one of the first coaches in Major League Baseball to wear a batting helmet while coaching in the field.

Sam Bowie

Posted in Uncategorized on May 25, 2008 by rfpoftheday

Quick Hits

Position: Center

Teams:

  • Lebanon High School (Pennsylvania)
  • University of Kentucky
  • Portland Trail Blazers (1984-1989)
  • New Jersey Nets (1989-1993)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (1993-1995)

Notables:

  • Averaged 28 points and 18 rebounds per game in high school.
  • McDonald’s All-American
  • Parade All-American
  • High School Player of the Year (over Ralph Sampson, 1980)
  • United States Olympic Men’s Basketball Team out of high school (last player with no college or professional basketball experience to make the Olympic squad, and probably the last)
  • 3rd Team All-American as a Sophomore at Kentucky.
  • 2nd pick in the 1984 NBA Draft, picked over Michael Jordan
  • Averaged 10.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.78 blocks per game for his career.

Like most RFP’s, fans of the team the RFP played for remember him the best. Blazer fans will never forget Bowie that’s for sure.

In the 1984 NBA Draft, the Houston Rockets selected Hakeem Olajuwon with the first pick. The Portland Trail Blazers then selected Bowie over North Carolina shooting guard Michael Jordan with the second pick. Everyone knows the story: Jordan was drafted by the Bulls with the third pick and won five MVP’s and six championships becoming one of the greatest players in basketball history. It is also notable that Bowie was drafted over Charles Barkley and John Stockton as well.

Portland’s draft decision is regarded by ESPN as the worst in the history of sports (link). Sports Illustrated called Bowie the biggest NBA draft bust in a 2005 list, arguing that teams should not draft according to current need but to a player’s potential. Bowie is considered a bust mostly because of Jordan’s amazing NBA career. However, Bowie was a logical pick on paper given that the Trail Blazers had just picked a shooting guard the previous year: Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler. (wikipedia)

  • In his rookie year, Bowie played in 76 games and averaged 10 point and 8.6 rebounds per game.
  • Over the next four seasons, injuries limited Bowie to 63 games including missing the entire 1987-88 season.
  • Bowie was traded to the Nets for Buck Williams.
  • Bowie retired from the NBA in 1995 because of injuries during his stay with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Big Blue’s history on “The Pick

(Photo: ESPN)

While searching for Bowie online I found this blog to be very intriguing. It chronicles The Tallest People Ever with Bowie making the 7’1”-7’2” list. There are some great RFP’s in the blog.

Bowie remains positive to this day: Portland Tribune article

He also is a racing horse owner (Link)

As long as we are talking about the Blazers, here are some sick Clyde Drexler dunks for your entertainment:

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