Archive for June, 2008

Bob Tewksbury

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2008 by rfpoftheday

Position: Pitcher

Teams:

  • New York Yankees (1986-1987)
  • Chicago Cubs (1987-1988 )
  • St. Louis Cardinals (1989-1994)
  • Texas Rangers (1995)
  • San Diego Padres (1996)
  • Minnesota Twins (1997-1998 )

Notables:

  • Drafted in the 19th round of the 1981 amateur draft (New York Yankees)
  • NL All-Star in 1992 (starting pitcher)
  • 16-5 with a 2.16 ERA in 1992 (233 innings pitched)
  • Led NL in Win/Loss %, walks per 9 innings pitched, and strikeout to walk ratio in 1992
  • 3rd in Cy Young Voting in 1992
  • Led the NL in BB/9 IP and K/BB ratio again in 1993
  • 110-102, 3.92 ERA for his career

Tewksbury put together a string of 4 great seasons with the Cardinals from 1990 to 1993, including one incredible season (1992). As a result, in 1994 he signed a $3.5 million dollar contract with the Cardinals, which was about 1/4th of what he made in his entire career. He had a 5.32 ERA that year and never came close to matching the production of his early ’90’s seasons ever again. (Tewksbury’s career stats)

Tewksbury struggled with numerous shoulder problems over the course of his career in the Major Leagues. His shoulder problems eventually caught up to him in 1998 when he was forced to retire with the Minnesota Twins.

In 1997, Tewksbury threw an Eephus pitch, joining an elite few who have thrown “the junkiest pitch in baseball.” He threw it to Mark McGwire. (McGwire grounded out on the pitch – twice.) Watch an Eephus pitch in action (thrown by the Yankees’ Dave LaRoche):

He has done lots of work for the Boys and Girls Club of America and local children’s hospitals. His philanthropic efforts made him very well-liked among fans and peers.

In 1994, Tewksbury even made a cameo in the movie “The Scout“.

Tewksbury has appeared as a commentator for the Boston Red Sox on the New England Sports Network. He is now the sports psychology coach for the Boston Red Sox organization. His job is to help the team’s minor league players reach their “on-field potential by maximizing their mental performance.”

Here are a couple of interviews with Tewksbury about his job with the Red Sox:

Baseball Prospectus

MLB.com

Sources:

Baseball-Reference

Wikipedia

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“The Jamaican Sensation”: Chili Davis

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2008 by rfpoftheday

QUICK HITS

Position: Outfielder/Designated Hitter

Teams

  • San Francisco Giants (1981-1987)
  • California Angels (1988-1990, 1993-1996)
  • Minnesota Twins (1991-1992)
  • Kansas City Royals (1997)
  • New York Yankees (1998-1999)

Notables

  • First Jamaican-born player to play in the Major Leagues
  • 3-time All-Star (1984, 1986, 1994)
  • 3-time World Series Champion (1991, 1998, 1999)
  • 10 seasons of 20 or more home runs
  • Had 350 home runs and 1,372 RBI over his 19-year MLB career
  • Ranks 4th all-time for career home runs by a switch hitter (behind Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray, and Chipper Jones)
  • Full name is Charles Theodore Davis

Chili Davis had an outstanding 19-year career in the Major Leagues as an outfielder and designated hitter. He made his Major League debut in 1981 with the San Francisco Giants. The following year (his first full season) he hit .261 with 19 HR and 76 RBI and finished 4th in NL Rookie of the Year voting (Rookies of the Year that year were Cal Ripken Jr. and Steve Sax). In 1984 he was named an All-Star for the first time (.315, 21 HR, 81 RBI) and returned to the All-Star game in 1986. He signed as a free agent with the Angels in 1988, played 3 seasons with them, then spent 2 years in Minnesota where he won his first World Series as a member of the ’91 Twins. Although he wasn’t an All-Star that year, Davis had a stellar season (.277, 29 HR, 93 RBI) and played a key role in helping the Twins win the title. His next All-Star year was in 1994 (.311, 26 HR, 84 RBI) during his second stint with the Angels. He spent one season in Kansas City in 1997 and interestingly enough hit the most home runs he had ever hit in a season (30), despite being 37 years old. Davis finished his career with the New York Yankees (1998-1999) and retired as a back-to-back World Series champion.

How did Charles Theodore Davis become Chili Davis? Legend has it that in 6th grade, Davis got a bad haircut that one of his friends responded to by asking, “How’d the barber cut your hair, with a chili bowl?” The name “Chili Bowl” stuck, and was eventually shortened to Chili. (Numerous sources tell this story, including this one. I don’t know why everyone says it was a bad haircut. Personally, I think that’s a sweet haircut 8) )

Davis has the most awesomely disappointing website of any Random Forgotten Player. Check it out for yourself: www.chilidavis.net. Prepare to be wow’d by the intro, then stuck trying to figure out what the hell you can actually do on that site.

When Davis played for the Giants, he apparently hated their home stadium, Candlestick Park, which is why he decided to sign a free agent contract with the Angels in 1988. In fact, the first Google Image result for Chili Davis is him holding a stick of dynamite over Candlestick with the phrase, “How does Chili Davis really feel about Candlestick Park?”

The image is grabbed off a page that ranks Davis as the #23 greatest Angel of all-time.

Hungry for some Chili Davis? Go to a Hudson Valley Renegades game and order a Chili Davis wrap.

Or, schedule a round of golf with him.

Chili Davis with a base hit in the 1998 World Series:

What a great name for a dog:

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Ernie DiGregorio

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2008 by rfpoftheday

Position: Point Guard

Teams:

  • Providence College (Friars)
  • Kentucky Colonels (ABA)
  • Buffalo Braves (NBA)
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Boston Celtics

Notables:

  • Led Providence to the Final Four in 1973
  • East Regional MVP (1973)
  • Third overall pick in the 1973 NBA Draft
  • NBA Rookie of the Year in 1973-1974 season
  • Averaged 15.2 points per game in 1973-1974, his rookie season with Buffalo
  • Led the NBA in free-throw shooting in 1973-1974 (.902) and 1976-1977 (.945)
  • Led the NBA in assists per game in 1973-1974 with 8.2 apg
  • Career 9.6 points per game in the NBA

Ernie was a hometown hero who grew up in North Providence, Rhode Island and became a star at then-basketball-powerhouse Providence College. In High School, Ernie was known for driving fancy cars with “Ernie D” on the license plates. He also led North Providence High School to a state championship. In 1973, Ernie DiGregorio led Providence to the Final Four, stunning Maryland. New England sports fan to this day still consider Digregorio to be one of the greatest college players of all-time:

“He was the most imitated sports icon in Southern New England. I know this to be true because I was one of those kids who tried to emulate him. If you were a sports fan in the early seventies then Ernie DiGregorio was your idol. A starting guard for the Providence College Friars, Ernie DiGregorio was, in my opinion, the most exciting player I have seen in the college game.” -Prinalgin

“Even growing up in the 70’s in Nebraska i loved Ernie D, never had seen a guard make the passes he did.” – Doug

“Growing up in buffalo, i saw him play live vs canisius and was captivated all through his career up to that heartbreaking loss to memphis in the tourney. we had him here in buffalo for pro career and he was a real gentleman, practicing here at our buffalo jewish center with the team…the dondi-like looks, the brilliant passing and socring, the exciting run and gun tempo and the diminutive size made him an endearing sports hero…also, a couple of things- you are right about the lingering feeling of disappointment in that final 4 loss when barnes got hurt..a rematch with mighty ucla would have been the fitting finale for this hoops legends career rahter than the abrupt loss of barnes and the cinderewlla title quest…but also providence was obliterating memphis before barnes went down..they lead by 20 in the 1st half and were up 48-37 at the half..thanks for rekindling some sweet memories of indeed arguably the most entertaining college player.” -Dr. William Canter

Amazing how excited Providence fans get about their old-basketball teams.

After playing for the Providence College Friars, DiGregorio was drafted by the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association but opted instead for the NBA. He was selected third overall by the Buffalo Braves in the 1973 NBA Draft out of Providence College, and won the NBA Rookie of the Year. DiGregorio still holds the NBA rookie record for assists in a single game with 25 (a record now shared with Nate McMillan.

DiGregorio never again came close to the numbers he put up in his rookie season. He retired in 1981 with the Boston Celtics.

Here’s a 2007 article from the Providence College newspaper looking back at DiGregorio’s career.

On February 5th, 2008, Providence College gave away commemorative Ernie DiGregorio bobble-heads in honor of retiring his jersey during halftime of the Friars game against DePaul. The last market price RFPoftheDay could find for the bobble-head was $28.99 on eBay, two months ago. (eBay)

Following his career in the NBA, Ernie became the head coach for the Rhode Island School for the Deaf in 1982. Ernie had his #15 jersey retired and he now works as a celebrity host at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut and attends all Celtics home games. Ernie even says his job is “FAN-tastic”.

NBA Highlights of Ernie:

Providence Promo:

Sources: Wikipedia, New York Times

Lenny Dykstra

Posted in Uncategorized on June 26, 2008 by rfpoftheday

QUICK HITS

Position: Center Field

Teams

  • New York Mets (1985-1989
  • Philadelphia Phillies (1989-1996)

Notables

  • Also known as “Nails” or “The Dude”
  • Won the 1986 World Series with the Mets
  • 3-time All-Star (1990,1994,1995)
  • Silver Slugger Award (1993)
  • Finished 2nd in voting for the 1993 NL MVP Award (behind Barry Bonds)
  • His son, Cutter Dykstra, was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers
  • Now a successful businessman

Lenny Dykstra was drafted in the 13th round of the 1981 MLB Draft by the New York Mets and very quickly became a star. While playing single-A ball in 1983, he hit .358 with 8 HR, 81 RBI, and 105 stolen bases. He was brought up to the Major Leagues in 1985 and the following year won the World Series while batting leadoff for the Mets. He hit two memorable postseason home runs that year, one was a walk-off shot in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Astros, and the other was a leadoff homer in Game 3 of the World Series against the Red Sox. Dykstra went on to be a 3-time All-Star, but ironically wasn’t selected for the All-Star Game in 1993, when he finished 2nd in voting for the NL MVP and had the best year of his career. That season, he hit .305 with 19 HR, 66 RBI, 143 runs scored, and 37 stolen bases while leading the Phillies to the World Series (where they lost to the Toronto Blue Jays). Dykstra retired in 1996 following 3 consecutive injury-plagued years. (Lenny Dykstra’s career statistics)

Dykstra may have been aided in his career by performance enhancing drugs. He was named in the 2007 Mitchell Report as a steroid user. Anyone who remembers Lenny Dykstra certainly isn’t shocked by this news, including this blogger on faniq.com. Look at the picture below and decide for yourself:

Dykstra is now a successful businessman, and definitely keeps himself busy. Here is a partial list of his post-baseball ventures:

(Photo from The New Yorker)

Here’s a recent article from the New Yorker on Dykstra’s post-baseball successes.

Check out this blog which recaps a recent interview with Dykstra on HBO’s Real Sports. The hilarious exchange between the interviewer and Dykstra went like this:

Goldberg: “Is it true you once said you don’t read books because they might hurt your batting eye?”

Lenny Dykstra: “Yeah. You got to rest your eyes, man, plus it makes you think too much.”

Goldberg: “Reading?”

Dykstra: “Too confusing.”

Goldberg: “Reading?”

Dykstra: “Yeah, I still don’t like to read.”

Goldberg: “And I’m supposed to follow your investing advice?”

Dykstra: “Only if you like money.”

I also like the last paragraph on that blog, which mentions that Dykstra once broke several bones after crashing his Mercedes on the way home from John Kruk’s bachelor party.

Dykstra’s son, Cutter, was drafted in the 2nd round of this year’s MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. Here’s an article on him.

Here’s my favorite picture of Lenny Dykstra. The bulge of chewing tobacco in the cheek is a classic Dykstra look:

Youtubes:

Fox Baseball commercial featuring Lenny Dykstra:

Lenny Dykstra introduction for the 1986 Mets reunion at Shea Stadium:

Mike and the Mad Dog discuss Lenny Dykstra:

A true Lenny Dykstra fan:

 

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Mark Bryant

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2008 by rfpoftheday

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Position: Power Forward

Teams:

  • Seton Hall University [1984-1988]
  • Portland Trail Blazers (1988-1995)
  • Houston Rockets (1995-1996)
  • Phoenix Suns (1996-1997)
  • Chicago Bulls (1998-1999)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (1999-2000)
  • Dallas Mavericks (2000-2001)
  • San Antonio Spurs (2001-2002)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (2002-2003)
  • Denver Nuggets (2002-2003)
  • Boston Celtics (2002-2003)

Notables:

  • Drafted in the 1st round (21st overall pick) of the 1988 NBA Draft.
  • Played for a whopping 10 NBA teams in his career.
  • Played in the 1990 and 1992 NBA Finals with the Portland Trail Blazers.
  • Achieved career-bests for the Suns in 1996-97 with 9.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg and a .553 field goal percentage
  • Scored a career-high 30 points for the Rockets against the Dallas Mavericks on 3/30/96.
  • Averaged 5.4 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per game in his career.

COLLEGE

Bryant helped Seton Hall rise to basketball prominence in the late 80’s under the guidance of future NBA coach P.J. Carlesimo. In fact, a 1992 article from The Bergen County Record states that Carlesimo’s first breakthrough as a coach was convincing Bryant, a high school standout from just down the road in South Orange, NJ, to sign with Seton Hall. With Bryant leading the way, SHU made its first NCAA tournament appearance in school history. Here is an article on Seton Hall’s rise to prominence in the late 80’s.

This past season (2007-2008), Carlesimo was reunited with Bryant when he hired him to be an assistant with the Seattle SuperSonics. The Seattle Times profiled Bryant’s job with the Sonics in a 2007 article.

NBA

Bryant played for 10 teams over 16 seasons, but is best remembered as a Portland Trail Blazer, where he spent 7 seasons and reached the NBA Finals twice (1990 and 1992). He played a key role off the bench for the Blazers, backing up Buck Williams and Kevin Duckworth. He wasn’t a career backup, however. He started 119 games over a 4 year stretch in the late 90’s, including starting 50 games for Cleveland during the 1999-00 season. (Mark Bryant’s career statistics)

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No Mark Bryant in this link, but Blazers fans will get a kick out of it: What you can tell about a guy by who his favorite Blazer is

Bryant once got fined and suspended by the NBA for fighting with Sacramento’s Marty Conlon in a preseason game.

Youtubes:

Rip City Shuffle (Mark Bryant at 30 seconds in a blank jersey! No name on the back!!)

The ’92 Blazers recording their hit song, “Bust a Bucket”

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Wayman Tisdale

Posted in Uncategorized on June 24, 2008 by rfpoftheday

 

Quick Hits

Position: Power Forward

Teams

  • University of Oklahoma (1982-1985)
  • Indiana Pacers (1985-1989)
  • Sacramento Kings (1989-1994)
  • Phoenix Suns (1994-1997)

Notables

  • 3-time All-American at Oklahoma
  • Won a gold medal with Team USA in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles
  • 2nd overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft (after Patrick Ewing)
  • Averaged 22.3 points and 7.5 rebounds during the 1989-90 season for the Sacramento Kings
  • Scored over 12,000 career points and grabbed over 5,000 rebounds in his 12-year NBA career
  • Now an accomplished jazz musician

COLLEGE

Tisdale played his college ball at the University of Oklahoma after attending high school in Tulsa. He played 3 seasons at OU, and is still the only Division I player to be named an All-American in each of his first 3 seasons in college. He was also the first freshman ever to be named an All-American (a feat that has been accomplished only 3 times since, most recently by Kevin Durant and Greg Oden). In addition to his All-American nominations, Tisdale was Big Eight Conference Player of the Year in each of his 3 seasons and holds Oklahoma’s scoring records for a single game, season, and career. He averaged 25.6 ppg and 10.0 rpg while at OU.

Tisdale’s stellar college career earned him a spot on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team that competed in the Los Angeles summer games. The team included college stars such as Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Steve Alford, and Chris Mullin. They defeated Spain for the gold medal.

1984 Team USA highlight video:

Medal ceremony:

NBA

Selected 2nd overall in the 1985 draft by Indiana, Tisdale played 3 1/2 seasons for the Pacers before being traded to the Sacramento Kings, where he had the best years of his career. He averaged 18.4 ppg in his 5 full seasons with the Kings. Tisdale played the final 3 years of his career with the Phoenix Suns, and retired in 1997 with 12,878 career points, 5,117 career rebounds, and 500 career blocks. (Wayman Tisdale’s season-by-season statistics)

AFTER THE NBA

Tisdale is now a very successful jazz musician. His most recent album, Rebound, made it to #1 on the Billboard contemporary jazz albums chart. It currently sits at #2 on the chart. Here is his discography:

Power Forward [1995] (Buy)

 

In the Zone [1996] (Buy)

 

Decisions [1998] (Buy)

 

Face to Face [2001] (Buy)

 

21 Days [2003] (Buy)

 

Hang Time [2004] (Buy)

 

Way Up! [2006] (Buy)

 

Rebound [2008] (Buy)

For more information on Tisdale’s jazz career and to hear some of his songs, visit his website, www.waymantisdale.com, or check out his Myspace page.

In 2007, Tisdale was diagnosed with cancer in his knee after falling down the stairs and breaking his leg. Apparently, everything has gone well with his treatment so far and he is feeling “better than ever.” He is even back touring and performing.

Youtubes:

Promotion for Tisdale’s newest album, Rebound

Mini-documentary on his 2006 album, Way Up!

 

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Anthony Poindexter

Posted in Uncategorized on June 23, 2008 by rfpoftheday

 

Position: Safety

Teams:

  • University of Virginia [1994-1998]
  • Baltimore Ravens (1999-2000)
  • Cleveland Browns (2001)

Notables:

  • Two-time First-Team All-American (1997 and 1998 )
  • 1998 ACC Defensive Player of the Year
  • Arguably one of the best players in Cavalier history.
  • Dropped from a potential Top 10 pick to a seventh rounder in the NFL Draft due to an ACL injury
  • Poindexter was known for his bone-jarring hits against opponents.

College

Bowl Games Poindexter played in:

  • 1995 Peach Bowl
  • 1996 Carquest Bowl
  • 1998 Peach Bowl

Poindexter played a key role in one of the more memorable plays in Virginia football history. As a redshirt freshman in 1995, Poindexter along with teammate Adrian Burnim stopped Florida State’s Warrick Dunn inches from the endzone on the last play of the game to preserve Virginia’s 33-28 victory over the Seminoles. That was the first time Virginia or any other ACC team had defeated the Seminoles in conference play (FSU joined the ACC in 1992). (Watch the video below!)

As a sophomore he made a school record 98 tackles.

After his first All-American season as a junior, Poindexter had the choice between declaring for the 1998 NFL Draft or staying in college for his senior year. Draft experts projected that he would likely be a first-round draft pick, but Poindexter stayed at Virginia for his senior season. The Cavaliers were expected to have a very strong team and were ranked as high as the top ten. In the first seven games of the season, Poindexter made 73 tackles, two sacks, and three interceptions.

In a game against North Carolina State in 1998, Poindexter tore his ACL making a tackle on wide receiver Charles Coleman. Thought at that time to be a lock as a top 10 pick in the next NFL draft, he never fully recovered. He could not participate in the NFL Scouting Combine or the Virginia Pro Day. Poindexter’s chances of getting drafted were now slim, but the Baltimore Ravens took a chance and drafted him in the 7th round. CNN-SI featured a Draft Diary written by Poindexter.

Poindexter was placed on the injured reserve list for Baltimore during the 1999 season, but In 2000, he played in 10 games on special teams where he caused one forced fumble. Poindexter earned a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens that year, though he did not play in Super Bowl XXXV. Shortly after the game he was released, but was picked up by the Cleveland Browns in June. He was released again in September that same year and never played a NFL game again. He attempted to pick up with teams in training camps, but it never worked out, as he never fully regained his quickness.

Poindexter is now the the Assistant Special Teams Coordinator and Running Backs Coach for the University of Virginia. VirginiaSports.com features a video profile of Poindexter.

Here is an article from 1999 profiling Anthony Poindexter and Dre Bly both hurting their draft stock by staying in college an extra year. Poindexter’s story of waiting a year too long to enter the NFL Draft has become legendary and has brought up the debate for college athletes being payed. When Michael Vick held a press conference telling the media that he was going to enter the NFL Draft, he said that he wouldn’t want to end up like Anthony Poindexter did. Ironically, seven-years and hundreds of dog-fights later, the local prosecuting attorney in the Michael Vick case was Mr. Poindexter (Gerald Poindexter).

There is also a Dr. Anthony Poindexter, a nephrologist.

Poindexter (#3) and Burnim stopping Warrick Dunn at the goal line to beat FSU:

 

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