Monday’s Den: Clearing out a cluttered mind…….

13) Until this week, I had never heard of Al Benton, a guy who pitched 14 years in the majors, missing two years in the middle (1943-44) because of military service.

Benton is famous for two things:
— He is the only pitcher who pitched to both Babe Ruth/Mickey Mantle.
— He is the only player EVER with two sacrifice bunts in the same inning.

For his career, Benton was 98-88 for three AL teams, starting 167 games; he went 15-6 for the ’41 Tigers, his best season. He pitched for Detroit in the ’45 World Series, against the Cubs.

12) Been watching lot of old college basketball games the last few weeks; forgot how I liked it when Billy Packer was the analyst. Gruff, outspoken and very smart, Packer played at Wake Forest, was an assistant coach there; when he teamed with Dick Enberg/Al McGuire on NBC, it was TV gold, but those broadcasts have stayed in the archives. Too bad.

Listened to Packer work games on CBS with Jim Nantz, Brent Musberger; was watching the 1985 Villanova-Georgetown game, the last college games without the shot clock, and Musberger is on the game. 35 years later, he is the radio voice of the Las Vegas Raiders- an amazing career.

11) One thing for sure; if a guy doesn’t play in the NBA or become a coach, you forget about him pretty quickly. Saw some names that made me say “Hey, I remember him”. The national title game in 1988, the Kansas-Oklahoma game, had a few guys like that.

10) Hypothetical situation: Let’s say that there is no baseball this summer, they just decide to skip a year and start up again in 2021. Do AJ Hinch/Jeff Luhnow become eligible again? Is their year on suspension a year where nothing happened anyway?

And if they do become eligible again, would the Astros bring them back to their old jobs?

9) When musicians are on tour it has to be grueling; different city every night, Lot of tours are being rescheduling because of our current situation. Lady Antebellum just released a revised tour schedule, a 42-concert tour, done over 122 days.

Here is one stretch of that tour that will test both the musicians and the roadies:
September 3— Cleveland
September 4— Philadelphia
September 5— Saratoga, NY
September 6— Syracuse

Going to be some tired people after that show in Syracuse.

8) Tremendous reality show would be HBO showing the discussions going on about when sports are going to start up again. No one knows; games shouldn’t start until the virus has been overcome, but there is no roadmap for this. Everyone is losing a lot of money; going to be some very spirited discussions about how to handle the resumption of activities.

7) Younger people don’t remember Pete Maravich, the great LSU guard who was flashy, prolific and who played before ESPN and before 3-pointers were a thing. He was an amazing player.

Before I show you his college stats, remember he played at LSU before the SEC was integrated, which factors into the equation, but he also hung 69 on Clyde Frazier and the Knicks; he was a huge talent who played for his dad in college and scored a lot of points:

1966-67: 43.6 ppg, 10.4 reg
1967-68: 43.8 ppg, 7.5 reg
1968-69: 44.2 ppg, 6.5 reg
1969-70: 44.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg

Amazing numbers, done with no shot clock, no 3-point shots.

6) Funny story; Press Maravich was Pete’s dad; he was NC State’s coach from 1964-66, going 38-13 in two years, but when it was Pete’s time to choose a college, NC State told Press that Pete’s grades weren’t good enough to get into school, so Press quit and went to LSU, and his son followed him there.

Could you imagine something like that happening today? No bleepin’ way!!!!

5) Pete Maravich played 12 years in the NBA, mostly for the Hawks/Jazz- he played some for the Celtics his last year in the league.

Maravich scored 24.2 ppg in his NBA career, playing 37 minutes a game; the NBA didn’t adopt the 3-point shot until 1979-80, his last year in the league. Pete made 10-15 3-pointers that year; he had Steph Curry-type range. If he played today, he’d be a lot like Curry, but he was 6-5, two inches taller, and a very flashy passer, kind of like Ricky Rubio. He was a joy to watch play.

4) Green Bay Packers have had three great QB’s: Bart Starr, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers.

You look thru the rest of the Packers’ QB’s in their history and you find only one other QB who started 12+ games who had a winning record with Green Bay— Scott Hunter (15-11-3).

Lynn Dickey 43-56-2
Tobin Rote 26-46-1
Don Majkowski 22-26-1
Randy Wright 7-25
David Whitehurst 16-20-1

3) Four college basketball teams won all six of their NCAA Tournament games by 10+ points:
2000— Michigan State
2001— Duke
2009— North Carolina
2018— Villanova

2) One of many things I learned this week; there is something called the World Axe Throwing League. They throw axes at wood targets; hopefully, no one wagers on this.

1) My advice for myself and for you; instead of watching the news for more than five minutes a day, turn the TV off and listen to music. Much healthier for all of us. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.