Sports Outside the Beltway

Hall of Famer Pitcher Robin Roberts dead at 83

He won 286 games pitching for the Phillies when the franchise was mediocre or worse most of the time. Roberts gave up more homeruns than any pitcher in baseball history. Basically he challenged hitters to hit him but Roberts was one of those pitchers(Catfish Hunter, Tom Seaver, Jack Morris) who could do it and win even if some of them were home run prone. Roberts served in the Air Force and attended Michigan State before his pro baseball days. After he was through playing, Roberts was head baseball coach at the University of South Florida. RIP.

Philadelphia Phillie trivia- Who is the only Phillie pitcher since 1930 to win the National League MVP award? It is not Roberts. The answer will be at the bottom of this post.Robin Roberts

Long before pitch counts, setup men and closers, Robin Roberts usually finished what he started.

Roberts, the tireless Hall of Fame pitcher who led the Philadelphia Phillies to the 1950 National League pennant as part of the famed “Whiz Kids,” died Thursday at his Temple Terrace, Fla., home of natural causes, the Phillies said, citing son Jim. He was 83.

“He was a boyhood hero of mine,” team president David Montgomery said. “Then I had a chance to meet him personally. I remember pinching myself knowing I was talking to Robin Roberts. His career and stats speak for themselves. But first and foremost he was a friend and we’ll miss him badly.”

The right-hander was the most productive pitcher in the National League in the first half of the 1950s, topping the league in wins from 1952 to 1955, innings pitched from ’51 to ’55 and complete games from ’52 to ’56.

He won 286 games and put together six consecutive 20-win seasons. Roberts had 45 career shutouts, 2,357 strikeouts and a lifetime ERA of 3.41. He pitched 305 complete games, but also gave up more home runs than any other major league pitcher. Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer is on the verge of breaking that mark. The 47-year-old Moyer has given up 498 homers, seven fewer than Roberts.

Roberts played in an era when pitchers expected to go the distance. Put it this way: In the past 25 years, Phillies pitchers threw a total of 300 complete games — five fewer than Roberts all by himself. Roberts made 609 career starts, finishing more than half.

“Robin was one of the most consistent, competitive and durable pitchers of his generation and a symbol of the Whiz Kids,” commissioner Bud Selig said. “Robin truly loved baseball and always had its best interests at heart.”

Long after his career ended, Roberts followed the Phillies closely and was still popular in Philadelphia, drawing boisterous applause from fans each time he came back.


Former U of South Carolina baseball star Hank Small dead at 56

He held the school’s career homerun mark for over three decades. Small also played very briefly in the major leagues with the Atlanta Braves. RIP.

Hank Small, whose 48 career home runs from 1972-75 stood as the USC record for more than three decades, was 56. David Small said his brother fell Tuesday night while moving into his new home in Griffin, Ga.Hank Small

Hank Small lost his balance on the steps in front of the house, fell backward and struck the back of his head on the pavement, according to his brother. He lost consciousness and never regained it due to massive trauma, David said.

Small was the first true home run hitter at USC. In the nine-year period leading to Small’s first season, USC hit 42 home runs. Small hit six more than that the next four years himself.


Former Arizona State sports coach William Kajikawa dead at 97

Nicknamed ‘Kaji’, he led ASU’s basketball, baseball, and freshman football teams at one time or another. RIP.

William (Bill) “Kaji” Kajikawa, a legendary former football, basketball and baseball coach at Arizona State, died Monday morning. He was 97.Bill Kajikawa

Kajikawa began his coaching career at Arizona State in 1937 and retired in 1978.

He began coaching the Arizona State Teacher’s College freshman football team in 1937, when the players were known as the Bulldogs. During his tenure, Kajikawa watched the Bulldogs become the Sun Devils in 1946, and he saw his alma mater gain university status in 1958.

Before retiring in 1978, Kajikawa had worked as the freshman football coach under nine ASU head football coaches. In addition, he served as head basketball coach from 1948 to 1957, and he was head coach of ASU’s club baseball team from 1947 to 1957. He was inducted into the Arizona Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968 and the ASU Hall of Distinction in 1982.


Arizona State Baseball Coach Pat Murphy resigns

Before coming to Tempe he had coached at Notre Dame. From AP-

Pat Murphy abruptly resigned after 15 seasons as baseball coach at Arizona State on Friday.

University vice president for athletics Lisa Love said she accepted the resignation to allow Murphy and the program to move in a “new direction,” the Arizona Republic reported.

According to the report, Love said Murphy’s resignation was not directly related to an ongoing two-year school investigation into allegations made against him by a former baseball employee, including claims of academic fraud and improper recruiting travel.


The colorful and often outspoken Murphy led the Sun Devils to the College World Series four times — 1998, 2005, 2007 and 2009. The program has produced several major league players, including Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox, who appeared along with Muhammad Ali at a recent Murphy fundraiser.

He took over the historically successful Sun Devils program in August 1994 after seven seasons at Notre Dame. Under Murphy, Arizona State was 629-284-1.

“Coach Murphy has an outstanding record of success on the playing field,” Love said in a prepared statement. “I thank him for 16 years of hard work and service to the university and the sport.”

The Sun Devils had won the past three Pac-10 titles, with Murphy named conference coach of the year each time. Murphy, 50, had offered no hint publicly of his impending resignation in recent interviews.

This is definitely an odd time to resigning. It would seem Murphy’s resignation to tied to the troubles currently under investigation at ASU.


Former MLB Pitcher Brian Powell dead at age 35

He was an All American for the U of Georgia and pitched a minor league no-hitter. Powell left behind a wife and three children. RIP.

A sheriff’s official in Georgia says former major league pitcher Brian Powell has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 35.

Capt. Liz Crowley of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office says Powell died Monday at a hospital in Tallahassee, Fla. Powell was from Bainbridge, Ga.

Powell was 7-18 with a 5.94 ERA in 59 games for Detroit, Houston, San Francisco and Philadelphia. He last pitched in the majors with the Phillies in 2004, and spent 2005 in Triple-A for Washington.


Former UF Baseball Coach Dave Fuller dead at 94

He took the Gators to three SEC Championships and was even a assistant football coach. RIP.

Dave Fuller, the winningest baseball coach in University of Florida history, has died. He was 94.

Fuller died Tuesday at North Florida Regional Hospital in Gainesville.

Fuller guided the Florida baseball program from 1948 to 1975, compiling a 557-354-6 record and winning three Southeastern Conference championships (1952, 1956, 1962).

He was also a member of the football staff for 29 years (1948-76), the longest run of any assistant coach in school history. Fuller served in many capacities as head freshman coach, varsity assistant, head scout and a key recruiter under head coaches Bob Woodruff, Ray Graves and Doug Dickey.


Oklahoma State Baseball accused of major rules violation

Exhibit #319 of how the NCAA has lost its mind.

Officials at Oklahoma State said Thursday that a former baseball player accepted a used car as a gift while he was in a summer league in what the NCAA contends was a major rules violation that could cost the program.

A letter sent May 28 from the NCAA to Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis asks university officials to meet Aug. 7-8 with the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions in Indianapolis.

Oklahoma State spokesman Gary Shutt said the player received a 10-year-old car from an out-of-state family he stayed with while playing in the summer league. He said the university contends it was not a major violation, in part because the family had no prior connection with Oklahoma State athletics.

He said the player did not appear in any games for the Cowboys after receiving the car.

“The facts do not support the ‘failure to monitor’ allegation made by the NCAA Enforcement Staff,” Oklahoma State said in its response to the letter from David Price, the NCAA’s vice president of enforcement. It said the violation was “isolated and inadvertent” and not an attempt to break NCAA rules “but an innocent and charitable act.”

The player didn’t play for OSU, the rules violation happened outside the school’s area of oversight, then why should it be punished? This is more idiotic than making Florida State forfeit football games because of an academic cheating. Tell me how the penalty suits the crime done? How do you undo history and why do you punish a program for something out of its control?


On the warpath- Florida St. beats Ohio St. 37-6

The Seminoles advance to the NCAA Baseball super regionals. From AP-

Stephen Cardullo set a tournament record with seven hits, including three of Florida State’s NCAA-record 15 doubles, as the Seminoles routed Ohio State 37-6 on Sunday in the Tallahassee regional and advanced to the super regionals.

“I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it,” Martin said. “We’re sitting there in the fourth inning and I knew we were going to a super regional.”

Florida State (45-16) set NCAA postseason records with 37 runs, 38 hits and 66 total bases, while Cardullo tied the school mark for hits in an offensive performance the football team would’ve been proud of. The Seminoles set or tied 18 NCAA, school or postseason records.

Jason Stidham, the regional’s most outstanding player, hit a two-run double as the Seminoles scored eight times in the first and cruised past the pitching-depleted Buckeyes (42-19), who trailed 32-0 in the fifth.

“Everything they did was right,” said Ohio State coach Bob Todd, who went through seven pitchers in an attempt to stem the rout. “Everything we did was wrong.”

Sounds like it. The Buckeye starter gave up seven runs without recording an out. I’ve never seen 30 runs scored in one game, alone 37.


Texas and Boston College play the longest baseball game in NCAA history

The previous record stood since 1971. From AP-

Travis Tucker hit an RBI single with one out in the top of the 25th inning, leading Texas to a 3-2 victory over Boston College on Saturday night in the longest game in NCAA history.

The game eclipsed the previous record of 23 innings, set in 1971 when Louisiana-Lafayette defeated McNeese State 6-5. The game began at 7:02 p.m. EDT Saturday and concluded 7 hours, 3 minutes later at 2:05 a.m. Sunday.

Texas reliever Austin Wood pitched 13 innings, including 12 1/3 innings of no-hit ball before allowing a two-out single to Tony Sanchez in the 19th inning.

Texas (43-13-1) scored when Connor Rowe walked to lead off the top of the inning and was sacrificed to second by David Hernandez. Rowe advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Tucker grounded past second base through the drawn-in infield for the record-setting victory over Boston College (34-25).

Tucker’s hit came in his NCAA-record 12th at-bat to tie a mark he now shares with teammate Michael Torres, who also batted 12 times.

Texas reliever Austin Dicharry earned his eighth victory by pitching 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, striking out four and allowing one hit.

The longest professional game was a minor league affair played in 1981. It went 33 innings. Two future Hall of Famers took part in that affair, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken Jr.


Division II player hits five straight home runs

I can’t recall anyone hitting more than four in a row. From AP-

West Virginia State’s Bo Darby hit home runs in five consecutive at-bats over two games, including four in one contest.

The sophomore outfielder homered in his first four trips to the plate Monday against Salem International. He also connected in his final at-bat Saturday against the University of Charleston.

A double and a single in his two previous plate appearances Saturday gave Darby seven straight hits.

Darby homered twice more in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader, giving him six for the day with 14 RBIs. He has 18 home runs this season.

The NCAA doesn’t keep Division II records for home runs in consecutive at-bats. St. Edwards’ Josh Hamilton holds the Division II records of five home runs in one game set against Oklahoma Panhandle in April 2003.

That’s a shame the NCAA doesn’t keep records. A great deal of sports history is going to be lost as a result.


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