Saturday, May 9, 2009

DOM & JOE - Best ever baseball brothers

Dom DiMaggio passed away friday and was honored at Fenway Park as one of the all-time great Red Sox players. Dom is well regarded by Red Sox fans as he played all of his 11-years with the club even setting a Red Sox record with a 34 game hit streak. But those outside Boston may be surprised to hear that he and his brother are arguably the most talent set of brothers ever to set foot on the diamond. Most are aware of his older brother's accomplishments of a career .325 batting average, 3 MVP awards, 2 home run titles and his famous 56 game hit streak but few are aware of what his younger brother actually accomplished:

1) a career .298 hitter (.328 career high)
2) 34 game hit streak
3) Led the American League twice in runs scored (1950-51)
4) Led the American League in Triples, Stolen Bases and Runs (twice)
5) Led the American League 3 times in plate appearances
6) Led the league in Putout (twice), Assists (three times) and Double Plays (Twice)
7) Some say he even had a better arm then his brother Joe

One reason many are unaware of these accomplishments is because he played in the shadow of another all-time great Ted Williams. If Dom DiMaggio had been the sole star of those classic Red Sox teams things may have been much different. Regardless,
Dom DiMaggio is deserving of induction into the Hall of Fame and if you pair him with his brother are the greatest brother combination to ever put on the baseball uniform.


Top 5 All-Time Baseball Brothers

1) Joe and Dom DiMaggio
2) Phil and Joe Niekro
3) Hank and Tommy Aaron
4) Sandy and Roberto Alomar
5) George and Ken Brett (Only because Brett is my favorite player ever)

Honorable Mention: Jim and Gaylord Perry

Dom DiMaggio Photo Gallery
350+ Baseball Brothers

Thursday, May 7, 2009

THE NBA CLASSIC ENFORCER - Is the NBA getting soft?

Watching Kobe Bryant elbow Ron Artest put a little smile on my face. Not because Kobe could be suspended or that it might have actually hurt Artest but because it brought back memories of the good old days of physical play. Remember when teams had an enforcer who would punish opposing players coming into the lane. They never backed down from a physical challenge.They were dirty if not mean and they protected the superstars with all their might. The enforcers today just don't seem like the classic enforcer of the past. There is no one in the NBA that could compare to Rick Mahorn, Bill Laimbeer, Jerry Lucus or even Karl Malone. The enforcer wouldn't complain to the ref like Artest but would have embraced the physical play and would have taken care of it the next time down the court. Boy do I miss the physical play almost as much as I miss the finger roll.

Top 10 All-time NBA Enforcers

1) Rick Mahorn
2) Bill Laimbeer
3) Charles Oakley
4) Karl Malone
5) Jerry Lucus
6) Anthony Mason
7) Dennis Rodman
8) Patrick Ewing
9) Kermit Washington
10)Bill Cartwright

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


One of the greatest to ever put on a baseball uniform,Willie Mays, turns 78 today and is arguably the best living baseball player. Mays was the epitome of baseball in the 50's and 60's. He was what modern baseball scouts would call a "5-tool" player; he had speed, power, could hit for average, had a great arm and could play defense with the best.

Mays's accomplishments are astounding:
1) Career Batting Average of .302
2) 660 Home runs (3rd all-time)
3) An amazing 12 Gold Gloves (possibly the greatest fielding outfielder)
4) 7095 put outs (best for an outfielder)
5) MVP twice (in 2 different decades)
6) Lead the National League at least once in Batting Average, Home runs, Stolen Bases, Runs Scored, Hits and even Base on Balls
7) He even won the Roberto Clemente Award for community service.

No other living player compares to Mays. His athleticism was unmatched in his era and his ability to make difficult plays look easy makes Mays my choice. Others point to Hank Aaron, Reggie Jackson, Ricky Henderson or even Pete Rose but if you factor in both hitting and fielding no one compares. HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILLIE!

Honoring Mays:
ESPN Article
Academy of Achievement
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

FINGER ROLL LOST ART - NBA players lack creativity

One of my favorite players of all-time was also one of the most creative. George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs revolutionized the game with his classic "Finger Roll". The finger roll took talent, courage and above all else touch to pull off. It was mesmerizing to opposing defenders as it floated just out their reach. Gervin lead the league four times in scoring using this old school move. When asked about its origins Gervin stated "Probably when I was young. I got tired of dunking the basketball, and I thought everyone could dunk but very few could finger roll." The dunk is easy and everyone can now dunk in the NBA but not everyone can finger roll. NBA stars have lost the art creativity. Who today in the NBA has a signature move? Kobe? Lebron? Nash? come on... but somewhere out there is a player that wants a challenge and wants to show the world that he too can finger roll. Lets bring back the finger roll.

Top 5 Signature Moves

1) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - Sky Hook
2) George Gervin - Finger Roll
3) Hakeem Olajuwon - Dream Shake
4) Tim Hardaway - UTEP 2-step crossover
5) Michael Jordan - Fadeaway

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I just watched HBO's new documentary Thrilla in Manila about the three classic boxing matches between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. From 1971 to 1975 the Frazier/Ali rivalry transformed the world of sports. HBO's documentary, to my surprise, portrayed Ali as a villain who's mean spirited actions would haunt Frazier indefinitely. Ali used many derogatory terms to describe his once friend such as "gorilla", "ugly", "unintelligent", and even an "uncle Tom". Frazier who publicly supported Ali's decision to avoid the draft and even helped him get his boxing license back felt betrayed by these attacks. Frazier to this day is said to still hold a grudge. What a powerful documentary that shed a new light on one of the greatest boxers of all-time, Muhammad Ali. I lost a lot of respect for Ali after this documentary. It is a must watch for classic sports fans.

Top 5 Best Boxing Rivalries

1) Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier
2) Marvin Hagler vs Thomas Hearns
3) Jake Lamatta vs Sugar Ray Robinson
4) Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield
5) Oscar De La Hoya vs Shane Mosely