Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Few Odds and Ends

From Ivy Coaching Longshot to the NFL in just Six Years

Chicago Bears all-time great Mike Singletary, who openly said he was interested in the Columbia head coaching job back in 2002, is now the head coach of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. What a difference 6 years makes!

For the record, I don't think Singletary was ever seriously considered. I'm pretty sure all his actual coaching experience at the time was at the high school level.

Singletary's interest in Columbia came at about the same time that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was interviewing for the head basketball coaching job. Now that would have been something if they both had been coaching at CU at the same time! I imagine the reporters at the Daily News and the New York Post would have had to start finding Columbia on the map.

Larkin takes his World Series-winning swing

World Series Begins Tonight

Fernando Perez '04 will become the first Columbia grad to participate in a World Series since Gene Larkin had the series-winning hit for the Minnesota Twins in 1991. Perez was a September call-up for Tampa and he's mostly been used for his blazing speed. In the postseason, he's been in four games and scored two runs, including a game-winner in the ALCS. Look for him to get more playing time in the games in Philadelphia, where the Rays won't be able to use the DH and will presumably need more pinch hitters for pitchers.

In 1991, I was a senior at Columbia and for some reason my buddies and I were mostly pulling for the Braves. We all knew Larkin was a Columbia grad who had ripped up the baseball record book in his time as a Lion, but he was not a starter and we didn't figure he would play a big roll. But in game 7, when Jack Morris was pitching the game of the century, we started to move from pro-Atlanta to neutral relatively quickly, (none of us were actually fans of either team). And when Larkin came up in extra innings with a chance to win it with a long hit over the drawn-in outfield, we all became Twins fans in a big hurry. Larkin won it by doing exactly what he was supposed to do: get under the ball a little and drive it somewhere. Larkin's walk-off hit has been overshadowed by Joe Carter's homer in the '93 series, but at the time, I believe it was the first World Series winning hit since Bill Mazerowski's walk-off series winning homer in 1960.

Bring Out Your Toys!!!

Please bring some unwrapped or unused toys to the game this Saturday for the annual Toys for Tots collection organized by Columbia football and Father Valenti. All proceeds from the event will go to the St. Francis Youth Center in the South Bronx. You can also donate cash.

The collection table will be just next to the stadium.


At Thu Oct 23, 12:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, You may be able to check this better than I can but I believe that the three hits by Mazeroski, Larkin and Carter are the only three walk-off SERIES-winning hits of all time.

At Thu Oct 23, 01:31:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The miserable national media virtually didn't mention Larkin in the game story, not at all on the abbreviated tv news, but I guess some newspapers had to put his name in the next to last graph but that was it. They'd pre-decided
the story was pitcher Jack Morris because he was a Minnesota native (who signed a a free agent and left right after the WS for more money elsewhere).
If memory serves well, Larkin got a key pinch hit as a rookie in the 1987 WS which the Twins won.
Larkin never got a break from the Twins or their fans, who had an
overheated love affair with Kent Hrbek. He started at 1B even if he
was in a slump or hurt, so long as he could stand up. Then Larkin was forced to play OF to which he wasn't suited, which hurt him further.
He had a solid bat and did well with the chances he did get.
I thought he would get his best pay day when the free-agent mania began--not like today, but certainly more than what the Twins paid him. However, he retired instead. I never heard why. Maybe he was fed up.

At Thu Oct 23, 02:17:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Well, since Larkin and Carter, we've had WS walk-off winning hits by Craig Counsell for the Marlins in 1997 and Luis Gonzalez for the Diamondbacks in 2001. I guess that bodes well for Perez, who like Counsell and Gonzo, plays for an expansion team,


Post a Comment

<< Home