THE SPORTS DOCTOR- Testy: How's your store of Series stats?
While the underwhelming Texas Rangers work to beat back the surprisingly high-scoring (and federally investigated) San Francisco Giants, both teams are probably glad the World Series is taking a backseat to other sports stories: the Miami Heat's dismal season opener and the fate of Brett Favre's streak (not the unseemly kind) are the big stories.
Still, it's early November, so the focus should be on baseball. It's the World Series, for heaven's sake! See how much you know.
1. How many of the 96 World Series have gone to Game 7?
2. What team has played in the World Series more than any other?
c. White Sox
3. Who set a record by pitching in seven games in the 1973 World Series?
a. Catfish Hunter
b. Darold Knowles
c. Rollie Fingers
d. Lefty Grove
4. Which Rangers' pitcher is the team's all-time strikeout leader, with 1,452?
a. Bobby Witt
b. Nolan Ryan
c. Ferguson Jenkins
d. Charlie Hough
5. Reggie Jackson might have been known as "Mr. October," but which Brooklyn Dodger hit four home runs in two different World Series?
a. Roy Campanella
b. Gil Hodges
c. Jackie Robinson
d. Duke Snider
6. Which team swept the Giants in the 1989 World Series, which was postponed a week because of an earthquake?
a. New York Yankees
b. Oakland Athletics
c. Chicago White Sox
d. Minnesota Twins
7. Who made the only unassisted triple play in World Series history?
a. Derek Jeter
b. Pee Wee Reese
c. Phil Rizzuto
d. Bill Wambsganns
8. Which was the first World Series to finish in November?
9. Which was the first wild-card team to win the World Series?
a. Boston Red Sox
b. Florida Marlins
c. Arizona Diamondbacks
d. New York Yankees
10. Who has the most saves in World Series history?
a. Dennis Eckersley
b. Rollie Fingers
c. Goose Gossage
d. Mariano Rivera
11. Barry Bonds was walked a record number of times during the 2002 World Series. How many?
All right, I hope that's enough about the World Series. It's not that the Series isn't exciting, it's that there's a much bigger deal waiting to be addressed: last Saturday.
Last Saturday I had my family over for lunch, which means I had to turn the television to ESPN and keep running into the living room. (Luckily when we sat down to eat, the phone rang and it wasn't a campaign call– it was my dear Momma calling to shout, "Virginia's winning! We're really winning!"). When she told me the score was 24-0 against #22 ranked Miami, I wished I hadn't eaten any lunch at all. I was that queasy.
Rightly so, as it turned out. Miami came storming back, but when it became obvious they couldn't get the job done, all I could do was celebrate. Fourth quarter? Who cares about the fourth quarter? Virginia won! We really won!
Now, nearly a week later, having used up an entire year's allotment of exclamation points, I'm still basking in last Saturday's glow, but I'm also looking ahead and telling myself that it's okay to criticize a little.
It may seem sacrilegious and unappreciative, but the tape of last Saturday's fourth quarter must be watched, no matter how great the win feels.
And thank goodness Mike London has shown himself to be that kind of coach– the kind who's dedicated to turning that great feeling into a recurring thing through hard work, leadership, high standards and unabashed faith in his team.
When Coach London fell to his knees and shed a tear last Saturday, it was because of all the fourth quarters he hadn't let slide– and he won't let this one slide, either.
Quiz answers: 1. C. 2. A. 3. B. 4. D. 5. D. 6. B. 7. D. 8. B. 9. B. 10. D. 11. C.
Juanita Giles lives on a farm in Charlotte County with her husband, son and many