Saturday, January 26, 2008

Remembering those Who Left Us in 2007

In the Sports Illustrated issue dated 12/31/07 - 1/7/08 there was an obituary for those athletes who passed away in 2007.

For Lew Burdette (pitcher, Milwaukee Braves): A crafty righthander with a sinkerball that some thought a little too moist- Red Smith suggested his record should include wins, losses and relative humidity- in 1959 he hurled 13 shutout innings to beat the Pirates' Harvey Haddix, who had been perfect through 12 innings.

For Rod Beck: His portliness aside- the righty once noted that he'd "never heard of anyone going on the disabled list because of pulled fat."

For Shag Crawford: In 1956, SI declared Crawford, then a rookie, "our favorite umpire."
He was a hustler- he'd get down on his belly to make a call- and he brooked little nonsense. He was forced out in 1975 after criticizing baseball for using a rotation system instead of a merit system (which is in place now) for postseason assignments.

Arbitrating ran in the family; in 1977, the National League hired his son Jerry as an umpire and the NBA hired son Joey as a referee.

Kevin Marquez