posted: 05/21/2013 3:47 a.m.
Brooks Robinson has spent the past several years recovering from several grim injuries and illnesses, but in the middle of last week, he said confidently in a phone interview, “I’m coming around, I’m getting better. I’m on the way.” He has never been an athlete who rested on the bench. From 1960-1974, for example, his averaged nearly 157 games per season. He has been a Hall of Famer since 1983.
posted: 05/07/2013 3:14 a.m.
No wonder fight promoters can’t resist shoveling millions of dollars toward Floyd Mayweather, Jr., as long as he wins all 44 of his matches.
posted: 04/30/2013 2:37 a.m.
At the age of 23 in 1971, Tom Hankins was barely back from Vietnam when he registered for an amateur boxing tournament. He didn’t win that one but he came close. “All I did,” he said recently, “was to run for endurance and speed.” Another major tournament was on the way, and he won that one. In 1973, he won the Golden Gloves championship.
posted: 04/23/2013 3:23 a.m.
Willis Hudlin, a long-time Cleveland Indians pitcher, retired in 1940 and looked forward to settling down as “a chicken rancher” near Hot Springs. Instead, Arkansas Travelers General Manager Ray Winder talked him into pitching for the Travs in 1941, and managing them in 1942. And 1942 was a good year.
posted: 04/16/2013 2:31 a.m.
Near 6 p.m. on the evening of Jan. 31, 1919, Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born somewhere near the Grady County town of Cairo in southern Georgia, a few miles north of the Florida state line.
posted: 04/09/2013 4:06 a.m.
MAGNOLIA — The past 33 or so baseball years have been so successful for the Southern Arkansas Muleriders that wishes of their home fans quite often are rewarded.
posted: 04/02/2013 4:12 a.m.
Sometime during April in 1952, while the Southern Arkansas University baseball team took batting practice, a man old enough to be called elderly parked his car and took a seat on one of the benches.
posted: 03/26/2013 4:03 a.m.
After more than 50 years, few people would recall that the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys defeated the Southern Arkansas Muleriders 140-70 at Russellville on the final playing date of the 1953-1954 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference basketball schedule.
posted: 03/19/2013 3:38 a.m.
Believe it or not, American boxing was made for heavyweights (many people used to insist), but that was before Germany started landing a lot of heavyweight title bouts.
posted: 03/12/2013 3:43 a.m.
There have been 55 annual Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame banquets since 1959.
posted: 03/05/2013 3:39 a.m.
Soon after the 2012 football season opened, veteran fans of the Great American Conference teams (previously known as the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference) realized they’d never seen anything like this.
posted: 02/26/2013 3:35 a.m.
Rarely does the boxing industry turn up an undefeated pro fighter — especially a heavyweight champion — but Rocky Marciano managed it: 49 fights, 49 victories, 43 knockouts.
posted: 02/19/2013 2:53 a.m.
Some 12 to 15 years ago, as Arkansas Travelers General Manager Bill Valentine was preparing for a midsummer Ray Winder Field doubleheader, a farmer (who happened to be one of Valentine’s acquaintances ) drove up with a truck loaded with watermelons.
posted: 02/12/2013 3:40 a.m.
When Archie Moore was about 25 years into his boxing career, he paused long enough to insert a chapter in The Archie Moore Story, naturally dictated or written by Moore. The book was published in 1960 by McGraw-Hill, and chances are slim you can run across a copy these days.
posted: 02/05/2013 3:41 a.m.
The Arkansas Travelers’ first Class AAA team, in 1963, was only a modest success but it featured bombers like Dick Allen, Cal Emery and John Hernstein. That club hit more home runs than any previous Travs team, but the Philadelphia Phillies, who supplied the players and called the shots, assured the Travelers that 1964 would be different.
posted: 01/29/2013 3:44 a.m.
Ben Epstein was the sports editor of the Arkansas Gazette from some point in the mid-1930 s until 1943, when he went East and joined the New York Daily Mirror, which eventually assigned him to travel with the New York Yankees.
posted: 01/22/2013 3:05 a.m.
By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that two baseball Hall of Famers, Stan Musial, 92, and Earl Weaver, 82, died Saturday.
posted: 01/15/2013 4:05 a.m.
Former Arkansas Travelers General Manager Bill Valentine said recently, “It’s funny how sometimes you can develop a saying if the media picks it up and you continue to use it until the public accepts it.
posted: 01/08/2013 4:17 a.m.
Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe was pitching against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1934 World Series, scarcely a year or so after graduating El Dorado High School.
posted: 01/01/2013 4:48 a.m.
Two far-apart generations of Razorbacks football fans, 1950 and 2012, started those seasons with high hopes and ended in despair. The 2012 record is sufficiently fresh in memory that no one should quibble about switching back 62 years.
posted: 12/25/2012 11:45 p.m.
Not at all recently, in fact some 50 years ago, a constable on patrol at Amagon in northeast Arkansas pulled over a college bus and handed out a speeding ticket.
posted: 12/18/2012 4:09 a.m.
Slightly more than 20 years ago, former Trumann middleweight contender Pete Mead issued a privately published boxing book, Blood, Sweat and Cheers. He surveyed the famous sluggers of his era in a chapter titled “The Best I Saw.”
posted: 12/11/2012 2:13 a.m.
The late John Barnhill possibly was the first Arkansas Razorbacks football coach to stir much interest in what his salary might be. Even by 1945 standards, it wasn’t much.
posted: 12/04/2012 3:42 a.m.
Of all the touchdowns I saw Donald Crews score for the Southern Arkansas Muleriders some 60 years ago, the two that most impressed me didn’t even count This was 1951, the year SAU finished its climb from a junior college to a four-year school. In a 9-1 season, the Muleriders lost only to McNeese (La.) State.
posted: 11/27/2012 3:53 a.m.
Few Americans can recite the names of the world heavyweight champions. (Yes, there are two of them, two natives of Ukraine.) Wladimir Klitschko holds three of the most recognized heavyweight belts.
posted: 11/20/2012 3:27 a.m.
The crossroads of Gaylen Pitts’ baseball career in the spring of 1969 caused him to regard it as his now or-never, make-or-break year. George Silvey, one of the St. Louis Cardinals overseers, thought Pitts needed another year in Class A, and intended to return him to Modesto, Calif.
posted: 11/13/2012 3:55 a.m.
A strong possibility exists that five Southern Arkansas University athletes set endurance records 60 years ago by playing 200 consecutive minutes across the span of five basketball games.
posted: 11/06/2012 3:56 a.m.
Some 35 years ago, an Arkansas Democrat sports columnist (who had never boxed seriously) sought a match with a pro bantamweight.
posted: 10/30/2012 3:53 a.m.
Superstar sluggers and pitchers are usually destined for the Baseball Hall of Fame. The late Gene Bearden had an incredible year as a left-handed knuckle ball pitcher with the Cleveland Indians in 1948.
posted: 10/23/2012 3:30 a.m.
Of the 14 major league baseball players whose lifetime average was .340 or better, the late Ted Williams was by far the most recent. And he retired 62 years ago.
posted: 10/16/2012 3:39 a.m.
Last year in the waning weeks of the 2011 season, not many St. Louis fans held much hope for a Cardinals’ club stumbling into September, 10 1/2 games behind. Somehow, though, the Cards not only reached the World Series but won it.
posted: 10/09/2012 3:20 a.m.
Some 60 years ago, Travis Foster enjoyed everything about baseball except striking out or walking.
posted: 10/02/2012 3:08 a.m.
It rarely required a hard-core boxing fan to inform anyone that Sugar Ray Robinson, who died at 67 in 1989, ranked “pound for pound” as the all-time greatest.
posted: 09/25/2012 3:21 a.m.
Some 10 or 12 years ago, I thought we’d heard the last of the disappearing baseball controversy. It seems, however, that during each decade, someone else surfaces, seeking the details. A phone call or postcard might do the trick.
posted: 09/18/2012 3:28 a.m.
When light heavyweight champion Archie Moore was battering 10 hapless challengers from 1952-1960, he grew bitter at the shrinkage of his empire.
posted: 09/11/2012 4:02 a.m.
Brooks Robinson signed a Baltimore contract when he graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 1955. A wise “birddog” signed Robinson for the Orioles.
posted: 09/04/2012 3 a.m.
No World Series game has been played in Washington, D.C., since Oct. 7, 1933, when the New York Giants closed out the Washington Senators in five games. Nowadays, with 30 big-league clubs operating, the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds are the only big-league teams playing.600 baseball.
posted: 08/28/2012 3:47 a.m.
Some basketball heroes of the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference in the 1950s (Deward Dopson, E.C. O’Neal, J.P. Lovelady, Ken Saylors, Jimmy Culp, etc.) had to wait, but eventually were acknowledged by Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inductions.
posted: 08/21/2012 3:10 a.m.
On July 25, 2011, Sports Illustrated noted that “the Pittsburgh Pirates shared the National League Central Division, tied with the St. Louis Cardinals and tied for the first time since 1997.”
posted: 08/14/2012 3:52 a.m.
As a Southern Arkansas University freshman, George Eriquezzo ran the 100-yard dash in 9.3 seconds on the Little Rock Central High School track in the spring of 1965. Some 45 or so years later, a newspaper reporter had cause to mention Eriquezzo’s epic run, which was printed in the next day’s paper as 9.2.
posted: 08/07/2012 3:20 a.m.
Apparently, it took until his 10th major-league season to convince Albert Pujols he wouldn’t always bat higher than.300 — much higher, usually — drive in 100 or more runs, score more than 100 runs, average 30 or more home runs per year and win three National League MVP awards for St. Louis, in roughly the same span Stan Musial did during the 1940s.
posted: 07/31/2012 3:19 a.m.
The late Orville Henry will be remembered primarily for coverage of the Arkansas Razorbacks, but people who shared the old Arkansas Gazette sports department with him during the late 1950s admired his swift skills as a copy reader and headline writer.
posted: 07/24/2012 3:52 a.m.
At first glance, Arkansas Razorbacks return man Joe Adams appeared to have no chance with the 61-yard punt he fielded in the Tennessee game last fall.
posted: 07/17/2012 3:54 a.m.
Hendrix College isn’t the only school to discard football and eventually restore it, but such a list would be short.
posted: 07/10/2012 3:59 a.m.
Major League Baseball’s pursuit of parity might finally be overdone.
posted: 07/03/2012 4:10 a.m.
Over and over, Jimmy Culp’s athletic career strongly suggested that no one could have invented a game he couldn’t have mastered, either playing or coaching.
posted: 06/26/2012 3:44 a.m.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, boxing’s welterweights, lightweights and featherweights were dominated, respectively, by Sugar Ray Robinson, Isiah “Ike” Williams and Willie Pep.
posted: 06/19/2012 3:43 a.m.
Only six Arkansans have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (and one of them grew up in California), but I grew up following my favorite hitters — which even included some of the pitchers.
posted: 06/12/2012 2:57 a.m.
From John L. Sullivan’s competitive time until Mike Tyson’s defeat, American boxers dominated the world’s heavyweights over the amazing span of 120 years.
posted: 06/05/2012 3:18 a.m.
On top of Mount Nebo last Thursday evening, in Yell County near Dardanelle, fewer than a dozen people were invited to a tribute to the memory of the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference, which folded when the league’s former member schools scattered during the early 1990s.