September 4, 2011 |
Reporting from Salt Lake City -- It is five hours before game time and Spring Mobile Ballpark, the picturesque home of the minor league Salt Lake Bees, is empty except for two figures on the field. Reggie Willits, wearing a gray T-shirt and black athletic shorts with No. 7 on one thigh, is at the plate, bat in hand, honing his craft with a hitting coach. For Willits, 30, an outfielder unassuming in character and undersized at 5 feet 9 and 185 pounds, this does not involve slugging baseballs over the fence; in 414 major league games, he has never hit a home run. Instead, he spends 45 minutes bunting balls toward third base and first, polishing one of the fundamental skills he used to carve out a niche as a valued Angels reserve from 2007 until this past June.
March 22, 1992 |
An investors group recently approached Shelley Riley, owner and trainer of Casual Lies, with an offer to buy a 49 percent interest in the Kentucky Derby hopeful. The deal would have allowed Riley, and her husband, Jim, to continue training the colt and retain a controlling interest. There was just one condition--Casual Lies' regular rider, Alan Patterson, had to replaced by a better known jockey, preferably with experience in Triple Crown races. "I said, 'No.'
January 25, 1991 |
Tucson native Michael Moore was looking for a place to play basketball a year ago when a few relatives in the South Bay suggested that he visit Southern California. So Moore, a 6-foot-8 center who had recently quit the Coastal Caro lina team, a Division I school in Conway, S.C., took a sojourn to, of all places, Pomona and Carson. It may have been the best vacation that Moore ever planned.
August 10, 2004 |
Kent Desormeaux, one of three jockeys -- the others are Steve Cauthen and Chris McCarron -- to win an Eclipse Award as both an apprentice and a journeyman, joined those two in the horseracing Hall of Fame on Monday. Desormeaux, 34, was inducted along with trainer Shug McGaughey, the late rider Jimmy Winkfield and thoroughbreds Flawlessly, Skip Away and Bowl Of Flowers during ceremonies at the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
December 11, 1989 |
His journey has been a long and circuitous one through seven cities and three football leagues. But 29-year-old John Fourcade--formerly of the Memphis Showboats, Toronto Argonauts and Denver Dynamite--finally made it to the big time Sunday and responded with a big-time performance. "I've been around in every league known to man except the European leagues," said Fourcade, who led New Orleans to a 22-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills. "I was just happy to be out there playing today."
June 30, 1998 |
Ed Olivares hasn't completed his vacation plans but sometime this baseball season, as he does every baseball season, he will travel from Puerto Rico to watch his son, Omar, pitch. It's a great way to see the United States--St. Louis, Denver, Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle and, now, Anaheim. Omar Olivares has made a journeyman's journey. His father, who decided that Olivares should be a pitcher, has dropped in at nearly every stop. His flight to Orange County, though, is being delayed.
July 18, 1985 |
There aren't many pro football players who can claim to have been with 10 teams in five-years. There also aren't many pro football players who left school without a college degree, then returned to get one. So meet Billy Yancy, a free-agent cornerback for the San Diego Chargers. He has done both. But it hasn't been easy. Yancy, 27, perhaps the ultimate journeyman, is married and has two children.
June 30, 1993 |
Tabbing Steve Buechele as one of the National League's best third basemen, in a class with Florida's Gary Sheffield, San Francisco's Matt Williams and Atlanta's Terry Pendleton, would be a reach. But Steve Buechele, journeyman? Get outta here! This is one of the game's best defensive infielders, a guy who has prospered in relative obscurity (Texas) and toiled in the shadows of some of the game's biggest names (Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Andy Van Slyke).
February 8, 2008 |
PEBBLE BEACH -- Nothing's official yet, but it seems clear that they're starting to get a little too comfortable with good weather around here. Normally, when the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am gets underway, all anybody thinks about is hauling out their thermal underwear and where the lifeboats are kept. After Thursday's first round, in bright sunshine, players were actually complaining that there was a breeze. A breeze? What's next, unsightly clouds?
July 17, 1993 |
Doug Baker's meteoric rise from the minor leagues to a backslapping, celebratory clubhouse in Detroit in October, 1984, took only a matter of months. Along the way, Baker earned a champagne shower, a World Series ring and his keep as a utility infielder in the American League. All of which made Baker feel 10 feet tall as the Detroit Tigers reveled in victory after defeating the San Diego Padres in five games to win the '84 World Series at Tiger Stadium. He had indeed come a long way in a hurry.