April 29, 1998 |
"Someone told me just recently that poets are eulogists. It's their job, to eulogize. I didn't know that, but it makes sense. Because in almost every poem of mine there is a loss." --Dan Quisenberry, a week before he was diagnosed with brain cancer * More than a decade ago, before he was a poet, when he was one of the best closers in baseball, Dan Quisenberry listened as Kansas City Royal Manager Dick Howser said goodbye. Tears rolled down both men's cheeks.
December 12, 1994 |
For a man who did not acknowledge many happy days in a 20-year major league career spanning 2,344 games and 2,099 hits, Sunday should be one of Brian Downing's better days. That's when Downing, who spent 13 years with the Angels and became the team leader in 10 of 12 offensive categories, enters the Orange County Hall of Fame, alongside teammate and friend Nolan Ryan. But there will be no joy for Downing.
April 24, 1998 |
Bob Boone was considered one of the smartest modern-day baseball players to don the tools of ignorance. His peers considered him a student of the game, an excellent handler of pitchers, and sage observer of hitters' habits. "He was always in the game, knew everything that was going on," said Rod Carew, a former teammate and current Angel hitting coach. "He was always in control back there. If you had one word to describe him, that was it--control."
February 7, 1998
Bob Boone, Bob Boyd, Steve DeBerg, Debbie Green, Johnnie Johnson, Dan Quisenberry and Leon Wood will bring to 86 the number of inductees into the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame when they are enshrined in ceremonies on April 30. Boone caught a major-league record 2,264 games in his 19-year major league career, seven of which were with the Angels. The six-time Gold Glove Award winner and Villa Park resident is a scout for the Cincinnati Reds.
December 19, 1994 |
The Orange County Sports Hall of Fame's class of 1994 brought to the induction ceremonies much of the same things the previous 13 sets did--glittering achievements and genuine appreciation for what was happening to them. "I never thought I would make it," said George Latka, who also is in the World Boxing Hall of Fame as a boxer and referee. "There are so many high-profile people who deserve it. So many good athletes who are not in it yet.
April 28, 1998 |
He looks as though he could still play some safety, but Johnnie Johnson releases his aggressions on a tennis ball these days. He finds competition not in shutting down No. 80 in a red and white jersey, but in opening up young people's minds to new horizons. "The greatest satisfaction I enjoyed was playing football," Johnson said. "I didn't know if there was anything that could give me that same satisfaction. My work with young kids comes as close to that feeling as anything."
January 31, 1997 |
In all probability, famous Negro League stars such as Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, Ray Dandridge and Leon Day--all of whom are in baseball's Hall of Fame--never played the game in Orange County. But starting Saturday, some of their memorabilia will be on public display in the Negro Leagues exhibit at the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame, adjacent to Anaheim Stadium, in conjunction with Black History Month.
April 25, 1998 |
Bob Boyd is stretched out near the pool in his backyard, looking a little like a lion in winter. It is past noon and Boyd, 67, has just returned from playing golf at Rancho La Quinta and is relaxing in the warm desert sun. Golf is one of Boyd's favorite pastimes these days. Another is his interest in thoroughbred racing. "Anyone who grew up in Riverside County, so close to Santa Anita, has to have a little bit of interest in horse racing," Boyd said.
December 4, 1993 |
Cal Coach Pappy Waldorf used to call him "my defensive brain on the field," one of those slightly back-handed compliments coaches reserve for over-achievers who usually aren't the fastest or strongest. But on this day, defensive back Ray Willsey turned into an offensive whiz kid. It was the 1952 Big Game, Cal vs. Stanford, and for senior Willsey, it became the biggest game. With Billy Mais sidelined because of a dislocated thumb, Waldorf named Willsey the starting quarterback.