No rest for the weary. Lately, news headlines of the world have been flat out ugly. Wars, turmoil, financial debacles, nuclear proliferation. It's enough to make you head spin. Where can the average Joe escape for a bit of normality? How about in the world of sports. Plenty of sports headline makers were reported during June's early days. Here's a few which stood out....
Ken Griffey Jr retires. Earlier this week, one of baseball's legendary players hung up his spikes. Ken Griffey Jr. called it quits at age 40. One can only wonder if Junior would have re-written most of baseball's major records had injuries not interfered with his sensational career? He was an instant hit finishing 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting back in 1989 as a young 20 year old soon to be star centerfielder. Griffey, Jr was quickly filling highlight reels with circus catches and big hits as a Seattle Mariners rookie. His game was soon to take off and comparisons to some of the greatest names ever were soon to follow. Griff finished his career with 630 home runs. Many, including myself, believe if Griff could have stayed healthy then he would be baseball's all time home run champion. Junior's injuries robbed him of over 500 games. Despite various injury ending seasons, Griff averaged 38 HR & 111 RBI's highlighted by back to back 56 HR years in 1997-98. He was a 10 time Gold Glove winner and 13 time All Star. One of his greatest personal moments might never be duplicated again. On September 14, 1990 Griffey Sr. & Jr. homered in consecutive at bats for the Mariners setting a father/son record which may stand forever. Griff is one of baseball's good guys. He will be missed.
Ubaldo Jiminez is pitching like a bionic man bringing back memories of Bob Gibson's modern day record ERA season 1.12 ERA (1968).been lights out this season. 11-1, 0.93 ERA. In 12 starts, he's allowed 2 runs 3 times, 1 run 3 times, and no runs 6 times including 2 complete game shutouts and a no hitter on April 17 vs Atlanta. Can he keep up this incredible run while pitching in the mile high air of Colorado? The all time mlb ERA record was set in 1880 by Tim Keefe (0.86). It's a stretch to believe Keefe's record will ever be touched but Gibby's is currently within range. Jiminez has quickly become the pitcher to watch whenever his name is penciled onto lineup cards. Don't miss out.
Chicago Blackhawks have one more win to go for first Stanley Cup Championship since the 1960-61 season.long time coming for Chicago hockey fans. It's not written in stone yet but the engravers are getting the Cup ready for inscription. Standing in their way is a resilient Philadelphia Flyers team which is no stranger to coming back with their backs against a wall. Philly has rebounded from huge deficits this post-season. Most notably, beating the Boston Bruins after trailing 3 games to none including a monumental comeback from down 3-1 in Game 7. Chicago has been the most well balanced NHL team during the 2009-10 season. Their 52 regular season victories were tops in Western Conference and they've faced little resistance so far in Cup play until 7th seeded Philly reeled off back to back wins in games 3 & 4. The puck drops for Game 6 in Philadelphia Wednesday night. Flyers fans will be shaking the rafters. One thing is for certain. Chicago doesn't want to play the cardiac kid Flyers in a Game 7 showdown.