This Did You Know? section reveals and provides facts, information and stories, some fascinating, unusual or amusing, all related to Shasta county sports (or nearby North State) athletes and events.
For instance, did you know:
The first coach for World Cup and USA Freestyle Skiing champion Brad Holmes was George Theobald.
James “Lenny” Baxley, an Enterprise High School graduate, was a 1st round selection (19th overall) in June 1969 Baseball draft for the Detroit Tigers. Baxley played first base.
James Whalen, who played at Shasta College before transferring to the University of Kentucky, set an NCAA record for tight-ends with 90 catches. He was named to Football Writers of America and Walter Camp All-American teams. Whalen went on to play three (3) seasons in the NFL.
On October 17, 1998, at Merced College, Shasta College football team beat Merced 73-71, setting a record for the highest scoring game in U.S. junior college history. Shasta’s Chris Thomas caught a school-record 13 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. It earned him player of the week honors with teammates Ricky Ray and David Atherton.
Jason Sehorn’s Tonight Show proposal to Angie Harmon was voted 2001 TV Guide Awards “TV Moment of the Year”.
Collegiate National Champions: Mike Preaseau (Shasta High) played with Bill Russell and K.C. Jones on the 1956 University of San Francisco NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball National Championship team. Preaseau also played the 1957 and 58 season with USF. Other area grads who played on college championship teams include - Eric Ortlieg (Foothill High) was a 1995 All-American and his Fort Lewis College team won the 1995 National Collegiate Men’s Mountain Bike Championship; Megan Rapinoe (Shasta High) was a 2006 All-American and led her Portland Pilots soccer team to the 2006 NCAA Women’s National Championship; Tim Nelson (Palo Cedro) helped his University of Wisconsin team win the 2005 NCAA Cross County National Championship; Josh Mack (Millville) helped his Cal Poly-SLO Rodeo team win the 2005 Intercollegiate National Championship; Sam Enochian was a All-American who led his University of California-Berkeley Bears to three (3) College National Collegiate Rugby Championships; Derek Moore (Shasta High) was the 2007 Div 1 NCAA National Wrestling Champion in 141 pound division; Samantha Camuso (Foothill High) led UCLA to win the 2010 Women's College Softball National Championship, hitting .467 (14-for-30) with a team-best eight homers, 21 runs batted in, and was named to the Women's College World Series All-Tournament Team.
“Jackie Robinson breaks color barrier in 1947” was voted #1 in The Sporting News “25 Greatest Moments That Changed The Game” of Baseball. With the first pitch of the 1947 season by Brooklyn’s Joe Hatten (of Redding, CA), Robinson took his place in history as the first black major league player in more than six decades.
Buck Martinez was the Manager of the United States Baseball team that competed in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006.
September 28, 1988, in his last start of the regular season, Orel Hershiser pitches 10 shutout innings to extend his consecutive scoreless-inning streak to 59, breaking Dodger Don Drysdale’s major league record by one. The Padres eventually won the game 2-1 on Mark Parent’s homerun in the bottom of the 16th.
September 15, 1996, Baltimore Catcher Mark Parent homers in the 3rd inning of his team’s 16-6 win over the Tigers. The homer gives the Orioles a new major league record of 241 for the season, held previously by the 1961 Yankees.
Jeff King, four-time Iditarod champion, played quarterback for one season on the Shasta College football team.
Steve Bence, a former teammate of Steve Prefontaine’s at the University of Oregon was asked - what was the best race he saw Prefontaine run at Oregon? Bence responded, “My favorite race was the 1972 Oregon/Oregon State dual meet. Pre won the 1500 meter in 3:39.8 (a personal best) versus Hailu Ebba’s 3:40.0 in a race that Pre should have lost.” Ebba would go on to run a school record 3:57.8 mile in 1973.
Frank Akins, former Anderson High School football coach in the 60’s, played four (4) seasons in the NFL as a running back for Washington Redskins. In 1945, his best season, Akins averaged 5.4 yards per carry and scored 6 touchdowns.
Todd Provence, an Anderson High School graduate that also played minor league baseball for several seasons, had a role in the 1992 movie “Mr. Baseball” staring Tom Selleck. Provence also served as Selleck’s double.
“Gionfriddo’s Famous Catch”: Game 6 - sixth inning of the 1947 World Series. A crowd of 74,065 filled Yankee Stadium. Announcer Red Barber makes the call: The Yankees have two runners on. The Dodgers are ahead 8-5, and the crowd well knows that one swing of this bat (Joe DiMaggio) and this fella’s capable of making it a brand new game again. Joe Hatten leans in, outfield deep around toward left, the infield overshifted. Here’s the pitch, swung on, belted, it’s a long one, deep to left center, back goes Gionfriddo, back, back, back, back, back, he makes a one-handed catch against the bullpen – oh doctor – exactly against the railing in front of the bullpen and reached up with one hand and took a homerun away from DiMaggio.
Chris “Boomer” Berman, ESPN anchor and icon, is partially famous because of his trademark nicknames he gives many athletes. One of his favorites is – Greg “Life is a” Cadaret.
It’s a record: In a Shasta College versus Butte College men’s basketball game Shasta led Butte by 18 points with 1:17 to go. Incredibly Butte took advantage of a series of Shasta turnovers and missed shots to tie the game in regulation. In the first two minutes of overtime Shasta opened up an 11 point lead only to blow it again allowing Butte to take the game 116-115 in double overtime.
Youthful Indiscretion: Early in his career upon recognizing his modest talents, Rick Bosetti set a goal to urinate in the outfield of every major league park outfield. When word spread of his quest, he would usually “do his thing” during pre-game warm-ups so he couldn’t get caught, though clubhouse lore says there were times he did it during the game, using his glove for cover. Injuries forced Bosetti to retire at age 28, and when asked, Bosetti acknowledged he had indeed accomplished that goal.
Actress Angie Harmon and her husband Jason Sehorn addressed delegates at the 2004 Republican National Convention on Monday, August 30th at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Kathleen Kennedy, a Shasta High School graduate, has produced such movies as E.T., The Color Purple, Jurassic Park, The Sixth Sense, Schindler’s List, and sports movies Seabiscuit and Olympic Glory, …just to name a few.
Laurie Bagley, a Shasta High School graduate, at 7 a.m. (Tibetan time), on May 25, 2006, became the 18th US woman to climb and stand atop Mt. Everest, the tallest point on the planet at 29,035 feet in elevation.
“The Play”: On Saturday, November 20, 1982 the Stanford Cardinal football team was playing against their rival Cal, in Berkeley. The game was living up to its hype with great performances by Stanford QB John Elway and Cal QB Gale Gilbert (Red Bluff), among others. Elway put his team ahead with only four seconds left. What happened on the ensuing kick-off has become one of the most televised replays of a wild and controversial finish. Kevin Moen started the madness and also ended up being the last one to carry the ball, zig-zagging through the Stanford band that had come onto the field thinking the game was over, as Moen ran into the endzone. So remarkable of an ending, it is simply called “The Play”.
At the National Baseball Hall of Fame included in the display of significant baseballs used throughout the game's history is one signed by Bill Plummer and umpire Ed Vargo. It was the first Rawlings baseball used in a National League game on April 6, 1977.
Wayne Hawkins is one of only twenty (20) American Football League players who were in the AFL for all of the league's 10-year run. 1970 saw the merger of the AFL and the National Football League (NFL).
Michelle Smith was the first female "Analyst" for a nationally televised Major League Baseball game. She is also the first female recipient of the Bill Teegins Excellence in Sportscasting Award.
December 24, 1977 AFC Division Playoff: The Pittsburgh Steelers' attempt for an unprecedented third Super Bowl trophy was ended by the Denver Broncos 34-21. The game may be best remembered for Pittsburgh's defensive tackle "Mean" Joe Greene sucker-punching Denver's Paul Howard in the solar plexus. The dirty deed quickly drew an unsportsmanlike penalty. Howard as a result had to have his spleen removed. Commissioner Pete Rozelle fined Greene $5,000. Greene's excuse was he claimed he was "being held".