• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ••
The Finals: ALook Back ARCH MADNESS spills over into April now, making the NCAA Finals as much a rite of spring as spring training. It hasn't always been that way. The NCAA tournament got its start in 1939, during an era when baseball was still reveling in the feats of perhaps its greatest player- Babe Ruth. Baseball was already riding a wave of popularity and enthusiasm. The game of hoops was so very different then. It was slow-paced and crude. And this was only 2 years removed from the elimination of the center jump after each basket. The fact that Oregon beat Ohio State 46-33 in the first NCAA championship game might indicate something about the pace of the action. And the fact that the initial tournament, held at Northwestem University, rang up a financial loss of more than $2,500 indicates something about the game's populari ty then. How that has all changed! CBS is paying the NCAA a billion dollars between now and 1998 to televise the tournament. And the finals are now played almost exclusively in stadiums that seat more than 50,000 loud followers. So what happened along the way to build such interest in college basketball? Let's look back at some exciting NCAA Finals to
help us get from there to here. 1948: Kentucky 58 Baylor 42. Adolph Rupp claims his first of four national championship. His Wildcats had held Bob Cousy to one point in the East Regional to get to the title game. 1955: San Francisco 77 LaSalle 63. In a battle of superstars, K.C. Jones and Bill Russell of San Francisco outpace Player of the Year Tom Gota and his Explorer teammates. 1956: San Francisco 83 Iowa 71. Russell is back to help the Dons become the first undefeated team to win the NCAA title. 1961: Cincinnati 70 Ohio State 65 (overtime). Defending champions Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek, Bobby Knight, Larry Siegfried, and Mel Nowell lose to the Oscar Robertson-less Bearcats. 1963: Loyola 60 Cincinnati 58 (overtime). In their onl y Fi nal Four appearance, the Ramblers take their shooting accuracy developed by practicing on a smaller rim and turn it into a victory over the Bearcats, who were gunning for a three-peat. 1964: UCLA 76 San Francisco 72. A new era in college basketball is ushered in as John Wooden leads his Bruins to the first of I0 national championships. 1966: Texas Western (now UTEP) 72 Kentucky 65. In a pivotal game in basketball history, an all-black team beats an allwhite team in the Big Show, changing the attitude of many coaches toward recruiting some of America's best athletes. 1969: UCLA 92 Purdue 72. Playing the last game of an incredible career, Lew Alcindor (now
Kareem Abdui-Jabbar) scores 37 points and runs his three-year won-loss mark at UCLA to 88-2. 1973: UCLA 87 Memphis State 66. Almost singlehandedly, Bill Walton wipes out the Tigers, scoring 44 points on 21 of 22 shooting from the floor. 1979: Michigan State 75 Indiana State 64. Not since Elvin Hayes and Lew Alcindor had gone head-to-head in January of 1968 at the Astrodome had the nation been so caught up in a personal showdown. LatTy Bird meets Magic Johnson in what would be the highest rated game ever. 1982: North Carolina 63 Georgetown 62. Top this: Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, and James Worthy vs. Patrick Ewing and Sleepy Floyd. 1985: Villanova 66 Georgetown 64. Rollie Massimino somehow talks his unranked Wildcats into outplaying and barely outscoring the top-ranked Hoyas. 1989: Michigan 80 Seton Hall 79. Rumeal Robinson sinks two pressure free throws to help new coach Steve Fisher li ve out a dream. 1992: Duke 71 Michigan 51. Coach K's team captures its second straight crown as Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill , and Thomas Hill prove too much for the Fab Five.
Dave Branon, managing editor Sporls Spec/rum
6 Back in the Swing of Things Two wins shy of golf immortality, Betsy King battles back by Karen Rudolph Drollinger
10 No Power Shortage in Milwaukee Bill Wegman and Cal Eldred-part of a team within a team by Mike Sandro/ini
Photography Credits: COVER: Brian Spu~ock; p. 2 (top) lPGA, (bottom) Michael Ponzin~Focus on Sports; p. 3 (lelt) Eddie Sanderson/Cal State long Beach, (right) Brian Spu~ock; p. 6 Ken levine/AIIsport; p. S lPGA; p. 9lPGA; p. 10 Michael Ponz in~ocus on Sports; p. 11 Focus on Sports; p. 12 (lelt) Bill Hicl<ey/Allsport, (right) Milwaukee Brewers; p. 13 Ea~ Richardson/Allsport; p. 14 (left) Focus on Sports, (right) Jell McBride/PGA Tour; p. t5 Allsport; pp.16·17 Focus on Sports; p. 18·19 Eddie Sanderson/Cal State l ong B each; p. 20 (left) R. Rahr\IPhiladelphia Phillies, (right) Janice E. Rettafiata/AIIsport; p. 22 (lelt) Courtesy Dale Ande rson, (right) Courtesy Rex Hudler; p. 23 Allsport; p. 24 (left) Janice E. Rettalia ta/AIIsport, (right) Otto Gruele Jr./AIIsport ; p. 26 Brian Spu~ock; p. 27 Bcb Rosato; p. 28 Courtesy Rob Pelinka; p. 29 Brian Spurlock.
SPORTS S P EC T R UM • M AR C H / APR IL 1993
No Lone Rangers
You may think you can go it alone in this life, but one is a lonely number by David Egner
Ace returns from Sports Spectrum readers SS Fan Poll
With Dale Anderson , Michael Jones, Rex & Jennifer Hudler
5 Clippings Sports news worth a second look
15 Legends Catching up with Julius Erving Plus a Legends poster of Dr. J by Tom Felten
18 Why Did Tara Cross the Ocean? Former NCAA volleyball Player of the Year Tara Cross-Battle has taken her skills and kills to Italy by Karen Rudolph Drollinger
20 Stats Central
26 The Sixth Man Anywhere else, Rob Pelinka would have been a starter. At Michigan, he has to fight for playing time- and he loves it by Rob Bentz
24 The Birth ol the Rockies Second in a threepart look at baseball's new mile-high team by John Long
compiled by Rob Bentz
Teams to Watch
by Ralph Drollinger
The Swirsky Report
Airing It Out
by Chuck Swirsky
The Perfect Game Plan by Da ve Gibson
Volume 7. Number 4 SPORTS SPECTRUM MAGAZINE A DISCOVERY HOUSE PUBLICATION. PUBLISHER Dave Burnham; MANAGING EDITOR Dave Br anon; MARKETING/PRODUCTION MANAGER Tom Felten; ART DIRECTOR Steve Gier; PRODU CTION ASS ISTANT Rob Bentz; ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Lisa Ou~~ ADVISORY COMMITIEE Chuck Swirsky. Spoc1s OirectOf, WGN Radio. Chicago: Otck Mason. President, Discovery House PW!ishers: Ralph Ofollinget. President. Sports Ouueach America: Kyle Rote Jf.. TV spor1s commentator; COVER PHOTO Btian Spur1ock
SPORTS SPECTRUM Is ptoduced six times a year by Discovery House Publishers. which is affili,ated with Radio 8i)le Class. a nondenominational Christian 01ganiz.atoo whose purpose is to lead people ol all nations to faith and maturity in Jesus Christ by teaching principles from the Bible. Printed in USA. Copyr;ght ~ 1993 by Discovery House Pubhhers, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bible quotations, unloss otherwise noted, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 0 1973, 1978, 1984, International B1ble Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. SPORTS SPECTRUM subscriptions are available for S151year or $19.50 outside the USA (in US funds) by writing to SPORTS SPECTRUM subscriptions, Box 3566, Grand Rapids, Ml 49501-3566, by calling ton tree 1·800.653·8333, or by sending a FAX to 1·616·957· 5741. S PORT S SPECTRUM • MARC H / APR IL 1 993
For Subscription Services,·
CALL TOLL FREE:
1·800·853·8333 "New subscriptions, change of address, or other corrections 3
enjoyed Tom Felten's art icle on Barry Sanders. Christian believers should overcome temptation the way Barry plays football : "When the believer is tempted to abuse alcohol, he should brake and spin, glancing off of it without a dent (Ephesians 5: 18). When the believer is tempted to •Bm;;~~~ take drugs, he should take a lateru • al leap over them and be gone (Ephesians 6: 16). When the believer is tempted to commit sexual sin- instead of braking, he should accelerate, fleeing it like A P ..isone..'s Gift I am presently incarcerated in corJoseph (Genesis 39: 12)." rectional facility in South Dakota. May Sports Spectrum I have received two copies of your continue to glorify Jesus very fine Sports Spectmm magaChrist! zine and would like to continue to receive your quality Christian-oriented sports magazine. My main reason for writing this letter is to The SS & ..igade ask you if you would be willing to We would like to order 20 onesend your magazine to me minus year subscriptions to Sports the subscription payment. Spectmm for our youth program, The copies I have received the Christian Service Brigade. My son, who is 14, really enjoys your have reall y ministered to me as I have read them. The magazine magazine-as well as I do. Praise has helped me to keep my eyes the Lord that your magazine is one fixed on my goal and not waver that people of all ages can enjoy, from it. and that there are Christian spm1s Please consider my request in events and personalities we can your prayers and please act as look forward to reading about. God may lead you. -CLYDE LONG -NAME WITHHELD
We get many leiters like this each year. We would love to give subscriptions away, but that isn't possible. Perhaps you can give a prisoner a subscription! Simply send in $11.97 and mark "fora prisoner" on your check. We will start the subscription and also send you the name and address of the person who will receive it.
Moan Collects; Connects As a Mom, I am thrilled to be able to give my sons sports information I can trust. I loved the article on trading cards (November-December 1992). As a chi ld I collected rocks, stamps, figurines, and dolls. Now I'm enjoying the same experience with my boys' sportscards. This is a fun way for me to participate in a "guy thing" with them- and a refreshing break from washing stinky unifonns and endless practices.
Sande..s Pa..aph ..ased I decided to subscribe to your magazine after reading a complimentary copy (November/ December '92). I especially 4
Wanted: Mo..e Wo:anen I am a I0-year-old girl, and I really enjoy basketball and other sports. I have received three copies of Sports Spectrum. I have noticed that there are very few articles on women in sports. I would really enjoy seeing more articles on women. Girls need a lot more role models.
1993). I'm interested in joining the International Christian Cycling Club. Any info you could send would be a blessing. - MICHAEL NAGY
To contact Wheels ofT/umder, write to Marilyn Wells, 3739 East 4th Avenue, Denver, CO 80206. -Ed.
Whe ..e's Wheels? I enjoyed your article on Wheels of Thunder (January-February
- RICKEE DOZIER
Virginia Beach, VA SPORTS S P EC TRUM- M ARC H / APRI L 1 993
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Faith On Fi.-st There's a new baseball book on the block, and if you're a national pastime fan who also enjoys Sports Spectrum, I think it will be right up your power alley. Dave Branon, managing editor of SS, teamed up with Joe Pellegrino to put together Safe At Home. This 320-page book features the stories of 18 Christian pro baseball players-plus a general manager and a play-by-play man. Here's a partial listing of the people you' ll meet up close and personal: Joe Ca11er, Matt Nokes, Emie Harwell, Brian Harper, Brett Butler, and Howard Johnson. Safe at Home gives you an interesting Q& A after each bio, along with career stats for numbers lovers. The focus of this book is to show the work of Jesus Christ in the li ves of some of the boys of summer. Here are a couple of quotes that are telling of what you' ll find between the covers: Desire comes from the mind and dedication comes from tile heart. -Sal Bando / look at my life as a mission. I'm here to win people to Jesus. And that's what it's all abollt. - Harold Reynolds At the end of this book, you also get a brief look at the lives and faith of nine more of today's outstanding Christian players-
OH ... Lima .......................... WTGN .......... 97.7 OH ... Mansfield ..................WVMC .......... 90.7 OH ... Portsmouth ...............WOHP .......... 88.3 OK ... Aitus .......................... KKVO ........... 90.9 OK ... Enid .......................... KBVV............ 91.1 OK ...Lawton ...................... KVRS ........... 90.3 OK ...Oklahoma City .......... Kocv5 ..........800 OK ...Sapulpa .................... KXOJ ........... 1550 OR ...CoosBay .................. KYTI2 ......... 98.7 OR ...Winston ..................... KGRV ............700 PA.... Edensburg ................WRDD ......... 1580 PA. ...J ohnstown ................WCR0 ......... 1230 PA .... Lewisburg ................. WGRC .......... 91.3 PA.... Philipsburg ................WPHB ......... 1260 PA ....Scranton ......... ..........w scR8 ....... 1320 PA. ... State College ............WTLR ...........89.9 PA ....Wilkes-Barre .............WBCR8 ....... 1340 RI ..... Port smouth ...............WJHO ...........90.7 SC ... Beaufort ....................WAGP ..........66.7 SC ... Lake City ...................WJOT .......... 1260 SC ... Rock Hiii. ...................WYRS ......... 1150 SO ...Gregory .....................KVCX ......... 101.5 SO ...Sioux Falls ................KNWC ......... 1270 T N ....Challanooga ............WMBW .........88.9 TN ....Jackson ....................WOCR ......... 1460 T N .... Knoxville ...................WRJZ ............ 620 TN . ... Memphis ................... WCRV5 ......... 640 TX .... Dallas ........................ KPBC ............770 TX.... Houston .................... KHCB ......... 105.7 TX ....Jacksonville .............. KBJ S ............90.3 TX ....Lubbock .................... KJAK9 ..........92.7 TX ....McAIIen ..................... KVMV ...........96.9 TX ....Odessa ..................... KENT............90.5 TX ....Texarkana................. KHSP .......... 1400 TX ....Witchita Falls ......... ... KM OC ..........89.5 UT.. .. Provo ..................... ... KEYY ........... 1450 VA .... Ashland .....................WPES .......... 1430 VA .... Portsmouth ...............WPMH ......... 1010 VA .... Richmond .................WGGM .......... 820 VT .... Rutland .....................WFTF ...........90.5 VT ....White RiverJnctn .....WGLV ......... 104.3 WA ..Spokane ................... KMBI .......... 107.9 WA ...Tumwater ................. KVSN ... ...... 1500 WA ...Yakima ...................... KBBO .......... 1390 W I .... Appleton ...................WEMI ......... 100.1 W I ....Lancaster .................. WJTY ...........66. 1 WI ....Madison ....................WNWC ....... 102.5 WI ....Milwaukee .................WVCY ........ 107.7 WI ....Suring .......................WRVM ........ 102.7 WI ....Tomah ......................WVCX ..........98.9 WV ...Oak Hiii .................... .WOAY ........... 860 WY ...Casper ......................KUYO .... ........ 830 INTERNATIONAL PR . ..San Juan ..................WBMJ .......... 1190
AK ... Glenallen ...... ...........KCAM1 .......... 790 AL .... Dixo n's M ills ............. WMBV ....... ...9 1.9 AL .... Montgomery ..............WLBF ........... .89. 1 AR ... Hot Springs ............... KSB C ............90.1 AR ... Mountain Home ........ KCMH ...........9 1.5 AR .. .West Helena .............KJ IW .... 94.5/1600 AZ .... Parker ....................... KWFH ...........90.1 AZ .... Tucso n ...................... KV01..............690 CA ... Bakersfield ................ KER1 ............ 11 60 CA ... Modesto .................... KCIV .............99.9 CA ... Salinas ...................... KKMC ............ 660 CA ... San Bernardino ......... KLFE1 .......... 1240 CA ... Santa Cruz ................ KFER ............69.9 CO ... Colorado Springs ...... KCBR ........... 1040 CO ...C olorado Springs ...... KCMN .......... 1530 CO ... Pueblo ...................... KERP ............91 .9 FL .... Boynton Beach .........WRMB ..........69.3 FL .... Gainesville ................ LYF-Cable.....95.1 FL .... Green Cove .............. WAYR . ........... 550 FL .... Key Wesi .................. WJIR .............90.9 FL .... Melbourne ................. WCIF ...... ..... 106.3 FL .... Millon ........................WEGS ...........90.7 FL .... New Smyrna ............ .WJLU ............89.7 FL .... St. Petersburg .......... .WKES ......... 101.5 FL ... Starke .......................WTLG ...........66.3 FL .... Tallahassee .............. w c v c . ......... 1330 FL ....Tilusville ....................WPG S ............840 FL .... Titu sville ................... .WPIO .. ..........69.3 GA ... Atlanta ..................... .WAFS ............ 920 GA ... Augusta ....................WLPE ............91 .7 GA ... Byron ....................... .WPWB ..........90.5 GA ...Columbus ................ .WHYD .......... 1270 GA ...J esup ........................WLPT ............66.3 GA ... V>dal>a .......................WGPH ...........9 1.5 HI ..... Hono/u/u ....... .. .. KAIM .............. BlO /A ..... Cedar Raplds............ KTOF .......... 104.5 lA .....C ouncil Bluffs ............ KLNG ........... 1560 lA ..... Des Moines ............... KWKY .......... t 150 IL .....Chicago ....................WM BI ............90.1 IL ..... East Mohne ...............WDLM ....960/69.3 IL ..... East Peoria ............... WPE0 .......... 1020 IL ..... Ford Heights ............ .WCFJ ........... 1470 IL .....Olney ....................... .WPTH ...........66.1 IL ..... Petersburg ................WLUJ ...........97.7 IL . .... Ramsey ................... .WJLY ....... .....93.3 IN .....Covington ................ .WFOF ...........90 .3 IN . .... Elkhart ..................... .WC MR .........1270 IN ..... Eikhart ......................W FRN ........ 104.7 IN..... Fort Wayne ............... WLAB ...........88.3 IN ..... Huntington ...............WHCR ..........94.1 IN ..... Indianapolis ..............WBRI ........... 1500 IN .....Jeflersonville ............. w zcc ......... 1570 IN ..... Lafayette ...................WCFY .......... 1410 IN . .... Mitcheii .................... .WOTS ........ 102.5 KS .... Emporia ............. . .... KNGM ........ .. 9 1.9 KS .... Fort Scott .................. KV CY ......... 101.7 KS ....G oodland .............. .... KGCR ......... 107.7 KS .... H1awatha ................... KJTH ............ 88.1 KS ....Meade ....................... KJIL .............. 99.1 KS ....Medicine Lodge ........KREJ ............ 95.9 KS ....Salina ........................ KCVS ......... 104.9 KS ....Topeka ......................KJTY ............ 66.1 KY .... Ashland .....................WOKT ......... 1040 KY ....H indman .................. .WKCB .. ....... 1340 KY .... Middleboro ................WMIK ............927
KY .... Parls ......................... WYGH ........ 1440 KY .... Pikev llle . ... ............. ...WJS0 ...........90.1 KY ....Somerset ..................WTHL ...........90.5 LA ....P ort Allen .................. KPAE ............9 1.5 MD ... Braddock Heights ..... WJTM ...........88. 1 MD ...Williamsport ..............WCRH ..........90.5 ME .. .Bangor...................... WHCF .......... 88.5 MI .....Cadillac .....................WOLW3 ........91 .1 MI .....Detroit ....................... WMUZ ........ 103.5 MI. ....G aylord ............... ......WPHN 3 ........90.5 Mt..... Grand Rapids ........... w c s a 4 ........ 91.3 MI.....Kingsl ord .................. WEUL.. ......... 98. 1 MI .....Livonia ......................WLOV .......... 1500 MI.....Marquette ................. WH WL .......... 95.7 MI. ....Spring Arbor .............KTGG .......... 1540 MI .....Spring Arbor .............WSAE ......... 106.9 Ml ....Traverse City ............ WLJN .. 1400/89.9 MI.....Zeeland ..................... WGNB ..........89.3 MN ... Blue Earth .................KJL Y ........... 100.9 MN ... Internationat Falls ..... KBHW .......... 99.5 MN ... Osakis .......................KBHL .......... 103.9 MN.. .Pequot Lakes ............K T/G ........... tOO. t MN ... Rochester .................KF SI .............68.5 MN ...Roseville ................... K T/S ..............900 MN ...St. Cloud . ..................KCFB ............91.5 MO... Branson ....................KLFC ............68.1 MO... Cuba ......................... KGNN .... ...... 1410 MO... Kansas City ..............KLJC ............68.5 MO... Neosho ............ .........KNE0 ........... 9 1.5 MO ... St. Louis ....................KSIV5 .......... 1320 MO ... Springfield .................KWFC ...........69.1 MO ... Washington ...............KGNV ...........89.9 MS ...Meridian ....................WNBN ......... 1290 MT ... Belgrade ...................KGVW ...........640 MT ...Billings ......................KU RL ............. 730 MT ... Glendive ................. .. KGLE ............. 590 MT ... Kalispell ............... .....KALS ............97.1 N C .. .Black Mountain ......... WFGW ........ 1010 NC ...Cha~ otte ................... WHVN6 ....... 1240 NC ...Clinton ...................... WCLN .......... 1170 NC .. Fayetteville ............... WFLB .......... 1490 NC ...Hamlet ...................... WKDX . ........ 1250 ND ... Fargo ........................ KFNM .......... 1200 NE ...Doniphan ............. ..... KROA ...........95.7 NE ...McCook ....................KNGN ...........95.7 NE ...Norlolk ...................... KPN0 ........... 90.9 NE ... North Platte ....... ........ KJLT .............94.9 NE ...Omaha ...................... KGBI ........... tOO. 7 NE ... Orchard ..................... KGR0 ......... 105.3 NH ... East Rochester .........WSEW ..........68.5 NH ... New Durham ............. WWPC .........91.7 NJ .... Zarephath ................. WAWZ ..........99. 1 NM ... Demlng ..................... KZPI .............9 1.7 NM ...Farmlngton ...............KPCL ............ 95. 7 NM ... Rosweii ..................... KWFL ...........99.5 NY ... Bath .......................... WCIK .......... t 03.1 NY .. Buskirk ...................... WNGN.......... 97.5 N Y ... Canandaig ua ............ WCIY ............88.9 NY ... Elmira ....................... WCIH ............ 90.3 N Y .. Friendship ................. WC/0 ............89.1 N Y ...Jamestown ............... WCOT .......... 90. 9 NY ... Spenc er .................... WC/1 .... .........88.5 NY ... Warsaw.......... ........... WCOU..........88.3 OH ...Cedarville .......... ... ..... w c oR7 .. ...... 90.3 OH ...Chillicothe .................WOHC ..........90.1
1Tape delay. Airtime: 2 pm PT 2rape delay. Airtime: Midnight PT 3rape delay. Airtime: 3 pm ET 4rape delay. Airtime: 5 pm ET 5 Tape delay. Airtime: 4 pm CT 6 Tape delay. Airtime: 7:05pm ET 7Joins program at 12: 10 ET 8Tape delay. Airtime: 6 or 7 pm ET 9Joins program at 11:05 CT
men like Orel Hershiser, Paul Molitor, and Andy Van Slyke. Safe at Home will amuse you with its wit and anecdotes. But it wi ll also surprise and challenge you with honest revelations of the tough and trying real-life issues these players have faced. Dealing
with injuries. Restori ng a marri age. Handling competition. You 'll find these and other concerns discussed with transparency. The material in this book and the reading level both seem suitable for junior high age on up. It may cause you to alter your
social life, though. Safe at Home is such an enjoyable read you may just want to stay home alone and fin ish it. D - Tom Felten Safe at Home is published by Moody Press and can be found in a Christian bookstore near you.
S P O RT S Sr> ECTf~ UM • M AR C H /AP H IL I 9 9 3
ITH THE FLUID ITY AND M INDSET OF A
automatic inclusion into golf's Hall of Fame.
easing into her sterilized
Playing nearly 100 rounds of golf in 28 tourna-
plastics , professional go lfer Betsy
ments in 1992 means consuming nearly I 00 golf
Kin g deftly s li ps on her new kid
gloves for the 5'6" Limekin, Pennsylvania, native.
leather golf gloves.
She says she utilizes "at least 6 to 8 balls per
Tru e, the 16-y ear veteran of the Ladies
round," discarding any with minuscule imperfec-
Professional Golf Association is operating on a
tions like a Major League umpire trashing a slightly
~ Betsy King hopes
golf course and not in a
scarred baseball. And there are racks of new golf
1993 Is the year she picks up the two
surgical ward , but th e
clubs lining the wall of her new Scottsdale, Arizona,
well-practiced routine has
home. It's the average golfer's dream existence.
wins she needs to join golf' s all -time greats.
paced her to 28 tour victories-onl y two shy of
But it's all in a day's work for King as she tries to improve her game. And it includes off-season
A revived game gives Betsy King new confidence as she aims for a spot at the LPGA Hall of Fame • By Karen Rudolph Drollinger
SPORTS SPEC T RUM • MARC H /APR I L 1 9 9 3
The Public King
How DOES BETSY KING FEEL ABOUT BEING A PUBLIC FIGURE?
"Actually, I have a hard time handling it," she says, mentioning a letter to the editor in a Phoenix paper from a fan who had felt snubbed by a retired professional athlete. "I felt sorry for the man, because I know how many times people come up to me at an inopportune time and disrupt what I'm doing. If just one time you don't respond in the right manner, that's a judgment on you. It's such a short encounter, and it's hard to be consistently pleasant over and over. "I know it's part of being a professional athlete, and my dad reminds me of that. I do try to respond well, but I know there are times that I haven't. I have to pray about that every day-especially to have patience to deal with people. I'm not into signing autographs or the celebrity thing. "When I go to the course, I've set aside time and I need to prepare, so if I have to sign autographs it cuts into my time. But it's just unexpected things, like being asked for interviews without setting it up in advance. It's more of a time management thing. "I guess I get nervous when people have such large expectations. I can't fulfill everyone's expectations. When someone says to me 'except for my wedding day this is the most exciting day in my life to play golf with you,' that's kind of a heavy thing!" D
practice sessions with her teaching pro Ed Oldfield at Troon North Golf Club in suburban Phoenix. When an unrelenting series of winter rainstorms left her and the hundreds of other pro golfers headquartered in the Valley of the Sun wondering if it had become the Valley of the Mud , she used the time to concentrate more on her volunteer work as an assistant girls basketball coach- working with head coach Sandy Austin at Scottsdale Christian Academy (see The Winter Game). A respite in the downpours found her back on the course, mi ssing basketball practice for the first time while grooming her swing for the season's first golf tournament by working wi th Oldfield on "turning her back more to the target and not being so upright." She's also added a more-disciplined, low-fat diet and hired a personal fitn ess train er to monitor her off-season weight and cardiovascular workouts. Betsy, who is nearing $4 million in career earnings, relishes a new start in 1993, she says. She wants to l ay aside the peiÂˇsonal disappointments that troubled her during the start of last season, and she wants to enjoy the anticipation of her potential entry into the Hall of Fame. "Obviously I think I have a chance," she says about the Hall of Fame challenge. " It's been good because it's given me a little extra incentive to practice." "I hope that it's the Lord' s will that I make it, and all I can do is prepare the best I can. But it's something that isn't certain," she adds, acknowledging ri vals Amy Alcott, who's "been stuck at 29 for a while," Patty Sheehan, who also has 29 wins, and former Furman University teammate Beth Daniel (who has 26 wins but needs to win a major championship). Yet even making the Hall of Fame may not erase the 8
difficult memories that made up the early part of the 1992 season for Betsy. "The gol f was bad while I was going through a swing change wi th a new coach, and I was unsure whether it felt ri ght. The personal life carri ed over into the golf too. I started pitifull y, and I was emotional ly tired from some relational problems," she recalls. " Personally, it was one of the toughest times I've gone through, because I felt pretty isolated by some friends. And then not seeing results on the golf course-it was a tryi ng time." Things were so bad she even lost her caddie, who quit after carrying her bags for more than 3 years. " I was at a point where I was unsure of mysel f in a lot of areas, both personally and wi th my golfi ng ability. I wasn't sure whether I would ever win another tournament. Golfs a funny game that way. It's weird: You start off every year having no idea how the year's going to be. I can sit here today and think I might never win again-although I feel a little more con fident than I did last Apri l ! There's such a f ine line between pl aying well and not playing well." After shooting poorly the first round and missing the cut for the Standard Register tourney on March 22 last year, Betsy caught the next flight to visi t Oldfield in Chicago. Next, she hacked her way through the Nabisco Dinah Shore, missed another cut, honed her skills with Oldfield again, and slowly improved so that by mid-May she powered her way to a record-setting 11-stroke victory at the Mazda LPGA Championship. In that tournament, she become the first pro golfer- male or female-to card 4 rounds in the 60s in a maj or championship! With renewed confidence, in July she won the PharMor tournament in a playoff. King finished the season wit h another pl ayoff vi ctory i n th e Mazda Japan Classic, wiggling ahead of Danielle Ammaccapane for second place on the 1992 money list (with $551,320). Her strong fi nish earned her an invitation to this year's Wom en's Sk in s Game, wh i ch will be pla yed on Memorial Day weekend. " In the way things worked out, God certai nly was faithful, because at times I felt prelly dry spiritually. I still tried to read my Bible and pray, even though at times I didn't feel like it or felt that I wasn't getting anything out of it," Betsy recalls. "It's been good for me because I've learned to stretch a little bit and get to know some other people on tour that I might not have met. On tour you can get into a little circle and not reach out sometimes, so developing new relationships has been good." Betsy compares her golfing perseverance with her increasing trust in God. "Christianity is a lifelong process for me in becoming more like Christ. In gol f you can also work on things where you don' t see the results immediately. Through my difficulti es I've learned that as a Christian I can look down the road and not for immediate results. " Really, both areas help each other. I've become more patient in my faith knowing that the golf takes time, and more patient in my golf because of my faith. And I have to learn to trust my coach on the course. I'm tru sting that what he says is correct even though it doesn' t feel right at the time and I may not be seeing results then. There are many times in life that we' re
SPORT S S P ECTRUM â€˘ MARC H / APRIL 1 993
B AC K
trusting God for the right thing to do because that's what the Bible says, even though we may be struggling in life and it doesn't feel right at the time. " Like everybody el se, my confidence goes up and down quite a bit. It's just my nature." Away from the glare of T V cameras and sportswriters microphones and notepads, Betsy is more relaxed and less controlled, laughing and congenial. But as she trotted to the final tee at the Mazda LPGA Championship (her 17-under-par total of 267 marked a new all-time low winning score for a major championship, male or female), she broke away from her usual on-course, business-li ke demeanor in a memorable way. Gleefully, she high-fived the surprised spectators who lined the roped-off course, maki ng the clips on every evening sports wrap-up. " People just don' t know me very well," she laughs, downplaying the frequent requests for comments on that emotional win. ''I'm a very emotional person, but maybe not in front of a crowd. I really try to control my
SW IN G
T H I N G S
The Winter Game
BETSY, AMEMBER OF FURMAN'S 1976 NATIONAL COLLEGIATECHAMPIONSHIPGOLF SQUAD, also played for the school's basketball team, and remains a basketball fan today. Her favorite team? The Phoenix Suns. As a diversion last winter, King helped coach Scottsdale Christian Academy's girls team with good friend Sandy Austin. Although the team was not terribly successful in the won-lost column, King was having a good time. "I love basketball, but I know I'm in the right profession because I'd probably be a lot tougher on them," the physical education major jokes. "I've been able to see how much more competitive I am than the average person. I was much more serious about improving my ability when I was a teenager, so that's maybe why I'm a professional athlete." Coach Austin says her young team is unaware of Betsy's golf records. They think of her only as the assistant coach who runs the floor with them and plays pickup games and sometimes drives herself 2 hours to games or rides the team's hand-me-down bus. "At the Fellowship of Christian Athletes junior golf camps," King observes, "they all know who you are, so they are much more likely to listen to what you say. But here I'm not around enough to prove my credibility, so what I've tried to do is scrimmage with and shoot and show them that! can play a little bit. If at the end of the season they can come see me play a little golf, that would be great. "It's been great to be involved with the kids on a longer basis than just a few days at an athletic camp." D
emotions on the golf course and try not to get too upset for two reasons: First, as a witness to my faith in God and second because it hurts my golf game when I get too upset. Ed and I were talking about that on the range today, how others would say I' m not emot ional but that I really am- just not in front of a thousand people! " But I really don't know why I did that. I didn't think about it beforehand at all, just when I was on top of the hill at 18," she reminisces, realizing that she truly had connected with those fans, who had just witnessed golf history with her remarkabl e score. "There are not too many times when you're in a situation where you know you have a tournament won. You' re usually only a shot or two ahead. But for me it was one of the most gratifying wins I' ve ever had because of what I had gone through." Betsy cites her most memorabl e moments in her career: Her first tour win in 1984 after 7 dry years, her first major victory in 1987 at the Nabisco Dinah Shore, her first U.S. Open championship in 1989, and the season-ending 1992 Mazda Japan Classic. During that final tournament, she felt encouraged by the Friendship Gol f ministry while playing with LPGA Fellowship regular Barb Mucha. In that tourney, Betsy overcame a 5-stroke lead by Helen Alfredsson with birdies on the l ast few hol es to ti e th e match. King defea ted Al fredsson in a 4-hole play-off. With the challenge to meet the Hall of Fame criteria providing current playing incentive, Betsy admits she's begun looking a little past her competi ti ve playing days, but she says the end " may not be for another I 0 years or so!" After finishing 1992 with such a flourish, there's plenty of reasons to believe that's entirely possible.
Karen Drollinger is a f reelance writer and fo rmer professional athlete. She and her husband and their three children live in Southern Califomia. 9
As teams look to the new season, they could learn from the 1992 Brewers, who surprised everyone with their run on the mighty Blue Jays
â€˘ By Mike Sandrolini
MERICAN LEAGUE PITCHERS didn't have to worry much if the wind was blow in g out when they faced the Milwaukee Brewers last summer. There wasn't much of a chance that the Brewers would be depositi ng many baseballs out of the park anyway. The American League's top two home run hitters, Juan Gonzalez of the Rangers and Oakland first baseman Mark McGwire, hit more homers tha n the Brewers did as a team. The Brewhas drove onl y 82 baseba ll s ou t of the yard last year- the second lowest total in the American League. Only the Kansas City Royals, with 75, had fewer home runs than Milwaukee. 10
SPORTS SPECTRUM â€˘ MARCH/APR I L 1 093
Ou tfielde r Greg Vaughn man ufactured a fourth of the Brewers' total hi mself with 23 big hi ts. RBI production also fe ll, dropping from 750 in '9 1 to 683 in '92. Not one Brewer managed even 90 RBI last summer. Two of the Brewers' top three run producers, Vaughn and Robin Yount, drove in 78 and 77 runs. Their top hi tter and RB I man was Paul Molitor, who hit .320 with 89 RBI. And the pitchers who made up the nucleus of the Brewers' young start ing rotation in 1992- Jamie Navarro, Bill Wegma n, Chris Bosio, Ricky Bones, and later Cal Eldred- weren' t exactl y names yo u wou ld s ugges t for Cy Young status either. So how did the Brewers manage to wi n 92 games and stay close to the eventual World Champion Toronto Blue Jays without power hitters and power pitchers? Did hitting coach Mike Easler and pitching coach Don Rowe use mirrors? No t quit e. The Brewers simp ly taught the major leagues a lesson in how to play sound, fundamental, teamoriented baseball. • They played solid defense, committing a major-league low 89 errors all season. • No team in baseball ran the bases better than the Brewers. Eleven Brewers stole I 0 or more bases last sect SO IL Altogether, they swiped 256 bases-tops in the majors. • Although they lacked a big- name ace, the Brewers' pitching was outstanding. Milwaukee posted a 3.43 ERA, which led the league. The Brewers also compiled an excellent hits-to-inn ingspitched ratio of I,344 hits given up in I ,456 inni ngs pitched. By contrast, Detroit's pitchers allowed al most 200 more hits in 20 fewer innings. Also, the Brewer hurlers allowed the fewest runs, earned runs, and walks in the league. Before the ' 92 season got underway, the influx of new players and the loss of big bats such as Gary Sheffield (traded to San Diego) and Ca ndy Maldonado (signed as a free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays) was causing playe rs like Molitor to wo nder how the Brewers would fare. But that was before they learned about the "team-comes-first" attitude instilled by Phil Garner, Milwaukee's mustachioed first-year manager. "We had so many new faces that we weren't sure what personality this club was going to take on," says Molitor.
"But it didn' t take long into the season for this club to gain some confidence in the way we were playing, in the way Phil was leading this team on the field. "You could tell we were going to be a team that wasn't going to be intimidated or outhustled. We were as aggressive as any team we had seen. As we began to build that confidence, I started to believe The mass exodus of Brewers to other teams did not include Bill Wegman (left) and Cal Eldred, and that shou ld make things tough for opposing hitters this summer.
that this club could be a contende r throughout the season. And sure enough, that happened." Havi ng Sal Bando take over the reins as general manager following the 1991 season helped steer Milwaukee in the right direction too. Not only was Bando instrumental in acqui ring new players to improve the Brewers, but Bando brought with him a wi nn ing tradi tion from his days as a star th ird baseman with the World Champion Oakland A's of the mid- 1970s. Bando and Garner were teammates when Oakland won three consecutive World Series (1972-74). "The transition of the leadership that
.A. The Scott Fletcher tour has him heading for Boston for 1993, marking his fifth different career stop. Besides his brief stay In Milwaukee last year, Fletcher has stopped off In Chicago (both teams) and Texas since arriving In the majors In 1981.
we had- both the fron t office in Sal Sando and on the field with Phil Garner and his coaching staff provided a real solid foundation to a winning atmosphere," Molitor says, who will suit up for the 1993 season as a Toronto Blue Jay. "Their experiences in their playing clays were a big influence on the players here, the veterans and the young guys." The Brewers enj oyed the fruits of having two of the top rooki es in baseball: short stop Pat Li stac h and righthandecl pitcher Cal Eldred. Âˇ Listach captured the A.L. Rookie of the Year honors after hitting .290 and stea ling a leag ue-lead ing 54 bases . Eldred won I 0 consecutive starts after being called up from the minors after the All-Star break, fini shing with an 11-2 record and a 1.79 ERA. But Eldred, Li stach, and Ga rner we ren' t the onl y new faces in town. Sando brought in four new coaches for the 1992 season: Easler, Rowe, Tim Foli (first base, in field), and Bill Castro (bullpen). Easler, who played for six different major league teams between 1973 and 12
1987, helped the Brewers improve their been. Stay within the rules, and go out team batting average to .268-second in there and do what it takes to try to wi n a the A.L. to Min nesota. Foli spent 14 ballgame. When it's over and clone, I years in the big leagues as a utility have a lot more peace about the results infielder, mostl y with the New York because I know that I've given of myself Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates. on that field ." "One thing the Lord has done for me Easler and Foli both participated in post-season play during thei r careers- is that being a believer hasn't mellowed Eas ier with Pittsburgh; Foli with the me," says Wegman, who finished 13-14 Mets-and both could see the Brewers with a 3.20 ERA last season. "I' m a being transformed into a pennant-con- competitor, and I think the Lord gave me tending team as the season progressed. my nature for a reason, and that reason "The guys worked hard all year," Foli was to be a baseball player. says. "They pulled for one another, and " I need to be intense. I need to let if they didn't get the job clone, they were other people know that when I'm on the rooting for the next guy to do it." fi eld, I mean business. I don't need to Looking back on the year that was, hurt somebody to prove my point, but I Easler says, "We had a lot of commit- need to stay aggressive." ted guys." Easler says he became a Christian in 1975 while trying to break into major For many of the Brewers, th ough, winning went far beyond baseball. In a league baseball with the Houston Astros. situation that is becoming more and " It just turned my whole career more common in sports, the team had a around," says Easler. "I had more of a large group of players who were com- purpose. I didn' t play for man; I played mitted to something more important than for God. Automatically, I did the best I could." batting averages and won-loss records. He witnessed the same thing happenCoach Foli explains. "Baseball is very important, but it's not the most important ing last summer to the Brewers who are thing. The important thing is we realize believers in Jesus. "I believe their walk with the Lord has that the Lord is No. I in our lives and that we have the Lord as the really improved their perfo rmance, not priority in our life." harmed it, because Skeptics would listen to Foli and argue that these guys play for a rea l purpose," Easler God and Jesus and basesays. "They take their ball do n' t mix. They job seriously. They poi nt to players who have had sub-par perforcome out every day wanting to win." mances after going pubLoving and helping lic with their faith- thus drawing the conclusion one's fellowman is a basic tenet of people that ballplayers lose a who have fait h in competitive fire in their bellies when they "find Jes us Christ. Amo ng the Brewe rs, it was God." commo np lace , says Judging by the 1992 Brewers, that percepScott Fletcher, who enj oyed a one-yea r tion is way off base. stay in Milwaukee Molitor has heard it before, and he thinks he before moving on to Boston for this year. knows why people say .A. Joining Fletcher In Boston "Guys aren't so conthat. "It's a natural reac- will be hitting Instructor Mike tion of peopl e who Easter- who provided both cerned with just themselves," the infielder don't know what a rela- physical and spiritual help In Milwaukee. says. "You see a teamtionship [with God] is all about," says Molitor. mate a little down, you "Sometimes, unfortunately, players who go pick him up and encourage him, and are not playing well are quoted in a fashyou' re not afraid to do that. I think that's ion that's not appealing to the fans. They a valuable part of team play and bringsay it (their performance] was God's will ing a team close together." or whatever. Wegman feels that growing together "When the game's in progress, my spirituall y helped shape team camacompetitiveness is as great as it's ever raderie. The 6' 5" pitcher, who hel ped
S P O R TS S P ECTR UM â€˘ MARC H / A PR I L 1 993
lead and set up team chapel services and Bible studi es throughout the season, estimated th at th ere were around 20 Brewers who attended chapel services every Sunday. In addition, whenever the Brewers played out of town last summer, a small band of them gathered nearl y every night after a game for what was called a " Bible thumpers" meeting. It was a term that was at first used in fun by teammates who did not attend, but the Bible study guys decided to let it stick. During a " thumpers" meeting, players spent anywhere from 2 to 3 hours late at night studying the Bible. "We'd say, 'The thumpers are getting together tonight in room such-and-such,' " says Wegman, one of the thumpers' chief architects. " Even i f you were to ask the non-Christian guys on this team what thumpers were, they'd tell you it's a group of seven guys who got together in the 'upper room,' so to speak, to read the Word of God." El dred became a fu ll - fl edged thumper shortly after he was called up from the minors. "Usuall y it [th e mee tin g] was on somethin g we experienced that day," Eldred says. "Maybe one of us was having problems with our performance on the field, or dealing with a person in the clubhouse or off the field. We'd use our Bibles to help us through it. Guys li ke Bill and Scott, who had great knowledge of the Bible, could help me handle new things that were coming my way." In Wegman's view, holding thumpers meetings actually served an additional purpose. They helped keep pl ayer s accountable and away from the temptations professional athletes face, such as alcohol or drug abuse, ex tramarital or promiscuous affairs, the night life ... even television. " A lot of things we come up against are on the road," says Wegman. "When we're at home, we' re· with our families, we' ve got quality time wi th them, and we're in our element. When we get on the road, it's fair game with the temptations that are out there. "The bars, the night life. It's kind of a way to let go. The best way I've found to let go is through the Scriptures. Let the Lord solve my problems. He has all the answers. "The bar scene ain't gonna quite get it. I tri ed that route 5 years ago. There's women on the road, all kinds of different things. You've got your TV in your room. Satan 's crafty, and i f he can't get
THINGS, THEY'VE BEEN A-CHANGIN' IN MILWAUKEE.
The Brewers find themselves minus a few familiar players going into 1993. Teams in search of help whisked several top players out of Milwaukee. Gone are Paul Molitor (to Toronto), Scott Fletcher (to Boston), Chris Bosio (to Seattle), and Dan Plesac (to the Chicago Cubs). For Brewer fans who have followed Paul Molitor for 15 years, the sight of Molitor in a Blue Jays uniform at County Stadium this summer will be especially strange. It might even prompt them to boo their longtime star player. While pitcher Cal Eldred understands the feelings of fans who might be angry at Molitor for leaving Milwaukee, he defends EARL AICHAAOSON/ALLSf'ORT Molitor's decision, and urges fans not to Turning the corner on a great career, Paul Molitor decided to take his hit production to think negatively of him. Toronto- but It wasn't an easy decision. "Sometimes, what makes it tough is the baseball system," says Eldred. "It makes it awfully tough on players like Paul." Eldred has kept in touch with Molitor since he left the Brewers. Molitor indicated to Eldred that signing with Toronto was a difficult decision that was not based solely on dollars and cents. According to Eldred, "He says he stays awake at night wondering if he made the right decision. I told him that because of what he's given of himself to Milwaukee, no one should have ill will toward Paul Molitor." Over the years, Molitor has been very active in helping Milwaukee's and the state of Wisconsin's underprivileged youths, handicapped individuals, and cancer victims. In 1990, he received the Distinguished Citizen Award, sponsored by the Milwaukee Council on Alcoholism. Eldred says Molitor befriended him and helped the rookie adjust to life in the major leagues. He also appreciated the counsel Molitor gave him on spiritual matters. "I hope people realize that Paul has given 15 years of his life and career not only to the Brewers' organization and fans, but to the community," says Eldred. "Sometimes you have to make a break, and he felt this is the best time to do it. " Fletch (Scott Fletcher) and Paul were great examples for the younger players on the team. You lose some leadership when you lose them, but what some of the younger players have learned from those guys is that we have to step up and take charge." - Mike Sandrolini you on the road, he can get you in your room, and i f he can' t get you in your room, well , you bett er. be rooted in something. So we put our foundation on the gospel. There's a lot of free tim e, and that fill s th e free time. I t keeps the TV off late at night so when you gel back to your room, you' ve got nothing but fu zz on." Eldred credits the meetings for helping him keep things in perspective during his winning streak. "That, being coupled with the populari ty, can go quickly to a young man 's head,'' says Eldred, who was j ust 24 during his amazing summer of '92. " But the thumpers made it easier for me to con-
tinue to be the same person that I was. It kept me focused on what my j ob was at " ' the ballpark . When I had questions or when I was starting to get out of line, ® they were right there to lead me back where I belonged." Baseball according to manager Phil Garner , and the gos pel accordi ng to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John . Now you know where the real power was for the Mi lwaukee Brewers in 1992.
Mike Sandrolini is a freelan ce writer who lives in the Chicago area. His articles have appeared in several newspapers and magazines, including th e Chicago Tribune and Basketball Digest.
S PORT S SPEC TRUM • MARC H / AP RI L 1993
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No Lone Raa.ge ..s! When it co~nes to sports and life, no one can go it alone • By David Egner after their friend and Savior Jesus played the went away. Their purpose was to tell other people about Him (Acts Minnesota Vikings last December, it was an 2-4). And when they were emotional day for runthrown into prison for preaching, their friends banded together to ning back Herschel Walker. Why? Because pray all night for them. he had played for the Later, when Paul went on his Mediterranean tour to tell people Vikings for 5 years about Jesus, he always had either be ore moving on to the Eagles. "Those guys are still my family," Silas or Barnabas with him. Also, the support he received from said Herschel of his former teamTimothy and others helped keep mates. The camaraderie, the closeness, was still strong in his hea1t. him going in his missionary work. Strong bonds benefit everyone. This illustrates a truth that They not only give the opportunity goes beyond football. Relationships are important. In to receive from others, but also to give, which is even more valuable. athletics and in all of life, we need the support and encourage• We Receive . . . ment and help of other people. • Prayer. Knowing that someWe can't make it on our own. one is praying for us makes us That sense of belonging keeps us going. We especially need one stronger and more confident. • Guidance. We make better another in times of trouble. One of the most touching phodecisions when we discuss them with friends. tos from the past NFL season was a shot of a group of New York Jets and Buffalo Bills huddled on the playing field. The week before, Jet tackle Dennis Byrd was partially paralyzed, and the players were kneeling together to pray for him. In sports and in life, Lone Rangers just don' t make it. We need one another. When pro golfer Larry Mize was so discouraged with his game a few years ago that he was ready to quit, he called Larry Moody. That call to Moody, who often leads the pro tour chapel services, restored Mize's perspective and hope. He went back to the tour with a renewed confidence that led to a much-improved game. To find other examples of people who benefited from strong relationships, we can leave the FOCUS ON SPOATS playing field and look in the .A. His days as Number 90 for the Bible. For instance, Peter and Jets may be over, but Dennis Byrd John, a most un likely pair, joined is slowly getting on his feet again, together during the first clays thanks to the prayers of his friends. HEN THE PHILADELPHIA
• Encouragement. We' re upl ifted by the positive words of our friends when things seem to be going against us. • Enlightenment. Good friends who have trusted Jesus share insights about faith. • Ventilation. Relationships offer a safe place to express our pent-up emotions. • Victory. Overcoming temptations and addictions is easier when we know that someone who cares is fighting wi th us to help us do the right thing. • We Give . . . • Prayer support. We talk to God about those who need Him. • Insight. Our insights into the truth of God and His Word help others see Him. • Physical Assistance. We lighten the load for others by helping with moving, pai nting, babysitting, and in other prac.A. When rough times came, Larry tical ways. Mize found friends who who • Compassion. Our love and would chip In and help. concern for others eases their burden. dedicated the rest of the season to • Protection. We can help keep Cooper. Their show of support others out of the reach of our helped him adjust to his condition unseen spiritual foe. and was instrumental in bringi ng • Attention. We offer a a muchhim to a deeper faith and a growneeded listening ear. ing walk with the Lord Jesus. Now Whether we are giving or the treatments are over and Craig's receiving, we need one another. cancer appears to be gone. But Craig Cooper is a sports he'll always be grateful for the repOiter for the Quad-City Times new direction his life has taken in Davenport, Iowa. He reports because of a team that cared. on the games of the Quad-City There are really no Lone Thunder of the Continental Rangers. Even the fictional Basketball Association. masked man needed his faithful According to a story in Sharing companion Tonto. the VictOJ}' magazine, in April It's not by accident that the 199 1, Cooper, the father of two author of the biblical book of small boys, was diagnosed with Hebrews told us not to "give up cancer. He occasionally attended meeting together, as some are in the chapel services held by the Thunder before their games. When the habit of doing," but to encourage one another. believers Bany Mitchell, Steve We need relationships. We are Bardo, and the rest of the team not designed to go it alone. heard about the diagnosis, they
SPORTS SPECTRUM • MARCH /APRIL 1993
Catching Up With
• • •
By Tom F e lte n II
Would he suffer post-hoops depression? Would he be reading the "Help Wanted" ads? 6'7", 210-pound, fl uid physique allowed him to spin and slash to Number 6 was ready to make a smooth transition. With his the hoop in a tlash. But "Doctor J's" huge hands and business-major unbelievable jump- Sta.ts Glance background and his anal ytical mi nd, ing abi li ty were the - Averaged 20.2 Jul ius was well primary tools he rebounds and 26.3 used to operate on points per game for colprepared to make lege career (University the jump from the the opposition. of Massachusetts) NBA to handling They allowed him - Averaged 28.7 ppg during to perform the legCPAs with MBAs. his 5 years in the ABA He has been endary smooth - Played 11 years for the NBA Philadelphia 76ers, involved in some moves and spectacaveraging 22 ppg ular slams that will major league indus- Won the NBA tries, includi ng: foreve r be in a Championship in 1983, league of their own. sporting goods ABA Championships in Doc was a play1974 and 1976 (Spalding), athletic Awards/Honors: footwear (Converse), ground phenom -American Basketball growing up in the and soft drinks Association (ABA) MVP town of Roosevelt, (Coca-Cola). in 1974 and 1976, coOf course, Ervi ng New York. MVP 1975, ABA playoff MVP 1974 and 1976 Following high is a hot commodity - Named to NBA 35th as a mot ivational s~.:huul he took his Anniversary All-Time surgical maneuvers speaker and compaTeam, 1980 ny spokesman. But to the University of -NBA MVP in 1981 -ABA All-Star 5 consecuhe also enjoys the Massachusetts live seasons where he showed he opportunities to -Was an NBA All-Star for share his faith in could score and 11 consecutive searebound with the Christ. Jesus sons, MVP of the All· best of them. He first came to Star Game in 1977 and 1983 Then it was time know Christ as per- Elected to the sonal Savior at the to give pro ball a Basketball Hall of Fame shot. Julius first age of 29. In the on February 8, 1993. operated in the midst of the turbuHe and seven others lent NBA lifestyle, ABA, averaging will be inducted on May 10.0 28.7 ppg during his Julius decided to fabulous 5-year seek the peace and forgiveness that career in the redwhite-and-blue-basketball comes by faith in God. "There was a lot of uncertain ty in my league. Next he took his skills life, and a change had to come," to the NBA where he starred for the Sixers, became one of the he says. "I decided to put my world's best-know n athletes, faith in Jesus Christ- not 'Show me, and I'll believe it,' but ' I grabbed an NBA Championship ring in 1983, and finally retired believe that it wi ll be shown to in 1987. me.'" The good Doctor had one Since that time Doc has healthy basketball career. worked with a variety of youth But next came the prognosis camps and other charitable causfor the Sixers' Fixture after he es. His big hem1 for young peohad tabled his on-court surgery: ple may be partly attributed to
zb~tilt for basketball. His n
ULIUS WINFI ELD ERVING
flow out of the living basketball legend they call Dr. J.
mn, one man dominated its scoring race: Julius Erving. He was the top scorer in three of the Jive seal~:=~~:;::.:~--:-----::: he played in the "other" pro SOilS
the fact that at age 19 he lost his younger brother, Marvin, to an incurable disease (lupus erythematosus). But it is also a reflection of the concern he has for anyone who does not have the hope of eternal life in Christ. "1dedicate myself to doing good," Julius says. "Christ is responsible for that." With his wife, Turquoise, and chi ldren by his side, and wi th his Lord in his heart, it looks like many more good th ings will Dr.
league. Here is a list of the ABA 'stop scorers: YEAR
1968 ... Connie Hawkins ...... 26.8 1969 ... Rick Barry ................34.0 1970 ... Spencer Haywood ... 30.0 1971 .. .Dan Issei .................29.4 1972 ... Charlie Scott ............34.6 1973 ... Julius Erving ..........31.9 1974 ...Julius Erving ..........27.4 1975 ... George McGinnis .... 29.8 1976 ... Julius Erving .......... 29.3
The Master Physician
When/ gave my life to Jesus Christ, I began to understand my /me pwpose for being here. It's not to go through life and experience as many things as you possibly can and then tum to dust and be no more. The pu1pose of life is to be found through having Christ in your life, understanding what His plan is, and following that plan. My Christian faith has helped me put my priorities in order. If I put God 1H1111ber one and Ill )' family after that, along with my social existence and my job, I can withstand any a/tack or criticism. Since I asked Christ to be my Lord and Savior, there are still some peaks and valleys. But I am being operated on by the greatest Doctor of them all, so the glol)' goes to Him. D - Julius Erving Available in tract form from: Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60t 87.
SPORTS SPECTRUM • MARC H /APR I L 1993
but the name could be changed for long string of honors, including being named the Broderick Award All- Ameri can and Olympic vo ll ey ball pl aye r Tara winner for collegiate volleyball and being selected to the NCAA 1980s All-Decade team. (T AR-uh) Cross-Battle. The four-time All -American and two-time Playe r of the Year Imagi native headlines and writers could declare a Tara plastered her name throughout the 49ers' record book: Career leader Cross-Fire (as in "Caught in the Cross-fire!"). Or report a Tara Cross-Up when she slams one down the in kills (2,767), attempts (5,694), and digs ( 1578). Second in career solo blocks (88). Third in career service aces ( 144). Against Florida pipeline and splits two defensive players. Or record a Tara Cross-Court for her eye- popping State in 1987 she notched 49 kills, and in a memorable home game NCAA career record 2,767 kills for Long Beach State aga in st Hawaii durin g her freshman year she hustled for 39 di gs (since topped in 1992 by the University of New Orleans' Javonne while record ing 109 kill attempts. Brooks). Those Cross-Fires, CrossUps, and Cross-Courts powered her high school teams to two CIF (Cali for nia Interscholastic Federation) titles, her summer club team to a national title, and Long Beac h State to a 1989 NCAA championship. Currentl y there 's a Tara Cross-Ove r, for Tara has signed a pro contract with Brummel in Ancona, Italy, in the 14-team Italian Club League. This came after a summer in which she helped the American women's volleyba ll team earn an Olympic bronze medal in Barcelona. But behind the glowing headlines are not-so-glamorotts heartlines, including a broken home, wi th her father li ving in Loui siana and her mother in Southern After a stellar college Cal iforn ia. She's hardpressed to name her home- career, volleyball star tow n, chu ck ling that "I don't really have one. In 13 Tara Cross-Battle is years of education I went to 12 different schools. I call testing her skills against Long Beach my 'ho me' Europe's best â€˘ by Karen because I went to college there and th at was the Rudolph Drollinger longest I've eveF stayed in one place!" The two most important things, Tara says, that have carried her The instabi lity has affected Tara, she says, but the long-term effects have been positive, not negative. Former national team assis- through the last few years are her faith in God and her long-term friendship with her husband of 2 years, former Long Beach State foottant coach and now Notre Dame head coach Debbie Brown sees it in her a11-around game and the presence of those intangibles: heart, ball player Spencer Battle. They dated for 4 years after meeting during Tara's freshman year. leadershi p, and character. "In August, the onl y students in the dorms are the foot ball players "You hear coaches talk about intangibles. She's got them. She's a wi nner. She rises to the occasion, and the more competitive the situa- and the volleyball players, and we talked a lot and got to know each other," Tara recalls. tion the better she wi11 be. Spencer picks up the story. "People li ke Tara don' t overwhelm you with their physical ability, "We were just friends, but I fell in love with her because she was so but when a match or game is on the line, they are the people who nice. At first, I didn' t want her to be my girlfriend, but we would just come through. It 's not their statistics, but their mental capacity and talk and get to know each other. And she was so athletic I could do any their fight and desire," Brown concludes. Those traits have helped the 6-foot outside hitter put together a sport with her that I could do with the guys," adds Spencer, laughing, HE GAME's THE SAME
SPORTS SPEC T R U M â€˘ M ARC H /APR I L 1993
"and she could beat me at basketball! Or racquetball. Or whatever. She was fun, so I found myself hanging around with her quite a bit. Then, when I would go see my friends, they'd say, T ara's out of town, huh?' " Spencer marvels at her playing skills and observes that "she does everything well. You have some people who are great hitters, who play good defense, who pass well, but I think she has a combination of the three. And she tries to help the other players to stay upbeat all the time. She's reall y been blessed." Tara joined the U.S. national team in January 1990, and after settling in for her rookie season was befriended by team captain Kim Oden.
They had played on a club team ..&. In college, Tara Cross made It together previously but hadn't got- to the top of the heap by setting NCAA records for most kills In a ten to know each other. season (779), most attempts in a "I didn' t spend much time with season (1551), and most career Kim my first year, but she would digs (1 ,578). give me Christian music tapes and would invite me to Bible studies. In college I had gotten away from the faith in God that I'd had in high school and Kim helped me a lot. She was a roommate on road trips and ended up being one of my closest friends. I think the Lord brought us together, since there weren't any other Christians on the team. "We went to a Bible study one night and I listened, and it made me think a lot. The following Sunday I went to church, and that's when I
r---------Lstranuers in aForeign Land
gave myself to the Lord." Tara and Spencer are adjusting culturally to Italy, and Tara jokes that her husband, who is a TARAand ju ve ni le co unselo r, "is on 8 SPENCER BATILE months' vacation!" agree that there are Other Americans had warned lots of adjustments Tara about the problem of lonelito living in Italy. ness, but she says, "With Spencer They may laugh here, I' m not lonely at all ! I pracand say they "eat tice and play and hang out with lots of pasta!" but they recognize the my husband. Eve ry once in a foreign culture challenges to their daily while we'll drive somewhere and lives and to their faith in God. get lost and try to fi nd our way Spencer recounts that there were back, but I really don' t have time similar times in college when he had to visit other cities because I only thought, "things are boring. But later I have one day off a week." would look back and say what a good As part of her fi nancial packtime it was. And this is starting to be a age, the club pays her a salary and good time. Instead of saying, 'I hate it,' provides an apartment and a car, I'm starting to have a good time with it! which for Tara is an AIfa- Romeo. ' Tara's doing well and is such a ''They pay for everything except strong player who combines all the your phone bill, food, and gas for skills. And she tries to help the other the car," she says. "But Spencer (a players stay positive and upbeat." 6' 4", 300-pound former offensive That inner strength to encourage lineman) barely fits in the car!" others comes from Tara's deepening They both agree that being in a faith in God as evidenced by her deciforeign country is challenging, sion to receive Jesus Christ as her particularly in keeping their relapersonal Savior a few years ago. tionship with the Lord fresh. "I 'When you come to know the Lord," find it hard bei ng in a country she says, "it seems to happen so fast. where I can't find a church where You're excited and then it suddenly we can worship God the way seems to drop off." She advises, "But we 've been used to," says be patient, because difficult things are Spencer. "We don' t have our going to happen. Keep your eyes on Christian friends we can lean on. the Lord and you'll be all right. Read And if we want to call California, your Bible and communicate with God there's a 9-hour time difference." and other Christians. "But we do try to talk with "God's teaching us that He's in conother Christians who are heretrol, and that if we stay close to Him like Kim (who is playing in Bari, everything will work out all right," offers Italy)-pray a lot and read our Spencer. ''That's why I like Matthew Bibles. And stay faithfu l. We 6:33. It puts everything in perspective: know God is in control, and we Go after what He wants for you, that's try not to worry about it." the best thing there is. You need to Kim says Psalm 62:2 minishave the goal of having what God ters to her in those lonely or wants you to have." anxiou s moments. She rattles -Karen Drollinger off th e me mo rized and oftrepeated words, "He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. "That helps during volleyball, because that's what I do most of the time. It gives me confidence that I can't be shaken, because He's surrounding me wherever I go. He makes me strong and He protects me." Tara plans to rejoi n the American national team after the Italian season ends. The U.S. will compete against the world's best in the new Grand Prix women's circuit. Beyond that, the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta beckon Tara because " I'd like to play where my family could see me." But until she makes those decisions, Tara Cross-Battle wi ll making the most of an ocean-crossing journey. D
SPORTS SPEC T R U M â€˘ MARCH /APR I L 1 993
• Keeping Score of Phscinating Facts and 7.errific Compiled by R ob Bentz • Qu.otebox • .ll Day to Frank Layden, general manager of Reaneanbe.. the Utah Jazz, commenting a few Philadelphia Phi llies second years back on the qualities of a baseman Mickey Morandini perspective player: made September "We got a pretty 20, 1992, a day to reading on good remember. Mickey this fellow when made the fi rst we glanced at the unassisted triple information sheet play in the major he fi lled out for our leagues since public relations 1968. department. On the With runners on line where 'church first and second, preference' was Pittsburgh's Jeff requested, the guy King hit a liner wrote 'red brick.'" that Morandini leaped to catch. • What to With the runners We a .. , running on the What to pitch, Mickey Wea ..? stepped on second If you are ever ~ When Mickey Morandinl and then tagged his Houdini trick planning to go to a the runner coming turned last September, it was a game and can' t into second base once every quarter of a decide what to for the third out. It century event. wear, don' t feel was the first triple bad. The Seattle Mariners can' t play in the National League decide either. since Chicago Cub shortstop Mariners CEO John Ellis Jimmey Cooney made the play unveiled yet another logo at a on May 30, 1927. press conference last fall. It's the Here's a look at some things fourth "new" logo for the Mariners that happened since that last in their 16-year existence. unassisted triple play on July 30, With the new logo comes new 1968, by Washington Senator team colors, and thus new unishortstop Ron Hansen. forms. The Mariners have - Nolan Ryan threw seven moved away form the no-hitters. Mariner blue and - Cal Ripken Jr. gold and replaced played in 1735. it with navy blue, consecuti ve metallic sil ver, games. and Northwest - Jose Canseco green. The new became basecolors represent ball's fi rst ever "~to the sea, tech40-40 man, hitnology, and the ti ng 42 homers great outdoors, unique and stealing 40 bases to the Seattle area. in 1988. - Rickey Henderson stole I,042 • Rocldn' Robin bases. &the Tribe - Len Barker, Mike Witt, Tom Browning, and Dennis Mmtinez When Milwaukee Brewer center fielder Robin Yount singled to all pitched perfect games. right field on September 9 last 20
fourth inning of the year, he became Brewers August 16, the 17th player in 1980, game. Don major league hisSchulze was pitchtory to reach ing when Robin 3,000 career hits. collected hit numRockin' Robin's ber 2,000, a single single came in the in the seventh eighth inning off inning on Cleveland Indi an September 6, 1986. pitcher Jose Mesa. • The Yount hang Coincidentall y, ~ Will Ro Real Deal? around long enough to Robin's I,OOOth the Indians In search When the Orlando and 2,000th career face of hit number 4,000? Magic drafted hits were also Shaquille O' Neal as the first served up by Cleveland pitchers. pick in last spring's amateur Sandy Wihtol was on the mound draft, they may have helped the when Yount doubled in the
• Taanpa St:ru.cl~ by Lightning A SELLOUTCROIVD of 10,425 saw lightning strike Expo Hall in Tampa, Florida, on October 7 as the Tampa Bay Lightning opened their inaugural seasol! with a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhmvks. The Lightning's seven-goal outburst set an NHL record for the most goals scored by an expansion team 011 opening night. The opening night crowd also saw many firsts in Tampa histOI)' including: • The fi'st starti'lg li'leup-Goalie, Wendell Young; Defense, Rob Ramage; Peter Taglianetti; L. Wing, Mikael Andersson; Center, Adam Creighton; R. Wing, Chris Kontos • The first goal-Chris Kontos • The first assists-Rob Zamuner &Adam Creighton • The first penalty-Mike Hartman • The first win in goal-Wendell Young Tampa Bay wasn't the NHL's 011ly exp(msion franchise to take the ice for the first time this season. The Ottawa Senators opened on October 8 with a 5-3 victoty over the Montreal Catwdiens. It was a fresh start of sorts for the Senator f ranchise. Ottawa was a charter member of the original NHL, winning the Stall ley Cup fo ur times (1920, / 92 1, J923,and 1927), before moving to St. Louis. The Senator franchise folded one year after moving to its home on the Mississippi. The "new" Senators first game included: • The first penalty-Ken Hammond • The first goal-Neil Brady • The first asslsts-Jody Hull and Norm Maciver • The first win in goal-Peter Sidorkiewicz, who stopped 25 of 28 shots fired his way
S P O RT S SPECTR UM • M A R C H / APR I L 1 993
Trivia from the W orld ofSports rTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT NBA keep a streak alive. Sinee the NBA abolished the territorial draft in 1966, only five players drafted number one have gone on to be named Rookie of the Year. Only Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abd uiJabbar), Ralph Sampson, David Robinson, Derrick Coleman, and Larry Johnson have been both the number one pick and the NBA's top rookie. But the streak of number one draft picks who became Rookie of the Year is now in its third year, and it should continue as the 7-foot 300-pound manchild has established himself as a force and as the frontrunner for top rookie honors.
the 1992 Summer Olympics. Quite a combo!
Gould you name your all-time Fina:l-Four team?
CHUCK SWIRSKY, host of Sports Spectrum radio, Is
also sports director of WGN radio in Chicago a nd playby-play voice of the-DePaul University basketball team.
American 1he year ranked
• In your opinion, who 0
the ATP Tour Rankings. Courier, winner of both the Australian and French Opens, is the first American since Jolm McEnroe to be the world's top tennis player as the season drew to a close. Here's a look at who lwsfinished the year ranked twmber one from 1984 through 1992.
1984 ....John McEnroe ..............USA 1985 ....Ivan Lendi .... CZechoslovakla 1988 ....Ivan Lendi .... CZechoslovakla 1987 ....Ivan Lendi .... CZechoslovakla 1988 ....Mats Wilander ........ Sweden 1989 ....Ivan Lendi .... CZechoslovakla 1990 .... Stefan Edberg .........Sweden 1991 .... Stelan Edberg .........Sweden 1992 .... Jim Courier ..................USA
is the best center in the NBA today? Chuck: I think it's a tossup between Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Hakeem Ola,juwon, and Shaquille O'Neal. Take your pick, you can 't go wrong· with any one of them.
•• Hav e Scot tie Pippen and Michael Jordan been teammates their entire NBA careers?
Chuck: Yes, since Scottie has been in the league, they've been teammates. The Bulls made Jordan the third player chosen in the 1984 draft. Pippen was selected in the first round by the Sonics in June of 1987 and traded immediately to Chicago for the draft rights to Olden Polynice, for a later second-round pick, and for the option to exchange 1989 first-round draft picks. Both own a pair of NBA Championship rings, as well as gold medals from
Chuck: With pleasure. The team would consist of players from four decades. Superstars Wilt Chamberlain _(Kansas 1957), Lew Alcindor / Kar eem Abdul-Jabbar (UCLA 1967,68,69) , Larry Bird (Indiana State 1979), Earvin 'Magic' Johnson (Miuttlgan State 1979), and Michael Jordan (North Carolina 1982) would fit nicely on my all-time Final Four team.
• Who was the first Baltimore Oriole to win Rookie of the-Year? -
Chuck: Ron Hansen was a gifted glove man for the Orioles-who picked up rookie honors in 1960. Other O's to win the award are Curt Blefacy in 1965, Al Bumbry in 1973, Eddie Murray in 197-'Z, Cal Ripken in 1982, and Gregg Olson in 1989. Q;_Who has the highest all-time rushing average in NFL ?
Chuck: Jim Brown gained 5.2 yards per carry during his brilliant 9-year career with the Cleveland Browns. In 1963, Brown rushed for 1,863 yards. on just 291 carries. That's an average of 6.4 yards per carry. Now,-that's production;-
How many times has Dale-Ea.rnhardt won the Daytona. 500?
Chuck: The 1979 NASCAR Rookie of the Year has had a very successful career,
S P O RT S S P EC TR U M • MAR C H / AP RIL 1 993
including 5 Winston Cup Ghampionships, more than 50 career victories, and first place on NASCAR's career earnings list. But Mr. Goodwrench has never found himself in victory lane at the Daytona 500.
What is Brazil's won:.... lost record in World Cup competition?
Chuck: The Brazilians havean outstanding World Cup record. They are the only country to have competed in all13 World Cup tournaments, compiling a 44-1111 record in 66 games. The boys from Brazil have captured the cup three times . .
Who won the first -Defensive Player of the Year award in the NBA?
Chuck: Milwaukee Buck's - guard Sidney Moncl'lef wasthe first winner of the award in 1983. Not only was he the- top defensive ___, player in the league, he averaged 22.5 points per _____j game that year. Sidney could do it all.
Wondering? If you have a question about sports, send-your question to "Stump the Swirsk ,"_§ports_§£ectrum, Box 3566, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. Chuck on Radio Sports Spectrum radio with
- Chuck Swirsky is on the airlive each Saturday at noon Eastern time nationwide. Call 1-800-598-7221 to find out where you can hear Sports Spectrum. Or write to us at Sports Spectrum for a radio log. 0
• Athletes Who are Leading by Exa1111ple
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• in our lives, Dale feels he can build trust with those he teaches and those he competes against by showing them how to deal with life's problems. Whether driving his souped-up Comet or talking to Boy Scouts, Dale Anderson wants people to know that his faith is real. D - Cecile F11ljer
• Rex Hudler Tokyo Bound
COURTESY Of DALE ANDERSON
• Dale Anderson Headed Do-.Nn Victory Lane
If you had been at the Bandimere Speedway in Denver, Colorado, for the final round of the Super Stock race at the Mile High Nationals last July, you would have watched Dale Anderson racing his ' 64 Comet Caliente to Victory Lane. That victory certainly wasn't anything new for Anderson. He is a four-time NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) national event champion and four-time IHRA (International Hot Rod Association) record holder who has been racing dragsters for more than 25 years. He's been creating high speeds nearly as long as Nolan Ryan has. Raised on a farm in Minnesota, Anderson learned about mechanics earl y by repairing tractors. Because he enjoyed working with his hands, he purchased a 1965 Pontiac GTO and learned the hard way how to rebuild a motor that he could race. Soon he was hauling his car to a dragstri p 18 miles from his farm to test his abilities as a mechanic and his skills as a driver. 22
Decades have passed and the love of racing is still in his heart. But there is another passion that drives this racecar driver. "A lot of us who grew up as motorheads are now in our fm1ies and are finding that God makes a difference in our lives." That difference has made Anderson want to tell other people in motorsp011s about his faith. Capturing trophies is secondary to capturing the interest of other racers who need to know the gospel. Anderson says he is "genuinely concerned for the eternal destiny of others." Racing has given him some credibility and made him seem • more real to people who are looking for something genuine in a world of uncertainty. Anderson is convinced that he needs to show the people he meets that Jesus really does make a difference. "I feel I must earn this privilege to share my faith in Jesus Christ." When he wins, he hopes to be an example of honesty and humility; and when he loses, he wants to respond in a godly way. He knows the world is watching him for his reactions. Anderson's interest in others and his interest in motorsports has given him opportunities to
speak in the community. One regular event he helps with is father-son banquets for the Explorer Scouts. Hoping to be a role model for these young men, he teaches the importance of safety, discipline, mental alertness, and respect for traffic laws. He emphasizes the same principles for competing in life. Knowing we all face "pressure cooker situations" at some time
SPORTS SPECTRUM • M ARC H /APR I L 1 993
After 15 years as a utility player with four different major league organizations, Rex Hudler is looking forward to joining the daily lineup this spring with Tokyo's Yakult Swallows. He's excited about playing in Japan because he thinks he and his wife, Jennifer, can make an impact on others in the land of the rising sun. "We're a team," he says of his mate, a contemporary Christian singer whose first album, Set // Free, debuted last June. "We go out and share the good news, share our lives with people. We're trying to do something with the talent God has given us." For the past 3
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• years, that has included numerous appearances at St. Louis churches and community organizations. A an outfielder and second baseman with the Cardinals, Rex's name was the most familiar. But Jennifer's voice leads the way. After she sings, Rex gives his testimony: Although he became a Christian as a youngster, he allowed the god of major league baseball to replace his first love. He also descri bes how he and Jennifer rededicated their li ves to Christ the night of their wedding in 1988. Among their appearances in St. Louis was at an annual Christmas play at the Fox Theater. Last December she sang and emceed while he donned a different kind of red uniform-a Santa Claus suit. Rex and Jennifer also raised funds for the Boys Club, Christian Civic Foundation, and other organizations. Out of the public eye, Rex shared his baseball card with children on regular visits to three hospitals. His American teammate this year will be ex-major leaguer and fellow believer in Jesus, Jack Howell. The Swallows' third baseman won league MYP honors in 1992 in his first year in Japan. Hudler decided to jump becau e of limited playi ng time last season. While missing 6 weeks because of knee surgery, he saw little action after returning. Now ht< hopes that a new start will help him improve on his .256 Major League career average. On his new team, he won't help lead Baseball Chapel as he did in St. Louis. But Rex looks for Jennifer's recording to create a lot of opportun ities to tell others of their faith. Set It Free is a combination of songs she wrote or co-authored about her life, such as losing her father and brother at a young age. There's also a love song to her
husband, "He Knew It Was You." "Jennifer' s music ministry will be God's tool over there," Rex said. "Her album has been a healing project. It's neat to see the response from people who listened to it and said it ministered to their needs." "We continue to li ve for Him and allow Him to direct us," says Rex. "Here I am, a 32-year-old utility player and I have another 3 or 4 years in Japan. We feel God's given us a great future. If we live for Him, He' ll direct us and give us the de ires of our heart."' - Ken Walker
• Michael Jones Never on a
Sunday Not since Chariots of Fire hero Eric Liddell raised an international fuss in the 1924 Olympics by refusing to run on Sunday has an athlete taken such a strong stand on this i sue. Yet you probably haven' t heard of this athlete-and you probably know painfully little about his sport. His name is Michael Jones, and he is one of the best rugby
players in the world. But if the match is held on Sunday, Jones wears a suit and tie instead of the black jersey of the New Zealand All-Blacks. He refuses to play rugby on Sunday. Even at the World Cup. It was the 1991 World Cup of Rugby in England-and the New Zealand national team was scheduled to play on Sunday. Jones is a flanker for the AllBlacks, perhaps the most prestigious 15-man rugby team in the country, but he also plays for the national team in world competition. The fact that rugby is a sport that Jones himself describes as havi ng a "stereotype for thuggerage" has made his stand even more impressive. "The Lord has given me an opportunity to reach the rugby world," Jones says in describing his role as a top player in rugbyhungry country. That opportunity was almost lost in 1989 when in a game between Argentina and New Zealand an Argentinean landed on his knee anclmptured some ligaments. At first, Jones wondered, '"Why me?" as he thought about
SPORTS SPECTR\J M • MAR C It/APR IL 1 993
this injury that caused his doctors to say he would never play rugby again. Yet he says now that the injury gave him "a chance to put things in perspective." He calls it a time of spiritual renewal. And he considers it a miracle that he was able to rehabilitate the knee and get back onto the field. After he saw that he could play again, Jones felt he was responsible to use his ability ' "SPO"' to honor God with his game. And he felt he could do that best through the media. Therefore, when the sports reporters showed so much interest in his decision to sit out of all Sunday games during the World Cup, he felt it was a "marvelous means of telling everyone what the Lord means to me." Not all fans, of course, supporteel his decision, and some cared little for his reasons. A few even sent him telegrams in England reminding them that at gametime, it was Sunday in New Zealand when he was playing in England on Saturday. Perhaps they thought this bit of time zone logic would dissuade Jones from sticking to his convictions. It didn 't, and he sat out the World Cup semifi nal match. It was not something many athletes would do, but for Michael Jones there was no doubt that it was the right thing to do. He may be a fl anker in rugby, but Jones has a different position in the battle that reall y counts. "Christian athletes are on the front line," he says. Even when they don' t play.
Part 2 of a 8-part introduction of the expansion Colorado Rockies
Putting ·a Team on the Field By John Long
HE COLORADO ROCKIES
began to take shape when they used the top pick in the expansion draft to nab Atlanta pitching phenom David Nied. The 24-year-old righthander brings a ton of potential to Mile High Stadium. The hard throwTM ing Nied throws strikes and Other possibilities include Bryn Smith (from St. Louis), Bruce keeps the ball low, valuable assets in Denver's thin air. An Ruffin, former Indian lefty excellent first choice. Denis Boucher (2-2, 6.37 ERA), After they chose what appears and righthanders Doug Bochtler to be the ace of their young pitchand Lance Painter, who have ing staff with their first pick, the never pitched higher than AA. Rockies filled out their roster with Relief Pitching The Rockies draft choices, a free-agent signing, may have acquired their closer in and a trade. Let's take a look at a draft-day deal with the each position. Dodgers. They obtained Starting Pitching After righthander Rudy Seanez from Nied, their rotation is, ,...,........_...__ _.... well, up in the air. For starters, they turned to the anything-butpitching-rich Detroit Tigers for southpaw Scott Aldred (8th pick) and righthander Kevin Rit z (23 rd pick). Neither could stay in the starti ng rotation of the team with baseball's highest ERA (4.60). In their defense, both Aldred and Ritz have long been considered top prospects wiih "li ve" arms. Another candidate for the rotation is former Phillies top prospect Andy Ashby. The 6' 5" righthander went 1-3 with Philadelphia last season. Former Houston lefthander Butch Henry fi nished with a .6. Another in the long list of former Brewers, Dante Blchette saw his power 6-9 record for the Astros and could step production drop In 1992, but his average soared to .287. right into the rotation.
hold down second base duties, LA in a exchange for second while Freddie Benavides (Reds) baseman Jody Reed (7th pick). brings a strong glove to short. AI Seanez is considered the frontthe hot corner, the Rockies surrunner for the closer role, but he prised everyone with their seccould battle reliever Darren ond pick-New York Yankee Holmes (3rd selection, 4-4 with third baseman Charlie Hayes. six saves for Milwaukee) and Steve Reed, who led the minor leagues in saves in 1992. Jeff Parrett, a former Oakland Athletics righthander, was 9- l last year, and he appears to have the inside track on set-up duties. Calvin Jones, selected from Seattle, will also be vying for a spot as the set-up man. Righthander Will ie Blair proved to be a valuable long reliever and spot starter for the Astros last season and could assume the same role in Denver this season. Catching The Rockies used their IOth pick in the first round to snag Joe ·Girardi from the Chicago Cubs. Girardi gives Colorado a solid catcher who will handle immediate catching .6. With the pitching rich Braves, David Nled was 3-0 with a 1.11 ERA. Now Nled duties until former Yankee prospect Brad steps Into the role of ace for the Rockies. Ausmus is ready for major league action. Hayes' 18 homers and 66 RBI Ausmus, 23, was selected with will add some immediate punch the 27th pick and is looked to the Rockies' lineup. upon as the Rockies' catcher of Former Denver Zephyr's star the future. Jim Tat um racked up some pretty Infield Who's on First? good numbers at Mile High Former Expos and Cardinals Stadium last season as a AAA first baseman Andres Galarraga, player (.329, 19 HR,and!OI who signed with the Rockies as RBI), and he would love the a free agent. Andres looks to chance to play in Denver again regain the form that made him this year. He's had experience the National League's hit leader around the infield at first, short in 1988. It appears that speedand third base. ster Eric Young (Dodgers) will
SPORTS SPEC TRUM • MARC H / APR I L 1 993
Outfield Keeping the cavernous Mile High Stadium in mind, the Rockies went with speed instead of power for their outfield selections. Another surprising move was the Rangers' selection of all-hit, no-field outfi elder Kevin Reimer. Colorado immediatel y traded him to
Milwaukee for speedy outfielder Dante Bichette (18 SB in 11 8 games). Bichette provides speed and a solid bat (.297). Rockies manager Don Baylor coached Bichette in Milwaukee in 199 1 and apparently liked what he saw. Al ex Cole is currently being penciled in for centerfi eld duties. The former Cleveland and Pittsburgh speedster figures to provide
Rockies Roster • Pitchers: Scott Aldred
• Infielders: Freddie Benavides
Butch Henry Darren Holmes Calvin Jones Curt Leskanic
Pedro Castellano Vinny Castilla . Andres Galarraga
• Outfielders: Dante Bichette
Steve Reed Armando Reynoso Daryl Boston Kevin Ritz
some excitement on the basepaths for Rockies' fans. He led the league in steals three times in the minor leagues. The Rockies also have Daryl Boston and Jerald Clark vying for outfield spots. Clark hit .247 with 12 homers and 58 RBI in San Diego last season, while Boston provided the Mets with II home runs in less than 300 plate appearances. A good mix of young and veteran talent gives the Rockies a strong foundation to build on. They didn ' t sign a high-pri ced free agent (i.e. Danny Tartabull) or draft someone with an enormous salary (i.e. Jack Morris), but the Rockies did compile a team that will be fun to watch and grow with. Meanwhile Back East Although the Colorado Rockies are the focus of our three-part report on expansion in baseball, Florida Marlin
Florida Marlins Roster Pitchers:
put together a team that has to compete against the Braves, the Reds, and other National League powerhouses. The Miami-based Marlins will boast more recognizable players than their counterparts in the Colorado mountains. Veterans like Junior Felix, Walt Weiss, Bryan Harvey, Benito Santiago, Charlie Hough, and Dave Magadan lend a bit of credibility to the Marl in lineup that rookies and hot prospects don't offer. Beyond those better-known names, Rene Lachemann and his staff of Marcel Lachemann, Vada Pinson, Doug Rader, Frank Reberger, and Cookie Rojas will have to take their chances as all expansion teams do, with a crop of unproven players.
D Jo/111 Long is a sales representative for Moody Press and a freelance writer. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas. fans may feel slighted if we didn't mention their new team and the prospects they bring to baseball in the Sunshine State. The Marlins have taken a bit of a di fferent approach as they
SPORTS SPEC T R UM • M ARC H /APR IL 1993
Anywhere else, Rob Pelinka would be a starter-maybe a star. But at the horne of the Fab Five, he's content to be GO BACK
TO 1988. To tl e suburban coJnmuni ty uf Lake Bluff, Illin ois, home of Lak e Forest High School. Rob Pelinka is nearing the end of an outs tandin g prep basketb all career. As a senior, the 6' 6" guard is averagi ng 30 points and nearl y 10 reboun ds per game. Recrui ters from th e around the country are knocking on his door, offering their champi onship promises on a daily basis. Coaches from Ari zona, Stanford, Illin ois, and Michigan are regulars at the Pelinka residence. That 's not to mention the letters of interest from perennial basketball powerhouses North Carolina and Duke. But there's more to it than hoops. The nation's finest basketball schools are not th e on ly on es seeking hi s services-so are the countr y's top learning institution s. It's not j ust the Big Ten and the Pac Ten who want Pelinka. The Ivy League has its sights on him too! Now what? Where should he go? The decision came when a littleknown assistant coach named Steve Fisher was holding court in the Pelinka living room. "I can remember the specific night when Coach Fisher was in my home, and all of a sudden I just knew," Pelinka recalls. "I was sitting on the couch, and I looked at Coach and said, ' I want to go to Michigan. Let's get it done. I' m ready to sign right now.' I think deep down in my heart I always wanted to be a Big Ten player, coming from the Midwest. "The reason I chose Michigan is because the athletic and academic environment they offered, coupled together, made for the most unbeatable combination. Plus, it was close enough for my parents to jump in the car and see one of my games. It just seemed like the perfect place to go." And after 5 unbelievable years in Ann Arbor, who would argue? Look at the facts.
A NCAA championshi p hi s freshman year. A NCAA fina list hi s junior year. A likely run at the NCAA title in his senior season. And th at's just on the basketball cout1. Academically, there was even more success. Rob has earned a 3.9 GPA in the University of Mi chi gan Busin ess School. After studyi ng his way to a spot on the Academic All-B ig Ten team 2 years in a row, he's currently a candidate for Academ ic Al l-American honors. That pretty much covers the two areas of interest Pelinka was concerned about as a high scho ol senior when he made that li ving room decisio n to atte nd the University of Michigan. But there's another di mension to Rob Pelinka's li fe, and he has discovered that his choice of colleges has been helpful in that area of his life as well. The 23-year-old, fifth-year senior says that his spiritual life reall y began to blossom when he went to Michigan. "I was always in a church-going home, but it wasn't until I came to college that I really made a change in my life. "I was used to being surrounded by Christian people back home, and all of a sudden I was at this huge university. There was no one to turn to with my problems, no one to share my joy with. That's when I stat1ed walking with a personal relationship with Christ. I began to pray to Him as a friend and companion rather than as a force. It really became evident to me that Jesus Christ was a person. He relates to me on an inti mate, personal level. My relationship with Him has just blossomed ever since that point." As a senior looking back Whether on the court or In the classroom, on the years of develop- Rob Pellnka symbolizes what college ba smen!, challenges, victories, ketball wants from Its student-athletes-a good grades, and spiritual commitment to excellence.
By Rob Bentz
PHOTO BY BOB ROSATO
SPORTS SPEC TRUM • MARC H /AP RIL I 993
SPOH T S SPECTRUM • MAHCH/APRIL 1993
'I TH E
~ Rob makes It a point to credit his sister Sally with being one of his biggest boosters- and his best friend.
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quest, Pelinka can see a road that is perhaps very different from the one he had expected to travel when he signed his letter of intent to go to Michigan. His first year presented the usual challenges that face kids who go off to college-with one small addition. He was a freshman, vying for playing time on a team that had six players who would eventually spend time in the NBA: Glenn Rice, Rumeal Robinson, Terry Mills, Sean Higgins, Loy Vaught, and Demetrius Calip. Amazingly, Rob saw court time-the onl y freshman to get into a game for the Wolverines. The Fab One played in 26 games, including a start against Holy Cross. Pelinka's sophomore year was a time of athletic frustration as he sat out the season with tendinitis in both knees. He describes it as struggle, but in retrospect he sees it as a part of God's plan. "I remember reading Mark 4:39 and thinking that Christ was trying to tell me, 'Rob, just be still, and I' m going to calm the storms.' " Forced to sit out his second year as a redshirt player, Pelinka concentrated on the student half of being a student-athlete. It paid off as he began to lay the foundati on for academic success. He was named academic All-Big Ten in his junior year. As his academic career was growing more successful, his spiritual life also began to mature. "A big verse was Colossians 3:2, which says 'set your mind on things above.' I really started to get involved in Christian music. It's become a huge escape and a form of worship for me. That was a big year of growth for me." Another major growth spurt in hi s spiritual life occurred during the summer before his fourth year. Rob enrolled in a class called "Jesus and the Gospels," which was taught from a secular viewpoint. His views and beliefs as a follower of Jesus were put to the test every time he stepped into the classroom. "It reall y challenged me to ge t into the Word," Pelinka says of that course. "I was hit with a verse in I Peter I:6,7. It says, ' In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faithof greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory , and hon or when Jesus Ch ri st is revealed.' The class reall y caused my faith to be strengthened. That's why that verse has been huge for me. It's really made my faith genuine. It's made it so strong that not even fire could burn it. It's stronger then gold." When subjects of controversy arose, Pelinka wasn't afraid to give his opinion--or tell of his personal faith in Jesus Christ. The professor didn't always agree with him, but she respected his stance and recogni zed the challenges he brought to the course. When it came time to
hand out the grades, she did something unheard of in college. She gave him an A+. Pelinka's fourth year at Michigan was as strong as the first three. For the second time he was named to the acade mi c All-Big Te n team . On the court, the Wolverines made it to the NCAA fi nals, losing to Duke in the title game 71-5 1. Pelinka played in 28 games for the Wolverines, leading the team in free throw percentage by hitting 27 of 31 shots- an 87 percent clip. But this year could be the best yet . Pelinka has returned for his fifth and final year in Ann Arbor and thi ngs are looki ng good! The Maize and Blue started out the year picked by many as the nation' s Number I team. After losses to Duke, Indiana, and Iowa, they have hovered somewhere in the top 10. The Wolverines are a well-respected team, but they no longer have the monkey on their back that comes with the Number I ranking. The onl y monkey bothering the maize and blue is the one that is caged in the Cameron Indoor Stadium. And Pelinka can't wait for another U of M-Duke clash. "They've gotten us fo ur times in a row. There's no question that if there was a team I could pick to beat, it would be the Duke Blue Devils. We owe them." Maybe a rematch of last year's NCAA final, maybe not. But even if Pelinka never gets another shot at Duke, he knows that his time at Michigan has been an unbelievable blessing. "Whenllook back, these 5 years couldn't have been any better! I see all of the times that God just scooped me up in the palm of His hand and nudged me through. I can't believe how perfect His plan was for me, or that I ever doubted it. "Like Jeremiah 29: II says, He has plans for us to prosper. And that's certainly what's happened here. When I look back on my record in college, and my GPA in the business school, there's no question about it, God's hand was in it the whole way. I don't know how I could do it. The Lord gave me extra special strength." Pelinka has also received an exceptional amount of support from his friends and family. Prayers, letters, Bible studies, and times of fellowshi p with other believers, have played a big role in Rob's success. "I've got a real strong pocket of Christian friends. There's a group of four guy friends and three girl friends that I'm totally woven into. We have a great fellowship group. And my parents and my sister have prayed me through a lot. "In college my sister has been my biggest encourager. I get letters from her almost every week, letting me know that she's praying for me, or sending me a verse to look at. We're very close. She's definitely my best friend in life." Life could have some exhilarating highs or depressing lows for Pelinka and his Fab Five friends as their season races toward the Superdome and the NCAA Finals. Pelinka knows the ecstasy of winning it all (1988-89), he knows the agony of a losi ng season (14-15 in 199091), and he knows the frustration of coming within one game of the title ( 1992). His wealth of experience and his willingness to stay within his role as sixth man may be just what the Wolverines need to edge them over the top as they battle Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, and 60 other teams for the NCAA crown. Although he came to Michigan as a highly touted high school All-American, Pelinka has fit nicely into the role
S PORT S SPECTR UM â€˘ MARC H /A PRIL 1 993
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.A. As the Big Ten season
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of a parttime player. It's a progressed, Pellnka good thing, because there found his playing time aren' t too many pl ayers Increasing. who could crack the starting lineup of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Juwan Howard, and Ray Jackson. In fact, Steve Fisher told Pelinka at the start of this season that his role was as the Wol verines sixth man. Not exactl y what someone who scored 30 points per game as a senior in high school might have envisioned for his senior year of college, but it's a role that Pelinka relishes. " I take great pride in it," he says of his role off the bench. "Sometimes I just sit in bed at night and think, ' You are the sixth man on one of the top teams in the nation.' I j ust think, 'Man, thi s is incredible!' I' m scoring about 4 or 5 points a game this year, that's all. I'm not worried about stati stics. I j ust want to be part of a winning team."
As he takes a moment to sign an autograp h after a game or as he ex presses hi s des ire to work with youth , it is easy to see his humility and modes ty. Peli nka' s demeanor doesn' t fit the usual 'j ock' stereotype, and his motivation is never in question. Freshman teammate Dugan Fi fe describes Pelinka as great role model. " He's one of the most self-moti vated people I've ever known. He's very driven." Although he's proud that the Lord has put him in this situation, Pel inka leaves hi s ego behind. And there's another aspect of his li fe that bears watching. He's not been trapped by the self-servi ng opportuni ties th at come with bei ng a Big Ten basketball player on a college campus where sexual promi scuity is the rule rather than the exception. "'' ve had to j ust shut the door on that," says Pelinka. " I' ve decided to wait un t il I 'm marri ed, and I 've made that known to all of the players on the team. To them that is the most unbelievable thing they can imagine with all of the girls willi ng to do anything with a Big Ten baske tball player. They can't believe that that's been my choice. But there are a lot of people that obser ve our eve ry movement. As athletes we're in a fish bowl. I just think that is how I stand firm." What 's nex t for Rob Pel i nka ? He's bee n accep ted by th e l aw sc hoo l s at bo th Mi chi gan and Northwestern, and he's considering th e poss ibi l i t y of wo rking as a lawyer in the Christian music industry. And don't forget about basketball. The poss ibility of a few years
of pro ball in Europe before law school remains open. Steve Fisher feel s that whatever Pelinka decides to do he' ll be successfu l. " I think Rob is your consummate student-athlete. He's everythi ng a coach or parent could ask for. "Sometimes when you are asked to assume certain roles, you' re not able to 'ego-wise.' Rob has readily accepted his role and has taken it as a personal challenge to be the best he can be. I think that's what separates him and sets him apart. He's a winner in every sense of the word." As the Wolverines' sixth man and as a young athlete who loves Jesus Christ, Pelinka has gotten used to working hard and sacrificing personal accomplishments for the glory of others. On the court, he does it to help his team succeed. In the game of life, his goal to point others to Jesus Christ. He may not be a star, but Rob Pelinka is certainly a bright light in the world of college basketball.
S PORT S S PECTRUM • M AR C H / APRIL 1993
1 I In a college basketball I career like Rob Pelinka's-
one that includes an NCAA champions/rip and another appearance intire finalsmany llll'morable momellls stand out. 8111 Pelinka says it 1m s something that happened off tire courttlrat will allmys slllnd ow in his mind. "A UTILE BOY WhOcame into our lockerroom had terminal cancer. I think he was about 10 years old, and he had 48 hours to live. He was all bones and no hair. He came in with his dad. The whole team gathered around him and was shaking his hand and talking to him. He just had this huge smile on his face. "But what really made an impact on me was his dad. His dad was in the background with his cam· era, taking pictures. He was the most proud dad I had ever seen. He was taking pictures of his son, who was going to die in a few days, with all of these Michigan basketball play· ers. It was just the expres· sion on his face-he was so proud! "I relish moments like that when I see the impact that we can have on kids." It's heartening to know that for a player who has enjoyed the spotlight as a member of a top-ranked basketball team, the flash of a proud father's camera creates a better memory than the bright lights of national media attention. -Rob Bentz
By Ralph Drollinge r newly appointed global sports consultant for Cooperative Atlanta Conference Approaches Services International, DeVoss Each year Sports Outreach will be helping to link sports America organi zes a 3-day conresources- including athletes, ference that enables people who coaches, volunteers, and organiare working in sports mini stries zations-with people who like across the country to get togethsports and need to know about er to discuss strategy, make the love of Jesus Christ. plans, and share DeVoss has already ideas. This year' s involved in sports been conference will ministries in Central be held from America, where he April 29 to May worked with Expos I in Marietta, pitcher John Wetteland; Georgia. in South Korea, where he Speakers for the taught seminars on how convention to conduct sports clinics; include widely in Kazakhstan (a repubknown evangelist lic of the Confederation Luis Palau and of Independent States), Campus Crusade where he conducted footpresident Bill ball and baseball clinics; Bright. If you are inter- 1 - - - - - - - - - i and in Kentucky, where he played college baseested in using ball. sports as a minAnd now the bridgeistry tool through building continues as DeVoss special events, through a church, uses the uni versal language of through traveling teams, through sports to address the uni versal colleges, or through women' s need of salvation in Jesus Christ. sports, this conference can give For information on sports minyou plenty of ideas. istl)' opportunities, write to For more information about Steve DeVoss this conference, coli/act Cooperative Se1vices lnt'l Sports Outreach America PO Box6841 1610 Elizabeth Street Richmond, VA 23230-0767 Pasadena, CA 91104 Phone: 8/8-398-2378 • Sports Ministry Fax: 818-398-2471
• SOA Update
SPORTS OUTREACH AMERICA
• est Names
Global Sports Consultant From Central America to South Korea, from Kazakhstan to Kentucky, Steve DeVoss has discovered that "sports is a common denominator throughout the world. II builds bridges." Now DeVoss, a Murray State University alumnus, will be building bridges between sports ministries and the people they help around the world. As the
Last fall we presented a list of many ministries that are using sports as a way of helping people and of spreading the gospel. We want to continue to update that list and to add new efforts to the growing list of "Teams to Watch." If you know of one we have not listed, let us know. Following are some corrected addresses as well as other ministries that were not listed in that original group.
Overseas Teams News Release Basketball 7157 Townsend Drive Highlands Ranch, CO 80126 Contact: Steve Sorenson Phone: 303-470-0763 Discipleship Champions for Christ PO Box 26341 Austin, TX 78755-0341 Phone: 512-338-0433 Fax: 512-338-0451 Motor Racing Motorsports Ministries PO Box 2737 Rohnert Park, CA 94927 Phone: 707-586-3834
• MRO Moves Into the Water Motor Racing Outreach, which is a support ministry for the drivers and crew members on the NASCA R circuit, is now offering its assistance to the Intern ational Outboard Grand Prix (IOGP) circuit. Handling this new venture in helping people will be Ron and Jackie Pegram of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In addition to giving the IOGP drivers and team members an opportunity to have a Sunday worship service, the Pegrams will also be available to lead Bible study groups and to offer counseling for those who desire it. For info rmation about either MRO or its new JOCP ow reach, write to: Max Helton Smith TowedSuire 336 Highway 29 North Harrisburg, NC 28075
S P ORTS SPECTRUM • M ARCH/APR IL 1993
• HMI Ventures South Hockey Ministries International is now truly international. Having recently opened a US office, this ministry that works with hockey players through camps, now has offices in both Quebec and llli nois. For information about the efforts of HMI, including its sched ule of camps for 1993, write to either the Canadian or the US address:
Canada Don Liesemer PO Box36 Beaconsfield, Quebec Canada, H9W 5T6
us Mark Kapsalis 669 Hillside Avenue Elmh urst, IL 60126
• By Dave Gibson Rob Pelinka and Julius Erving have "changed lives." At one t i me they were trying to live under their own directio n . But then they discovered that God had a new "game plan" f o r their lives. Perhaps you too need a new direction. Here 's t he p l an of action to make y o u r life a winner.
First Quarter A plan from the "Master Coach" coach designs a game plan for each contest, so has God devised a perfect plan for our lives. God's "play book," the Bible, clearly states that we were created to know, love, and enjoy God forever. Here's how Jesus, God's Son, put it: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you r soul and witli all your mind" (Matthew 22:37). Jesus also said, "This is eternal life: that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ" (John 17:3). This eternal life that God offers is a quantity of life that lasts forever and a quality of life that we can experience now. Jesus said,"! have come that [people]may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10: 10). Then why is it that many people don't know and experience God's plan for their lives?
through their own efforts-like going to church and doing good works. While these may be good things to do, they don' t take care of the sin problem. The Bible says, "all our righteous acts [good works] are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). Although this problem- having sin that keeps us from reaching God- might sound like being down 40 at halftime, it isn't hopeless. God has a strategy to help us.
Third Quarter Jesus Christ, your perfect substitute
Fourth Quarter This may be your final shot at finding God's plan-don't miss it! B ESIDES
you need faith. "Saving faith" involves turning to God from sin (2 Corinthians 7: I0), and receiving Jesus by faith ("To all who ... believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God" John I: 12). Jesus said, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in . . ." (Rev. 3:20). Wouldn' t you like to invite Jesus to come into your life? Wouldn't you like to experience God's plan for your life? Does God's game plan make sense to you? Are you willing to repent of your sin and trust Jesus Christ by faith? If so, pray the following prayer of commitment: FACTS,
Goo HAS PROVIDED the only way to bridge You can't the gap between us and Himself. reach God He sent Jesus Christ to die on the on your own cross in our place. The Bible says, "the Word [Jesus] \Vas God" and "The Word became flesh and sin, we fall made his dwelling among us" short of God's (John I: I,14). Because Jesus is standard of both God and man, He is the perholiness and perfection. We Lord Jesus, I realize that I'm a fect substitute for us. cannot save ourselves. God tells sinner and cannot save myself I Through His death on the us in His Word that "all have • believe that You died on the cross cross, Jesus became our substi- : fo r my sins and rose from the sinned and fall short of the • tute by dying for our sins. "God • dead. I repent of my sins and glory of God" (Romans 3:23). demonstrates his own love for us Our attitude of acti ve rebellion receive You by fa ith as my Savior in this: While we were still sinor our passive indifference toward and Lord. Take co111rol of my life. ners, Christ died for us" God is evidence of what the Bible In Jesus' name. Amen. (Romans 5:8). calls sin, which is a result of our · Three days after he was crucisinful nature. Here's how one "Everyone who calls on the fied, Jesus arose, defeating sin Bible writer explained it: "Surely name of the Lord will be saved" I was sinful at birth" (Psalm 51:5). and death. "Christ died for our (read Romans 10:8- 13). sins ... he was buried ... he was So, if we have all sinned, If you prayed this prayer, or raised on the third day" what are the consequences? if you have questions about (I Corinthians 15:3-5). Separation from God and eternal faith in Jesus, write to Sports Jesus is the only way to God. death. The Bible says, "Your Spectrum, Box 3566, Grand He said, "I am the way and the [sins] have separated you from Rapids, MI 4950 I and as k for truth and the life. No one comes God" (Isaiah 59:2) and "the the free booklet Do I Have the to the Father except through me" wages of sin is death" Romans Right Kind of Faith? (John 14:6). 6:23). What we earn as a result It is not enough, however, just of our sin is separation from Dal'e Gibson is an associate pasto know these facts. You also God forever. tor at Grace Church of Edina, have to make a decision. Many people try to reach God Mimresota. SPORTS SPEC TRUM • MARC H /A PRIL 1993
PRICE, SAND~RS, GREEN,
&M:YNOLDS No, it's not a New York law firm. It's a list of the last four athletes we've featured on the cover of Sports Spectrum. Mark Price, Barry Sanders, Darrell Green, and Harold Reynolds. And that doesn't include David Robinson, who is a junior partner to nobody on the courts, and Brett Butler, who had his own trials last year in LA. We think that our covers appeal to the real sports fan, the one who pleads ~ty to spending too much time watching ESPN and playing rotisserie baseball. The evidence is clear that the athletes we have called to the witness stand are telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about their faith. The testimony of people like Betsy King, David Robinson, and Mark Price is unimpeachable because it comes from people who personally know the Judge of the world, who once said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." On the docket for the months ahead, we have more great athletes lined up to appear on our cover and to plead their case. Subscribe now and see who is set to testify next. Anything else would be criminal. D
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Rob Pelinka (cover story) - Julius Erving - Betsy King - Tara Cross-Battle - Bill Wegman - Cal Eldred