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Sports Beat

    January 11, 2008

Sports Beat by Bill McCaffrey

It hit like a lightning bolt hitting a tree and the result shocked a lot of folks and that was Joe Gibbs leaving the Redskins.  To the end he was most gracious in his retirement press conference giving Danny Snyder a big past on the back and thanked the Redskin fans for their support.  I personally was sorry to see him go but I also think it was time.   He said he would remain in the DC area and travel to Charlotte from time to time and continue his work for God (who he thanked for support especially since he was in college until now).  Gibbs said he would always support Snyder and the Redskins.  Gibbs was W171, L101 as an NFL coach and three super bowls.  (Side note was that ³Downtown² Brown munching on a Wendy triple cheeseburger at the press conference for Gibbs).   Snyder said he has a great organization, I guess he¹s never evaluated his PR, media people because they are not very good.  It was a great Love In!   The Redskins lost to Seattle 35-14 in the first round of the playoffs.  Jacksonsville was a first round winneredging Pittsburgh 31-29.  The Giants beat Tampa Bay 24-14 and San Diego topped the Titans 17-6 to round out the first round of the NFL playoffs.  I hit three out of four with my only loss was the Redskins.

This week¹s playoffs and my picks:
NFC-Seattle at Green Bay ­ GB by 6.
AFC ­ Jacksonville at New England ­ NE by 7
AFC ­ San Diego at Indianapolis ­ Indy by 9.
NFC ­ NY Giants at Dallas ­ NY Giants by 3.

The Detroit Lions promoted Jim Colletto offensive coordinator replacing Mike Martz.  Martz has signed on as offensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49¹ers.   Denver assistant coach defensive Jim Bates has resigned.   The Rams have canned Greg Olson, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Paul Boudreau.   Michael Vick could be back in the NFL when the 2009 season starts and he could be in a Raven uniform (don¹t discount it).   You Skins and Ravens fans don¹t believe it when they say Troy Smith and Jason Campbell are franchise quarterbacks because neither are.


I recently had a problem with my trash collection and I contacted Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold and he immediately took action and had the problem taken care of.  I want to personally thank him and two of his staff, Eric Robey and Joan Harris for resolving the problem.  I think he¹s done a good job in his first year as County Executive and should be considered as a possible candidate for Governor in the future.  Thanks John and your folks for a job well done!


Baseball¹s Hall of Fame electors have put Goose Gossage into the Hall of Fame; he got 82% of the votes.  He had 310 saves, 1,502 K¹s in 1,809 innings and a 3.01 ERA.   I still think Mickey Vernon belongs in the Hall.  I also think Bert Blyleven, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Pete Rose, and ³Shoeless² Joe Jackson belong there.   When is the Rogers Hornsby going to have a Spring Training meeting?


Nats pitcher Luis Ayala was wounded in a hunting accident but should be ready to go when Spring Training opens.   Aaron Miles gets a one year deal from the Cardinals.  Matt Clement also gets a one year deal from the Cards.   Andy Phillips gets a minor league contract from the Reds.   The Chicago Cubs traded OF Angel Pagan to the Mets for Corey Coles (OF) and Ryan Myers (RHP).   Here¹s one for Brian Unger the Phillies inked Jayson Worth (to a one year deal).  Unger is president of the Jason Worth fan club.   The Pirates have signed Elmer Dressens and Adam Bernero to minor league contracts.


Ex-Oriole B.J. Surhoff and his family along with Jackie and Bill Bryley and their family will be making the MSP Polar Bear Plunge on January 26th at Sandy Point State Park to support the Maryland Special Olympics.  To sign up go to  I heard the Blimp Brothers might be there.  For more information call 410-789-6677 x503.   The Cincinnati Reds claimed ex-Oriole outfielder Jeff Fiorentino off waivers. The Orioles are taking over the Dodgertown Complex next season when the Dodgers move to Arizona .   The Royals signed pitcher Hideo Nomo to a minor league contract.   The A¹s traded Nick Swisher to the White Sox for pitchers Fantino DeLos Santos and Gio Gonzales and OF Ryan Sweeney.   Texas signed Ben Broussard to a one year contract and Jason Davis to a minor league contract and an invitation to Spring Training.


The 28th Anniversary Awards Banquet of the Washington Metropolitan Slow Pitch Hall of Fame Commission will be held on March 15th at 6:00 p.m. at the Edward Douglas White Hall Knights of Columbus in Arlington , Virginia .  For information call Polly Quinn at 240-832-2525 or E-mail 2007 Inductees: Player ­ Charlie Tutt Master Player ­ Frank Tominson, Charles Wickline, Toni Letaw, John Powell Umpire ­ John Funderburk Administrator ­ John Carney Promoter ­ Randy Moses, Greg Quinn

Big Train News: 2008 Season Schedule Announced;
Big Train Tenth Anniversary Team Coming Soon!

2008 Season Schedule Announced!
Just Announced: The 2008 Big Train Season Schedule has been posted online.  It is available by clicking here. The Big Train will open its 10th season on Saturday, May 31st in an exhibition game against the Mid-Atlantic Rookies.  The Big Train's first Ripken, Sr. League contest will be on Friday, June 6th against Youse's Maryland Orioles.  This game will feature a special celebration of 10 years of Big Train Baseball! In 2008, the Big Train will welcome to Povich Field the Alexandria Aces, the newest member of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Collegiate Baseball League.  The Aces will play their home games at Four Mile Run Park , former home of the Class-A Alexandria Dukes (now the Potomac Nationals).   A Big Train season pass gets your loved ones a whole summer of fun at Povich Field, including special reserved seating areas just for season pass holders and a special "Express Line" entrance at the gate!

Prices are as follows:
2008 Family Season Pass: $125
2008 Corporate Season Pass: $125 (for up to 4 people)
2008 Individual Season Pass: $60

To purchase your 2008 season pass, mail with a check or credit card number to the Bethesda Community Base Ball Club. Please specify what type of pass you'd like to purchase. The form can be sent to: Bethesda Community Base Ball Club, PO Box 30306 , Bethesda MD 20824.

BT Tenth Anniversary Team Coming Soon

To Big Train Fans:
As Bethesda Big Train rolls into its tenth season in 2008, it is fitting that we look back on the first nine years and select an honorary all-star team of our best players.  You, the fans, will play the major role in selecting these players!

The team will consist of from 19 to 21 players, chosen under the following three methods:
1. Those four Big Train players who went on to play in the major leagues will be selected automatically.  The four are John Maine, Charlton Jimerson, Bobby Livingston, and Steve Schmoll.

2. The fans will choose the next 15 players.  Each week you will receive a ballot consisting of the players nominated for each playing position.  The nominating committee consisted of Sal Colangelo, Big Train manager; David Irela nd, Big Train General Manager; and Bill Hickman, Big Train Historian.

3. After all the results are in; the nominating committee will meet again and may select one or two additional players.

Selections for the tenth anniversary all-star team will begin with next week's edition of the newsletter.  The first position up for grabs will be first base. The final selection of the entire team will be announced in the Spring via the Big Train Email Newsletter.  Those selected for the team will be invited to a special awards ceremony later in 2008!

Fields of Dreams Campaign A Success
Campaign to Send Fields of Dreams Kids to New Nats Park Raises $5,000

Big Train Founder Bruce Adams reports that the campaign to send the young Dreamers from the Fields of Dreams after-school program to Nationals games in the new stadium has raised $5,000. Fields of Dreams provides a baseball, homework help, and character education after-school program for 160 kids in some of Washington 's poorest neighborhoods. Money from the Big Train's "Kids Deserve Better Fields" campaign h elped launch Fields of Dreams by building Jackie Robinson Field in Anacostia. Each one of our 160 young Dreamers will get to attend a Nats game with his or her teacher or coach. The Fields of Dreams seats are just a dozen rows behind the third base dugout giving the kids a special treat they would not have but for the Fields of Dreams program. Each ticket costs $60, and we give each Dreamer $10 for food and transportation. Including the costs of tickets for the coaches and teachers, Fields of Dreams needs to raise $12,500 to support this program.

Thanks to these generous donors, we are almost halfway to our goal:
George Baker; Eric Biel & Dana Rosenfeld; Ellen & Ed Bodurian; Dragga, Callahan, Hannon & Hessler; David Dwares; Steve Farber; Al Ferlo; Rhoda Gans; Ed Gibbs; Susan Greif; Bill Hickman; Jason Jacobson; Art Jee; Harry Lee; Ted Lutz; David Martin; Martha Martin; Susan Milligan; Dick O'Connor; Glenn Orlin; David Paulson; Eric Pilsk; Tom Rogers; Ran d y Schools; Ron Smith; Merle Steiner; Kay & Gary Stevens; Marcia & Ira Wagner; Polly Webster; Dick Wegman; and Mitchell Wool.

Contributions to Fields of Dreams are tax deductible. Please make your check payable to "Fields of Dreams/A Greater Washington." A Greater Washington, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, is the fiscal agent for Fields of Dreams. The organization's federal tax identification number is 52-2108599. Please send checks to: Bruce Adams, 7211 Exeter Road , Bethesda , MD 20814.

Thank you for any support you can give these kids!


Thanks to these organizations for their generous support of Big Train baseball for the 2007 season: Chevy Chase Bank, Carl M. Freeman Foundation, Grossberg CPAs, Hopkins & Porter, Ledo Pizza, Miller & Long Co., Ourisman Automotive, and Sandy Spring Builders.


2007 was the third season of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Collegiate Baseball League. The league consists of seven teams, Bethesda Big Train, College Park Maryland Bombers, Herndon Braves, Maryland Redbirds, Rockville Express, Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, and Youse's Maryland Orioles.  The Alexandria Aces will join the league in 2008.  The teams play a 42-game regular season from early June to the end of July. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Collegiate Baseball League has a license agreement with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation for the use of the name Cal Ripken, Sr. and is not neither affiliated with nor sponsored by the Foundation or Ripken Baseball. For information, please log onto


Team   W/L   GB
Orioles 26-14 ---
Express 27-15 ---
Big Train 24-18 3
Thunderbolts 19-19 6
Braves 19-22 7.5
Bombers 15-24 10.5
Redbirds 12-30 14


Bethesda Big Train 9-5
Rockville Express 9-5
Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts 4-10

Log onto for up-to-date boxscores and standings.  Sign-up for CRSL email alerts here. Cal Ripken, Sr., used to say, "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect."


I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday.  It will be a great start to our season!!! The bouts will feature undefeated Super Middleweight Mike "The Persecutor"Paschall (15-0-1) in an eight round battle. And one of the hottest prospects in the area, Alexander "The Great" Johnson (4-0) will step up to fight his first six rounder. And the co-feature highlights the return of a Ballroom favorite "The Arsenal" Ishmail Arvin ( 14-1-3 ).   Tickets are on sale now by calling 410-766-7474.   The date again is Thursday, January 31st. Doors open at 6:30pm and fights begin at 8pm .   There will be six pro bouts and three amateur bouts.  Hope to see you at the fights.   Jake Smith¹s ³Pro-Am² Boxing event is coming up on January 18th at the Pikesville Armory for information call 410-653-6701.


When the Seattle Superbonies visited the WIZ they brought home some locals Jeff Green (Northwestern HS & Georgetown U.), Chris Wilcox (Maryland U), Delonte West (Eleanor Roosevelt HS) and Kevin Durant (Montrose Christian).   Gilbert Arenas probably won¹t be back with the Wiz until after March 1st.   Ex-Wiz Kwane Brown is soon to be an ex-NBA player.   Steve Blake is doing a good job coming off the bench for the Portland Trail Blazers.   Juan Dixon isn¹t doing as well with the Toronto Raptors.   Former Chicago Bulls Scottie Pippen is playing in Finland .


Well, well in the bowl games the ACC was 2-6; Big Ten 3-5; WAC 1-3 and the winners SEC 7-2; PAC 10, 4-2; Mountain West 4-1; BIG 12, 5-3; Big East 3-2.   Ohio State showed why the Big 10 gets no respect in their loss to LSU 38-24.   Ray Rice ran for 280 and 4 TD¹s to lead Rutgers to a 52-30 rout of Ball State in the International Bowl.   June Jones leaves Hawaii to take the head football coach at SMU.   The Maryland women basketball team is rolling they beat Wake Forest 83-49 and then blasted Clemson 110-46 before 9,105 at Comcast Center .  Then beat Boston College in Boston 83-61.   Bill Stewart is the new football coach at West Virginia .   In the GMAC Bowl Tulsa crushed Bowling 63-7 as Paul Smith had his 14th straight 300 yard passing game and 5 TD passes.   Hawaii fired AD Herman Frazier after he failed to sign June Jones and keep him on the island.   Jeff Agoos is the new coach and Sporting Director of the Major League Soccer New York Bulls.   The Maryland men beat Charlotte in hoops 76-72; James Gist scored 25 and Grevis Vasquez 24 to lead the Terps.  Gist hit for 22 points and led the Terps to a 73-48 win over Holy Cross.


Bill, Remember when you called me in 04 to inform me about our me about the 04 Anacostia HS reunion class of 1954, you asked where is Burns, Oregon and I replied in the middle of no where that is what every one says here. You knew we lived in Anchorage Alaska from1965 to1994. I made my living as a Structural Iron worker from 1954 to 1994. Went to Alaska in 1959 worked the season 59 60 61 62 before I was married. After the season most every construction worker went "Outside" to the lower 48 as they referred to the lower US. Myself I would return to DC. Stayed in the lower 48, 1963 to 1965. Moved to Anchorage with my future wife in August 1965 and got marri ed there. We drove the Alcan Hwy to Alaska   .While being  out of Alaska those few years 1962-64  worked in  North Dakota on the Missile bases, California and Oregon on different jobs, in fact worked on the Astoria bridge a short while in July 1965 driving rivets.

Prior to that I worked in Eastern Oregon erecting towers for the telephone company. I was in Bend Oregon December 31 1964and Jan.1 1965 for the New Year to spend the holiday with a lady and her family. Used to date her in California . It was on my way to Bend from John Day Oregon that my travel brought me thorough Burns Or. Never dreaming that would end up here (Burns) you also knew that I was Business Manager, Financial Secretary, and Treasurer of Ironworkers Local 751 Anchorage, Ak 1973-1976 -1985-1988.  1973-1976 was during the construction of the Trans Alaska pipeline.

20,000 people were employed on the line at peak. Our office had 2000 at peak. Local 751 had jurisdiction for the whole state of Ak. I had an office in Anchorage and Fairbanks .Ak. After I retired in 1994 I moved to Reno NV left my Wife here (Burns) with her mother and sister for a year while was having a house being built out side of Reno .  Moved her to Nevada 1995 into the new house, sold our house in Anchorage in 1995.Moved my wife to Nevada in1995to 1997 she did not like Reno area and was unhappy did not like it myself .Bottom line moved here so my wife could live near her sister and her family. I used to go to  Reno every three months to see my doctor until 7years ago now I go to Bend every month to my new doctor. Always spent the night, at a motel then return the next day. Being retired since 1994 I can get used to living most any where as I did before getting married.   I have a 20x40 green house that I play with in the summer raised some great tomatoes until 2 years ago, need some new compost and manure, still had enough tomatoes for us but I like to have plenty to give away More later. Slick

Slick, Great report. Bill

By the wonderful column you do which is so informative and I love your views; you seem to be doing very well of which I am very glad.  Retirement can be a wonderful thing and I think you prove that.  Donnie and I need to meet you for lunch again soon at Pesce Grande.  Take care. JoAnn Atkins

Joann, Donnie (Neuenberger) looks great in those Royal Farm TV commercials.  Lunch soon. Bill

Bill, Happy New Year to you and your family.  Let's start 2008 right - come on out this month.

Friday, Jan. 11, 8-12 - Maryland Golf and Country Club Theme Night for members and their Guests

Saturday, Jan. 12, 8:30-Midnight - Castlebay Irish Pub in Annapolis , 410-626-0165,

Saturday, Jan. 19, 6-9PM , Maryland Athletic Club Harbor East, Wine and Wellness party, all are welcome to listen to music, check out the new club and enjoy some wine (free admission). 665 Presidents St. , Baltimore . 410.625.5000

Friday, Jan. 25, 8-12 - Maryland Golf and Country Club Theme Night for members and their Guests See you at the Bar, Steve Ports, David Bell, Don Wimbrough and Bill Fritz

Guys, You are the greatest, may 2008 be a super year for all of you. Bill

Bill, How unlike you to punt on a serious question. I asked why you keep ragging on Norv Turner who led his Chargers to a conference championship and now a first-round playoff victory. Give the man his due. Lil' Danny never liked him and tried to do everything in his power to not help him win. Al Davis did the same thing to him in Oakland just as he has with virtually every coach since John Madden! David J. from Annapolis

Dear David, He¹s a loser this week and is not a contender for either the Ravens or Redskins job. Bill

Bill, Did reach Dan Morrison at that hospital today. He like you is speaking very well and alert and just is way off balance and in rehab. He's having a lot of trouble with the insurance company. He is a Vietnam vet so told him to get into the VA in DC. Donnie Abrams had heart surgery there and swears by them. Same with Gerry LeCompte when he was living. My uncle a number of years ago had lung cancer and was in Fairfax Hosp and his insurance ran out and he went into the VA hosp and told me on every visit he should have gone there in the first place. He sounded good though and told him I found out through your column and he appreciated it. J.

Dear J. Dan is home now. Bill

Folks, Happy New Year to everyone! Pattie Dash Senior Vice President Girl Scouts of Central Maryland "Where Girls Grow Strong." 410.358.9711 ext. 232 800.492.2521

Pattie, I hope the folks come through for the girl scouts. Bill

Bill, Happy New Year!  Still in VA hospital center ( Arlington ) with my stroke, Rm 230. Dan   Dan, I wish you the best and will pray for you to have a speedy recovery. Bill

Bill: I saw Donald Dodd's name in a letter to you. He was married early on to my sorority sister, Annabelle (Snookie) Hooten. She was in the Class of '55, I believe.  I sent a letter to Shirley Hudgins and received a call from her husband. Her brother, Wally, now gone was probably my first grade school crush from Kingsman School and Shirley was a year older. Pat   Pat, Thanks for the information. Bill

Dear Bill, You may be interested in knowing that Ron served with the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group: 2001-2004. He served as the Navy Chaplain on the USS Camden. The Camden is a Oiler Supply Ship; it is a floating warehouse ship with front end loader's & fork lift's. They continually went to port's to supply the Abraham Lincoln with jet fuel for the fighter jet's plus supplies & food. Ron took us on a tour of the Camden at their home port in Bremerton , Washington . Ron had his own room which was 8 X 10'; he had a bunk, desk, rocking chair & hammock (he slept in the hammock when the sea's was rough) Ron was born rocking. He always has a rocker with him at home & in his office a t Arlington National Cemetery . I believe he has had 6-7 rocking chair's in his lifetime!

While serving with the Lincoln Battle Group; Robert Arnett spent 4-5 days televising a special of the Lincoln Battle Group for CNN; Ron was teaching a course's on Ethic's & Religion. He invited Dr. Robert Arnett to be the guest lectureror in one of his classes. Dr. Arnett did a segment showing the responsibilities of the Abraham Lincoln's fleet. He spent 2 day's on the USS Camden interviewing officer's & showing the flexible fuel line's that transferred the fuel & oil to the Lincoln Carrier. It was very interesting to see this done on TV. The young men & women worked very hard & did an outstanding job! The Camden also housed the jet pilots for the Abraham Lincoln.

This is a true "amusing story" about our youngest son, Ron 45, whom you have been most kind! to!  Ron has now spent over 2 year's as the Navy Chaplain at Arlington National cemetery!

Ron was "born rocking in his crib!" We bought his first rocking chair before he was 2 year's old. Every Sunday morning we drove from Clinton , MD to Capital Hill Metropolitan Baptist Church on 6 th & A Street 's, S.E. (now known as Capital Baptist Church ) & took all 3 son's to church from the time they were 6 weeks old. Ron rocked in the crib when he was in cradle roll at church. At three year's old, he was promoted to "Miss Ivie's" 3 yr old class. On our way driving to church; Ron recognized that we were crossing  Pennsylavania Ave., SE on our way to church & he started crying & pitching a fit! This continued for at least 15 minutes after I took his red hat off of his light blond hair. The teacher put him on their red rocking horse. I stood out in the hall until he settled down before going to work in the cradle roll. A good friend lent us her son's outgrown "Red Navy Pea Coat & Hat" for Ron to wear. As soon as Ron was placed on the rocking horse; he locked his feet in the stirrup's & his arm's around the horses neck & rocked for 2 hours. We were told that he went to sleep while continually rocking. When I picked him up after we got out of Chancel Choir; his forehead was always red from the red paint on the hor se. It is interesting that he is a Navy Chaplain & "he is still rocking!"

We are so glad to see you back at work!  This has not been an easy road for you but you are a fighter! Through the "Grace of God" & the help of your doctor's, therapists & your family; you have gone through most difficult times! Many "Metro Friend's" continue to uphold you in prayer daily! We are very thankful to have you reporting the Metro sports new's with your personal caring touch which you do so well! May God continue to richly bless you in the days ahead. Jo Ann & Clarence

Dear Joanne & Clarence, Good report. Bill


I¹ve heard that there will be some key high school football coaching changes.  Is GWU going to bring back college football and join Georgetown in playing at RFK or Snyder¹s Imperial Palace ?   Who remembers Frankie Smith¹s great rap record ³Double Deck Bus²?   The Eleanor Roosevelt girl¹s basketball team is rated in the USA Today girl¹s basketball top 25.   Holy Cross, Good Counsel, and McNamara are battling it out for the WCAC girl¹s lead.   Congratulations to State Senator Barry Glassman on his promotion.   Here it comes ­Eric Knight was fired as the football coach and AD at Potomac High School .   A speedy recovery is wished for State Senator Jim Rosapepe from his recent accident that left him with two fractures in his right leg.   I wonder where they are today.  Barbara Puffenberger; Frank Fuqua; Dixie Lee; Ruth Culbertsen; Dina Walton; Charlie Baines; George Malloy; Patricia McDonald; Gloria Pantalone; Charlie O¹Neal, and Judy Hurst?   I heard David J., Tim T. and Patrick P. were at the Hannah Montana concert in DC and Baltimore.   The Caps have given Alexander Ovechkin a 13 year contract for over 124 million dollars.

Our deepest sympathy goes to the families of:
William Barry McHenry (Wheaton HS grad)
Stephen Charles ³Steve² Miller (Northwestern HS grad)
Claire Elizabeth Flaherty (graduate DC Academy of Notre Dame)
Jim Dooley (football coach, Chicago Bears 1968-71)
Jack McCue Woolard (Tech DC HS grad)
Gerald J. Comeau (Chamberlain Vocational HS grad)
Rita Walsh Labling (Georgetown Visitation HS grad)
Robert Harold Goldstein (Coolidge HS and AU grad)
Dunreath O. Grover (Wilson HS grad)
Christopher Lee Needhan (active in Bladensburg community)
Virginia Magill Winkle (St. Patrick¹s Academy, HS grad & retired C&P employee)
Saul J. Mindel (Tech HS grad) Leona Inez Tyler Wagner (Tech HS grad)
Halsey William Heslop (Northwestern HS grad)
Jim Nixon (Eastern (DC HS grad & retired Riggs Bank office and loyal reader of our column)


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