A Walk Down Memory Lane

Posted: June 26, 2012 in sports

As sports fans we love lists. Top 10 lists; No. 1 lists; Bottom 10 lists. We love lists of players and coaches we like the most; players and coaches we dislike the most; favorite stadiums; least favorite stadiums; 10 best teams and 10 worst teams.

No topic is taboo.

Most often our lists are determined by personal experience, but there are times when we simply find ourselves liking or disliking someone for no apparent reason. For example, Al Kaline is my favorite all-time baseball player and the closest I ever got to him was watching the Detroit Tigers play an occasional Saturday afternoon game on TV and listening to Dizzy Dean or looking at his baseball card. Another favorite is former Alabama linebacker Lee Roy Jordan although I don’t ever remember seeing him play a game.

Then there are those I met and admit I was in awe of. Arnold Palmer and Richard Petty come to mind. And I really can’t tell you why Kerwin Bell is my all-time favorite Gator and Larry Miller ranks No. 1 among my Tar Heel basketball heroes.

In baseball, Bill Mazeroski, Reggie Jackson and Rod Carew join Kaline on my list.

In golf, Billy Casper, Nick Price and Tiger Woods make my dream foursome along with Palmer.

In stock car racing, only David Pearson rivals Petty. Darrell Waltrip is a clear No. 3.

In pro football no player ever thrilled me more than Lenny Moore. In pro basketball, Julius “Dr. J” Erving tops my list. Tennis’ Rod Laver will always be the king of the courts in my mind.

Among coaches and managers, Dean Smith is No. 1, but Bobby Bowden is a close second.

Come up with your own lists. Walking down memory lane is fun. 

  1. BigBlackRod says:

    My favorite athletes, coaches and managers, in no particular order or importance: Football: Tony Dorsett; the smoothest runner since OJ, and he had the good sense not to kill two people. Baseball: Johnny Bench; so good that he made me want to don the “tools of ignorance” myself. Hockey: Tony Esposito; even down here in hockey-starved Florida, I knew he was the best goalie alive. (If not him, then Gerry Cheevers) Basketball: I know that Jordan is the best ever, but Larry Bird is my favorite player; at the time, Dr. J was my hero, but after seeing Bird light him up for 42 in three quarters, dogging Erving so bad that Doc swung on Bird, I started really looking at Bird, and I saw greatness. Golf: Lee Elder; David Lamm can express what Elder went through better than I can. If there is no Elder (as well as Charlie Sifford before Elder), there is no Tiger. Coach: Tom Landry; the Man in the Hat was a steadfast presence in my youth, the Cowboys unmovable. Manager: Earl Weaver; even thoug Sparky Anderson coached my favorite team, the Cincinnati Reds, Weaver was more entertaining, though not by much…PEACE.

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