Sunday, October 03, 2004


In the Niner volleyball media guide you will find a couple of photos of hard hitting front row star Mariko Crum. In her big photo, and if you see her on the court Saturday night against UC Davis, you will see she is Number 79. In last year’s official pix she was wearing a more conventional number 17 but there is more to tell.

By way of background you need to know that 79 is the biggest number carried by any student athlete at LBSU. Basketballers go into the fifties, baseball players in the forties, and most every body else wears 20 or less. So how did this 6-3, playing with pain, blond banger get her big number?

To understand you have to realize Mariko is as talented athletically as she is academically. She’s a premed major raised in a family of jocks. Her father Bob and Mariko’s brother Conan, played football for Arizona and Dax, the youngest of the five Crum kids, is a junior in high school and a three-sport athlete. Bob also played two years in the NFL as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. Mariko, who was talked into trading her love for dance for volleyball by her older sister Cassidy, wears that number 79 at LB as a tribute to Conan, who was unable to complete his college football career because of an injury. And know you know the rest of the story.

MORE NUMBER DUSTING—As the countdown continues for the launch of that 49er cash cow basketball fans, and their coaches, will get their first legal look at the new teams on Saturday, October 16 from 2-5 pm in The Pyramid and after the hoping you can twirl some spaghetti for five bucks after the free scrimmage.

Next up some puzzling numbers on baseball recruiting where Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Dirtbags incoming class at a modest 27th with 16 recruits--7 freshman, 7 JC transfers, and 2 transfers from 4 year colleges. The core of the 2005 team however comes back in the form of guys like Ramos, Tulowitzki, Mocny, Anderson, Boatright to name a few.

Baseball, softball, basketball and at least women’s volleyball and tennis have a hug number of teams participating, not so for out fall friends from water polo. Yes they are ranked 12th and improved to 8-5 with the wins Air Force and Princeton last weekend but while the level of play is excellent the pool of folks in the pool is very small. The 49ers will next be in action on Saturday when they host UC San Diego (12:30 pm) and Brown (4 pm) at the 49er Campus Pool.

Next up numbers are ones hovering around Jered Weaver. The Angels drafted him in the first round but his idea of $10 mill seems to be a stumbling block in signing the Simi slinger and packing him off to the Angels' fall instructional league in Arizona.

The Angel management is course is busy these days counting post-season profits and will have to determine a college pitcher’s value in the face of two other issues. One is the pressure from Major League Baseball to hold down signing bonuses and the second is what does a ten mill bonus do to the morale of an existing, and very productive, roster?

"Obviously when you draft him, you'd like to sign him, get him into the system, let him work with the coaches, see what his talent is and try to prepare him for spring training," Angel owner Arte Moreno said. "It hasn't worked out that way.

Our closing number comes from my dear friend Marge who lives in the shadow of the Pyramid. Asked by a mutual friend if the still drives, this sprightly 80 something said yes, but, “I think that I am on my fourth hit and run.” Calm down, it’s mostly parallel parking.—DR. DAN


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