Monday, June 11, 2007


With another LB sporting season in the books, it’s clearly time to have our own Diamond Dust Awards show saluting the men and women who at least once or twice made nice.

We will start with a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dede Smith Rossi the retiring but never shy 49er fundraiser who now shuttles her kids to school and play around East Long Beach. Dede was just another Smith brightening happy hours back in 1970’s when she began her association with Long Beach State. Stolen from the volunteer ranks Dede worked for 19 years putting her DNA on some of the best 49er events around, Jewels of the Night, the Hall of Fame Dinner and Golf Tournament, and garden parties and gabfests that were just plain fun.

In baseball it was close between senior outfielder Robert Perry, second baseman Matt “Showdog” Cline and junior pitcher Andrew Liebel but Perry gets the free Cadillac Escalade for his body of work. He led the Dirtbags in average (.335), runs (50), triples (4) and RBIs (52) and went from not drafted last year to the highest Dirtbag pick this season.

Opponent of the Year goes to the Irvine Anteaters. Next week they play in the College World Series where the nation’s media couldn’t tell Dave Serrano’s cast of characters at UCI from the TV sleuths on CSI. Even when SEC-based Umpire Jack Cox blew a key call late in the game at Wichita State, Serrano’s kids shook it off and made it to Omaha. Oh yes, the Eaters also gobbled up the NCAA men’s volleyball championship beating the Beach twice, 3-2 and 3-0.

In track and field our MVPs are All Americans Kim Heinz, who broke her own school-record in the javelin, tossing 169'4” good for seventh at the NCAA Championships and Brent Gray, 20.96 in the 200-meter dash, and fourth in the land.

For the net set, who will get a $2.5 million dollar face lift to their ancient tennis courts, the victor is sophomore Hannah Grady. I have clothes that weigh more than Hannah but she finished the ‘07 season with back to back Big West Player of the Year awards.

For basketball, how about the glue on that Big West championship team, Aaron Nixon? In the championship game he scored 29 points and became the 16th player in Long Beach State history to pass the 1,000 career points standard.

Our award to the alumnus of the year was a close battle with Paul Goydos (won the Sony) and Jered Weaver (millionaire with a bad back)--but how can you not put Misty May on your mantle (she’s on mine)? The darling of Beach Volleyball at a mere 5-10 has those darting green eyes that scan the sand before she hits it where you ain’t. Misty has more wins than anyone in history, a healthy bank account, and a handsome husband in Marlin’s catcher Matt Treanor.

Next our Most Valuable Family are the Capes where son Kevin was on the Men’s Volleyball roster but injuries plagued him most of his career. So did parents Cary and Joni Cape bail on the Beach? They did not. The Capes ran fund raisers, hosted post-match socials and traveled with the team in the full knowledge that their kid wouldn’t even make it to the scorer’s table. Now those are good sports.

ADDED DUST--What one word has five letters and spells CWS? Omaha or Lucky or Titan? Actually all three since the luckiest team in Omaha has Titan on their jersey…the F troop warmed up for the post season losing its final four conference series…but then their anemic offense got a major assist when pitching rich San Diego stumbled in their first round game and CSUF eased out of SD facing lesser lights Minnesota and Fresno State…then more good news, the team the Titans fear the most, Long Beach State, also fumbles their host duties and even though they sent both Illinois-Chicago and Pepperdine packing UCLA, who like CSUF faltered down the stretch, limped into the Super Regional…need more lucky titan, the Bruins did not bid to host the Supers signing, sealing and delivering the CWS berth to the home loving Nutwood nine…p.s. more luck on the way, they get another weak team, Oregon State, in game 1…the Beavers got all the free stuff from Michigan in their 8-2 clincher but like the CSUFers wobbled down the stretch…meanwhile the guys who legitmately earned their ticket (wins at and over Texas and Wichita State) UC Irvine, is already there…Eaters coach Dave Serrano bused his bunch the 304 miles on Monday where they can do laundry and get that one shaggy guy a haircut…last add baseball at the Beach, the Niner clipboards will be shuffled with the hiring of new assistant Andy Rojo, 33, the former Associate Head Coach from state champion, Riverside Community College…RCC , 37-18, beat Cypress 6-1 for their title last month…he is expected to recruit hitters and two of the last three RCC recruiting classes were ranked No. 1 in the California, with the Class of 2007 receiving a No. 2 national ranking…but there is a bonus--the guy can read and write and hopefully edit…at Cal Poly Pomona he graduated Magna Cum Laude—DR. DAN


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