Thursday, April 29, 2010


Today’s reading of your Diamond Dust is part looking back and part looking forward.

For the looking back set your time machine to Thanksgiving Day, 1887. In Chicago a groups of pals were hanging out in the gymnasium of the Farragut Boat Club listening to the Harvard-Yale football game. Adult beverages consumed, historians say that , “a man picked up a stray boxing glove and threw it at someone, who hit it with a pole and someone shouted, "Let's play ball!"

The boxing glove was then tied in a fashion to resemble a ball, the lads chalked a small diamond on the gym floor and broke off a broom handle to serve as a bat and a smaller version of baseball was born. Fast forward to the present and 113 years later the cry “Play Ball” is in danger of being replaced by “Illegal Pitch.”

Oddly the Niner name most associated with those damning words is from one of the storied families in Southern California softball, The Turner girls. Brooke Turner, younger sister of all star Michelle Turner, entered her junior season at LBSU among the 49er career leaders in strikeouts, shutouts, wins and complete games. A prep All American, Brooke came on fast as a freshman and was the Big West pitcher of the Year. Almost similar results in her sophomore season and then this season, like the bottom dropping out of her rise ball, the T in Turner spells Trouble.

Two recent exhibits make the point and both led to Long Beach losses. Turner took the hill on March 30 against San Diego State and the Aztecs ran her from the game in the first when illegal pitches (called crow hopping or leaping) gave SDSU a 4-0 lead and then the game. Same thing last weekend when the Beach played BWC leader Cal Poly and Turner was chased in the first when more “illegals” gave SLO a 4-0 lead and the game. 113 years later softball ain’t what it used to be.

Enough of the looking back I prefer the looking forward and this weekend you can motor a pleasant two hours along the 10 Freeway to the Big West tennis championships at Indian Wells. The top seed and six time defending champs form LBSU start Friday morning against the survivor of a UCR-Fullerton play-in and then get the lowest seed left on Saturday and, if successful, go for the hardware at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Fans attend for free and when a team gets four points match over and time for brunch. See Coach Jennifer Hilt Costello’s mom Sally (who has a second home in Cathedral City) for advice and menus. This year’s team stars three freshmen who got better as the year went along and won the regular season title going away. The NCAA regionals are May 14-15.

Next up on the futures list is Dirtbag baseball who won the series over UCSB and had a miracle comeback ninth inning with 2 outs 2 strikes down win at SDSU. As the SID says, "Down two runs with two outs in the ninth, Kirk Singer extended the game with a single and Joey Terdoslavich doubled to tie the score, forcing Long Beach State's first extra-inning game of the year. Jordan Casas then started the tenth inning with a solo home run, sparking a three-run inning to lead the Dirtbags past San Diego State 11-8." LB must keep do the same this weekend at Cal Poly to keep post-season hopes alive. Last ball add, softball goes road tripping this weekend at UCSB also with must win pressure.

Last add futures is Beach men’s basketball where there are three signed, sealed and almost delivered new Niners. They are hometown hotshot Shelton Boykin, a 6-5 small forward from LB Poly, 6-9 Houston power forward Nick Shepherd, and the most intriguing of the bunch, 6-4 shooting phenon Jacob Thomas out of Columbia Heights, MN, a flash back from Coach Dan Monson’s Big Ten tour at Minnesota. Next on Dan’s wish list, a JUCO post player to add some muscle underneath.—DR. DAN


Blogger CelsaNaj966 said...

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April 30, 2010 at 7:25 AM  

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