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Dotson Lewis' Blog Archives for 2013-06

Aaron Michael Hernandez (born November 6, 1989) an American Football Player


     On August 27, 2012, the New England Patriots signed him to a five-year extension running through 2018 that includes a $12.5 million signing bonus.

 

 

     Hernandez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, was born in Bristol, Connecticut. He attended Bristol Central High School in Bristol, and played for the Bristol Central Rams high school football team as a wide receiver. As a senior, he was the Connecticut Gatorade Football Player of the Year after making 67 receptions for 1,807 yards and 24 touchdowns on offense, and 72 tackles, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and four blocked kicks on defense. The 1,807 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns were a state record and his 31 touchdowns tied the state record. He also set the state record for receiving yards in a single game with 376, which was the seventh best total in national high school history, and set a national high school record for yards receiving per game with 180.7. Hernandez was considered the top tight end recruit in 2007. 
 
     Dotson’s Note: I believe that he is one of the best I have ever seen at his position (Tight End). He has/had great future as an NFL player.  The following is information that may be of interest to those who are following the story. Please let me know your thoughts on this headline maker. Does it hold a candle to the OJ debacle? Call the Benchwarmers at 560-5397.
 
     News continues to pour out regarding the murder of Odin Lloyd and the connection to Aaron Hernandez and girlfriend Shayanna Jenkins. As police have continued executing search warrants on an almost daily basis at Hernandez's mini mansion, speculation and circumstantial evidence continues to mount against the Patriots Tight End.
 
Avielle Janelle, Aaron, Shayanna
 
     By now most of us have heard about the fact that Hernandez and Lloyd were hanging out the night before Lloyd was killed and that surveillance footage shows the two together in Dorchester approximately an hour before gunshots were heard by neighbors near where Lloyd's body was recovered and a mile from Hernandez's home. There's also the news of Hernandez destroying his cell phone and home security system while also hiring a cleaning crew to scrub down his home the morning after the murder took place. 
 
     There's still plenty more evidence to come forth, but many continue to return to the connection between Hernandez and Lloyd and ask the questions. While Hernandez and his friends have seemingly been tried, sentenced and executed by social media, there's still plenty more to come. What happened in Dorchester, and between the time they were seen and gunshots rang out? How much of a part did the sister of Aaron Hernandez' girlfriend Shayanna Jenkins and her dating relationship with Odin Lloyd play into the events from the early morning of June 17? 
 
     For their part, the Patriots have created distance between themselves and Hernandez, turning him away from team facilities when he came to work out on the morning of June 20, while his white Audi was followed by news helicopters. There's still plenty more to come out, and while things certainly seem bleak for Hernandez, there's yet to be comment from him, his camp, or the New England Patriots. 
 
     Things continue to develop and likely cause more concern for Aaron Hernandez's girlfriend Shayanna Jenkins. According to reports, the victim in this case is Odin Lloyd, who also happened to be dating the sister of Jenkins. While Hernandez has not been ruled a suspect, most current information as reported by WBZ-TV says that Hernandez has not been ruled out as a suspect yet, either. WBZ is also reporting that Hernandez has remained uncooperative despite investigators being on his property for hours and removing a box from his home. More information is sure to come out on this one.
 
     Aaron Hernandez's girlfriend Shayanna Jenkins has to be a bit concerned right now. Hernandez is all over the news right now after police searched his home in connection with the murder of a man who was said to be an "associate" of Hernandez. While Hernandez is not listed as a suspect, he was initially uncooperative with police - which has led to some degree of suspicion.
 
     Shayanna Jenkins graduated in 2007 from Bristol Central High School along with Hernandez. She currently resides in North Attleboro, MA, presumably in the same residence that the police have been searching. The couple was engaged as of November 2012, but not word on whether they were ever officially married.
 
     Aaron and Shayanna have a daughter together, Avielle Janelle, born in November of 2012. Hernandez gave an interview around the time his daughter was born and addressed how he thought his behavior had to change:
 

 

“Now, another one is looking up to me. I can’t just be young and reckless Aaron no

more. I’m gonna try to do the right things, become a good father.”
 
Dotson’s note: I don't know about you, but this whole mess with the police has me questioning whether he meant what he said. Stay tuned.
 
-30-
 

Father-Daughters and Father-Sons In Sports


     As long as there have been sports, there have been men playing sports — and passing on their knowledge and love for the game to the next generation.

 

     The Norman Rockwell-like image of a father teaching his son how to grip a bat or toss a spiral extends all the way to the professional leagues, where plenty of players can look back on a father’s influence in helping them develop as athletes.

 

Payton, Archie & Eli Manning

 

     But just because someone’s father reached the top of his sport doesn’t mean that the son is guaranteed the same success. Many sons of famous athletes have to deal with the extra expectations that come with their fathers being sports legends.
 
     Throughout history, though, a few sons have to risen to the same prominence as their fathers, etching their own name in sports without upstaging the cachet that their fathers’ names still hold. 
 
     Here are those who made my list of the best father-son duos in sports history. 
Mario & Michael Andretti; Bob, Bret & Aaron Boon; Gus & Buddy Bell; Felipe & Moises Alou; Clay Jr. & Clay III Mathews; Kellan & Kellan Jr. Winslow; Kyle Sr. & Kyle Jr. Rote; Al & Little Al Unser;  Rick & Brent Berry; Ken Sr. & Ken Jr. Norton; Calvin & Grant Hill; Ken Sr. & Ken Jr. Griffey; Archie, Payton & Eli Manning; Bobby & Bobby Bonds; Gordie & Mark Howe; Ned & Dale Jarrett; Dick & Pete Weber; Lee & Richard Petty; Bobby & Brett Hull; Andy & Josh Pettitte. 
 
If you have more please Email their names to Dotson (dlewis1@stx.rr.com)  or call the Benchwarmers, ESPN Corpus Christi,  KEYS AM, 1440 weekdays 4- 6 pm at 361-560-5397. 
 
What about Father-Daughters In Sports?
 
     Dotson’s Note: A number of years ago when my daughter was in high school I hoped that she would participate in sports, unfortunately, the only sport then open to try-outs was track and field.  Our daughter decided to participate in the 440 yard run.  This was the longest running event back then for girls (after all, girls’ basketball during that era only allowed players to stay on one half of the court depending on if they were offense or defense). To prepare her for running track, we would do road work together very early every morning.  We had always had a great relationship and this activity together was great!

 

 

Annie-Dotson’s Daughter

 

     Daughter’s Note:  I usually proofread my dad’s articles for grammatical and writing errors before he sends them off to the Benchwarmers.  But after reading the above note, I am compelled to correct the content of his article this time, as well.  First off, in my heart we have always been very close.  And yes, sports, or at least physical activities are probably what we most often shared.  Here is a short list of just some of the things that Dotson taught or shared with me:  first, he taught me how to swim before I could walk.  He began teaching me to hold my breath naturally at 6 weeks, as he would allow me to gently go below the surface of the water.  Back then (1950’s) this was probably unheard of, although in the past few decades, many other parents also have their kids water-confident before they can walk. He also taught me swimming strokes, how to dive, and how to ride a bike.  When he was teaching a golf class, I was the guinea pig learning how to hold the club, same thing when he taught tennis or trampoline.

 

     Do you know what it is like to have a dad who participates and/or coaches and/or officiates every possible sport on earth?  I do; and I’ve always said I believe that I had attended or witnessed more sporting events by the time I was 18 than anyone else in the world.  I literally grew up beneath the bleachers of baseball and softball fields while Dad played and Mom cheered him on.  Don’t all kids hang out with other kids and play under the bleachers until all hours of the night?  Anytime Dad either played/coached or officiated a sport, I was there.  When he ran the USAEUR (United States Army Europe)sports in the 1960’s, I was at every event when I wasn’t in school.  I would sit through as many as 10 basketball games in a row, learning to keep score before I was in junior high.  I would attend boxing tournaments that went until midnight or later.  I would be at badminton or volleyball tournaments that had multiple courts all going at the same time under one large facility’s roof. And I also was the ball girl at some of the longest, sweatiest tennis tournaments ever played. 

 

     Maybe I never became the great professional athlete my dad dreamed I’d be, but I have had more exposure and therefore respect for the game, officials and players than just about anyone on earth.  And because I was raised on sports, I became the perfect wife for a sports enthusiast.  After all, when you first meet your future in-laws and go to a restaurant where Tex Schramm nods his head and says, “Dotson” as you pass by and that future father in law acknowledges with a nod, “Tex,” you know you can’t go wrong.  I never realized that radios played music; I thought they only broadcast sports.  I also thought it was normal for a TV to always be tuned in to a sporting event. See why my husband thinks he is in heaven?

 

     So thanks, Dad, I learned everything from you, became a better wife because of you, and share a bond with you that may have begun with sports, but ended with total admiration and respect.

 

Want to strengthen your father-daughter bond?

 

     A recent study suggests that when Father-Daughter take up a sport together, relationships between them significantly once they engaged in a shared activity.

     Published in the Journal of Human Communication and released this week, the study out of Baylor University in Texas found that the most commonly cited event that served as a turning point for the 43 fathers and 43 daughters questioned was participating in a sport together.

 

 

     The participants were not related to one another. Women were a minimum of 22 years old, and fathers between 45 and 70.

     Female respondents who participated in a sport with their father said they learned to compete, take risks and stand up for themselves, and enjoyed having their father all to themselves.

     When asked to pinpoint the moment their relationship entered a turning point, women also mentioned working and vacationing together, marriage, and physical distance.

     Among fathers, participating in a sport was likewise the most frequently cited activity they identified as marking the turning point in relationships with their daughters.

     For some, throwing around a ball or coaching their daughter’s softball team established a unique bond with their daughter that couldn’t be shared with the mother or other sibling, while other dads added that the shared activity helped open up the lines of communications.

     Other activities identified that helped bring them closer to their daughters included church functions, household projects and teaching them how to drive, while events included marriage and the moment their daughter started dating.

     Meanwhile, a 2011 study published in the journal Development and Psychopathology found that girls who receive ‘lower quality fathering’ tend to engage in more risky sexual behavior during their adolescence, while the opposite was true of girls who were brought up by engaged, supportive dads.

 

Dotson’s questions: Fathers of daughters, are you working at being a complete father?

 

-30-

 

Andy Pettitte


 

Benchwarmers Blog

Special to Island Moon

Dotson's Note: With all of the Major League Baseball stories of performance enhancing drugs, it is refreshing to hear the story of the Pettittes' (father Andy & son Josh) success in baseball.  Andy had his run-in with performance enhancers, but admitted his mistakes, cleaned up his act and kept working as a Major League baseball player. Andy pitched in two Texas High School state baseball championship games.

Andy Pettitte won his first game in the major leagues on June 7, 1995, when his son Josh, the first of four Pettitte sons, was seven months old.

Josh Pettitte 3.jpg

Josh & Andy Pettitte

Nearly two decades later, Andy Pettitte has 250 wins and Josh Pettitte is, for now, a member of the New York Yankees organization, having been selected in the 37th round of this year's MLB draft.

The fact that both happened on the same day, at virtually the same time, made Saturday a memorable day in the history of the Pettitte family of Deer Park, Texas.

"It's special," said Andy Pettitte, who pitched into the eighth inning of the Yankees' 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. "I'll remember this one, that's for sure."

"It's a great honor and blessing getting the call from the team that you've grown up watching and all the big leaguers play for," said Josh Pettitte, a slightly smaller and decidedly younger version of his soon-to-be 41-year-old father.

Josh Pettitte 1.jpg

Josh Pettitte

If genetics holds up, Josh Pettitte -- who pitched two no-hitters this season -- will still be pitching and winning major league games in the year 2037. And the way Andy Pettitte pitched on Saturday, he might be, too.

But even if it turns out to be a short-lived story -- both father and son insisted that 18-year-old Josh, a senior at Deer Park High School, would attend Baylor University before re-entering the draft three years from now -- it put smiles on the faces of everyone in the postgame clubhouse beyond what would be expected after a win over the rather harmless Mariners.

Even if it was done more as a symbolic gesture and a courtesy, the drafting of Josh Pettitte by the Yankees was probably the only event that could have eclipsed an accomplishment as important as Andy Pettitte's 250th win, a milestone achieved by only 42 other pitchers, 31 of whom are in the Hall of Fame.

Andy Pettitte.jpg

Andy in his 250th Major League Win

The news arrived via telephone to the Yankees clubhouse during the eighth inning of the game, while Andy was in the shower, having just been removed from the game, and Josh was sitting on the clubhouse couch watching the conclusion and hoping that the Yankees bullpen could preserve the two-run lead.

"I was actually shaving, and I come walking out here and he was on the phone," Andy Pettitte said. "He told me he had just spoke with [scouting director Damon Oppenheimer]. I just gave him a big hug and a kiss and told him I love him and I'm proud of him and said let's see what happens three years from now. Dad wants him to go to school."

Dad is likely to get his way, since the money for a 37th-round draft pick is not likely to dissuade Josh from pursuing a course of study in sports management along with his baseball career, even if it means that, three years from now, he might well be drafted by a different organization.

Josh Pettitte is listed as 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds but appears a bit smaller. Andy Pettitte, of course, is fully grown (6-foot-5 and 230 pounds) and as maturely developed as any pitcher in the game.

Andy mowed through the first nine hitters he faced on Saturday before Jason Bay led off the fourth with a single. The Mariners wound up with a run that inning because what looked like a double play ball was bobbled by Jayson Nix, which lengthened the inning enough for Michael Morse to drive Bay in with a sacrifice fly.

Pettitte then retired the next 10 hitters he faced before allowing a leadoff single to Nick Franklin in the eighth. After retiring Michael Saunders on a foul pop, Pettitte left the game for his memorable clubhouse moment with Josh, and Joe Girardi (Yankees manager) went to his bullpen, from which first David Robertson and then Rivera put the final touches on win No. 250.

"It's definitely a huge day for Josh," Andy said. "It's all tied in together now for me, though. It's like I can't separate them because they're both together. It just all happened right here, and the game was ending, so it's just really cool."

The Moody Trojans Advance to the State Semi-Finals


     Saturday, Moody had to win two games against Alamo Heights in the Region IV final. The Trojans had dropped the opener 3-2 in eight innings Friday at Whataburger Field. 

 

 

     The Moody baseball team learned Sunday what lies ahead in the Trojans’ quest for a third state championship.

 

     Tenth-ranked Moody (32-6-1) will face Whitehouse (31-8) in a Class 4A state semifinal at 7 p.m. Thursday at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. That game follows the first 4A semifinal between No. 2 Tomball (33-4) and Wichita Falls Rider (32-8).

 

     The Trojans will be making their 12th state tournament appearance, by far the most of the field. Whitehouse and Tomball are making their first trips at state, with Rider a four-time participant.

 

     Whitehouse is located 10 miles southeast of Tyler in East Texas. The Wildcats enter the state tournament on a 12-game winning streak.

Whitehouse cruised through the Region II bracket, going 10-0 with only two games decided by one run. The Region II final against Liberty saw Whitehouse romp to 6-0 and 6-1 victories.

 

     The Trojans  are returning to state for the first time since 2009. Except for junior catcher/pitcher Michael Cantu, who went to the 5A tournament with Carroll the past two years, every Moody player will be making his first state appearance.

 

    It was reported that there was a little anger circulating among Moody’s baseball team late Friday and on the bus ride Saturday on the way to the conclusion of the Region IV-4A championship series. It started with junior pitcher-catcher Michael Cantu and circulated throughout the dugout.

 

 

     Coach Joe Curiel’s Trojans swept the Alamo Heights Mules in two games, overcoming a possible record number of runners left on base in the series, to beat the Mules 9-2 and 5-2.  This will be Moody’s 12th trip to the state tournament.

 

     “I came out there with a mission. I’ve been in this place before,” said Cantu, who becomes the first area player to appear in three consecutive state tournaments with two different teams. “We knew if we beat (Alamo Heights) the first game they’re not going to want to play us the third game. So I just told Coach, I said, ‘Coach, you worry about who’s pitching the third game because I’ve got the second one.”

 

     Cantu (11-0) had the first one, scattering eight hits and striking out seven. Sophomore Aaron Hernandez had the second one. Hernandez drove in six runs in Game 2 and then, after not having pitched since the 6-0 win over King before the playoffs, tossed seven innings of eight-hit ball in the final game, making his overall record 3 wins and 1 loss. Despite leaving 32 runners aboard in the three-game series, the Trojans came up with enough key hits in Game 2. They were 6 for 19 with runners in scoring position accounting for nine runs batted in.

 

     “We were angry at ourselves for letting (that happen) in Game 1,” said J.D. Garcia, who was 4 for 5 in Game 2 and added two more hits in Game 3. “It was, ‘You know what, let’s get it done and get it over with and go to state.’”

 

     “I said we had to capitalize,” Moody third baseman Ricky Gonzalez said. “We capitalized today.”

Hernandez paved the way in the finale. The Mules (24-12-1) touched him for two third-inning runs to pull within 4-2. But the sophomore settled in, throwing 117 pitches after catching Cantu for six innings in Game 2. Hernandez allowed only three hits after the third inning.

 

     “Me and (Hernandez) were on the same page the whole day, the whole night,” Cantu said. “We just switched positions and he went out there and he threw his butt off. It’s a great feeling for him to get there and to have done it the way we did it.”

 

     Three second-inning Alamo Heights errors and an intentional walk to Kenny Saenz — it was one of five free passes Mules pitchers issued in the game, three to Saenz, to keep Moody’s more proficient hitters from having an opportunity — led to four Moody runs. Three scored on Cantu’s deep fly to center field that the Mules’ Cole Bailey couldn’t handle and the other on Chris Estrada’s RBI bunt off Cameron Mineo (11-4), the Mules’ ace who picked up the win in relief in Game 1. 

 

     Moody (32-6-1) will play Whitehouse (31-8) in the State Semi-Finals at Dell Diamond in Round Rock at 7 pm, Thursday, June 6th. The winner of this game will play the winner of Tomball (33-4) vs. Wichita Falls Rider (32-8), Dell Diamond at 7 pm, Friday,  June 7th.

 

Go Trojans!

 

Tickets: Session passes are $5 (students) and $10 (adults). All-tournament passes are $30.

 

Television: Semifinals will be on Time Warner digital channel 888 and streamed online at FoxSportsSouthwest.com. Final will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest Plus and streamed online at FoxSportsSouthwest.com.

 

A Memorial Day Tribute to America's Athletes in World War II


     It's hard to imagine Derek Jeter or Tiger Woods heading to Iraq to join the U.S. armed forces. But in World War II no American man between the ages of 20 and 45 was too big to serve—except for the basketball players who exceeded the Army's 6'6" limit for recruits.

 

Jack Dempsey- WW II (Age 47)

 

     Tales of Yogi Berra storming Normandy, Jack Dempsey invading Okinawa and Ted Williams maneuvering fighter planes are riveting and moving. Consider the role of the black soldier during the war and the influence that had on the integration of baseball. In 1945 commissioner Happy Chandler declared, "If they [black ballplayers] can fight and die in Okinawa, Guadalcanal and in the South Pacific, they can play baseball in America."

 

Yogi Berra (right) with his Father & Brother John-1944

 

     During World War II, baseball was undoubtedly the most popular sport in America. It was during the 1940's and 1950's that baseball became known as America's pastime. Just days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis was unsure whether baseball should continue to be played, with America's involvement in the war now inevitable. President Roosevelt sent the commissioner a letter saying the game should continue--even though many baseball players would enlist or be drafted into the military--because it was best for the country. 
 
     While Major League Baseball continued play during World War II, many of its players were in the armed forces. Over the course of America's involvement in World War II, more than 500 major leaguers--including 35 future Hall of Famers--served in the United States military. Two major league players, Harry O'Neill and Elmore Gedeon, died in service.
 
     It is extremely important to realize the sacrifices that so many people made during the time of the war. It is unlikely that we will ever see so many professional athletes who lived in the spotlight give it all up for their country. In today's age, where many athletes will not represent their country in the Olympics due to potentially jeopardizing money down the line, it is important to understand that so many athletes were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
 
Ted Williams-WW II
 
     All-time greats such as Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Bob Feller and Hank Greenburg gave up time during the prime of their careers to serve. Many have the opinion that if not for World War II, baseball's history books would look far different. Williams may very well have retired as the all-time home run leader and gone down as the greatest player in baseball history if not for the years he missed while serving his country.
 
Bob Feller being sworn in to the US navy by former heavyweight boxing champion, Gene Tunney, at the Chicago courthouse in December 1941.
 
     Even without some of its biggest stars, Major League Baseball continued to play during World War II. While there is no doubt that the talent level was lowered, baseball continued to flourish in America as people sought it out as a way to maintain some normalcy. The Yankees and Cardinals each won multiple World Series and were the dominant teams during this time.
 
     At the beginning of World War II, there was much talk that baseball should suspend operations just as it had during World War I. Those talks quickly subsided after The Sporting News printed an article in which soldiers who were overseas were interviewed. The soldiers gave a huge amount of support to the sport and said that America's pastime must continue to move forward.
 
     Some of those players include Hank Greenberg, Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Yogi Berra, Hoyt Wilhelm, Warren Spahn, Red Schoendienst, Leon Day, Nester Chylak, Joe DiMaggio, Pete Gray, Bart Shepard, Phil Rizzuto, Stan Musial, and many, many more.
 
Nestor Chylak-1955
 
     Nestor Chylak (1922-82), the eighth umpire elected to the Hall of Fame, was the dean of umpires of the American League during the later years of his career. He was proud of his technical ability as an arbiter, but he was also a superb teacher, helping new umps, such as Dave Phillips, learn the ropes. Of his mentor, Phillips said, "[Nestor] ate and lived umpiring." 
 
     In World War II, Chylak saw action in the Battle of the Bulge. Gene Karst tells the story in telegraphic style in Who's Who in Professional Baseball: "Badly shot up in WWII Battle of the Bulge, spent many months in Veterans Hospital. After getting out, money didn't last long and wound up broke. Ran into friend who offered him a chance to umpire a college game. 'I got enough troubles,' replied Chylak. 'People hate umpires. Who wants to be an umpire?'"
 
Dotson's note: This is a special tribute to my friend Nester Chylak who was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery under fire during the Battle of the Bulge.
 

 

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