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Legendary Sportscaster Bob Wolff Makes Guinness Book of World Records
Just when you thought Bob Wolff couldn’t do anything more impressive in a career that has seen one remarkable moment after another, the legendary Long Island sportscaster earned his way into the Guinness Book of World Records for the second time.
He now has the “longest career as a broadcaster.” Wolff’s record was certified during a special pre-game ceremony at Yankee Stadium in the spring. He also holds the world record for “longest career as sportscaster.”
This is a man used to recognition for his work. He’s enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the National Basketball Hall of Fame; the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame and the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame. He has won countless Emmy Awards and the TV Ace Award.
Wolff, 93, is in his 75th year as a broadcaster. He is the only sportscaster to call a World Series, NBA Final, Stanley Cup Final and Super Bowl. He had the play-by-play call for Don Larsen’s perfect game in 1955 and the 1958 NFL Championship game between New York and Baltimore, dubbed “the greatest football game ever played.”
Wolff, who is old enough to have interviewed Babe Ruth, has been broadcasting sports news on News 12 for the last 28 years.
“Bob Wolff is a true broadcasting pioneer,” Guinness World Records Official Mike Janela said in a statement. “His career embodies longevity and versatility, and we’re honored to recognize this special achievement in the Bronx, where he called some of his most amazing moments.”
LIer Sonny Milano Drafted by Blue Jackets
It doesn’t happen often, but Long Island added another native son to world of professional hockey last week. The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Massapequa native Sonny Milano in the first round of the NHL Draft.
With nearly 50 family members and friends at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for the draft, Milano was selected 16th overall. He already committed to play at Boston College, after de-committing to Notre Dame, and will play college hockey. The Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League own Milano’s Canadian junior rights as well.
“He was very high on our list,” Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a story on the team’s website. “He’s a very skilled forward, a creative forward also. Our scouts very high on him, as well. He seems like a pretty mature kid physically, too, but I think there’s a lot of growing up to and a lot of hard work ahead of him.”
Milano recorded 72 points (24 goals) with the USTNDP U-18 club this season. He lived in Ohio for a year playing junior hockey, so he has some connection to the Columbus area. As a kid growing up on Long Island, however, he was an Islanders fan.
“When I heard them call my name, I was so excited,” Milano told the Blue Jackets. “You’re a little nervous sitting there, and you want to go to a place where someone wants you. There’s a little bit of pressure, but it’s fine.”
Milano is just the 12th Long Island native drafted by an NHL team. There are only a dozen or so more who went undrafted and played in the league.
Milano is not the highest draft pick off the island. The Canadiens took Mike Komisarek (Smithtown) with the seventh overall pick in 2001, the Flames took Eric Nystrom (Portledge) 10th overall in 2002 and Chris Higgins (Smithtown) was taken by the Canadiens 14th overall also in 2002.
Other LIers drafted by NHL teams
*Chris Ferraro, Rangers, Port Jefferson
*Peter Ferraro, Rangers, Port Jefferson
*Rich Hansen, Islanders, Northport
*Chris Higgins, Canadiens, Smithtown
*Val James, Red Wings, unknown
*Mike Komisarek, Canadians, St. Anthony’s
*Eric Nystrom, Flames, Portledge
*Kyle Palmieri, Ducks, Smithtown
*Jim Pavese, Blues, Kings Park
*Rob Scuderi, Penguins, St. Anthony’s
*Paul Skidmore, Blues, Smithtown
LI Native Testaverde Makes College Football HOF
Vinny Testaverde was a skilled and now legendary quarterback at every level from high school at Sewanhaka on Long Island to the NFL, where he ranks in the top 10 all-time in career passing yards.
He also excelled at the University of Miami and for his efforts on the collegiate level, Testaverde was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in its most recent class.
The 2013 hall of fame class was inducted at the 56th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner last December, and will be officially enshrined this summer.
“We could not be more proud to announce the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Ole Miss, in a statement. “These players and coaches are some of the greatest to have ever participated in our sport, and we offer our most sincere congratulations to each of them for this incredible achievement. Gene Corrigan and the NFF Honors Court deserve the utmost respect for selecting another tremendous group of inductees.”
Testaverde had a stellar career at Miami, earning just about every honor a star quarterback can take home, including the Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Player of the Year honors, plus Maxwell, O’Brien and UPI Player of the Year awards. He led the Hurricanes to the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, that year’s National Championship game, while garnering First Team All-America honors.
The Testaverde File
*More than 6,000 passing yards and 48 touchdown passes
*Still ranks in top five of almost every passing category
*Was 23-3 as a starting quarterback at Miami
*One of four Hurricanes to have their jersey number retired
*Selected No. 1 overall by Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*Played 21 seasons in the National Football League
2013 College Football HOF Inductees
*TED BROWN – TB, North Carolina State (1975-78)
*TEDY BRUSCHI – DE, Arizona (1992-95)
*RON DAYNE – RB, Wisconsin (1996-99)
*TOMMIE FRAZIER – QB, Nebraska (1992-95)
*JERRY GRAY – DB, Texas (1981-84)
*STEVE MEILINGER* – E, Kentucky (1951-53)
*ORLANDO PACE – OT, Ohio State (1994-96)
*ROD SHOATE (deceased) – LB, Oklahoma (1972-74)
*PERCY SNOW – LB, Michigan State (1986-89)
*VINNY TESTAVERDE – QB, Miami, Fla. (1982, 1984-86)
*DON TRULL – QB, Baylor (1961-63)
*DANNY WUERFFEL – QB, Florida (1993-96)
*Coach, WAYNE HARDIN – 118-74-5 (61.2%); Navy (1959-64); Temple (1970-82)
*Coach, BILL McCARTNEY – 93-55-5 (62.4%); Colorado (1982-94)
Stroman Earns Win in First Career Start
Late last month Long Island native and Patchogue-Medford alum Marcus Stroman was featured on the cover of Sportsnet, a popular magazine in Canada. As the face of the prospect pool for the Toronto Blue Jays, Stroman is widely considered the next big thing in their minor league system.
The organization thinks highly enough of Stroman that they’ve already promoted him to the big leagues and he made his first career start last week, earning a victory thanks to a highly potent offense as of late. The Blue Jays beat the Royals, 12-2, and Stroman was elated.
“It was pretty special,” Stroman told MLB.com after the game. “From the second I went out to long toss before the game, walked out on the field and saw the dome open, a ton of people here. It was pretty special. That crowd we had, and how nice it was. To just go out there and get the win, and to have the team hit like they did.”
In the Sportsnet cover story, there was an astonishing historic note about pitchers being 5-foot-9 or shorter in the big leagues. Simply put, there haven’t been many, and basically none have had long or successful careers. Stroman is 5-foot-8 and he doesn’t want to hear any of it.
According to Sportsnet, over the last 30 years, 2,083 pitchers have started a game in the major leagues. The article went on to say that only four of them have been shorter than 5’9 and they did not make more than eight starts. The numbers are even greater if you go back to 1950 and increase the height one inch.
Stroman pitched six innings and had six strikeouts, allowing just five hits and one earned run in his first start. He is 2-0 (he earned a victory in relief as well) now this season.
Toronto media asked Blue Jays manager John Gibbons if Stroman would get another start. The obvious answer is yes, and the obvious trajectory for Stroman’s career should be more promising then just about every other pitcher to stand 5-foot-9 or shorter too.
Hofstra’s Bill Edwards Retires From Coaching
There may never be another softball coach in the northeast as famous as Bill Edwards. At least at Hofstra and Long Island there won’t. After 25 seasons in Hempstead, Edwards announced on Monday, May 19 that he is retiring from his post.
“It’s been a great run and so much fun working with so many great student-athletes,” Edwards said in a statement. “It has been rewarding to see that so many still embrace old-school coaching. The only thing I regret with leaving now is not being able to work longer with our administration. But I know they’ll take good care of Larissa (Anderson). The timing is perfect to turn it over to Larissa, who I respect and admire so much. I’ve given her more and more responsibility every year and she’s thrived. She’s one of the top coaches in Division I. The incoming recruits are in great hands and the program will make a seamless transition.”
He is the winningest coach in any program in the history of the Hofstra Department of Athletics.
Instead of writing about how wonderful of a person and coach Edwards is, because it’s true he is, let’s let the numbers do the speaking for just how brilliant of a career he had (all numbers/notes from Hofstra Athletics):
*Edwards’ career ran from 1990 to 2014 that spanned 1,350 games, leading Hofstra to all 15 of the program’s NCAA Tournament appearances.
*Under his guidance, Hofstra went from a below .500 team in 1989 to a nationally respected power that captured 18 postseason conference championships, including 10 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) titles (including the first seven in the league’s history).
*This past February Edwards earned career victory No. 900 and finished his NCAA run with a 928-419-3 ledger that is good for a .687 winning percentage.
*The Pride finished at least 10 games better than .500 in 23 of his 25 seasons.
*The Pride has won at least one game in each of their last 12 NCAA Tournament appearances.
*Edwards was named the Regional Coach of the Year 12 times.
*Edwards was enshrinement in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. He is also in the Iona Athletic Hall of Fame for his time as the school’s hockey coach (1968-1979).
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