Saturday, May 25, 2013

SF Giants' Angel Pagan, Walk-off Inside-the-Park Home Run

in photo left to right: Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan and Andres Torres
image source: Jeff Chiu, AP

In baseball, scoring a walk-off run is always exciting. For those not familiar with the term "walk-off" run, it means the home team scores the winning run in the bottom inning to end the game before finishing the inning. The home team can "walk off" the field immediately afterward.*

A lot rarer and perhaps more exciting is an inside-the-park home run. It is usually a hit well placed beyond reach of the outfielders. By the time the ball is retrieved and thrown back to the infield, the batter has touched all bases and made it to home plate to score.

For the first time since Rey Sanchez of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays did it in 2004, my beloved San Francisco Giants accomplish both feats this afternoon. It comes from leadoff hitter Angel Pagan.

With the Giants down 5-4 to the Colorado Rockies in the bottom of the 10th inning (Giants were down 4-0 in the 4th inning, Giants tie game 4-4 in the 7th, Rockies take lead 5-4 in 9th), Pagan hits a deep driving shot to right center field that bounces off the outfield wall. The rest is history.

A heart-pounding finish I'll never forget.

Here's the video (web only):

*information source - Wikipedia

Monday, May 20, 2013

Shayna Ng, Singapore vs. Aumi Guerra, Dominican Republic

48th Annual Qubica AMF World Cup - Women's Final
Shayna Ng, Singapore (L) versus Aumi Guerra, Dominican Republic (R)

On my October 7, 2012 blog entry, I wrote about how much I enjoyed watching women's bowling outside the United States. Pictured above is a screenshot at the start of the women's final match. Both Aumi and Shayna are fairly well-known in World Bowling Tour circles. As of March 29, 2013, Shayna is 10th in the Women's Division rankings.

Courtesy of The International Art of Bowling (led by pro bowlers Diandra Asbaty and Jason Belmonte), I've included a YouTube video (see below) of the match from Poland. You may notice one of the few viewers with a front row seat watching the match is none other than former President Lech Walesa.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Brothers Jay

As this is Asian Pacific Heritage month, I want to acknowledge 2 people who were born, raised and educated in my native city of Columbus, Ohio to Chinese parents. They are John C Jay, and his younger brother, Ben. Their parents, Gim and Jan Jay, operated and ran Crestview Market in the 1960's until their retirement in the 1980's. Crestview Market was a primary supplier to most of the Chinese restaurants in greater Columbus, including my family's, Jong Mea.

In Ben's student days at Ohio State, my family saw him often, as he made many deliveries to Jong Mea. When he wasn't working or in school, he was involved in numerous sporting activities, which is why his current occupation comes as no surprise to anyone who knew him growing up.

After Ben received his bachelor's degree in accounting at Ohio State in 1981, he began his varied and very successful athletic administration career. In summary:
  • General Manager, Redwood Pioneers, a minor league baseball affiliate for the California Angels. 
  • Director of Operations, Cleveland Indians. 
  • Master's Degree, athletics administration, The Ohio State University. 
  • Assistant Athletics Director for Business and Finance, Fairfield (Connecticut) University. 
  • Associate Commissioner for Business and Finance, PAC-10 Conference. 
  • Senior Associate Athletics Director for Finance and Operations, The Ohio State University, and as of January, 2013,
  • Athletic Director, University of Hawai'i, Manoa
Below is a YouTube video interview with Ben after his appointment as the new Athletic Director at the University of Hawai'i.

Ben's older brother, John C Jay, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ohio State in 1971. John's career began in New York at Bloomingdale's in the menswear and home furnishings department. In his 12 years at Bloomingdale's, he moved up the ranks to become Executive Vice President, Director of Creative and Marketing Services.

In 1993, John moved to Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, Oregon. As partner and global executive creative director for W+K, he led campaigns for Nike, Coca-Cola and Microsoft. He also established satellite offices in Tokyo, Shanghai and Delhi. In honor of his parents and school roots, he established the Gim and Jan Jay Scholarship Fund at Ohio State to provide financial assistance for students of Asian descent who seek careers in visual or performing arts and design.

As of January 2013, W+K appointed John as lead for their new unit, W+K Garage. From Kiran Aditham's article listed in the Agency Spy section of Media Bistro, the creation of Garage "will serve as a multidisciplinary creative agency for the connected age, focused on the concepting, creating and investing in innovative experiences, content and technology."

I've included a video interview of John from November 2011:

From this Asian-American, Columbus native and Ohio State alum, way to go. You homeboys make us proud.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Six-on-Six Basketball

For any girl that grew up playing any kind of organized basketball prior to 1970, you may have played under rules different than today's game. It was called six-on-six, or girls basketball, or sometimes referred to as "granny-style basketball".

The most archaic aspect of the game was that a player could play only half-court defense or offense. Never both. There were no centers and only forwards could shoot the ball. If the old girls rules applied today, we'd never experience seeing the visual wizardry of outstanding college guards like Jennifer Azzi, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird or Dawn Staley.

A variant of the girls rule (played in New Jersey until 1975) allowed 2 players to play full-court, 2 players half-court on defense and 2 players half-court on offense.

Although these rules began their phase out in 1958, it took 37 years for the rules to be phased out completely. The last 2 states to play six-on-six basketball were Iowa in 1993 and Oklahoma in 1995.

The below YouTube video is taken from an Iowa girls state championship game played in 1976. The quality is rather poor, but from the fan turnout and pace of the game, it's understandable why Iowa was one of the last states to phase out a popular and very successful school sport.