On this day in 1923, the great New York Yankee debuted as a pinch runner. The Iron Horse spent his entire 17 year career with the New York ball club, playing in more than 2,000 games. He batted an astonishing .340 for his career, and became one of the best power hitters in the history of the game, and one of the best 1st baseman of all time.
His career was tragically cut short by ALS, better known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” It forced him out of the game against his will, and while he still had plenty left in the tank at 36 years-old. Over a 15-year span he played in 2,130 consecutive games, a streak which only ended with his retirement from the game, and led to one of the most famous quotes in all of sport.
Gehrig is a hero in the game of baseball and the game of life. And the Legend began on this day 90 years ago.
On to the notes!
— Another football commitment for Mark Stoops, another spot higher on the Rivals 2014 team rankings board. Kentucky is up to the No. 2 class, just behind Texas A&M. By this point, you know UK football isn’t messing around on the recruiting trail, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth repeating. It might not hold up once the five-stars pick their schools, but it will not fall off by much. Kentucky will have its best class ever when it is all said and done.
— That commitment was from three-star defensive tackle Adrian Middleton from South Warren in Bowling Green. The 6-4, 275 lb. DT chose the Cats over Louisville, who was presumed to be his leader. He is the fifth-best prospect in the state.
— Coach Calipari took to Twitter this afternoon to toot his own horn. Because why not? He dropped the bomb on why kids want to come to Kentucky. And there is truly nothing anybody can say about it. Because he is king of the college basketball world.
You want to know why players are picking Kentucky? Here’s what I think: Their families trust us with their child. They know we’re about education and they know we’re going to do what we say. They know we have their child’s interest on the forefront of our minds. It’s players first. Players know they are going to get better on and off the court … and if they work hard and play for their teammates, they can reach their potential and their dreams. Lastly, we’re not trying to recruit kids to our style of play. We’re recruiting kids to try to do everything we can to make them better. It’s more about them being the best player they can be than playing a certain style. All of our players get better, and that’s what they’re looking for. Bottom line, they know our #SuccessRate.
— Jarrod Polson, being the wholesome, kind young whippersnapper that he is, allowed the future Kentucky point guard, Andrew Harrison, to have his jersey No. 5. We now know that Polson will change to No. 3 next season. A number that has been worn most recently by Terrence Jones and Nerlens Noel.
— There has been a No. 3 on each Kentucky team since 2005, starting with Brandon Stockton, then Ramel Bradley, Kevin Galloway, Darnell Dodson, Jones, and Noel. Glad to see it being picked up by Polson.
— Nerlens Noel’s ACL rehab is ahead of schedule, and he says he hopes to return by the holidays:
“I’m feeling good. I’m still ahead of schedule with the things that I’m doing. It’s usually about a seven- to eight-month injury timeline to returning. I’m just taking steps to get back. From when I got surgery, eight months would be probably around Christmas. It’s probably November to Christmas. There’s no rush. I’m just trying to get back.”
— Indiana vs. Kentucky All-Stars played a second game today following the 54-point blowout last night. Kentucky made it more respectable this time around, losing to Indiana 84-77. Kentucky freshman Dominique Hawkins finished with 33 points.
— Speaking of Hawkins, he had quite the quote for us to digest, with quite the compliment for the squad. He said of the talent in the group, “I can’t really describe. I want to say … we’re like superheroes.” There is plenty more from Adam Himmelsbach at the Courier-Journal.
— Louisville baseball fell to Indiana in game two of the College World Series. The Cardinals were shut out by Hoosiers starter Joey DeNato 2-0. He threw 136 pitches, surrendering just 4 hits and getting 8 strikeouts. Louisville will fall to the losers bracket of the double-elimination tournament.