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Another Hall of Famer Passes Away
[Posted Tuesday night as a lot is going on…the Dodgers trailing the Braves 7-3 in the top of the eighth in their Game 2, the Astros and Rays in Game 3 just underway, while in the NFL, the 4-0 Bills are trailing the 3-0 Covid-19 Titans 28-10. And the #1 Wake Forest soccer team just lost to #2 Clemson 2-1 on the road. Drat!]
Formula One Quiz: This is related to an item down below and, granted, this quiz is for a limited audience, but, 1) Name the only two Americans to win the Formula 1 world driving championship. 2) Only five Americans have won at least two individual F1 races. I’ll give you Bill Vukovich, whose two wins were actually the Indy 500 when it was included in the World Driving Championship series back in the 1950s. Name the other four. Answers below. [I promise you an interesting tidbit most of you didn’t know before.]
--The Tampa Bay Rays took the first two games of their ALCS series against the Astros 2-1 and 4-2, Houston leaving 10 and 11 men on base in the two, respectively, which kind of says it all.
In Game 2, Manuel Margot of the Rays had a game for the ages with a three-run homer in the bottom of the first and a spectacular over-the-wall catch in right-field foul territory.
--The Braves defeated the Dodgers in Game 1 Monday 5-1, Max Fried (6 innings, 1 run) and three Atlanta relievers holding L.A. to just four hits.
Dylan Hernandez / Los Angeles Times
“In these most unusual of times, the Dodgers still can be counted on to provide an element of normalcy.
“Everything about their 5-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Monday night was familiar, from the successive zeros they posted on the scoreboard at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, to the blank stares of the players along the dugout railing.
“Once again, their offense vanished….
“Over the last four innings, they didn’t have a single player reach base.
“Much like trick-or-treating or bobbing for apples, the disappearance of their high-powered lineup has become an October tradition.
“Unlike the Halloween-related activities that figure to be canceled this year, the Dodgers’ custom is evidently pandemic-proof.
“A more frightening possibility was introduced Monday night, which is that not even Mookie Betts can inspire them to skip their annual hibernation.
“The story they told themselves was that Betts’ multi-dimensional game wouldn’t ever let them look as feeble as they did against the Braves.
“In reality, the Dodgers remain an unknown quantity.”
--The White Sox stunned a lot of folks Monday when they announced the firing of manager Rick Renteria, who had led Chicago to their first playoff berth since 2008. His prior three seasons he oversaw the rebuilding that has begun to bear fruit and the future looks good for the ChiSox.
But now there is talk Chicago is looking to Tony La Russa. Yes, 76-year-old Tony La Russa.
La Russa, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame six years ago, retired after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to the 2011 World Series championship. Since then he has held front office positions for the Diamondbacks, Red Sox and Angels.
La Russa has rejected previous overtures but he admits the Chicago job intrigues him. He started his managerial career in 1979 and led the White Sox to the AL West title four years later. Jerry Reinsdorf, the White Sox chairman, is one of La Russa’s closest friends.
Reinsdorf, 84, craves one more World Series title before he hits the owner’s box upstairs, so to speak.
A.J. Hinch is also at the top of the list for Reinsdorf.
The White Sox were baffled by Renteria’s bullpen management and La Russa is considered a genius at managing his ‘pen.
Hinch would have to carry the weight of the baseball world for his role in the cheating scandal, but he is permitted to return to baseball after his one-year suspension.
--What a stretch for baseball and the Hall of Fame. Joe Morgan died Sunday at his home in California due to a non-specified polyneuropathy, his family announced. He was just 77.
Since September 2, Morgan, one of the game’s all-time second basemen, becomes the fifth member of the Hall of Fame to die, the others being Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford and Lou Brock. A sixth, Al Kaline, passed earlier this year.
Morgan played 22 seasons in the big leagues from 1963-1984. Although he began his career with the Houston Astros when they were known as the Colt .45s, he’s best-known for his years as a member of the Cincinnati Reds’ “Big Red Machine” teams of the 1970s.
It was in Cincinnati that the 5-foot-7, 160 pound Morgan won back-to-back MVP titles (1975-76) during the Reds’ consecutive championships. Between the two seasons, Morgan hit 44 home runs, drove in 205, scored 220, and batted .324 with a .997 OPS, while stealing 127 bases over those two years.
For his career, Morgan had an outstanding .392 OBP at a time it wasn’t treasured as much as it is today, leading the league in walks four times.
Morgan captured five consecutive Gold Gloves (1973-77) and he made 10 All-Star teams throughout his career.
Born in Texas and raised in California, Morgan spent the first nine seasons of his career in Houston, becoming a regular in 1965.
Perhaps the first Sports Illustrated cover I can still remember distinctly today was in 1966 when Morgan and his infield partner, Sonny Jackson, were featured with the caption “Astros in Orbit.” Jackson finished second in the Rookie of the Year vote that year, after Morgan had finished second in 1965.
Johnny Bench said of his Reds teammate: “Joe wasn’t just the best second baseman in baseball history, he was the best player I ever saw and one of the best people I’ve ever known. He was a dedicated father and husband and a day won’t go by that I won’t think about his wisdom and friendship. He left the world a better, fairer, and more equal place than he found it, and inspired millions along the way.”
Commissioner Rob Manfred said in his statement: “Major League Baseball is deeply saddened by the death of Joe Morgan, one of the best five-tool players our game has ever known and a symbol of all-around excellence. Joe often reminded baseball fans that the player smallest in stature on the field could be the most impactful.”
It was Nov. 29, 1971, that Joe Morgan was part of a blockbuster trade that changed the trajectory of the Reds in a huge way. Morgan, Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo and Denis Menke to Cincinnati for Tommy Helms, Lee May and Jimmy Stewart.
[Jack Billingham was an underrated piece…becoming a two-time 19-game winner and key cog in the pitching staff for years, while Cesar Geronimo became a Gold Glove outfielder and clutch hitter.]
For Joe Morgan, the trade turned him from a very good player into a Hall of Famer, making the All-Star team all eight seasons he was in Cincinnati, 1972-1979. Aside from winning the N.L. MVP Award in 1975 and ’76, he finished fourth in the voting in 1972 and ’73.
Bill James wrote in his analytic volume, “The Bill James Historical Abstract”: “Joe Morgan was a genuinely great player.” His 1976 season, James wrote, which included leading the league in sacrifice flies (12) and fewest double plays hit into (two), “is the equal of anything ever done by Lou Gehrig or Jimmie Foxx or Joe DiMaggio or Stan Musial.”
Morgan rejoined Houston in 1980 and then bounced around before his retirement after a final campaign in Oakland in 1984.
Almost immediately after his playing career, Morgan made the transition from the field to the broadcast booth, first at ABC and then alongside Bob Costas at NBC. From 1990-2010, viewers knew him as the color commentator on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” telecasts with play-by-play partner Jon Miller. [“Sunday Night Baseball” has sucked since Jon Miller left in particular, and the two were a quality duo, though Morgan stayed in the booth a little longer than he should have. He was not a fan of the game’s new statistics-based approach as described in “Moneyball” and as the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir described him, Morgan became “the Grumpy Old Analyst.”]
Morgan’s work with the Baseball Assistance Team, which provides financial help for former major and minor leaguers, Negro leagues players and others formerly affiliated with professional baseball who have fallen on hard times, was tireless. He was a man of great character.
One personal note. Back in the spring of 1970, my parents pulled me out of school for a week (my elementary school principal was not happy) to take me to California, where Dad had a conference in Los Angeles. We ended up staying in the same hotel as the Astros, in town to face the Dodgers.
This was memorable for two reasons. One, a friend of my father’s, and the family, took me to Chavez Ravine for a game, which was fantastic fun (I fell in love with that ballpark), and, second, these were far simpler times. As in I stood at the elevator and filled up a blank sheet of paper with autographs of the Astros…including Joe Morgan, Denis Menke, Larry Dierker, Jack Billingham, Don Wilson and Jesus Alou, that I can remember. [I want to say Jimmy Wynn signed it, too, but not totally sure.]
The thing is I kept the sheet in a box under my bed until long after I moved out and I’m praying it’s up in our attic somewhere.
--The Saints moved to 3-2 Monday night as they defeated the Chargers (1-4) in New Orleans 30-27 in overtime. L.A. rookie quarterback Justin Herbert looked terrific again, 20/34, 264, 4-0, 122.7, outplaying Drew Brees, but Summit High School’s own, kicker Michael Badgley, had his worst game as a pro, missing the extra point after the first touchdown (which proved to be critical) and then his game-winning field goal attempt at the end of regulation from 50 yards by an inch or two, as it clanged off the upright and bounced back, not through. The Saints took advantage in OT and picked up the win.
Badgley is 35 of 42 on field goals in his brief career, and 57 of 59 on extra points, but two of those misses was the game.
I’ve told you going back to his days as a kicker at the University of Miami how nervous I get watching him and last night was no exception. Bounce back, Michael.
--Dak Prescott is expected to be out about six months with his devastating ankle injury, a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle. So Cowboys fans (and any fan of the NFL) are hoping that sometime next spring we hear Prescott is back on the field and there is cause for optimism next season.
But Sunday night, there was NFL analyst and former coach Tony Dungy using the worst possible words to talk about how the Cowboys can move forward, saying Prescott’s injury “might be a blessing in disguise for the Cowboys.”
Dungy then tried to apologize: “Blessing in disguise was a poor choice of words by me. It’s not a blessing for Dak. What I meant was that for the Cowboys the season is not over. Andy Dalton is very capable and changing the focus back to Elliott could help the defense. But I feel very badly for Dak.”
Not good enough, Tony.
As for the Cowboys and team ownership, executive vice president Stephen Jones tried to reassure everyone Prescott remains foremost in the team’s plans.
“He’s our future. He’s special,” Jones said on Monday. “If anyone can overcome anything, it would be Dak. This is something that our doctors feel good that he’ll overcome and come back better than ever.”
Prescott is set to be an unrestricted free agent after this season after playing on the $31.4 million franchise tag in 2020. The Cowboys can use the tag on him against next March, which would cost $37.7 million, or allow him to test the free-agent market.
It has been a long-running saga on whether the Cowboys and Prescott could reach agreement on a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline, and when the two sides were unable to come to an agreement, that meant Prescott would play under the tag. Dallas wants a five-year deal at $110 million, while Prescott wants four years.
--We have three 0-5 teams and all three are clearly in the Race for Trevor.
Jets 0-5, Giants 0-5, Falcons 0-5.
The Giants’ Daniel Jones has 31 turnovers in 17 games (17 INTs, 14 lost fumbles). That’s not good enough.
The Jets’ Sam Darnold has been playing like a deer in the headlights.
The Falcon’s Matt Ryan still has some football in him and can be traded.
Atlanta, which finally put head coach Dan Quinn out of his misery Sunday night (along with GM Thomas Dimitroff), we are continually told has talent and thus won’t finish anywhere near 0-16, plus teams always play with some spirt, at least initially, for an interim coach.
The Giants have been pretty competitive in their five losses and it’s expected they’ll win a few the rest of the way.
But the Jets? They suck. Really, really suck.
Jeff B. pointed out the comments of ESPN’s Rich Cimini and the Jets No. 32 power ranking.
“The Jets aren’t good at anything, so it’s hard to pinpoint one weakness.”
Their biggest weakness? “Football.”
Dr. W., who lives in Greenville, S.C., land of the Clemson Tigers, asked me how I thought a Clemson-Jets game would end up.
Not even close…Jets would lose. First off, at the skill positions Clemson is a decided favorite, and they have a cohesive defense. I’m guessing 40-10.
I mean, seriously. Trevor Lawrence over Sam Darnold…not close. Travis Etienne over any Jets running back…not even close. Clemson’s wide receivers are dynamic. The Jets’ not so much.
Anyway, you get the point.
Separately, Le’Veon Bell is rightfully disgruntled over the offense Adam Gase has been running and the Jets should trade him.
*And this just in…they released him!
--Back to Dan Quinn…it was really amazing how he simply never recovered from the Super Bowl collapse for the ages, Feb. 5, 2017. After blowing the 28-3 lead in the third quarter to the Patriots, the Falcons went 10-6 the following year, losing a divisional playoff game, and then 7-9 and 7-9 in 2018 and ’19, before this year’s putrid start.
--The Browns are off to their best start since 1994 at 4-1 after Sunday’s 32-23 win over the Colts. 1994?! Yes, a lot of dark years for fans of the Brownies.
--This Saturday we have a biggie, basically the only one of the week, 3 Georgia at 2 Alabama, 8:00 p.m. ET.
For parochial reasons, I’m kind of looking forward to Virginia (1-2) at Wake Forest (1-2), which should be an entertaining contest.
--Meanwhile, Missouri-Vanderbilt scheduled for Columbia, Missouri, has been postponed to a later date, tentatively in December, making it the first SEC game to be moved because of the coronavirus.
Vanderblit was down to 56 scholarship players last week in a 41-7 loss to South Carolina, and the school said Monday in a news release that the postponement of the Mizzou game was due to a lack of scholarship athletes.
The SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force stipulates that a team must have at least 53 scholarship players available to play a game, including seven offensive linemen (with one center), four defensive linemen and one quarterback.
Vandy’s shortage is due to quarantining of individuals with positive Covid tests and those designated as close contacts, injuries, and opt-outs.
--After I posted Sunday night, the Lakers took out the Heat 106-93 in Game 6 to capture their 17th NBA championship, 4-2, ending a decade-long drought.
LeBron James was ecstatic, his wingman, Anthony Davis, was emotional.
Bill Plaschke / Los Angeles Times
“On a night of joy long anticipated by a city feeling the sting of watching this pandemic postseason from 2,500 miles away, there was history everywhere.
“With the 17 titles – a dozen of which were won with the team based in Los Angeles – the Lakers have finally equaled the number won by the hated Boston Celtics and thus can claim at least a share of the title of greatest NBA franchise ever….
“By becoming the first player to win the NBA Finals MVP Award with three different franchises – while winning his fourth title overall – James can surely claim at least a share of the title with Michael Jordan as the greatest player ever. James’ legacy was marginalized this past summer by the release of the Jordan documentary ‘The Last Dance,’ but that narrative is changing.
“ ‘We just want our respect,’ said James, who of course had a triple-double in the clincher. Rob [Pelinka] wants his respect, Coach [Frank] Vogel wants his respect, our organization wants their respect. Laker nation wants their respect, and I want my damn respect too.’
“Then there is the history made by (owner Jeanie) Buss, who cheered from the upper tier of the near-empty gym while wearing a mask. Three years after wresting control of the organization, she becomes the first female controlling owner to lead her team to an NBA championship.
“ ‘To Laker nation, we have been through a heartbreaking tragedy with the loss of our beloved Kobe Bryant and Gianna,’ Buss said. ‘Let this trophy serve as a reminder of when we come together, believe in each other, incredible things can happen.’
“The real hero of the Lakers’ title run could indeed be found in that reminder, evident in the clothing they wore and the name they chanted. The biggest star was the memory of the late Bryant, whose spirit hovered over everything and whose influence was felt everywhere.
“After Bryant and 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others died in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash in Calabasas, the Lakers vowed to play the season in his honor. In a speech to a weeping Staples Center crowd in their first game after the tragedy, James made a public pledge.
“ ‘I want to continue, along with my teammates, to continue his legacy…because that’s what Kobe Bryant would want,’ James intoned.
“ ‘Davis summed up Bryant’s effect with tears welling in his eyes.
“ ‘We didn’t let him down. …Ever since the tragedy, all we wanted to do is do it for him, and we didn’t let him down,’ Davis said. ‘I know he’s looking down on us proud of us. I know Vanessa is proud of us. …It’s a tough moment, man. …He was a big brother to all of us, and we did this for him.’”
--Now that the league successfully operated in a bubble of nearly 100 days to complete a season, when do we start up the 2020-21 campaign?
Last week Commissioner Adam Silver warned of “challenges” ahead for the league and its players, while Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, referred to the just-completed playoffs as “the easy part” compared to the upcoming negotiations and planning that needs to be done for next season.
“Nothing has really changed in this virus, as far as I know,” Silver said Sept. 30. “In fact, I think in the majority of states right now, cases are ticking back up again. There’s predictions of a combination of flu and coronavirus season. People are moving back indoors. In some cases, people have Covid fatigue and aren’t following the same protocols. In many ways we’re looking at a lot of the same factors we looked at determining what to do this season.”
Because of the unprecedented four-month hiatus prompted by the coronavirus in March, the 2019-20 season took more than a calendar year from media day to the end of the Finals so everyone just needs a break. But the two sides will have to start negotiating shortly on the framework for next season soon.
Roughly 80 percent of the NBA’s annual $8 billion revenue is tied to arena-related spending on tickets, concessions, parking and merchandise. Everyone understands the next season will be a big challenge financially.
The NBA’s salary cap is tied directly to “basketball-related income,” so the coronavirus will trigger the largest salary cap drop in NBA history if left unchecked. The impact is massive. Few teams could hand out sizable contracts to free agents this fall.
But as was talked about before the two sides worked out a plan to complete the 2019-20 season, there has been talk of some kind of financial bridge to hold the cap near the current level for next season to help the league maintain some semblance of normalcy.
Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said in late September, “Our goal next season is to play 82 games in home arenas in front of fans.” The players are opposed to another bubble. They spent months away from their families.
Meanwhile, the NBA draft, originally scheduled for June 25, has been rescheduled for Nov. 18.
No free agency window has been set as yet.
And the best guess today is that the new season will start in January.
As for fans returning, a lot could change between now and January so it’s not worth talking about, but ultimately it will be left up to each local jurisdiction.
And regarding the Tokyo Olympics, the players will clearly not be available as the new season could still be in full swing by then.
One pretty easy solution would be to reduce the 2020-21 schedule to 60 games, finish on a somewhat normal timetable, salary cap the same but salaries pro-rated, and then start the 2021-22 season per normal, October.
It’s critical to get back to normalcy. The recent television ratings for the playoffs were not good, but there was a ton of competition for eyeballs, which isn’t the case in a normal May-June playoff schedule.
--Dustin Johnson tested positive for Covid-19 and has withdrawn from this week’s CJ Cup. He was onsite and took a test Sunday that was negative. But he started feeling symptoms Sunday night, stayed away from the course Monday and didn’t feel better Tuesday, so he took a test that came back positive.
At worst he hopes to be back to play at the Houston Open the week before the Masters.
--Due to the late finish in Las Vegas Sunday, I didn’t get to note that 37-year-old journeyman Martin Laird ended up winning the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the first playoff hole against Austin Cook and Matthew Wolff.
It was Laird’s fourth career PGA Tour title, first since 2013. He won the same event, also in a playoff, back in 2009.
Wolff, 21, was trying to become the youngest multiple winner on the PGA Tour since Sergio Garcia in 2001.
Wake Forest’s Will Zalatoris finished T5, after finishing sixth at the U.S. Open. He’s been leading the Korn Ferry Tour but can’t officially get his PGA Tour card unless he wins. But he has now accumulated enough points where he has qualified for unlimited sponsor exemptions, and he’ll no doubt finish in the Top 125 to get his card for the 2021-22 season even if he doesn’t win an event. Most sponsors are going to want the talented kid in their tournaments going forward.
Remember, because of Covid, the players who had a card for 2019-20 automatically got one for 2020-21, which severely limits opportunities for the Korn Ferry stars.
--Bryson DeChambeau said he’s taking a month off before The Masters to work on building up speed with his new 48-inch driver.
--Tyrrell Hatton won the European Tour’s biggest event, the BMW PGA Championship, by four shots over runner-up Victor Perez.
Hatton is now jetting back to the U.S. for this week’s CJ Cup, which is being played in Vegas at exclusive Shadow Creek.
Patrick Reed traveled to Europe for the BMW and picked up a T4.
I found this kind of startling. Arnold Palmer in 1975 remains the only American to win the BMW PGA. Arnie’s last win on the U.S. PGA Tour was 1973.
--Ernie Els won the Champions Tour event, the SAS Championship, last Sunday in rainy Cary, N.C., the sixth by newly-minted 50-year-olds in the 11 senior events played in 2020.
For The Big Easy it was his second. Jim Furyk has two, Phil Mickelson one, and senior rookie Shane Bertsch the sixth.
Mickelson is committed to playing this weekend in Richmond, VA, at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, his second senior event. Els and Furyk will also be there.
We are down to the Round of 8 in the Cup Series Playoffs:
Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, and Kurt Busch
Three races at Kansas, Texas, and Martinsville to reduce the field from eight to four, before the final four squares off at Phoenix for the title.
--Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was diagnosed with coronavirus. He has been reported to be asymptomatic and will start a two-week isolation period in the country.
He was playing for Portugal’s national team in the Nations League. Portugal played to a 0-0 draw with France on Sunday, Ronaldo in action.
His club team, Juventus, said Ronaldo was not in Italy with the team after two players tested positive for the virus and that he was instead told to stay in Portugal.
--I forgot to add last time that Lewis Hamilton tied Michael Schumacher’s wins record in Formula 1 Sunday at Germany Eifel Grand Prix at Nurburg, Germany (apologies to my brother and Bob P.).
91…pretty remarkable. Even Lewis Hamilton thought the record was unbeatable.
“Seeing his dominance, I don’t think anyone, and especially me, didn’t imagine that I’d be anywhere near Michael in terms of records so it’s an incredible honor and it’s going to take some time to get used to,” Hamilton said.
Schumacher has required constant care since he sustained severe head injuries in an accident while skiing in 2013.
Hamilton is also on his way to his seventh F1 title, which would match Schumacher as well.
--The following two items are for long-time New Yorkers…to jog a memory or two.
Phil W. passed on a story from “Eater” on longtime New York City bartender Carlo Marioni, currently of Pietro’s, an old-school Italian restaurant on W. 43rd. He began tending bar at Mike Manuche’s, a legendary steak house on W. 52nd Street frequented by sports figures, and stayed until it closed in 1982. From there, he went to two survivors of what used to be known as “Steak Row”: The Palm and Pietro’s. Nearly 50 years of bartending and only three jobs.
In an interview with Robert Simonson, Marioni answers the question, is tending bar better money than, say, being a waiter in a top joint?
“Money depends where you are. It depends on the establishment. Manuche’s was better than any place I’ve worked. Howard Cosell, Pat Summerall, Alex Webster, Muhammad Ali. All the sports celebrities, you name them, they were there. They were great tippers. Bobby Orr, all the Giants, the Maras, they were all there.”
What did they like to drink?
“Mostly it was Scotch then. Today it’s vodka. Then it was Scotch. Martinis, Manhattans; after that Rusty Nails, Stinger, brandies, Black Russians, all the heavy stuff.”
Did they drink a lot?
“They drink pretty good! Billy Graham – the boxer, not the crusader – his famous words when somebody asked him ‘When you hit somebody, what happens?’ He says, ‘When I hit them and they didn’t go down, they did funny things standing up.’"
Back in the ‘60s, the ‘70s, when you weren’t working, were there certain bars you liked to go to?
“I was really never much of a drinker. When I go home, I’ll have a beer.”
--So the other day I mentioned the legendary New York Rangers fan “The Chief,” who donned an Indian headdress complete with Ranger facepaint and became an unofficial mascot, wandering around Madison Square Garden.
The story I meant to add concerns a certain game where an Islander fan stole the headdress and was chased by almost an entire section of Ranger fans. They returned moments later with the headdress and the Islander jersey the fan was wearing.
The Chief’s real name was Robert Comas, who ran for public office as the Republican Party candidate for the State Senate one time, but he was unable to get enough signatures to make the ballot. He died in Florida, Sept. 17, 2009.
Top 3 songs for the week 10/12/63: #1 “Sugar Shack” (Jimmy Gilmer and The Fireballs) #2 “Be My Baby” (The Ronettes…Brian Wilson’s favorite tune of all time…) #3 “Blue Velvet” (Bobby Vinton…another underrated artist…)…and…#4 “Cry Baby” (Garnet Mimms & The Enchanters) #5 “Sally, Go ‘Round The Roses” (The Jaynetts) #6 “Busted” (Ray Charles) #7 “My Boyfriend’s Back” (The Angels) #8 “Mean Woman Blues” (Roy Orbison) #9 “Heat Wave” (Martha & The Vandellas…timeless tune…) #10 “Donna The Prima Donna” (Dion…America would be shocked to its core about five weeks later in Dallas…)
Formula One Quiz Answers: 1) Mario Andretti, 1978, and Phil Hill, 1961, are the only two Americans to win the Formula One world championship, Hill the only American-born driver. 2) Andretti had 12 individual wins, and Hill 3. Dan Gurney had 4 and Peter Revson 2.
Revson’s was a great, and tragic, story. His father was part of the duo that founded Revlon Cosmetics and the family was enormously wealthy. Peter Revson could have had a cushy life but chose racing instead and he would meet with success.
Revson’s younger brother, though, was killed in a race in Denmark in 1967, and Peter had a slow start to his own racing career.
But in 1971 he won the pole at the Indy 500 and finished second to Al Unser Sr. That same year he won the Can-Am Series championship, winning five of ten races and catching the eyes of the European Formula One teams.
Revson was a classic playboy, a great-looking, wealthy bachelor who was seen with some of the most beautiful women in the world.
And so in 1973, he won the British and Canadian Grand Prix races driving for McLaren, but in 1974, the 35-year-old died in a crash during a test session prior to the South African Grand Prix. At the time he was engaged to the 1973 Miss World, Marjorie Wallace. [Wallace dated singer Tom Jones and famous footballer George Best before meeting Revson. Her dalliance with Jones, especially the photos that emerged, cost her the Miss World crown because it violated the contract.]
Next Bar Chat, Monday.