Scholastic Roundup: Spencer Ross has seen it all — well, almost all.
The New Utrecht High grad who won a basketball scholarship to Florida State,
was a New York sports mainstay. He called games for the then New Jersey Americans of the American Basketball Association, and later served as a play-by-play man for every New York-area professional sports team.
But now he’s noticed a change – not so much in sports – but in fans. “This is not a political statement,” he writes, “it refers to sports. Games where folks have their favorites and their enemies.”
Ross notes that when he first became interested, when a player made an unbelievable defensive play against the home team and returned to the dugout, the home team fans would give him a standing ovation.
Last weekend, at Yankee Stadium, a young pitcher for the Houston Astros pitched a masterpiece – seven no-hit innings and 13 of those outs came on strikeouts.
He’d already thrown 115 pitches – there was no question Christian Javier was done for the day. When he came back to the dugout – absolutely no response from the crowd, Ross notes.
“They had just witnessed something special,” he said.
“I remember as a kid the way Stan Musial used to punish the Dodgers. They appreciated his greatness. In fact, it wasn’t the Cardinal fans who gave him his nickname. It was the Brooklynites – the folks who watched him smack homeruns into Bedford Avenue and beat their beloved Dodgers, who christened him, ‘Stan the Man,’ I liked that,” Ross said. “I miss it.”
* * *
Xaverian High topped Msgr. McClancy of East Elmhurst, 13-3, for the Brooklyn-Queens CHSAA Brooklyn title. Iona Prep was the city champ. Brooklyn’s St. Edmund Prep copped the CHSAA ‘A’ diocesan championship. In softball, Archbishop Molloy topped Xaverian, 3-1 for the diocesan championship.
Linet Coste became the first female student-athlete in Holy Cross High School history to sign a letter-of-intent. She will continue her basketball career at the University of Bridgeport, Conn. Coste helped the Knights in their run to the Brooklyn-Queens championship.
* * *
After nine years at the helm of the Brooklyn College Cross-Country program, Deana Carrington has made the decision to step down as Head Coach. The BC alum competed for three seasons on the school’s Cross-Country team prior to her appointment as coach.
“Having watched Deana as a student-athlete at Brooklyn, it has been a great experience to witness her development from a walk-on, to CUNYAC All-Star and ultimately our Head Coach for the last nine years,” Brooklyn College Director of Athletics, Bruce Filosa said in a prepared statement.
Without any cross-country running experience when joining the team as a student-athlete in 2010, Carrington quickly turned herself into one of the best runners in the conference, earning CUNYAC All-Star and Sportsmanship Award accolades in 2011.
* * *
John Warren Kaiser was born in Brooklyn on October 6, 1926. He attended St. John’s Prep at its Bedford-Stuyvesant location before enlisting in the U.S. Army toward the end of WW II.
When he returned home in 1946, Kaiser enrolled at St. John’s University where he was a three-sport star for the Redmen. He led the Johnnies to its first College World Series appearance in 1949 – his senior season.
He then signed a professional contract with the Boston Red Sox – he later turned to coaching. He accepted the position at St. John’s in 1956 – for the next 18 seasons he turned the St. John’s baseball program into a powerhouse. His record was 367-133-2 (.733). His teams appeared in 11 NCAA Tournaments, including 1960 when Kaiser became the first person in NCAA history to lead his team to the College World Series as a player and a coach. He was back at the College World Series again in 1966 and 1968.
* * *
Before the start of the 1973-74 school year, Kaiser stepped down as baseball coach to take the role of Athletic Director – he was one of the Founding Father’s of the Big East Conference in 1979. Kaiser retired in 1995 and became the department’s Athletic Director Emeritus – a role in which he cherished.
In addition to having the St. John’s baseball stadium named in his honor, the outstanding performer of the Big East baseball championship also bears Kaiser’s name. He’s a member of numerous Halls of Fame, including the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Eastern College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League Hall of Fame. Jack Kaiser passed away at the age of 95 in early June. His burial was held inside St. Thomas More Church on the St. John’s University campus.
Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national sports talk host. Previously, he was scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR
Leave a Comment
Leave a Comment