Top 25 College Players to Watch- #23 Cheick Diallo (Kansas)


Bill Self knows how to coach and he knows how to recruit. Diallo might be the best player he has had in Kansas before it is all over.

Cheick Diallo, F, Kansas

This college freshman is very active and came away with the MVP of the McDonalds’s All Star game with ten rebounds and 18 points.Look for him to became a big time offensive player in college if he puts hi work in.


#24 Zach Auguste

#25 Nigel Hayes

Top 25 College Basketball Players – #24


Zach Auguste, C, Notre Dame –Last season he averaged 12.9 points per game with 6.5 rebounds and that was only in 24 minutes per game. Why 24? He can’t seem to stay out of foul trouble. He scored 20 points against Kentucky but had low numbers when facing Okafor at Duke. But who wouldn’t?

Look for monster numbers this season.


Here are the Top 25 College Basketball Players from previous posts:

#25 Nigel Hayes





First of all, the article written below was NOT written by me. It is from a very good blog called and it features some outstanding articles about Christianity. I found it when someone re-posted an article about Colby Rasmus and how he has discovered the Lord. Being a Cardinals fan and blogger (CardinalsGM) I was drawn to it and enjoyed the article.

I began searching other articles and the more and more I delved in, I found several that piqued my interest. This one hits home for parents and even grandparents. Many, many times the traveling teams and/or AAU type teams scheduled tournaments that are played on Sunday mornings. This creates a quandry for the family AND within the family. Many times it is also a Wednesday night issue. Please take time to read this article and look around for others.

I was given permission by the author to reprint this article here.




Christine and I are out of town for a few days celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Here’s a post from a year ago that was popular.

Some topics are just too controversial for a pastor to go near. But, at great risk, I am going to write about one even though I might unintentionally offend you or make you angry. What’s the topic? Is it abortion or same sex marriage or politics? No, it is far more personal and therefore, for many, far more dangerous territory. It’s kids sports.

Before I wade in, maybe it would help if I told you that I love sports. ESPN is my favorite channel. I spent August worrying about whether DIRECTV would get the SEC Network and am very excited about the beginning of the NFL season tonight. My family has season tickets to both Mizzou basketball and football games. I grew up playing sports where I learned some incredibly valuable life lessons…many of which I still benefit from today. Lastly, all four of my kids play(ed) sports beginning in elementary school and continuing through high school.

Maybe I should also add that I don’t think that being a Christian can be reduced to church attendance. There’s much more to following Jesus than being in church on Sunday mornings. And, at least for my family, it’s not necessary to eat dinner together every night of the week. Practices and games often prevent that, and, to some extent, that’s okay. Sports, like school and other worthwhile endeavors, take time.

With all that out of the way, let’s dig in a little. A study that came out last year and was reported in Christianity Today shows that one of the biggest obstacles to families coming to church is sports. I get that occasionally a family might miss church because of a sporting event. The problem is that it’s becoming the norm instead of the exception. The message seems to be: Church involvement (worshipping, learning, serving) is not as important as sports. Let’s go to church but if there’s sports on Sunday morning, well then sports win.

And the same goes for family time. It’s not uncommon for a kid, involved simultaneously in two sports, to have either a practice, game, or tournament every day of the week. And that’s just ONE kid. What if the family is crazy enough to have more than one child?

More and more parents are rebelling against the reality that there’s not time for a weekend away as a family or even dinner together because sports trumps all. Mission trip or family vacation or going to see grandparents or parents being involved in a small group? No way because there’s always tryouts or a practice or a game or a tournament. In addition, more and more families are divided too many evenings and weekends as they go their separate ways to accomplish all their sports activities. This all leads to this line in a recent article in the New York Times…

Try saying this out loud: “Family and academics are more important than sports, until sports conflict, then sports win.”

I know that a lot of parents feel like they would be doing their child a disservice by not allowing them to take part in all the sports they would like to try. I know that most parents are trying to do the right thing by teaching their child that you have to be dedicated and go to practice and stick with something to be good at it. All the moms and dads I know desperately want to be good parents. I’d love to hear from you as you try to find and stay on the right course. How do you decide what is the right amount of kids sports (and other activities) and what’s too much? No one has got this all figured out.

But here’s my question for now: Is it worth it? Is our investment in sports worth giving up real church involvement? Is it worth giving up family time? I can’t help but thinking of Jesus’ words inMark 8:36: What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

What good is it if your child excels at sports but their spiritual and family life are significantly diminished? For the vast, vast, vast majority of these kids their sports career ends before or after high school. For a very small percentage it will continue through college. And almost zero will go beyond that. Let’s face it, your kids (for sure my kids) aren’t going to the NFL or the Majors or the MLS or the Olympics. They’ll end up like me–watching sports on television and attending games as a fan.

But what every single one of our children will need is a good relationship with mom and dad and brother and sister. What they’ll need when they’re 40 is a strong, connected family that knows each other on a deeper level than can be obtained from driving to and from practices and tournaments.

Very few kids (probably none of our kids) will end up making a career out of playing sports. But every single one of them will have to stand before Jesus. On that day it won’t matter much whether you made varsity or were “All State”. But it will matter for all eternity whether you walked with God.

Let’s play sports. But when sports collide with family and church, let’s make sure that the most important one wins that game.

Posted by everysquareinch


Back in 1986, the Chicago Tribune’s David Ibata described the history of the Cubs’ journey around Chicago, playing in a variety of ballparks before settling on Wrigley Field. He wrote about how the one-time site of the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary became Weeghman Park and then Wrigley Field:

The Federal [League]s’ Chicago franchise went to Charles Weeghman, known as the “Lunchroom King” for his chain of low-cost eateries. Weeghman named his team the Whales and selected a site in the North Side neighborhood of Lakeview for his new ballpark. The site, at 1060 W. Addison St. on the northeast corner of Addison and Clark Streets, one day would be “Wrigley Field.”

When Weeghman leased the land from a certain Edmund J. Archambault, though, it was anything but beautiful.

The Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary occupied the land from 1891 until 1910, giving Seminary Avenue west of the ballpark its name. Then the school moved to Maywood. It came back to the city, to 1100 E. 55th St., in 1967. Today it’s the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

The school produced this letter from its archives to explain the move from Lakeview:

The writer, Marjory R. Wing, says the seminarians were escaping “the smoke, dust, grime, soot, dirt (and) foul gases; railroading by night and day; whistles, ding-donging of bells late and early and in between times, and the ceaselessness of undesirable traffic incidental thereto that is growing more unbearable every week.”

Wing referred to a rail line that skirted the west side of Wrigley Field and ran up the middle of Seminary Avenue to a private right-of-way north of Irving Park Road. It was built in the late 19th Century by the Chicago & Evanston, a steam-powered freight and commuter railroad. The Milwaukee Road acquired the C&E around the turn-of-the-century. By 1910, Addison Street had become a key way station on the line.

Wing wrote of “coal yards, gravel yards, sand yards, ice stations and milk stations” that received freight trains and wagon teams “with the unsanctified men in charge sending the unsterilized particles, odors and speech into the homes, eyes and ears of the seminary habitants.”

The late Bill Veeck, whose father was president of the Cubs, was born in 1914, the year Weegham built his stadium; and attended his first baseball game there in 1920, when he was 6 years old. In an interview before he died, Veeck said Weeghman built the stadium where he did “to get away from the White Sox and the Cubs. He was opening up new territory on the North Side.

“I also have to think (Weeghman) was able to get a piece of land he could afford,” Veeck said. “Bear in mind, one wouldn’t put a ballpark next to a coal yard by choice.

“The requirements for a ballpark in those days were quite different than now,” Veeck said. “You wanted public transportation, because there weren’t any automobiles to speak of. You had to get people there, and they wouldn’t all be from the neighborhood. Clark and Addison was an ideal location because the streetcar and elevated lines were nearby.”

Weeghman Park was designed by architect Zachary Taylor Davis, who four years earlier had designed Comiskey Park on the South Side for the White Sox. The North Side stadium had a single-level grandstand and left and right field bleachers totaling 14,000 seats. To build it required 500 tradesmen, 4,000 yards of earth, four acres of bluegrass and $250,000.
Led by Joe Tinker–of “Tinkers to Ever to Chance” fame–the Whales captured the Federal League pennant in 1915. Then the league folded.

With the National League’s blessing, Weeghman put together a 10-man syndicate to buy the Cubs from the Tafts and move the team to his North Side park. One of those investors was the Chicago chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley Jr.

The deal was closed on Jan. 20, 1916, and the team played its first game at Weeghman Park on April 20


Top 25 players in College Basketball 2015-16- #25


Here is my attempt to identify the Top 25 players in College Basketball this season.

#25) Nigel Hayes, F, Wisconsin – He is a good perimeter shooter with 39% from 3-point land. He can go inside if needed. In the past, he yielded to Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky but now they are gone. He averaged 32 minutes per game and shot just under 50% from the field. He averaged 6.2 rebounds and 2 assists per game for the Badgers and averaged 12.4 ppg.

He is 6’7″ and 215 lbs and is my pick to be the Big Ten Player of the Year.


The 1908 Cubs Got into the World Series in Backhanded Way


Just a note about the last time the Cubs won a World Series. Seems a bit backhanded

The 1908 pennant races in both the AL and NL were among the most exciting ever witnessed. The conclusion of the National League season, in particular, involved a bizarre chain of events, often referred to as the Merkle Boner. On September 23, 1908, the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs played a game in the Polo Grounds.
Nineteen-year-old rookie first baseman Fred Merkle, later to become one of the best players at his position in the league, was on first base, with teammate Moose McCormick on third with two out and the game tied. Giants shortstop Al Bridwell socked a single, scoring McCormick and apparently winning the game. However, Merkle, instead of advancing to second base, ran toward the clubhouse to avoid the spectators mobbing the field, which at that time was a common, acceptable practice. The Cubs’ second baseman, Johnny Evers, noticed this.

In the confusion that followed, Evers claimed to have retrieved the ball and touched second base, forcing Merkle out and nullifying the run scored. The league ordered the game replayed at the end of the season, if necessary. It turned out that the Cubs and Giants ended the season tied for first place, so the game was indeed replayed, and the Cubs won the game, the pennant, and subsequently the World Series

Jimmy “Chicken” Wolf  (1862-1901) – Watch What You Eat


Jimmy Wolf 1862-1901

William Van Winkle Wolf was born on May 12, 1862 in Louisville, Kentucky. To his family he was “Willie.” As a teenager a friend dubbed him “Chicken,” and later he was known as “Jimmy” to baseball fans in Louisville. “Willie” was a common diminutive of William in the German-American home of the Wolfs. “Chicken” was allegedly given to him by his boyhood friend and major league teammate, Pete Browning. The story goes that when Wolf and Browning were teenagers they were both members of the then semi-pro Louisville Eclipse team. Their manager instructed the team to eat lightly before a certain game, but Wolf surrendered to his appetite and stuffed himself on stewed chicken. He then played poorly in the game, committing several errors. Browning made a connection between the chicken and the lackluster play and hung the nickname “Chicken” on him. The name caught on with his teammates and the local press. How Wolf felt about the name has gone unrecorded, but about halfway through his professional career he was known as “Jimmy” Wolf in the Louisville newspapers. We do not know the origin or reason for this change.

It is not clear how the Wolf family came to America. Census records indicate that Andrew and Barbara Wolf probably emigrated from Germany in the 1840s, settling briefly in New York City before moving west to Louisville by 1850. They had seven children – four girls and three boys. Willie was the youngest of the brood. The men of the Wolf family were all involved in machinery. Andrew Wolf worked for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad as a machinist, as did his son Charles. The family lived on West Walnut Street, not far from the downtown area, and young Willie learned to play baseball with neighborhood friends. These friends included teenagers such as Pete Browning, and the Reccius brothers, John and Phil. By the time the boys were in their late teens, they were members of a West End baseball club called the Eclipse. The Eclipse had been founded in the mid-1870s by Billy Reccius, older brother of John and Phil. The club was semi-pro in nature, operating as a co-op club with the players splitting whatever monies were collected from the spectators at any game. In 1881 the club began paying salaries to the players. When the American Association was formed in 1882, the management of the Eclipse secured a franchise and began assembling a team. They took four players from the local club – Pete Browning, Joe Crotty, John Reccius and Chicken Wolf.

Wolf was the club’s right fielder throughout his career, but the righthanded hitting and throwing Wolf played every position in the course of his playing days. He was a quiet player, leaving the press to spend time with his more voluble teammates like Browning, Guy Hecker, and Tom Ramsey. Wolf is rarely mentioned in newspaper reports except for his actions in the games. He is never reported to have held out during contract negotiations, usually signing before the first of the year. A mediocre fielder early in his career, he developed into a good outfielder after 1884. He was helped by his superior speed, much needed when dreadful-fielding Browning was moved to center field, and Wolf discovered that he had to cover all of right field as well as a sizable portion of center. Wolf hit .299 his first season, and except for the 1883 season he maintained an average between .272 and .300 for his first eight seasons. He also stole over 40 bases three times. His usual season was to hit about .290 with 20 doubles, 10 triples, and a pair of home runs.

His one time in the spotlight for non-playing activities came in 1889. The Louisville Colonels that season were one of the worst teams in the history of major league baseball. They posted a 27-111 record while battling the team’s owners and each other. The season opened with Dude Esterbrook as team captain. Esterbrook insisted on people doing things his way and began assessing fines on players who chose not to take his advice to heart. In late April, Esterbrook fined second baseman Dan Shannon ten dollars for failing to obey his instructions on how to throw the ball. A few days later Wolf and Esterbrook engaged in a heated argument over that fine. As the temperature and tempers rose, Esterbrook dropped a ten-dollar fine on Jimmy. More words were exchanged, the fine escalated to forty dollars, and Wolf was on his way to visit Mordecai Davidson, the team owner. Within a week Esterbrook was no longer captain, and the team selected Wolf as their new leader.

Wolf apparently took his new role seriously, for during his tenure Davidson began a series of fines for poor play that caused the players to rebel. When Davidson refused to return the fines several players participated in the first players’ strike in major league history. Although he had been one of the victims of Davidson’s actions, Wolf performed his duties as captain and played in the game while the other six players sat out. Davidson sold the club in early June, and Wolf resigned as captain at the end of that month.

To study team pictures of the Louisville club throughout the 1880s is to see a change in Jimmy Wolf. He changes from a lithe twenty-year-old in 1882 to a more mature and rotund figure in 1888. While listed in the encyclopedias at five-foot-nine and 190 pounds, he appears taller in several team photos and heavier in the late 1880s. He seems to have battled a weight problem as the local papers commented in the spring of 1890, “Wolf is in good condition and has worked off nearly all superfluous flesh.” The newly svelte Wolf was set for the best season of his career.

The 1890 season was a tumultuous one for professional baseball. It was the year of the Players War, with three major leagues operating and rosters completely changed from 1889. This turned out to be a blessing for Louisville. Although Browning and Hecker were gone, the play of a few rookies and career years by some veterans lofted the club to its only major league pennant. No player had a bigger season than Jimmy Wolf. He got off to a fast start, hitting .375 in the first month, and continued his hot hitting through the end of the season. He captured the American Association batting title with a .363 average and led the league with 197 hits and 260 total bases. He had career highs in doubles (29), home runs (4), and stolen bases (46).

Wolf continued his stellar season into the World Series against the Brooklyn club of the National League. Held to one hit in the first two games (both Brooklyn wins), he collected eight hits in the final five games with three doubles and a triple. He led all series batters with eight runs batted in and posted a .360 average for the series.

The 1891 season was the last for the American Association and Jimmy Wolf. Louisville reversed directions and fell to eighth place in the league. Wolf saw his batting average plummet to .253 and all his other offensive numbers fall in similar fashion. He was released in August but resigned a day later. Although he was originally on the club’s reserve list for 1892, he was not signed for the next season.

Jimmy Wolf’s ten years in the major leagues coincided with the life of the American Association. He set Association career records for games played (1195), total bases (1921), hits (1438), doubles (214), and triples (109). He was fifth in runs scored (778).

Looking to stay in baseball, Wolf strayed from Louisville for the first time, signing with Syracuse of the Eastern League. He stayed about a month, hitting only .209. He also had a brief three-game stay with the National League’s St. Louis squad before returning home. In 1893 he had a good season with Buffalo of the Eastern League, hitting .343 in 114 games.

The year in Buffalo ended his professional ball-playing career. He returned to Louisville and in 1894 joined the Louisville Fire Department. He was assigned to two different fire companies during his tenure as a pipe man and later as an engine driver. After five years on the force he responded to a fire call near his West Walnut Street home. In rushing his team to the fire scene Wolf’s engine collided with a pushcart at the corner of Walnut and 18th Street. The horse team separated from the wagon, and Wolf was dragged across the cobblestones for some distance, causing a serious head injury. After returning from the hospital Wolf was declared “mentally unbalanced” and in 1901 spent time in the Central Asylum for the Insane outside Louisville. (This is the same institution in which former teammates John Reccius and Pete Browning also spent time a few years later).

His final years were quite unhappy. In addition to continual suffering due to the effects of his head injury, one of his young sons died in 1901. His health continued to fail, and on May 16, 1903, Chicken Wolf died at City Hospital in Louisville. His wife Carrie and one son survived him. William Van Winkle Wolf was laid to rest in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery.


Paul Hines (1852-1935) He had 13 “firsts” in his Career


PAUL HINES (1852–1935)

Paul Hines played in 1,659 games in three leagues, from 1872 through 1891, had 2,135 hits, hit over .300 eleven times and posted a career batting average of .302. Despite his successful career, Paul Hines would be all but forgotten today if not for the fact that he was involved in thirteen major league “firsts.”

Hines was born in 1852 in Washington, DC and first played infield for the Washington Nationals of the National Association in 1872. His first season was short lived as the 0–11 Nationals disbanded after a 9–1 loss to the Baltimore Canaries on June 26.

In 1873 Hines played for the reorganized Washington team (who changed their name to the Blue Legs), and hit over .300 for the first time. From 1874 through 1877 he played centerfield, his primary position for the rest of his career, for the Chicago White Stockings. During this time Hines would attain his first “first.” In 1876 the White Stockings would become the first National League Champions.

Hines moved to Rhode Island and played for the Providence Grays from 1878 through 1885. Here he would collect the twelve other “firsts.” His initial year with the Grays, Hines would become the first to record an unassisted triple play. In the third game of the season, after Providence had taken a 3–0 lead in the top of the eighth, the Boston Red Caps got one back in the bottom of the inning and had Ezra Sutton on second and Jack Manning on third with none out. Second baseman Jack Burdock hit a short fly ball over shortstop Tom Carey. From his centerfield position Hines made a running catch and continued toward third and stepped on the bag to put out both Manning and Sutton, who had proceeded home. According to the rules of 1878, if both runners had passed third base when Hines stepped on the bag, they were both immediately out. Hines threw to second baseman Charlie Sweasy who stepped on second to retire Sutton. It has been debated whether this was necessary. Some reports say that both men had passed third and were on their way home and some say that Sutton was on his way back to second. Either way Paul Hines has been given credit for accomplishing the feat.

His third and fourth “firsts” came in 1878, although he would not be given credit for one until 1968, 33 years after his death. At the conclusion of the season Hines along with LF Tom York and RF Dick Higham formed the first all .300-hitting outfield in NL history. As for the other, the NL crowned Milwaukee Grays LF Abner Dalrymple the batting champ for hitting .356. Dalrymple was considered to be the first rookie to win a batting title. But in 1878, hits made in tie games were not counted. So after recalculating the final averages Dalrymple’s .354 came up short to Hines’ .358. Hines also led the league in RBI with 50, and home runs with 4, so in fact, Hines was the first major leaguer to win the Triple Crown.

More investigation helped Hines gain his fifth “first” in 1879. Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide awarded the 1879 batting title to Chicago White Stockings first baseman, Cap Anson with a .407 average. Spalding claimed Anson had compiled 90 hits in 221 at bats. Years later, a subsequent investigation showed that in fact, Anson had only 72 hits in 227 at bats for a .317 average. Hines hit .357 in 1879, the highest average that year and the first major leaguer to lead the National League in batting average for two consecutive years. Also in 1879, the National League introduced, for one season only, the “Reached First Base” statistic. It included times reached via hits, walks and errors, but not hit by pitch because batter did not receive a base after being hit in 1879. Paul Hines, in 85 games, reached first base 193 times to lead the league—his sixth “first.”

In 1882, Hines became the first player to wear sunglasses during a major league game, and on September 25 played in the first true doubleheader in National League history. The Grays split the two games with the Worcester Ruby Legs in the first instance of two games for the price of one.

His final five “firsts” came in 1884. More specifically the 1884 World Series. He was the first National Leaguer to bat in World Series history. During that at bat he became the first batter to be hit by a pitch (the game was played under American Association rules which allowed a batter to receive his base after being hit by a pitched ball). In the third inning he got the first hit in National League World Series history, a single. He scored the first run in World Series play that same inning after a passed ball and two wild pitches by New York Metropolitans’ starter Tim Keefe. Hines’ Providence Grays beat New York three games to none to win the first World Series.

Hines would return to Washington and play for the Nationals of the National League for the 1886 and 1887 seasons and hit over .300 both years. He played for the Indianapolis Hoosiers in 1887 and 1888, hitting .308. In 1890, he patrolled centerfield for the Pittsburgh Infants for 31 games, and then, in the same season, moved to the Boston Beaneaters for 69 games. The 39-year-old Hines finished his career back home with the Washington Nationals of the American Association in 1891.

In 1920, Hines was arrested in Washington, where he worked for the Department of Agriculture Post Office, for pick pocketing. He would die 15 years later still not knowing he was the first major league Triple Crown winner and a two-time batting champ.