Jake Gibbs, former All-American quarterback at Mississippi, took the same route Bo Jackson is taking and wound up playing 10 years as a catcher for the New York Yankees.
He’s now the baseball coach at Mississippi, and Mike Conklin of the Chicago Tribune asked him what kind of player Jackson was at Auburn.
Gibbs told this story: “We were playing a doubleheader at Auburn, and they’d just hit back-to-back home runs off us. Well, Bo was next up and I guess you could say our pitcher let him know he wasn’t too happy over the way things were going.
“After Bo got up off the ground, he worked the count to 3-and-2 before taking it to the pines. The pines are the trees behind the center-field fence. The fence is 400 feet away and the ball hit in the top, so I guess you could say the ball went about 450-460 feet.
“I don’t have any doubts he’ll make it in the majors. All he needs is a little work on his outfield play and a little patience.”
Jim Traber, a slugging sensation for the Baltimore Orioles since being called up from Rochester, said he’s no stranger to pressure.
Traber was a quarterback at Oklahoma State in 1980. Recalling the game at Oklahoma where 76,000 Sooner fans were screaming for his scalp, he said: “Now, that’s pressure.”
Oklahoma won, 63-14.
Trivia Time: Is it true that Paul (Bear) Bryant never coached a Heisman Trophy winner? (Answer below.)
Mike Ditka says in his autobiography that he got into a blowup with former aide Buddy Ryan during last year’s Miami game, the only one the Chicago Bears lost.
Writes Ditka: “I told him very simply in the locker room at halftime: ‘You want to go outside right now? We’ll go.’ ”
Ryan, now head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, was asked by the New York Times what happened.
“Nothin’,” Ryan said. “I’m not going to help him sell his book. I’m going to write one someday.”
From Nancy Lieberman, saying her gender isn’t the only thing she’s had to overcome in the U.S. Basketball League: “I mean, you can’t get any worse than being 5-10, red-headed and white. We’re talking major problems.”.
Will the Pittsburgh Steelers make it to the Super Bowl this season? You can bank on it.
If you buy a Black & Gold six-month $1,000 minimum certificate of deposit at Equibank in Pittsburgh, the bank says: “If the Steelers make it to the Super Bowl, the Black & Gold CD scores an extra .25%. A Super Bowl victory for the Steelers beefs up the rate another .25%.”
Hopefully, it will work out better for the bank than a promotion by a Denver clothing store did a number of years ago. Each week, the store offered a free suit to anyone correctly picking the winners of all 20 college football games on a card. It all went smoothly until one week when all 20 favorites won. The next week, the store filed for bankruptcy.
Trivia Answer: No. At Texas A&M; he coached John David Crow, winner of the 1957 Heisman Trophy.
Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post, on Cleveland’s chances in the American League East: “The Indians have one difficulty. They’re the Indians.”