Jiggs Was a Name Fit for a Kings’ Broadcaster
From Wednesday’s all-Jack Kent Cooke Morning Briefing, there was this addition:
In 1967, before the Kings’ first season, Cooke held auditions for the job of radio play-by-play announcer and selected a young Canadian, Ken McDonald.
But Cooke was troubled by McDonald’s name, which he felt was too ordinary.
“Don’t you have a nickname of some kind?” Cooke asked.
Replied McDonald, “Well, my family used to call me Jiggs, after the cartoon character.”
“Perfect!” Cooke said. “Jiggs it is, from now on!”
Today, Jiggs McDonald is in his 30th season of NHL broadcasting, now with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Add Cooke: Longtime Cooke associate Harry Ornest, on Cooke’s often pompous use of the language:
“The only man Jack revered more than himself was Branch Rickey.
“Jack loved the English language, and he felt Rickey used it better than anyone he’d ever met. Jack used words like ‘bloody,’ ‘nincompoop,’ and ‘balderdash’ because Rickey did.”
Trivia time: Which major league baseball team was the last to hit more triples than home runs?
Just wondering: Has any other major league team ever had three Todds, as do the Dodgers? Todd Hollandsworth, Todd Worrell and Todd Zeile.
This is a cinch: From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hockey writer Dave Molinari: “Anaheim left winger Paul Kariya, whose father is Japanese, is believed to be the only NHL player whose middle name is ‘Tetsuhiko.’ ”
Rumor reruns: Brooks Downing, Kentucky’s assistant sports information director, on the annual Rick Pitino-is-leaving rumor, this time to either the Boston Celtics or Golden State Warriors:
“It’s a rite of spring here. . . . The horses start to run, the daffodils begin to bloom and Rick is leaving.”
Big catch: North Carolina’s basketball center, 7-foot-3 Serge Zwikker, 23, will marry Jennifer Uhl, 32, next month. Uhl was Zwikker’s math tutor when he arrived at Chapel Hill.
Bright and early: Rick Renick, a Pittsburgh Pirate coach, talking about growing up on his parents’ dairy farm in southern Ohio:
“We went to bed at 8. I had to get up at 4 a.m. to help my dad milk those cows. We’d milk 15, 17 cows, by hand. The milk man came at 6 a.m.
“When my dad sold those cows, it was the happiest day of my life.”
Trivia answer: The 1979 Houston Astros--52 triples, 49 home runs.
And finally: Comedian Elaine Boosler, in Inside Sports magazine, talking about throwing out the first pitch at a Cleveland Indian game last year.
“They asked me if there was anything special they could do for me. I asked if I could have a ball signed by Albert Belle.
“They said, ‘Wow, you really are a comedian!’ ”