As Injuries Go, This One Takes the Bag


On the occasion of Venus Williams injuring her right wrist by picking up her racket bag, Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel reviews some of the most ignominious injuries in sports history.

He includes one caveat: Sometimes, the athlete is lying.

Selections from Greene’s hall of shame:

* Football, Turk Edwards. “This goes back to 1940 when the Hall of Fame tackle for Washington never played again after wrenching a knee. I know, nothing seems odd about that--except he did it during the coin toss.”

* Baseball, Glenallen Hill. “And then there was Mr. Hill, who once fell through a glass table. He says it happened when he jumped out of bed because he was dreaming that spiders were eating him.”


* Baseball, Roger Craig. “The manager once cut his hand--on a bra strap. Men find that admirable ... as long as it wasn’t his bra strap.”

And the winner is: The honor goes to Vince Coleman, the St. Louis Cardinal who left the 1985 National League championship series on a stretcher after the tarp machine rolled over his leg.

Trivia time: What current Laker was drafted ahead of Kobe Bryant in 1996?

The inside dirt: Few players have enjoyed the by-play of baseball as much as Steve Lyons, the former Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox player who is a Fox television analyst.

He used to use his spikes to leave messages in the dirt for opposing infielders, even challenging them to games of tic-tac-toe.

“I played with anyone who played with me,” he told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “Only two guys wouldn’t play, Fred McGriff and a guy from Baltimore whose name I can’t remember. I used to joke that maybe they didn’t know the rules.”

One fellow he didn’t get anything by was Harold Reynolds, the former Seattle second baseman who is an ESPN analyst.

While playing second base, Lyons drew a line to the back edge of the dirt, marked it with an ‘X’ and wrote, “Can you get to a ball way out here?”

The next inning, Lyons hit a ball to that exact spot. Reynolds threw him out.

When Lyons returned to second, he found one word scratched in the dirt.


Religious fervor: Nolan Richardson, the fired Arkansas basketball coach, talked with Frank Burlison of recently about the meeting that led to his controversial departure.

Richardson found the conclusion of his session with Athletic Director Frank Broyles and Chancellor John A. White particularly galling.

“The thing that made me angry is [White] wanted to pray with me after it was over,” he said. “He had no right to do that. [He said,] ‘Dear Lord, this is a great man ... ‘

“I said, ‘Wait a minute!’ He fired my [butt], hung me by the neck, and now he’s going to pray for me?”

Trivia answer: Samaki Walker was drafted ninth by Dallas. Bryant was selected 13th by Charlotte before being traded to the Lakers.

And finally: Ron Wilson, on being fired as Washington Capital coach partly because the players tuned him out:

“I’m human too, and as much as they probably shut me out, I was probably shutting out some of the players too,” he told the Washington Post.