Clyde Lovellette Cardinal Publishers Group was greatly saddened by the news of the death of basketball great Clyde Lovellette at the age of 86. Before his passing, his story was captured in the pages of his book, The Story of Basketball Great Clyde Lovellette, Blue River Press 2015. Cardinal Publishers Group Sales and Marketing Manager, Thomas McLean said of Clyde. “He was a great storyteller. He spoke very highly of the University of Kansas, Terre Haute and the NBA.” The following a small peek into Clyde’s story. One of basketball’s all-time greats at every level of the game, Clyde Lovellette grew up in difficult circumstances in Terre Haute, Indiana to become the first player in history to win an NCAA title, an Olympic gold medal, and an NBA championship. A star at every level of the sport, Clyde has been selected into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, the College Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, the Kansas University Hall of Fame, the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame. In high school, Clyde was twice named All-State in Indiana. After high school, he was the object of one of the first high-profile recruiting battles in college basketball history. He was persuaded to enroll at Kansas University to play legendary coach Phog Allen. With the Jayhawks, Clyde led the Big Seven Conference three times in scoring and led them to the 1952 NCAA title. He led the U.S. Olympic squad in scoring to help win the 1952 Gold Medal in Helsinki, Finland. He followed up his Olympic triumph by joining the Minneapolis Lakers. Those Lakers represented the first professional dynasty, and Clyde earned the first of his three championship rings as a Laker. He had success with the Cincinnati Royals for one year, the Western Division powerhouse St. Louis Hawks for six years, and finished his career playing two years for the Boston Celtics and earning two more championship rings. In the decades following his retirement Clyde had led an interesting and varied life. He was elected sheriff of his hometown county in Indiana; he spent various periods as a city councilman, coached high school basketball on Cape Cod, and advised and taught at-risk youth at the White’s Institute in Wabash, Indiana. Clyde Lovellette was an All-Star basketball player at every level of the game and is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the College Basketball Hall of Fame, the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, and the Kansas University Athletic Hall of Fame. Lovellette was an NCAA champion, an NBA champion and won an Olympic gold medal. The book, The Story of Basketball Great Clyde Lovellette was written by Clyde Lovellette along with veteran newspaper sportswriter and author of dozens of book about sports, Lew Freedman. When Lew was a youth he followed Clyde Lovellette’s career with the St. Louis Hawks and Boston Celtics. Lew offered these comments: As someone who got to know Clyde Lovellette personally over the last few years after being aware of his basketball achievements for most of my life, I was very saddened to learn about his passing after a year-long illness. In the basketball world, Clyde was a winner everywhere he went, in high school in Terre Haute, Indiana, as an NCAA champion at Kansas University, as a member of a United States gold-medal-winning Olympic team, and on three NBA champions. Clyde Lovellette is the answer to a terrific basketball trivia question. Who is the only college player to lead the country in scoring and win an NCAA championship in the same year? Clyde did that with Kansas in 1952.
The following is an excerpt from the new book, The Story of Basketball Great Clyde Lovellette written by Clyde Lovellette and Lew Freedman, Blue River Press, 2015 Phog Allen was like a father to me. I couldn’t say I knew that would be the case when he was recruiting me from Indiana. I have two books on the shelf that he wrote. I’m not sure how much people remember them. It’s like everything else. Once you are in an era and its popular you think it will last forever. Then other people come along who are better known or who are more popular. But guys like Phog Allen are the ones who built the college game into what it is now. It had to start somewhere and they were the pioneers. There was Naismith and Allen and Hank Iba at Oklahoma A&M, and others, but Phog was a great coach in that man’s time. It’s easy to forget the older guys who started it all. Now coaches are on TV and radio all of the time, but I think Phog Allen was the first great coaching psychologist. He molded players together by their strengths. He had guys there at Kansas from wealthy families, guys from the middle class, guys like me that couldn’t have afforded to go to college without a scholarship. Anything that had to be discussed from a personal standpoint, about life, about the game, that was Phog. He was not at all standoffish. His door was always open. He was open with us not only on the court, but in his office and at his house. The Story of Basketball Great, Clyde Lovellette Get your copy of The Story of Basketball Great Clyde Lovellette by Clyde Lovellette and Lew Freedman and read more about the man who was a star at every level of the sport. Preface by Bill Lienhard Foreword by Bob Leonard Brought to you by CPG News & Information
The following are excerpts from Bronx Bombers: New York Yankees Home Run History by Lew Freedman, published by Blue River Press and distributed by Cardinal Publishers Group © 2015. Please join us as we give a salute to Yogi Berra. Bronx Bomber will not only cover the great hitters and their hitting careers, it will also cover many of the iconic home runs. Lawrence Peter Berra was born in St. Louis in 1925 and grew up in that city. His best friend was Joe Garagiola, another catcher, who became more famous as a broadcaster than he ever was as a big-league ball player. Berra had a knack for a few things in this life. He did not pursue higher education, quitting school in the eighth grade, and as a big-leaguer it was said his most challenging reading was comic books and box scores. Berra excelled as a hitter and fielder and as reader of men. He was a leader on the field when he caught, a magnificent handler of pitches. Later, he became a successful manager and coach. Berra was known for sticking up for his guys and sticking out in a crowd because he uttered pithy sayings picked up by sportswriters. His most famous comment was, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” As the years went by it was never quite clear if Berra had actually said what was attributed to him or had his words embellished by overzealous sportswriters. In the end it did not matter because the words sounded as if he would have said them. Yogi had the capacity to make people laugh, intentionally or unintentionally. He once said, “I really didn’t say everything I said,” referring to the confusion of the accuracy of some quotes attributed to him. Berra stood 5-foot-7 and weighed 185 pounds. He possessed the squat look of a catcher, a body type that seemed to fit the position. He batted lefty and had a great eye for the pill. He was a bad-ball hitter in the sense that if he wanted to hit a pitch, it didn’t matter if it was out of the strike zone. Yogi would find it and blast it. Berra’s swing covered most of the plate and its vicinity and he was labeled a bad-ball hitter. His response was, “If I can hit it, it’s a good pitch.” Berra is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Yankees retired his number eight uniform. When he was in his 20s some seasons Berra was exclusively a catcher. A little later, in order to save wear and tear on his knees, he played outfield, too. A 15-time All-Star, Berra was sometimes overshadowed by Joe DiMaggio, or later Mickey Mantle, but those in the know realized he was the indispensable man for the Yankees and he won three American League Most Valuable Player awards. Another thing about Yogi: He was a winner. During his playing career between 1947 and 1963 the Yankees won 14 pennants. He played in 14 World Series, 75 Series games in all and won 10 championship rings. He added to that total later as a coach and manager, too, ending up with an incredible 21 World Series involvements in three in-uniform capacities. Berra smacked 12 World Series home runs and drove in 39 runs in World Series play. When it comes to the all-time Major League list for World Series stats, Berra’s name is all over the chart. That RBI total is second. The games played total is first. Berra is first in at-bats and plate appearances, first in singles, third in walks, first in doubles, third in homers, second in total bases, second in runs, and first in hits (71). Obviously it took Berra quite a bit of effort to prepare since he said, “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.” Berra hit .429 in the 1953 World Series and .417 in 1955. In the 1956 World Series Berra slammed three home runs and drove in 10 runs while batting .360. In 1947, Berra hit the first pinch-hit home run in World Series history against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Among some other memorable comments attributed to Berra was the way he showed gratitude upon receiving a special honor. He said, “Thank you for making this day necessary.” Make no mistake, Berra was proud of his hitting prowess and he was not ashamed that he poled several balls out of the strike zone a great distance. “I liked to hit,” he said. For regular updates, like us on Facebook (Cardinal Publishers Group) and follow us on Twitter @Cardinal_Pub
This day in Philadelphia Phillies history, September 21, 1964... On September 21, 1964 the Phillies had a six-and-a-half game lead with 12 games to play when they met the Cincinnati Reds at Connie Mack Stadium. With skipper Fred Hutchinson battling cancer, Coach Dick Sisler was the Reds’ interim manager. Sisler had played for the 1950 Phillies, the “Whiz Kids,” who blew a seven-and-a-half game lead and had to beat the Dodgers in the final game of the season to win the pennant. Sisler’s three-run homer at Ebbets Field had won the game. Although the Reds were six-and-a-half games back of the Phillies, Sisler thought his club still had a chance, “If we can get within two, two-and-a-half or three games of them. The closer we get, the more pressure will be on them. If it gets that close, they might get a little tight. That’s what I noticed on the 1950 Phillies. When you see ‘em right behind you, it begins to tell.” Art Mahaffey and the Reds John Tsitouris hooked up in a scoreless duel until the top of the sixth. After Pete Rose grounded out, Chico Ruiz singled to right. Vada Pinson followed with a single sending Ruiz to third, but Pinson was thrown out trying to go to second. So, Ruiz was at third with two outs and the Reds cleanup hitter Frank Robinson at the plate. His bombastic personality, brilliant baseball mind, and loyalty to his players earned him the moniker of the Little General. As Ruiz led off from third, he studied Mahaffey’s slow deliberate windup. A light bulb flashed on. “It just came to my mind,” Ruiz said, “you either do it or you don’t.” With two strikes on Robinson, as Mahaffey wound up again, Ruiz bolted for home plate. “Just as I’m ready to throw, Ruiz ran at the fraction of a second that my head is turning and my arm is coming down,” remembered Mahaffey. “My brain panicked and I held my arm up and threw a pitch two feet wide of the plate.” Catcher Clay Dalrymple had no chance to catch the ball as it went all the way back to the screen. Ruiz stole home and gave the Reds a 1-0 win. “If you steal home and Frank Robinson is the f*****g hitter,” said an incredulous Dalrymple, “and the game is on the line, you gotta have some big balls.” Just four days after Willie Davis stole home to beat the Phillies, it had happened again. And that is what happened this day, September 21, 1964, in Phillies history. This is an excerpt from The Little General: Gene Mauch A Baseball Life (2015) written by Mel Proctor, published by Blue River Press and distributed by Cardinal Publishers Group.
If you are in Littleton, Colorado this Saturday, September 19th stop in the Costco located at, Southwest Denver 7900 W Quincy Ave., Littleton, CO 80123-1350 and meet Denver Christian's beloved and famed basketball coach Dick Katte along with co-author of the book Over Time: Coach Katte on Basketball and Life, Mark Wolf. They will be there from 1:00 - 3:00 pm and would love to chat with you and sign your copy of the book. Enjoy the following article by Mark Wolf as he tells you how he came to put this amazing story together... Coach Dick Katte's secret is simple and straightforward. I’m pretty sure I had a mouthful of English muffin when I came up with the idea to write a book about Dick Katte. I was eating breakfast and reading The Denver Post on a February morning in 2012 when I saw a story that Dick was going to retire at the end of the season as the state’s winningest basketball coach. I sketched an outline of the project, attended Denver Christian’s next game and handed him a copy. He was initially underwhelmed at the notion, but finally agreed to let me hang around during the final week of his career, when his team capped an undefeated season with a thrilling victory in the state championship game. That led to long interview sessions on his patio and around his kitchen table during which we talked about, among other things, basketball, life, his faith and the aneurysm that nearly killed him. I spent a day in his hometown of Sheboygan, Wisc., interviewed many of his players, friends and fellow coaches, reporters who covered him and his teams and pored over hundreds of newspaper stories involving Denver Christian, many in the pages of season-by-season scrapbooks assembled by Dick’s wife – and most important assistant coach – Lorraine. The book was conceived as a third-person biography of Dick but one afternoon during a long writing session at the Columbine library, I was transcribing some notes and decided that, except for the first reported chapter on that final week, the book had to be in first person. At that moment, the manuscript came alive. Telling the story in Dick’s voice gave the book a sense of authenticity that would have been impossible to capture in third-person. After spending a year working with Dick I came to understand what it must have been like to play for him. His players told me about his insistence on detail and I became accustomed to getting printouts of chapters heavily edited by Dick in pencil. I learned a lot about basketball in the course of writing this book, but I learned even more about the importance of living an honorable life. Mark Wolf is co-author with Dick Katte of “Over Time: Coach Katte on Basketball and Life.” He is a longtime journalist and is now a public policy editor at the National Conference of State Legislatures.