Ramble on the roof

Torrin Thatcher

Another day to celebrate mothers has come upon us, so I definitely recommend, if you have one, giving some affection towards the parent in your life with only X chromosomes. And since we are all knowledgeable biologists, we can all agree that without mothers, there would be no sons.
In tribute to this year’s Mother’s Day, I would like to list some of my favorite “-sons” in sports.
Christy Mathewson was an inaugural selection into Cooperstown in 1936. His playing career began in 1900, and he amassed 373 career wins, tossed two no-hitters, won a World Series in 1905 over the Philadelphia Athletics and pitched 79 shutouts.
In a poll of the greatest playoff performances in the history of sports, ESPN rightfully included his 1905 performance: three complete- game shutouts, all within a stretch of six days.
He only allowed 13 hits in these three games. Fans who are unaware of his mastery on the mound due to him playing a few generations ago should definitely take a peek at what one of the greatest pitchers ever achieved over his career.
Bobby Thomson gave us one of the most famous plays in the history – the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” – to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers for the NL pennant. With the collapse of the Dodgers, starting in August to the end of the season, and then the great overall play of the Giants to finish the year on a 37-7 tear, this is not just another disappointing ending to the season for the Dodgers.
They were up 4-1 heading to the bottom of the ninth, and then Thomson goes and hits a ball over the wall in left – that’s a special kind of disappointing ending.
This radio broadcast is one of the most famous ones of all time. Russ Hodges went crazy and the game was broadcast to troops fighting in the Korean War – hence, the “shot heard ’round the world.”
Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson – not related – are two baseball legends that actually played together for a handful of years in Baltimore.
Brooks played his entire 23-year career in Baltimore, was a 15-time All-Star, and won the Gold Glove 16 – yes, 16 – straight times at third base. He is mostly known for his ridiculous defensive play at the bag, which helped the Orioles win two World Series.
Frank, who played on five different teams in his career, was a teammate of Brooks on those two championship teams in ’66 and ’70, but he has also won an MVP trophy in the NL and the AL, plus the World Series and the All-Star Game.
He also won Rookie of the Year in ’56, Manager of the Year in ’89, and has his number retired by both the Reds and the Orioles.
LaDainian Tomlinson has 160 total career NFL touchdowns. Recently signed with the Jets, LT is going to have some linemen – and a heck of a fullback – to run behind in Rex’s offense. He obviously has a great stretch in his time in San Diego, and, on a side note, I am forever hopeful that Philip Rivers never reaches a Super Bowl.
Tony Richardson is a true great among NFL fullbacks. He came out of Auburn undrafted in 1994, but it took him until 2007 to be was awarded an All-Pro selection – that’s at the prime age of 36. He’ll be teaming up with the aforementioned LT in New York.
Eric Dickerson was the second overall pick of the St. Louis Rams in 1983. In his first year in the league, he rushed for 1808 yards and 18 scores to earn both Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year honors. In 1984, he set a stillstanding NFL record by rushing for 2105 yards in a single season.
In his first four seasons, he rushed for nearly 7000 yards and 55 scores. Over the final eight seasons of his career, he ran for about 6300 yards and 35 scores. Why? He was slowed by injury. He even actually failed a physical by the Packers in 1993 to end his career.
Still can’t deny he had one of the hottest starts in the history of sports.
Charles Woodson has become a favorite to the hordes in Wisconsin. Originally an enemy of Wisconsinites because of his days as a Wolverine, he has since turned that around with excellent play for the Pack.
He has eight career defensive scores with Green Bay to go along with six sacks, and he’s the most recent recipient of the Defensive Player of the Year trophy. His mantle has a Heisman and a defensive POY – not too shabby.
And now, a giant name drop: Gary Danielson, Rod Woodson, Rickey Henderson, Adrian Peterson, Hardy Nickerson, Avery Johnson, OJ Simpson, Anna Benson. what, I should stop now? Well, last but not least – as he is one of my childhood favorites – Dave Nilsson.