All posts by My Sports Trivia Staff

Charlie Leigh and the Miami Dolphins | Albany to Pro 1968

Albany High’s Charlie Leigh came along in the mid 1960s.  He was arguably the Capital Region’s greatest high school running back ever.  A threat to go all the way every time he touched the pigskin.  Leigh did not play college football, but he did play professionally for the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers from 1968 – 1974.

His best season was 1968,  when he was playing for the Browns.  That year, Leigh rushed for 144 yards on 23 carries for an average of 6.3 yards.  His second best season was 1973, when he played for the Dolphins.  He rushed for 134 yards on 22 carries for an average of 6.1 yards.

Jimmy Connors or John McEnroe ? You Make The Pick!

Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors began playing tennis when he was three years old. His mother Gloria, a teaching professional, was his instructor. Connors played at UCLA in 1971, then turned pro and won the U.S. Championship in 1972.

A lefthander who used a two-handed backhand, Connors was not given an opportunity to win the Grand Slam in 1974. He won the U.S. and Australian Opens and the Wimbledon singles championships, but was banned from the French Open because he played in the World team Tennis League.

He won his second Wimbledon title in 1982. Connors was ranked first in the world five years in a row. In 1989 he played in his 20th U.S. Open at the age of thirty-seven. Connors turned the crowd on with a fourth-round upset of Stefan Edberg before losing in the quarterfinals. Connors had 109 tournament victories and won $8,641,040. Continue reading Jimmy Connors or John McEnroe ? You Make The Pick!

Horse Racing Trivia | Shoemaker | Native Dancer

Horse Racing Facts

  • From 1951 to 1964, Willie Shoemaker was the top money-winning jockey ten times.
  • In 1968, Kentucky Derby winner Dancer’s Image, was disqualified from purse money after tests disclosed that he had run with a pain-killing drug called phenolbutazone in his system. All wages were paid on Dancer’s Image, and Forward Pass was awarded first-place money.
  • Native Dancer was upset by Dark Star in the 1953 Kentucky Derby, but bounced back to capture both the Preakness and the Belmont.
  • Carry Back, a small horse of the 1950s, was one of my favorites.

Saratoga Race Course | Most Historic Racetrack in the United States

Saratoga Racecourse – Saratoga Springs, New York is the home to Saratoga Racecourse, the most historic racetrack in the United States. I live in Schenectady, which is about a half-hour south of Saratoga. The start of thoroughbred racing at the track, often referred to as the ”graveyard of favorites”, goes back more than 130 years. In its second year of horse racing, the track drew 10,000 people for the first four-day meet. Today, millions of avid racing fans visit the track during the meets, and on certain days, like Travers Stakes day, over 60,000 people jam the facility. They now have sunday giveaways which always draw tens of thousands of racing fans. Socialite Mary Lou Whitney, daughter of C.V. ”Sonny Whitney, has been coming to Saratoga in August for many years, and one of the track’s most popular events has been the annual Saratoga Pet Parade for Dogs Only.

Great Jockeys Perform At Saratoga Race Course

Over the years, the greatest jockeys, trainers, and thoroughbreds have performed at Saratoga. In 1930, Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox was beaten by a 110-1 shot Jim Dandy in the Travers Stakes; On Auguist 16, 1954, Native Dancer finished his 22-race career with a victory in the Oneonta Handicap, a non-betting exhibition race that he won by nine lengths while carrying 137 pounds; On August 20, 1966, Buckpasser, ridden by Braulio Baeza, became racing’s first 3 year-old millionaire after winning the Travers Stakes

Secretariat Won Sanford Stakes in 1972

On August 16, 1972, Secretariat won his first stakes race, the Sanford Stakes; On August 26, 1972, Secretariat won the Hopeful Stakes by five lengths; On August 23, 1974, Ruffian won the Spinaway Stakes by 13 lengths, ending her 2 year-old season 5 for 5; On August 17, 1977, Steve Cauthen rode Affirmed for the first time and won the Sanford Stakes, and on August 19, 1978, in the last of their 10-race rivalry, Alydar beat Affirmed for the first time in the Travers Stakes when his rival was disqualified from first place.

Some Saratoga Racetrack History

Baeza, Ycaza, and Cordero

Braulio Baeza, Manny Ycaza of the early 1960s and Angel Corder Jr. (later on ) were my favorite jockeys at Saratoga Racecourse. Baeza for the distance races and Ycaza in the sprints.

Saratoga Raceway | History | Operating Since 1941

Saratoga Raceway has been operating since 1941. It is situated just down the road from the racecourse. It was the third track ever to have pari-mutual betting, and still is considered to be the most beautiful half-mile track in the nation.

Saratoga Raceway Automobile Racing Milestones

  • Some track milestones are: No racing due to wartime restrictions (1943)
  • New double-deck clubhouse completed (1946);
  • A major track fire killed 23 horses (1949)
  • First spring meet scheduled (1951)
  • Mobile starting gait made debut (1953)
  • Nine race programs started (1955)
  • Ernest B. Morris elected third track president (1963) Closed circuit TV installed (1964)
  • Nevele Pride set the fastest race mile ever on a half-mile track for trotters (1:56.4) in 1969
  • All-time attendance mark set (14,200) in 1971;
  • Jimmy Allen set the track record for starts with 1,003 (1973)
  • New children’s playground made debut on Memorial Day (1975)
  • 1977, the first triple dead-heat for show was posted. Jean Paul Morel became the first driver to score six wins in one night , and Kim Crawford, at the age of 22, became the youngest driver ever to register 100 wins in one season.

Run For The Roses | 1986 Kentucky Derby

One of the most exciting Kentucky Derby’s that I have ever seen was run in 1986, when Ferdinand, a 17-1 long shot, was given a flawless ride by 54 year-old jockey Willie Shoemaker. Shoemaker rallied his mount from last in a crowded field of fifteen to win by 2 1/4 lengths.  The big move came at the top of the stretch, when Shoemaker slithered through a gap in heavy traffic near the rail and charged to the wire for the victory.

 

Nick DeGasperis Columbia Bound | Winter 2003

In the winter of 2003, Nick DeGasperis announced that he would be attending Columbia University the following Fall. At a press conference, he told the media that he would be playing football, and probably be used as a kick return man and a wide receiver. DeGasperis was a star on the 2002 Schenectady High football team. A quarterback on that squad, his biggest day came when he led the Patriots to a 29-28 win over perennial Big-Ten power Troy. Continue reading Nick DeGasperis Columbia Bound | Winter 2003

From the Brawl to Hi Ya Small Fry | Schenectady

Solid Weapons – Mickey Ferraro was the leading running back on the strong Mont Pleasant football team of 1954. That squad had solid weapons at nearly every position. The Red Raiders played in the Class A League which was very strong from top to bottom that year. Outside of league play, Pleasant beat powerful White Plains. Quarterback Eddie Ricciardi masterfully directed the Mont Pleasant attack, and Lou DeMarco and Mickey Petrolle anchored the line. Continue reading From the Brawl to Hi Ya Small Fry | Schenectady

Rocky Marciano Wins 49 Fights | Retires | Dies

ROCKY MARCIANO RETIRES – The Brockton Rock won 49 straight

April 27, 1956 – Undefeated World Heavyweight Boxing Champ Rocky Marciano announced his retirement. The Brockton Rock had won all 49 of his fights, with 43 wins coming on knockouts.

He successfully defended his title six times. Marciano first became the heavyweight champion when he knocked out Jersey Joe Walcott in 1952. He was killed in an airplane crash the day before his 46th birthday.