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Lumps of coal in sports
By DYLAN MALONE
It took me a long time to grow this Christmas beard, but I’m happy with the results. Merry Christmas early to everyone. I hope everybody gets exactly what they want for Christmas.
I know I will...six NBA games in one day! It’s about time.
In sticking with the festive themes, I thought a lot about the Christmas spirit and the good boys and girls who get what they ask from Santa Claus.
But what about those boys and girls who aren’t very good? They get lumps of coal from St. Nick.
Well, tying into the sports world, sometimes professional sports players have their records that shine for all-time. And then there are the lumps of coal. This column is about the latter.
The first lump of coal in sports history goes to the former manager of my favorite baseball team the Atlanta Braves. If you are a Braves’ fan at all you know what record he holds before you even read this...
Bobby Cox holds the record for most ejections from a baseball game with a mind-blowing 143 send-offs. That’s almost an entire baseball season worth of games he’s missed the end of. Simply amazing.
Next in the gallery is Rasheed Wallace. This former Piston great holds the record for most technical fouls in a season with 41. This lump of coal earned is just unreal when you think that there are 82 games in a season. Assuming he played in every game that season, that’s one temper tantrum every two games for the Sheed.
As amazing as that is, he does not hold the career record for most technicals. Former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has the distinct privilege actually with a total of 413 technical fouls in his career as both a player and a coach. That’s 109 more than Wallace had.
Granted Rasheed Wallace can try and get the record still if he tries to become a coach in the league, but good luck finding a team who will hire him for that position. Mark Cuban’s Mav’s maybe? (Just for ratings I’m sure).
J.D. McDuffie was a popular NASCAR racer from 1963 until 1991 when he was killed at Watkins Glen at age 52. The racecar driver/owner was in the business for a long time, 652 races in fact. His lump of coal is never getting in the winner’s circle. Not once. OUCH.
In 1916, the Cumberland College Bulldogs football team folded, but due to a scheduling of a game against Georgia Tech that they were contractually obligated to participate in, the Bulldogs suited up for one last time.
The coach of the Tech team was the legendary John Heisman...yes that Heisman. Earlier during the baseball season, Cumberland’s squad had run the score up on Georgia Tech 22-0 and coach Heisman thought that payback was in order.
Tech led 126-0 at halftime, but Heisman didn’t give an inch. The GT quarterback passed for nearly 1,000 yards, and Cumberland was thoroughly embarrassed 222-0 in the most lopsided college game in history.
That’s a whole bag of coal.
Bill Bergen holds the record for worse batting average in a season at .139. During that same season in 1909 he also set a record that was thought to never be touched again. He went 46 at-bats without a hit at one point in that season, a record that was almost broken by the Brewers’ Craig Counsell earlier this year who went 45 at-bats without reaching base with a hit.
The hitless streak intrigued sports historians and after a second look through the record books, it was discovered that Bergen had walked one of the at-bats that was counted and so the record actually was 45 at-bats without a hit.
Bad news for Craig Counsell who now officially is tied for the record and has a lump of coal from me to go with it for this embarrassing sports record.
Thanks for reading. If anyone has an interesting record they think deserves a lump of coal, feel free to comment on this column’s section online at www.decaturdailydemocrat.com and have a blessed holiday.