UM Sports Trivia | July 8

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

On September 7th, for the first time in their history, the Montana State Bobcats face a team from the American Athletic Conference when they travel to Dallas to face Southern Methodist University. OK, so this is actually the first season for the AAC–a league made up mostly of former Big East and Conference USA members. The SMU Mustangs are coached by June Jones former NFL and University of Hawaii head coach. Here’s something for Bobcat fans to chew on: in 2001 the Montana Grizzlies traveled to Hawaii for their second game of the season and lost to the June Jones coached Rainbow Warriors.  The Griz proceeded to win their next 14 games that season including the 1-AA title game. The SMU game will be the Bobcat’s second game of the 2013 season.

So now former Butler basketball coach Brad Stevens will try to succeed where Rick Pitino failed going from a long career as a college head coach to head coach of the Boston Celtics. In the summer of 1997 Pitino left the University of Kentucky to become head coach of the Celtics and after less than 3 seasons Pitino was out at Boston. Interestingly enough over the past two seasons Butler has won 49 games while the Montana Grizzlies have claimed 50 wins.

The New York Mets will be hosting the Major League All-Star game next Tuesday for the first time in 49 years. In 1964 Shea Stadium was in its first season of operations and that summer the New York World’s Fair was in full Swing not far from the Stadium. The Phillies star Johnny Callison was the hero of the All-Star Game hitting a 3-run walk-off homer to give the National League a 7-4 win. One dignitary that wasn’t at that All-star game was New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller who was speaking at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco later that evening.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey last week matched a feat that had only been accomplished three times in the last 60 years. Bailey’s non-hitter against the San Francisco Giants meant that he had thrown consecutive no-hitters. Bailey didn’t get no-hitters in consecutive starts but then no other pitcher in the Majors has thrown a no-hitter since Bailey did the trick last September against Pittsburgh. Nolan Ryan got “back to back no-hitters in 1973 and then again in 1974-75. Back in the early 1960’s Warren Spahn of the Braves also went back to back with no-hitters.

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Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumedmascot.

Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament

When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.