UM Sports Trivia | Week of Aug 5

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

While other American Legion baseball programs are falling by the wayside or going down a competitive level the Missoula Mavericks, under head coach Brent Hathaway, have stayed strong. This past weekend for the 10th time in Hathaway’s 21 seasons, the Mavericks played for the “AA” state title. Missoula has won 5 state titles in the last 20 years–most recently in 201–and finished in second place five other times. Since 1993, the Mavericks have fished among the top 4 at state 16 times. Remarkably while Billings has hosted 6 state tournament since ’93 and Great Falls 4 tournaments, the Mavericks have played only one state tournament on their home diamond.

When the Mountaineers of Appalachian State open their 2013 season in Missoula at the end of August, the ASU program will be beginning a new era.  For the first time in 25 years Jerry Moore will not be the head coach as Moore has retired. Scott Satterfield will be making his head coaching debut when the Mountaineers come to Missoula. Even before the Griz and Mountaineers’ first meeting in 2000, the two teams had previously been on each other’s radar. In early December of 1995 Montana was hosting Georgia Southern in the 1-AA quarterfinal while Appalachian was hosting Stephan F. Austin in another quarterfinal. The way the bracket was set up, with a win, Appalachian would host the winner of the Montana-SFA game in the semi-finals. Montana made quick work of Georgia Southern 31-0, but in Boone North Carolina the Mountaineers had trouble hanging on to the football and lost to Stephan F. Austin, sending the Lumberjacks to subzero Missoula.

While major League baseball had night games in every city in the majors after 1946 the owners of the Chicago Cubs refused to install lights. Finally Commissioner Peter Ueberroth said that if the Cubs made the play-offs in the future they must either have lights or the games might be moved to St. Louis or across Chicago to Comiskey Park. On August 9, 1988 the Cubs hosted the New York Mets in the first night game ever at Wrigley Field.

In 1969 the Pittsburgh Steelers hired Chuck Noll as head coach of the Franchise that hadn’t won a play-off game in 37 years. Noll created a defense that would be the best in the league for the next dozen years. Joe Green and Jack Ham were high draft choices who would key the resurgence in Pittsburgh. The Steelers also signed as a free agent a third team small College All-American from Youngstown State. The kid from Youngstown impressed Noll and his staff, but not enough to stick in Pittsburgh. That talented but undersized defender Ed O’Neil who found success as Al Bundy (Married with Children) and Jay Pritchard (Modern Family).

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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.