UM Sports Trivia | Week of July 21

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

With the appearance of former Cleveland Indian and Colorado Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt last week for the Grand Junction Rockies, it marked the first time a former major League player had appeared at Ogren Park. Betancourt has spent 11 seasons in the majors highlighted by helping the Indians come within one game of the 2007 World Series. Betancourt turned 39 in April and is actually older than the all the members of the Osprey’s 1999 Pioneer League Champs.

The membership of the Sun Belt Conference in football looks like a bracket of the FCS play-off circ. The League now includes the University of Idaho, Georgia Southern, Appalachian state, Louisiana-Monroe, Arkansas State, Troy and Texas State. By the way, this is Idaho’s second tour through the Sun Belt as they were members from 2003-05.

This fall the Montana Grizzly football team will face a lot of first-year head coaches (at least at their current school). Four of the Grizzly’s first 6 games will be against teams with new head coaches. A trip to Wyoming starts off the season and new Cowboy head coach Craig Buhl makes his debut. Central Washington’s Ian Shoemaker takes over 21at the helm after a season with an interim head coach. Both South Dakota and North Dakota state have hired former assistants to lead their programs. The fifth new head coach in this year’s line-up is Sac State interim head coach Jody Sears. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Sears was the head coach at Weber State the past 2 seasons.

With his British Open title Sunday Rory McIlroy has now won 3 of the 4 titles in pro golf’s “Grand Slam” needing a Masters title to complete the Slam. McElroy joins Phil Mickleson as the only other active player with 3 of the 4 major titles; Tigers Woods completed his personal Slam in 2000 at the age of 24.

On Tuesday, July 22nd, England’s Prince George will celebrate his first birthday to much fanfare. The young Prince assured a link to the throne would continue in London, also proved a good sign for another group of Royals. In the year since Prince George was born,the Kansas City Royals have gone 89-74 as of Sunday.

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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.