UM Sports Trivia | Week of June 8

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

This coming Thursday (June 11) marks the 135th anniversary of the birth of pioneering Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin. Rankin gained national and international attention by voting against U.S. entrance into both World War I and World War II.  Rankin opposed war and as she called the “unnecessary use of force.” In Washington she spoke against the Vietnam war when she was in her late 80’s.  It seems only fitting that on what would have been Ms. Rankin 125th birthday one of the most feared fighters in boxing history hung up his gloves forever. After badly losing to a journeyman fighter Mike Tyson finally decided “enough was enough.”

How long has it been since there has been a Triple Crown winner in horse racing? When the same week that Affirmed won the Belmont to cap off his Triple Crown title: Michael Ray Richardson of the Montana Grizzlies was drafted 4th overall in the NBA draft. Larry Holmes claimed a share of the World Heavyweight Championship in boxing and UM hired Plentywood girls basketball coach Robin Selvig as UM’s new women’s basketball coach.

keyboardIt was forty years ago this week that Montana most prominent major League baseball player hung up his spikes. After 14 seasons in the majors Billings native Dave McNally decided he had enough of road trips and icing his pitching arm. McNally had enjoyed 13 seasons of tremendous success with the Baltimore Orioles as was the winning pitcher in the majors for the five season span of 1968-1972. McNally is one of the few pitchers to have 2 complete games wins in decisive World Series games. After the 1974 season McNally was traded to the Montreal Expos for Ken Singleton. McNally developed arm problems on the hapless Expos and made it a third of the way through one season in Montreal. McNally died of Cancer in December of2002.

A Big Sky Conference connection to Memorial tournament winner David Lingmerth. Lingmerth came to the U.S. from Sweden and learned golf from his uncle Goran and Goran’s wife Heather Farr an LPGA star. Goren’s sport before golf was as a kicker at Northern Arizona from 1983-86. Groan Lingmerth set a record for field goals in a game with  the University of Idaho in a 24-0 Lumberjack win.

 

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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.