Sports Extra with Dave Ross: Russia baseball: 1971 + 51 = 2022


Sports Extra - With Dave Ross



The Shelby County Athletic League won its first ever state team title when Russia brought home top honors in baseball in 1971. This past Saturday the Raiders did it again. In between, the league claimed an additional 29 OHSAA crowns in various sports. Current total is 31 for teams along with almost that many event titles in track (30).

Russia got it all going and has now made the most recent addition to this very special list which can be found at scalsports.com. That website was updated very quickly last weekend to include the 2022 Russia baseball conquest. Congrats to the league and Raider Country.

500 wins

According to the OHSAA website, 52 boys basketball coaches and 23 on the girls side have won at least 500 varsity games in Ohio. During the coming season, Fort Loramie girls coach Carla Siegel will reach that milestone. Entering her 24th season, she has 491 and needs nine more which should happen before the new year. Obviously. it would be nice if the Loramie native does it at home.

Two coaches on the boys 500 list have Fort Loramie ties. Current St. Marys mentor Dan Hegemier won most of his total with the Redskins. Cincinnati Moeller coach (and Principal) Carl Kremer is a nephew of John Kremer who guided the ‘Skins for 26 seasons ending in 1976. Carla Siegel got to meet Carl for the first time at the local funeral home when we lost the senior coach Kremer back in March.

Rose roast

I got a special treat this past Saturday night by attending a roast of former Reds star, manager, and baseball’s “hit king” Pete Rose at Hard Rock Casino in Cincinnati. Headliners were Rose, retired radio voice Marty Brennaman, and 1970’s Rose teammates George Foster and Ken Griffey. This group literally roasted each other while reminiscing for about 90 minutes, and I can actually print some of it.

Rose says he would hit only about .200 if playing in today’s major leagues. “but you’ve got to remember that I’m 81 years old.”

Pete was confident that the Reds would win the deciding seventh game of the 1975 World Series after Boston took the historic sixth game. Manager Sparky Anderson didn’t share that optimism and spent a sleepless night between the two encounters. Rose told him not to worry. “We’ve got Boston right where we want them. They did their celebrating after game six.” Final score 4-3 Reds for the first of consecutive Cincinnati titles. Pete hit .370 in that fall classic and was named World Series MVP.

The Reds didn’t make it a three-peat in 1977 when Foster hit .320 while slugging 52 homers and 149 RBI with 124 runs scored. “Best offensive season I’ve ever seen,” Rose recalled.

Yankees legend Mickey Mantle nicknamed Pete as “Charley Hustle” during a 1963 spring training game, Rose’s rookie year. “That guy knew his stuff, didn’t he?”

Pete was banned from MLB and its affiliates after a 1989 gambling investigation while he was managing the Reds. Rose couldn’t resist. “Isn’t it ironic that we’re in a casino tonight?”

MAC crowns

The Midwest Athletic Conference is synonymous with winning state football championships. They claimed a pair last December (along with a runnerup) and actually swept the three smaller school divisions in 2014. The MAC is usually state caliber in both D-VI and D-VII, but needs a juggernaut to step forward in D-V to make a run at all three.

Versailles won D-V in 2021 as the only MAC rep in that grouping, but has been reclassified to D-VI for 2022. Not a problem since perennial power Coldwater is again D-V. We would not know how great this conference is in football if all members were in the same division where there would be only a single winner.

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Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. These columns have received statewide recognition by the Associated Press.

Sports Extra appears each Friday. These columns have received statewide recognition by the Associated Press.