FanDuel - WFBC

October 30, 2013

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 19 comments

In the recent discussion about all-time greatest Red Sox, Babe Ruth comes up (of course). His greatness involves him being both an amazing hitter and excellent pitcher.

I'm trying to think of other sports stars that excelled at two distinctly different positions (like forward/goalie (hockey/soccer/handball/lacrosse), QB/kicker (American football), bowler/batter (is that rare in cricket to be good at both?)).

Some team sports don't really allow for this sort of distinction (basketball, rugby).

George Blanda (QB/kicker) comes to mind (and there may be other multi-positional players from the NFL's dark past).

I guess this would also include multi-sport stars like Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Brian Jordan, and Lionel Conacher.

posted by grum@work at 11:51 AM on October 30

I always had a fondness for the junior varsity version of Blanda, Tom Tupa. I kept waiting for the Pats to run more trickery out of punt formations with him. (yerfatma, knowing I'm also a Michael Bishop fan, is rolling the eyes and thinking: "here we go again...")

Rex Kern was an All American QB in college and an All Pro DB in the pros.

Do NFL stars who used to play both ways like Bednarik count? In today's game, he would have needed to develop two distinct sets of skills and knowledge to play OL and LB.

Gotta mention Jim Thorpe in there no doubt.

I think there would be more people on this list if there had been more opportunities available. For guys like Marlin Briscoe, who did have a moment or two of brilliance at QB in the pros.

posted by beaverboard at 01:26 PM on October 30

Are there any hockey guys that have played wing and defense in different games? And did both really well, that is. Apparently Sami Kapanen was a very good goalie, but he was a better right wing. I don't think he ever played goalie in the NHL, though.

posted by NoMich at 01:49 PM on October 30

yerfatma, knowing I'm also a Michael Bishop fan, is rolling the eyes

Not really, I was always frustrated by that as well. It's not like they had a lot to lose back then to try the odd trick play with a college QB.

posted by yerfatma at 01:59 PM on October 30

Are there any hockey guys that have played wing and defense in different games?

Brent Burns of the Sharks (formerly of the Wild) played both D and RW for a couple of years before he finally found his niche as a winger. But he doesn't excel at either to the point of inclusion in this discussion. Carry on, then.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:11 PM on October 30

The Department of Ancient History nominates Gene Conley, RHP in MLB and back up center for the Boston Celtics. He has championship rings in both sports, and is the only man who played for 3 different professional teams in one city. His was a most interesting career that may be glimpsed in this link. Note: the link is from a January, 2008, article. As far as I know, Conley is still living and would be in his 80s.

posted by Howard_T at 02:53 PM on October 30

Jacksonville to get a second team.

posted by cl at 03:27 PM on October 30

Are there any hockey guys that have played wing centre and defense in different games? And did both really well, that is.

Leonard "Red" Kelly.

posted by tommytrump at 04:12 PM on October 30

Do "discovered by invitation" second sport abilities count? Thinking here of Lolo Jones, et al.

I wish Doug Flutie had had a chance to keep developing in hockey as well as football. He was evidently a sharp goalie (maybe he still is, in the grown folks leagues).

posted by beaverboard at 04:16 PM on October 30

In cricket, the "all rounder" is someone who can both bowl and bat to a high level, remembering that in cricket, all players have to bat, including the 4-5 specialist bowlers usually chosen in the eleven. No DHs and no PHs allowed in cricket!

The great international all rounders of the past included players like Sir Garfield Sobers (West Indies) and Keith Miller (Australia), who would have been chosen in the national sides for either their batting or bowling alone. More recently Kapil Dev (India) and Andrew Flintoff (England) could be rated in the same category.

posted by owlhouse at 04:28 PM on October 30

Jacksonville to get a second team.

Obvious response: "When did they get a first?"

posted by yerfatma at 04:55 PM on October 30

"How are they doing this?" An attempt to explain the Red Sox' success.

posted by yerfatma at 04:57 PM on October 30

Mathieu Dandenault was a wing for the Red Wings that converted to defense, though he wasn't necessarily "great" at either position. Bowman also played Sergei Fedorov on defense for a stretch or two of games...

posted by MeatSaber at 07:24 PM on October 30

Pierre the Pelican

posted by tommytrump at 08:35 PM on October 30

Are there any hockey guys that have played wing and defense in different games?

Phil Housley dabbled as a forward for a while before becoming a (probable) HOF defenseman. (I know this because a table-top hockey card game had him listed as a C/D, which made him pretty valuable in terms of roster construction.)

Side note: I completely and utterly forgot that he played 1 regular season game and 3 playoff games for the Toronto Maple Leafs at the end of his career (2003). It's obscure as Brian Leetch's time as a Maple Leaf...

posted by grum@work at 08:54 PM on October 30

Colin Cowherd talks out his ass.

Things of note from the article:

Ortiz's power numbers have remained relatively consistent throughout his career with the Red Sox, but his .309 average this season tied his career best for any in which he appeared in at least 100 games.

...except for the .332 average in 2007 when he played 149 games.

"David Ortiz, who was shot two years ago, is now Babe Ruth," Cowherd said.

Ortiz in 2011: .309/.398/.554
Ortiz in 2013: .309/.395/.564

(An idiotic statement, unless he meant "shot" as in Robert Redford in "The Natural"...)

posted by grum@work at 09:05 PM on October 30

The Sox are sure having fun the first half of game 6. Hope it continues.

posted by Scottymac at 09:56 PM on October 30

* talks out his ass

* = Colin Cowherd, Skip Bayless, Michael Wilbon, Stephen Smith, and on, and on ...

It's part of the job description of an ESPN commentator. These guys are the Jerry Springers of the sports world, put in place solely to evoke a "no way, that's crazy shit" response to their shock me blathering.

posted by cixelsyd at 09:24 AM on October 31

Judges 15:16:

And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.

I prefer the Rudy Ray Moore version, where he says he jobbed 'em in the ass.

posted by beaverboard at 10:18 AM on October 31

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