Every other Tuesday at 9 AM a new podcast will be released.
February 18, 2020 … When you think of the greatest defensemen to ever play in the NHL, a few names come immediately to mind: Bobby Orr, Doug Harvey, Ray Borque and Denis Potvin. But one of the most overlooked names is Pierre Pilote and he deserves to be mentioned in any conversation when it comes to who was the greatest blueliner to ever play. Some of the reasons Pilote might be overlook, and even forgotten, are: his name only appears once on the Stanley Cup, he didn’t start playing in the NHL until he was 24, and he never scored at the pace of an Orr, Borque or Potvin. When Pilote played the game, defensemen were not known as big-time scorers. Yet, Pilote led the Blackhawks in scoring during their incredible run to the 1961 Stanley Cup Championship. Pierre was as tough as nails. He never won a Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship, but he won the Norris Trophy three times. The NHL started to track plus/minus during the 1959-60 season, and in the 10 years that followed, twice Pilote led the league. In 1963-64 he was a plus 31 and in 1966-67 he was a plus 54. Only twice did he end a season minus. The Blackhawks were not a very good team when Pierre joined them having qualified for the playoffs just twice for the post season in the 10-years prior to his arrival. In his final 10-season with Chicago, the Blackhawks made the post season every year, three times making it to the Stanley Cup Finals and they won it 1961. Despite starting the game at such an advanced age, his mid-teens, Pierre Pilote made up for lost time quickly and ultimately wound up in the Hall of Fame. Waxy Gregoire, a terrific writer who co-authored the book, “Heart of the Blackhawks,” with Pilote is on SFH for an in-depth discussion about the man who helped turn the Blackhawks fortunes around.
February 4, 2020 … Darel Carrier is one of the greatest players to ever play in the ABA, the American Basketball Association and he joins me on this edition of Sports Forgotten Heroes. A prolific shooter from 3-point territory, Darel was named to the ABA’s All-Time team and is the leagues career leader in field goal percentage from downtown. In fact, for his career, Darel averaged exactly 20 points-per-game. Darel was a terrific high school basketball player who was offered scholarships by the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University. A home-body, as he explains on today’s show, Darel chose WKU over UK and became the Hilltoppers go-to guy almost immediately. His skill on the court caught the eye of the then St. Louis Hawks and Darel was drafted by the team in the 9th Round of the NBA Draft. However, rather than try the NBA, Darel received (as he said) a better offer from the Phillips 66’ers (then one of the greatest Industrial League teams) with the promise of a job. So, off to Oklahoma Darel went and goodbye to the NBA. After three years with Phillips, a new professional basketball league was launching and it was placing a team near Darel’s home in Kentucky. So, Darel opted to try his game on the professional level with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA (American Basketball Association) and he, along with Louie Dampier, formed one of basketball’s greatest backcourt tandems. The two of them were deadly from downtown and helped build one of the ABA’s most dominant teams. But injuries (a herniated disk and later a torn Achilles) ended Darel’s career after just six seasons. On this episode of Sports’ Forgotten Heroes, Darel talks about his career and the decisions he made that ultimately shaped his career.
January 21, 2020 … Jerry Quarry was one of boxing’s most gifted fighters. But, he had two major flaws that were impossible to overcome: his size and his “thin” skin. First, his size. Most heavyweight boxers fought at weights that surpassed 200-pounds. Quarry was smaller and fought most of his fights between 175 and 185 pounds. As for the “thin” skin, that’s the best way I can describe how easily he cut. Those two flaws, certainly affected Quarry’s chances to win a heavyweight championship. As an amateur, he won the Gold Gloves. But as a professional, he fought for a heavyweight belt four times, but in each instance he lost. Quarry, who was 53-9-4 as a professional, could punch with anyone. Whether he hit you with his right or left, both were powerful. He was technically smart, and he offered brutal beatings of Ernie Shavers, Floyd Patterson and Ron Ellis – all top contenders. Quarry, who started to train in a boxing ring at the age of six, came from a family of boxers. He fought 200 times as an amateur, and basically lived his life in the ring. But, by the time he was 56, his body gave out and he succumbed to dementia pugilistica. A sad end to a wonderful life, and career. And that career saw him step into the ring against the likes of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. In fact, his bout against Frazier on June 23, 1966 was named Fight of the Year. During Quarry’s days in the ring, there was a period of time where he was named as the most popular fighter in the world by “The Ring Magazine”, spent some time on TV as an actor appearing in such popular shows as Adam-12 and I Dream of Jeannie. But, Quarry’s mission was to win the heavyweight championship. Sadly, he never realized that goal. Perhaps, had there been a cruiserweight division when he fought, Quarry might have had a much different career. But, that weight division didn’t exist, and Quarry had to step into the ring against some of the sport’s most legendary boxers and the beating he took were brutal. George Thomas Clark, who appeared on Sports’ Forgotten Heroes for discussions about Teofilo Stevenson and Archie Moore, returns to SFH for an in-depth discussion about “The Bellflower Bomber” – Jerry Quarry.