Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tomorrow marks the 65th anniversary of the death of baseball's Ottis Johnson

Ottis Johnson
Tomorrow (Friday) marks the sad anniversary of the death of probably the greatest baseball player to ever come out of Conecuh County, Ottis Johnson of Evergreen.

On June 10, 1951 Johnson, who played for the Dothan Browns, died at the age of 25, eight days after getting hit in the temple by a pitch delivered by Headland Dixie Runners pitcher Jack Clifton. The accident happened during an Alabama-Florida League game at Peanut Stadium in Headland.

Johnson is buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Evergreen, and, to date, he was the last professional player to be killed after getting “beaned” by a ball during a game.

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As of Monday, the Atlanta Braves were 16-40 overall and in last place in the National League East after three straight losses to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Braves continued their West Coast trip earlier this week with three scheduled games against the Padres in San Diego. The Braves are supposed to have a day off today (Thursday) before a three-game series against the Cubs in Atlanta, starting tomorrow (Friday).

The Braves might want to consider playing the Cubs in Chicago instead of Atlanta since the Braves record on the road is actually better than it is at home. As of Monday, the Braves were 6-23 in games played in Atlanta while they were 10-14 on the road. Earlier this season, the Braves went 1-1 against the Cubs in Chicago.

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Someone asked me the other day about how much longer we have to wait until the start of next football season. As chance would have it, Hillcrest and Sparta are scheduled to kick off their regular season schedules on Aug. 26 in Evergreen. Hillcrest will play Linden that night in Brooks Memorial Stadium, and Sparta will play Wilcox Academy at Stuart-McGehee Field. As of today, Aug. 26 is 78 days away, that is, 11 weeks and one day.

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I was out at Evergreen Municipal Park one day last week and noticed the construction on the new fields has come a long way in a short amount of time. Before you know it, they’ll be ready for use, and I look forward to the day that I can run out there with my camera and take pictures at the dedication or ribbon-cutting. Once complete, these new fields will be a feather in the city’s cap.

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From the weird news file this week, I saw in the syndicated “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” cartoon Friday that Suzi Swinehart of Fort Wayne, Indiana ran 73.3 miles in 12 hours on a treadmill. She actually stopped to use the restroom, but the clock kept going.

I was curious about how many calories Swinehart burned during this exercise and was interested to find out that the average female burns around 91 calories per mile while jogging. On average, a woman who runs 73.3 miles burns 6,670.3 calories. Now when you consider that the average Big Mac hamburger contains 540 calories, that means that she burned off around 12 and a half Big Mac during her treadmill run.

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